A simple dish, packed with flavor that your family will love.

Tomato Butter Chicken has become one of my family’s favorites over the years. Butter and tomatoes combine into one of the best flavors ever. The fat from the butter mellows the acid from the tomatoes considerably to create an almost creamy texture. The sauce is easily the best part of this dish, and I’ve considered adding an extra can of diced tomatoes and a few more pats of butter to have more. We love smothering our rice with it.

The dish is simple to make and is one of the first meals I teach my kids to cook once they master making PB&Js (or Sunbutter and Jellies). Everybody loves the smell of this dish while it is cooking. I frequently receive remarks about how good it smells while it’s cooking. Maybe one day they’ll be able to tell what it is just by the smell. My whole family looks forward to eating it, and since it’s so easy and quick to make, we eat it often. They still haven’t gotten sick of it.

Complete the Meal

We usually eat Tomato Butter Chicken served in a bowl over the top of rice. It’s so filling this way that it’s almost unnecessary to add anything else. But if you feel like your family needs to eat more veggies, this dish goes great with some steamed broccoli, pan-fried asparagus, or a green salad.

Milk Allergy: The Butter

To leave out the butter in this dish would change the flavor completely. It would probably still be a good flavor, so go for it. However, if you want to have a similar flavor, try milk-free butter. (Side note: Isn’t this just margarine? I don’t live in the milk allergy world, so I wouldn’t know.) From what I’ve seen, the Blue Bonnet Lactose-Free is a good option. Leave your favorite butter alternatives in the comments below.

Tomato Butter Chicken

Pan-fried chicken served over rice with a buttery tomato sauce.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter, chicken, rice, tomatoes
Servings: 6
Cost: $10


  • frying pan
  • sauce pan


  • 8-10 chicken tenders
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t dried basil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 8 T butter sliced thin
  • 1 C rice
  • 2 C water


  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add olive oil to pan and tilt to spread over surface. Add chicken tenders and flip about every five minutes, adding salt and pepper to both sides.
  • While chicken is cooking, wash rice and place in a pot with water. Bring water to a boil and immediately turn heat to low. Stir and cover with a lid. Watch rice until the risk of boiling over has past. Stir down when the water boils too high. Rice is done when it has absorbed all of the water.
  • When chicken is cooked through, without any pink left, add tomatoes and season with garlic powder, basil, and more salt and pepper.
  • Heat until tomatoes are warm, then add butter slices over the tomatoes. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid. Serve over rice when butter is melted.

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