If you love butter chicken, it’s time to pick sides! Here’s our list of recipes for what to serve with butter chicken!
There is nothing like a rich and creamy butter chicken to liven up one’s day!
Butter chicken, otherwise known as Chicken Makhani, is a classic and traditional Indian dish, which has a pretty interesting history.
Did you know that butter chicken was created because Kundal Lal Gujral, the first chef who discovered butter chicken, had some leftover Tandoori chicken in his restaurant?
He then diced these large chicken parts into smaller chicken pieces and created a creamy, buttery, and spicy tomato gravy.
And that’s how butter chicken came into existence!
Typically, butter chicken is made by marinating the meat in yogurt for hours.
This marinade is blended with various spices such as garlic, garam masala, ginger, cumin, coriander, and many other spices.
The taste is a mild and sweet flavor that neutralizes the overwhelming taste of the buttery tomato sauce.
But due to the richness and creaminess of the tomato gravy, people serve butter chicken with a side dish.
This way, the side dishes diversify the flavors of the meal and soak up the sauces, which make dining more interesting!
And with butter chicken, there are a few favorites we can think of!
Thinking of what to serve with butter chicken?
Check out this list: some of these recipe options are familiar, like Basmati Rice or Mashed Potatoes and some are traditional Indian side dishes, like Saag Paneer and Cucumber Raita.
Make sure to try #16 on this list because this Indian-inspired spinach dish is to die for!
1. Basmati Rice
Rice is a staple when eating butter chicken as it soaks up the creamy sauce in an instant.
Basmati is a type of long-grain rice that is perfect for butter chicken due to its flavor, or the lack thereof!
Some make the mistake of making the basmati rice too gluey, which means you’ll have to think of the appropriate water to rice ratio.
Overall, basmati rice and butter chicken are a perfect pairing due to the contrasting flavors!
2. Naan Bread
Naan Bread is easy to cook, with simple steps and ingredients.
Plus, this chewy, pillowy, and soft flatbread is a perfect complement to the creamy, buttery, and rich butter chicken.
The taste is from a simple process that allows the earthy flavor to come out due to baking in a tandoor oven.
If you’re looking for a veggie side dish, then Roasted Broccoli is a perfect choice!
This side dish is also easy to do, which only takes about 15 to 20 minutes in the oven.
Cut up the broccoli and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Once they’re browned and crisp on the edges, your broccoli is good to go!
If you want something in line with an Indian dish, then Samosa is an Indian-inspired side dish you must try.
It’s a crunchy pastry with potato and peas filling.
The crunch is a perfect addition to the variety of textures you’re already getting from the butter chicken, which makes it a good recommendation you can’t say no to.
5. Onion Rings
Onion Rings are an excellent choice if you want to pair the Indian dish with a familiar side dish.
Onion Rings are super easy to make, which involves cutting up onions, dipping them in a batter, and frying!
You may use the butter chicken sauce to complement the sweetness of the onion rings, or the good old mustard sauce will also do the trick!
6. Aloo Gobi
If you like a veggie side dish, then Aloo Gobi should be the first on your list.
It’s a simple dish with only potatoes and cauliflower.
It has an interesting and punchy flavor due to the primary spice, which is turmeric, mixed with a lot of other spices.
Raita is another Indian-inspired dish that’s light and creamy.
It’s made with full-fat yogurt with the fruit of your choice and some spice.
This simple Cucumber Raita recipe will leave you feeling happy when served with your butter chicken.
Plus, it takes 5 minutes to prep!
No one can go wrong with a traditional salad to pair with your butter chicken.
Kachumber Salad is another dish you must try if you’re looking for a light side dish, with the tanginess from the lemon vinaigrette.
It’s a mix of cucumbers, onions, green chilies, cilantro or mint, and tomatoes.
If you’re looking for an additional protein fix for your butter chicken, then this Red Lentil Dal is the way to go.
It’s not only easy to cook with only a few ingredients but it’s also a quick fix as lentils cook fast.
The taste is nutty and earthy, which makes this choice a perfect addition to the much-heavier butter chicken sauce.
Known as one of the most classic Indian crackers, Papadum is also considered an Indian flatbread for any Indian dish.
You can make this and dip it in the butter chicken sauce, just like eating nachos!
Top it with some chutneys, onions, and other condiments to elevate its simple flavor.
11. Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread goes extremely well with the butter chicken due to its strong and pungent taste.
It’s the bread that’s spread with garlic and topped with bits and pieces of garlic, which get melted in the oven.
Garlic bread is a popular side dish for spaghetti, but this bread undeniably soaks up the butter chicken sauce!
This is another quick choice if you prefer a lighter side dish, with a simple taste to complement the butter chicken.
Grab some sweet corn kernels, peas, beans, and diced-up carrots.
Season with salt and pepper put in the steamer, and voila, another butter chicken side dish!
This is another earthy flatbread that’s a perfect tandem with your butter chicken.
Although it’s easy to make, ensure that you use the right temperature to avoid making the Chapati bread hard.
The outcome is a fried and golden bread, which is crisp on the outside and flaky on the inside!
14. Peas Pulao
Another popular rice option for big rice lovers out there is Peas Pulao.
What better way to enjoy butter chicken than to pair it with a side dish that doesn’t overwhelm the already strong flavor of the dish.
Although you can serve butter chicken with ordinary rice, you can also elevate your rice side dish by cooking this simple Peas Pulao recipe.
All you need is cooked rice.
Then saute onions, green chilies, ginger, garlic, and peas.
Add a bit of cinnamon and you’re good to go!
15. Mango Chutney
You would’ve never expected to see mangoes on this list of butter chicken side dishes.
However, this fresh, invigorating, and sweet side dish bursts with a myriad of flavors, perfect for your butter chicken.
This sticky Mango Chutney recipe would only need a few spices and ingredients such as turmeric, cloves, coriander, cumin, and more.
16. Saag Paneer
If you don’t mind another creamy and savory side dish, then try this Saag Paneer recipe.
It’s another traditional spinach-based Indian dish that’s mixed with cream, spices, and paneer.
The outcome is a mild, and milky flavor with a noticeable texture, which goes very well with a spicy dish like the butter chicken.
17. Mashed Potatoes
If you want a classic staple side dish in most Western countries, then this traditional Mashed Potato recipe will suit your taste!
All it takes is a handful of simple ingredients like butter, milk, salt, pepper, and potatoes, plus an enthusiastic potato mashing.
This classic side dish provides an excellent texture that pairs well with the creaminess and buttery sauce of butter chicken.
If you want a no-fuss side dish that lets you savor the butter chicken sauce, roasted asparagus is a good choice!
The taste of asparagus is compared to that of beans or broccoli.
However, with a few ingredients such as oil, salt, pepper, and lemon, you can elevate this simple side dish into something more fresh and earthy.
Just remember to bend the ends of the asparagus as they’re tough and woody.
Roasted asparagus will only need to sit in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes and will pop out looking so tempting!
Here’s another easy-to-make side dish that’s filled with wonderful, hearty Farro grain and flavors from the air-fryer roasted vegetables.
It is delicious served hot, cold, or room temperature, and makes a great side to butter chicken, as well as fish and chicken.
20. Cabbage Salad
A traditional Cabbage Salad is not only quick to concoct but also cheaper than your lettuce salads!
Slice up the cabbage into thin pieces, and add mustard, olive oil, honey, garlic powder, and top with parsley.
21. French Fries
One of the best ways to enjoy butter chicken is with French Fries, which reminds you of casual conversations around the dinner table.
This salty side dish will not only complement the rich flavor of the butter chicken but when cooked perfectly, gives you that exciting texture that melds with the creamy sauce.
The bottom line
Although butter chicken is still good to eat on its own since the sauce is filling enough, these side dishes will elevate the flavors more.
If you’re still thinking of what to serve with butter chicken, try one of these dishes and you’ll never go back to eating butter chicken only.
Bonus side: We love this recipe for Cranberry-Pear Chutney With Rosemary.
It goes great with every meat you can think of but also cuts through rich sauces with a delectable fruit pucker.
- Basmati Rice
- Naan Bread
- Roasted Broccoli
- Onion Rings
- Aloo Gobi
- Cucumber Raita
- Kachumber Salad
- Red Lentil Dal
- Garlic Bread
- Steamed Mixed Vegetables
- Peas Pulao
- Mango Chutney
- Saag Paneer
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Asparagus
- Farro With Roasted Vegetables
- Cabbage Salad
- French Fries
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