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Vegan Butter Chicken

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Tofu pressing time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
A simple version of the popular Indian dish, made completely vegan! Tofu is prepared in a unique way that couldn't be easier and somehow makes it taste a lot like chicken. Better than take-out and healthier, too!
looking down on vegan butter chicken with rice, cilantro in background.


For the tofu:

  • 2 (16 oz) blocks extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 (13.5 oz) canned full fat coconut milk

For serving:

  • 4 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • chopped cilantro
  • Easy Vegan Naan


  • Press the tofu: Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels. Place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, and put a couple of heavy books on top of that. Let the tofu press for 20 minutes. (You can skip this step if you get the super firm variety)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the tofu into about 6 slices (see photos in post above for reference). Now, rip each slice into medium-large pieces. You can also simply cut them into cubes, if you prefer, but ripping gives the tofu a great texture for this dish.
  • Add the tofu pieces to a large ziplock bag, along with the olive oil, cornstarch and salt. Close the bag, and shake gently to coat. Arrange the tofu evenly on the prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  • While the tofu bakes, prepare the sauce: Melt the 2 tablespoons of vegan butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 3-4 minutes in the butter, then add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the spices, salt, tomato paste and coconut milk. Stir until smooth and combined, then simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • When the tofu is done baking, add it to the sauce and stir to coat the pieces. Serve over rice with Easy Vegan Naan. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro. Enjoy!


  1. This would also be really good with roasted cauliflower in place of the tofu. 
  2. You could certainly substitute light coconut milk if desired, but the sauce won't be as rich and creamy.
  3. For oil free, omit the olive oil and vegan butter. Use water for sauteing instead.
  4. Calories are for 1/6th of the tofu and sauce, not added rice or naan.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 382kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Sodium: 615mg, Potassium: 348mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 429IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 214mg, Iron: 3mg