Rich, fragrant, and healthy vegan butter chicken made with cauliflower. This easy family-friendly meal is so hearty, satisfying, and filling.
This meal is gluten-free, dairy-free, and a healthier version of the traditional butter chicken.
If you’re looking for a plant-based meal with authentic flavor, then you’ve come to the right place. This vegan cauliflower butter is a family favorite, and loved by vegans and non-vegan in the family.
If you’re a fan of butter chicken and trying to reduce your animal product consumption, or you’re vegan, then you will love this recipe. It’s really close to the authentic butter chicken recipe that we all love but healthier. And it tastes amazing (if not more delicious than the chicken version!).
Vegan butter chicken Ingredients
- Cauliflower – many vegan versions use firm tofu for this recipe, but I personally like cauliflower better. Choose a large cauliflower head that is fresh, and white in color.
- Coconut oil – to saute the ginger and garlic. You can substitute with vegetable oil, or vegan butter instead.
- Spices – you will need turmeric, smoked paprika, garam masala, cumin, chili powder (optional! only if you like spicy food), and salt.
- Passata – can be substituted with tomato sauce or a can of plain tomatoes that are blended and sieved.
- Coconut milk – use full-fat canned coconut milk for a creamy texture.
- Fresh herbs – for garnish, use fresh chopped parsley, mint, or cilantro.
How to make this recipe
First, prep the cauliflower. Wash it, remove the leaves, and cut into florets as shown below.
To get the cauliflower started, I like to just char it (not fully cook it). Place on a baking sheet, and place under the broiler for 10 minutes at 200c (395f).
As the cauliflower is under the broiler. Mince the garlic and ginger. Place a heavy bottom pan on medium heat, melt coconut oil or vegan butter and saute the ginger and garlic until fragrant.
Add the spices, and cook for a minute to release the flavors.
Add the passata or tomato sauce, followed by the coconut milk. Mix the sauce well, and let it heat through. When it starts bubbling, add the cauliflower and simmer for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked (but not falling apart).
The sauce will also reduce and become creamy as it simmers.
What to serve vegan butter chicken with?
- Basmati rice – probably the most traditional way and the most delicious.
- Brown rice – to keep things healthier, make brown rice and serve it with this vegan cauliflower butter chicken.
- Coconut rice – if you’re feeling a bit fancy and for an indulgent meal, the coconut rice pairs so well the cauliflower butter curry.
- Naan bread – to eat all of the sauce and not miss any drop (yes it’s that good!).
- And make this mushroom bhaji to serve on the side, it’s SO easy and good!
- Fridge: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave and make sure that you add a splash of water before reheating as otherwise, the sauce might be too thick.
- Freezer: Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
More vegan curry recipes
- Chickpea and potato curry
- Aubergine and chickpea curry
- Kidney bean curry
- Sweet potato curry
- Vegan coconut curry
- Creamy coconut korma
If you make this recipe, please don’t forget to share your feedback with a rating in the comments below. I hope you enjoy!
Vegan Butter Chicken
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or substitute extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil or vegan butter
- 5 cloves garlic minced (about 5 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons ginger grated
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon chili powder optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large cauliflower head cut into florets (about 8 cups)
- 9 oz 250 grams passata or tomato sauce
- 1 can coconut milk full fat (14 ounce can)
- prepared basmati or brown rice for serving
- 2 tablespoons parsley or cilantro for serving
- Spread the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet, and char under the broiler for 10 minutes at 200c (395f). This will help the cauliflower get going.
- In a heavy bottom pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add all of the spices, and the salt, stir and cook for a minute then add the passata, followed by the coconut milk.
- Add the cauliflower to the sauce, and simmer until the cauliflower is cooked and sauce reduce a little. This should take around 10 minutes.
- Serve warm over basmati rice with chopped parsley, mint, or cilantro.
- The Passata sauce can be substituted with tomato sauce, or a can of plain tomatoes that are blended and sieved.
- This dish is medium spicy, so if you’re feeding children then I recommend that you leave the chili powder out.
- You can stir in vegan butter in the sauce at the end for a creamier texture.
- Garnish with fresh herbs before serving. The recommended herbs for garnish are fresh cilantro, mint leaves, and parsley.
- Serve with basmati or brown rice, and/or fresh naan.
- If you store the leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken up. Reheat in the microwave with adding a splash of water and mix. You can store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.