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Close up of butter chicken with tofu over basmati rice, cilantro and fresh naan.

Vegan Butter Chicken with Tofu

This Vegan Butter Chicken is made from crispy tofu, canned coconut milk and lots of seasonings like garam masala, cumin, coriander and red chili flakes. It has tons of flavor and is surprisingly easy to whip up. This butter tofu recipe is guaranteed to satisfy your craving for Indian food!
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Liv King


Crispy Tofu:

  • 1 Block Extra Firm Tofu drained and pressed
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • Pinch Salt & Black Pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil for pan-frying

Butter Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons Vegan Butter or Vegetable Oil
  • ½ Large Sweet Onion minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  • ½ teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1 13.5oz Can Coconut Milk full-fat
  • 1 teaspoon Organic Cane Sugar

For Serving:

  • Basmati Rice
  • Cilantro


  • Press the tofu for 15 minutes. Cube the tofu and toss in a large bowl with the cornstarch, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat and add the oil. Pan-fry the tofu until each side is crispy and golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack until sauce is completed.
  • In a small dish, measure out all the seasonings– measuring out the seasonings before hand is a super helpful tip so the onions don’t burn while you’re trying to add each individual spice.
  • In a large pot, add the vegan butter on medium high heat. Add in the minced onions and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onion is soft and is starting to brown. Then, add in the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add all the seasonings to the onion and garlic mixture and toss to combine until fragrant. Pour in the tomato sauce, coconut milk and cane sugar. Whisk to combine.
  • Bring the butter sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer on low for 20 minutes. Toss in tofu and stir to coat.
  • Serve over basmati rice with extra cilantro and a side of vegan naan. Enjoy!


Prep your tofu! Pressing tofu will remove the excess water and will help it get crispier.
Don’t over crowd the pan. When crisping up the tofu, don’t over crowd it. If you overcrowd the tofu in the pan, it won’t ever get crispy and the cornstarch breading will get soggy and fall off. My best advice is to crisp the tofu up in batches so they have tons of space. 
Pick a good canned coconut milk! Sometimes I find that canned coconut milk can be chunky when melted into sauces. I always have good luck with the Whole Foods brand coconut milk and Trader Joe’s coconut milk. You can also use coconut cream.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram!