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September 29, 2022

Butter Chicken with Butternut Squash

by Jaclyn Corrado, MS, RDN

Some of the best fall recipes include butternut squash. This versatile squash has the ability to taste sweet or savory depending on the preparation. Soft and creamy when cooked, it is the perfect addition to soups, purees and so much more. This recipe has many elements of traditional Indian butter chicken but is lighter by using butternut squash.

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes

Marinating Time

30 minutes


4 servings


For the marinated chicken:
½ cup 2% milkfat yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 teaspoons garam marsala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
1lb boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders -cut into 2-inch pieces
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
Cilantro for garnish-optional

For the butter sauce:

1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup chopped yellow onions
2 cloves garlic- minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garam marsala
½ teaspoon cumin
1 ½ cup diced butternut squash
1 cup canned, crushed, or diced tomatoes, drained
¼ cup water
¼ cup half & half
1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper -optional


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, spices, and salt.
  2. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat butter in large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade; discard the marinade.
  6. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes; it will not be fully cooked at this point.
  7. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Make the sauce:

  1. Heat butter in the same pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to wilt.
  3. Stir in the spices, butternut squash, tomatoes, and water.
  4. Lower the heat to a simmer and let the sauce bubble for 10 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.
  5. Remove from heat, transfer to blender, and puree until smooth, working in batches if necessary.
  6. Pour the sauce back into the pan, add the chicken, and stir in the cream, sugar, and salt.
  7. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Serve chicken over rice or with a side of toasted naan and garnish with cilantro.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size: ¼ recipe
Calories: 254, Fat: 12g, Protein: 27g, Carbohydrates: 12g, Fiber: 1g, Sodium: 380mg

Adapted from:

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