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Overhead view of a plate of rice with a bowl of tofu butter chicken alongside garnishes.

Vegan Butter "Chicken" with Tofu (Gluten Free)

You are in for a surprise when you make this Vegan Butter Chicken! This classic recipe is made with tofu and cashews instead but is still so rich and creamy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 341kcal


For the Tofu Nuggets:

For the Sauce:

  • ½ cup plain cashews soaked overnight
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • ½ white onion diced
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 24 oz passata (tomato puree)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  • Press tofu for a minimum 30 minutes.
  • Break up the tofu into nugget size pieces
  • Marinate the tofu with olive oil, cornstarch, garam masala, curry powder, salt, and pepper for 15 minutes.
  • While the tofu is marinating, take cashews and almond milk, and puree until creamy and smooth. You can also use a blender here as well.
  • Once the tofu is done marinating, fry the tofu on a pan over medium high heat until crispy. About 10 minutes.
  • Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
  • In a pan over medium heat, add the ginger, garlic, and onion. Sautee until soft and fragrant. The onions should be almost transparent. About 5 minutes.
  • Next, add vegan butter, tomato puree, maple syrup, garam masala, curry powder, and cinnamon, as well as the cashew cream. Mix until combined. Cook for 3 more minutes. This should form a light yellow-orange sauce.
  • Lastly, add the tofu back in to combine the sauce and the “nuggets”. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with cilantro


  • I pressed my tofu by wrapping the tofu in a cloth and putting it on top of a plate. I placed a heavy marble cutting board on top for about an hour. There are also kitchen gadgets that will do this for you as well. When pressing tofu, try and find anything that is about 5-10 lbs to press down on the tofu. (Cast iron, cutting board, etc)
  • If you don't have tofu, you can use chickpeas, cauliflower florets, or even mock chicken instead. It's up to you!
  • If you are short on time, you could skip pressing the tofu or do it for half the time. Just be sure you are using extra firm tofu and not firm tofu.
  • If you don’t have time to soak the cashews overnight, at least try to soak them for a minimum of 3 hours before blending. 


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 1099mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 6mg