Vegan Butter Chicken – Made with Tofu!

Serving suggestion - a vibrant Vegan Butter Chicken tofu curry served in a bowl

Written by Liz

I’m Liz, I share recipes and easy substitutes to make plant-based living simple!

November 7, 2022

Vegan Butter Chicken – Made with Tofu!

This Vegan Butter Chicken is my latest dinner obsession. To make a vegan friendly version, this recipe uses tofu in place of chicken, and it turned out so well that I can’t believe it’s not the real thing! If you’re looking for a delicious, vegan-friendly dish that will fool even the most die-hard meat-eaters, then this is the recipe for you.

The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to prepare. You don’t need any fancy ingredients or difficult techniques – just tofu, some pantry staples and 30 minutes of cook time. So if you’re looking for an impressive dish that’s easy to throw together, look no further than vegan tofu butter chicken.

What is Vegan Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken is a popular Indian dish made with chicken, tomato sauce and a variety of spices. The dish is usually creamy and quite rich, making it a popular choice for those looking for a hearty meal.

Vegan butter chicken is a vegan version of the dish that uses tofu in place of chicken. The tofu is cooked in a tomato-based sauce spiced with garam masala, cumin powder and other Indian spices. The result is a dish that’s just as tasty as the original – but without any animal products.

Serving suggestion - a vibrant Vegan Butter Chicken tofu curry served in a bowl

Key Ingredients for Vegan Butter Chicken


Tofu is a healthy and versatile food that can be used in many different dishes. It is made from soy milk, and is a good source of plant-based protein and calcium. Tofu is also low in calories and cholesterol-free, making it a healthy choice for people looking for a nutritious meal.

Tofu is used in this recipe because it has a similar texture to chicken. It also takes on the flavors of the spices and sauce, making it a perfect replacement for chicken in this dish.

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices that is popular in Indian cuisine. The spice mix typically contains cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and cumin seeds, among other spices.

Garam masala is used in this recipe because it adds a warm, spicy flavor that pairs well with the tomato sauce and tofu. The mix of spices also helps to give the dish a depth of flavor that makes it taste like traditional butter chicken.

Coconut Cream

The recipe calls for coconut cream, which gives the dish a rich and creamy flavor. Coconut cream is made from the thickened cream that rises to the top of coconut milk. It is high in fat and calories, but pairs perfectly with tomatoes and gives the dish a deep, rich flavor. The creaminess of the coconut also helps to enhance the warming mild spices in this dish. If you’d prefer a less calorific dish, you could swap coconut cream for coconut milk.

Canned diced tomatoes

Canned diced tomatoes are a key ingredient in this vegan butter chicken recipe because they add a rich, tomatoey flavor to the dish. They are also convenient to use, as they require no preparation. This makes them a quick and easy addition to the recipe.

What do you need to make Vegan Butter Chicken?

The main ingredients you need to make vegan butter chicken are tofu, garam masala, cumin powder, tomatoes (canned or fresh), coconut cream and butter. You’ll also need some basic kitchen supplies, including a frying pan, measuring cups and spoons, and a knife and cutting board. Here’s your shopping list:

  • Brown onions
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Extra firm tofu
  • Corn flour
  • Light vegetable oil suitable for frying
  • Spring onion
  • Coconut cream
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Sugar
  • Garam masala
  • Cumin powder
  • Ground coriander
  • Turmeric
  • White rice

A bowl of Vegan Butter Chicken on a marble benchtop


If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly version of butter chicken, this recipe is perfect for you. It uses tofu as the main ingredient, and is cooked in a tomato-based sauce spiced with garam masala, cumin powder and other Indian spices.

However, if you’re not a fan of tofu or are looking for a different protein source, there are plenty of substitutes you can use. Here are some ideas:

  • Try using chickpeas or tempeh instead of tofu. The chickpeas will add a satisfying texture to the dish, while chunks of tempeh will make it extra filling and hearty. Keep in mind tempeh has it’s own rich flavour, so this may make the final dish taste a bit different. Lentils could also work well, and will add to the thick creamy texture. However, lentils will break down and create more of a soup than a curry (which could be nice, but will be very different to the original).
  • You could also try using different types of cream in place of coconut cream – such as soy cream, oat milk cream or coconut milk.


There are approximately 986 calories, 42 grams of carbs, 48 grams of fat and 21 grams of protein in this recipe.

Storage instructions for Vegan Butter Chicken

The recipe makes enough for four servings, so it’s perfect for dinner parties or family gatherings. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The dish can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Simply thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating it on the stovetop.

FAQ about Vegan Butter Chicken

Q: Can I use a different protein source instead of tofu?

A: Yes, you can substitute chickpeas or tempeh for the tofu in this recipe.

Q: Can I freeze the leftovers?

A. Yes, leftovers can be frozen for up to 2 months. Simply thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating on the stovetop.

Q: What are some other possible substitutes for coconut cream?

A: Soy cream, oat milk cream or coconut milk can all be used as substitutes for coconut cream in this recipe. However, it will change the final flavour of the dish!



This vegan butter chicken recipe is a delicious and easy-to-follow alternative to the traditional dish. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a hearty, protein-rich meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Tofu is used as the main ingredient, but Chickpeas or Tempeh can be substituted if desired. The recipe requires no special cooking skills or ingredients, making it perfect for novice cooks or those short on time. Have you tried this vegan butter chicken recipe? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Serving suggestion - a vibrant Vegan Butter Chicken tofu curry served in a bowl