Pasta meets curry in this deliciously creamy butter chicken pasta! It's a comforting dish that's simply bursting with flavor as it blends the aromatic spices of Indian cuisine with the irresistible creaminess of Italian pasta.
Let's face it, comfort food cravings hit us all from time to time, and when they do, nothing beats a cozy, mouthwatering plate of creamy pasta.
But what if I told you you could have the comforting richness of Italian pasta and the amazing flavors of Indian cuisine all on one plate?
Butter chicken pasta is a warm and satisfying plate of pasta coated in an aromatic, creamy sauce with tender, spiced chicken.
It's comfort food at its best while being quite light, too, as there's no heavy cream in sight.
Why you'll love this butter chicken pasta
- A delightful mix of Italian and Indian cuisine
- Super easy to make and great for busy weeknights
- Easily adaptable so you can make it your own
What goes into this butter chicken pasta recipe
Olive oil + butter — Using a mix of olive oil and butter creates a rich, flavorful base.
Chicken — I made this butter chicken pasta with chicken breast because it's lean and tender. However, if you'd like a more succulent result, use boneless chicken thighs instead.
Onion — I used yellow onions because their balanced sweetness is perfect in this sauce. Shallots and red onion are other good options.
Garlic + ginger — Opt for fresh garlic cloves and ginger root for the most vibrant flavor.
You can also use jarred minced garlic and ginger or a garlic ginger paste but keep in mind that the taste may not be as robust.
Tomato paste — Tomato paste lends a concentrated tomato flavor and a rich, thick consistency to the sauce.
You can substitute crushed or diced canned tomatoes if you don't mind a little chunkier sauce.
Half and half (single cream) — The half and half, or single cream, adds a luxurious creaminess to the butter chicken sauce without being too heavy.
Fresh cilantro (coriander) — Cilantro adds a burst of freshness and color, but if you're not a fan, you can substitute it with fresh parsley, basil, or a combination of both.
How to make butter chicken with pasta
Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden on all sides.
Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Stir in the almond butter, then add the half and half (single cream). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat well in the sauce.
Stir in some freshly chopped cilantro, season to taste and serve immediately.
What to serve with butter chicken pasta
This butter chicken pasta is perfectly satisfying on its own, but you can definitely serve it with some accompaniments to enhance the flavors and get a delightful contrast in textures.
Here are some ideas to try:
- Garlic naan: Warm, buttery garlic naan pairs perfectly with the rich, creamy sauce of butter chicken pasta. Use it to mop up every last bit of sauce!
- Green salad: Balance the richness of the pasta with a fresh, vibrant green salad. Opt for a mix of leafy greens, crunchy vegetables, and a light, tangy dressing. Kachumber salad works great here, too!
- Cucumber raita: A cool, refreshing cucumber raita can help counterbalance the spiciness of the butter chicken pasta.
Leftovers and storage
- Keep your butter chicken pasta tasting fresh by placing leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerating for up to 3 days.
- Gently reheat your butter chicken pasta on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of cream or milk if it looks too thick. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave, covering the dish and stirring at intervals to ensure even heat distribution.
- I don't recommend freezing this creamy pasta dish.
Recipe notes and tips
- Transform your butter chicken pasta into a vegetarian delight by swapping the chicken for firm tofu, paneer, or your favorite plant-based protein.
- For a vegan version, replace the butter with a plant-based alternative, use a dairy-free cream substitute like coconut milk or cashew cream, and choose a vegan-friendly pasta.
- Tailor the heat of your butter chicken pasta to your preference by adjusting the amount of red chili flakes.
- Boost the nutritional value of this pasta dish by incorporating additional vegetables such as bell peppers, spinach, peas, or even roasted cauliflower. Simply sauté or roast your chosen veggies and stir them into the sauce along with the chicken and pasta.
If you liked this butter chicken recipe, you might also like some of my other easy pasta recipes:
- Lemon Butter Garlic Pasta Sauce (Pasta al Limone)
- Pasta e Piselli (Pasta and Peas)
- Creamy Rasta Pasta Recipe
- Pink Sauce Pasta
- Easy Ground Turkey Pasta
- 10.5 oz (300 g) short pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (20 g) butter
- 1 lb (450 g) chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups (400 ml) tomato sauce (passata)
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 cup (200 ml) half and half (single cream)
- A handful fresh cilantro (coriander)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden on all sides.
- Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
- Next, add the garam masala, cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric, and red chili flakes. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the tomato paste and tomato sauce (passata) and stir to combine. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water if it looks too thick.
- Stir in the almond butter, then add the half and half (single cream). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat well in the sauce.
- Stir in some freshly chopped cilantro, season to taste and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 531mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 6gSugar: 10gProtein: 46g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.