What to Serve with Butter Chicken?

What to Serve with Butter Chicken
7 min reading time

Butter chicken is an iconic dish in Indian cuisine, loved for its creamy and flavorful sauce and tender chunks of chicken. To elevate your dining experience, it’s important to pair it with the right sides. Discover what to serve with butter chicken, from classic rice varieties to fresh salads and chutneys.

Main Highlights:

  • Pairing the right sides with butter chicken can enhance your dining experience.
  • Classic rice varieties like basmati or jasmine can complement the dish’s creamy flavors.
  • Traditional Indian bread like naan or roti can provide a contrasting texture to the dish.
  • Vegetable side dishes can add freshness and balance to the rich flavors of butter chicken.
  • Chutneys and dips like mint or tamarind chutney can elevate the dish’s flavors even further.

Rice Varieties to Pair with Butter Chicken

Rice is an essential accompaniment to butter chicken, as it helps to balance the richness and spice of the dish. Here are some rice options that will take your meal to the next level:

Basmati Rice

“Basmati rice is a long-grain rice that originates from India. It has a nutty flavor and delicate texture, making it perfect with butter chicken.”

Cook the rice in salted water until it is light and fluffy. For extra flavor, add a pinch of cumin seeds or sauté it with onions and spices.

Jasmine Rice

“Jasmine rice has a subtle floral aroma and a soft, sticky texture, which pairs well with the creamy sauce of butter chicken.”

Cook the rice using the absorption method and add a pandan leaf or two for an authentic Thai twist.

Saffron Rice

“Saffron rice is a luxurious and fragrant rice that adds a pop of color and exotic flavor to your meal.”

Add a pinch of saffron to your basmati rice while cooking, until the rice turns golden yellow. The saffron’s aroma will infuse the rice with a subtle and irresistible flavor.

Bread Options for Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is incomplete without a delicious bread on the side. The right bread can elevate your dining experience and provide a perfect complement to the rich and creamy flavors of butter chicken. Here are some traditional Indian bread options that you can consider:

Bread TypeDescription
Naan breadSoft and pillowy, naan bread is the perfect choice to soak up every bit of the creamy sauce. It is baked in a tandoor and can be flavored with garlic or cheese, adding a twist to the classic bread.
RotiA staple in Indian households, roti is a simple and healthy option to serve alongside butter chicken. It is a flatbread made from whole wheat flour and has a natural nutty flavor that complements the dish.
ParathaParatha is a flaky, buttery bread that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is made with layers of dough and is perfect for scooping up the succulent chicken and gravy.

To take your meal to the next level, consider adding garlic or herb butter to your bread or pairing the bread with a refreshing cucumber raita dip. With these bread options, you are promised a fulfilling and satisfying meal that will leave you craving for more.

Vegetable Side Dishes for Butter Chicken

Looking for a way to balance out the rich and savory flavors of butter chicken? Look no further than vegetable side dishes. Not only do they add a freshness to the meal, but they also provide essential nutrients to round out your plate.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and cauliflower can provide a deliciously sweet and caramelized taste that pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce of butter chicken. Plus, the colorful array of veggies can add a visually appealing touch to your plate.

Sautéed Spinach

Sautéed spinach is a vibrant and nutrient-packed option that can bring balance to the richness of the chicken dish. The tender leaves provide a slightly bitter taste that complements the sweetness of the sauce.

Mixed Vegetable Curry

Trying to keep things vegetarian? Consider serving a mixed vegetable curry alongside the butter chicken. The variety of veggies cooked in aromatic spices make this dish a flavorful and hearty accompaniment.

Whichever option you choose, adding a vegetable side dish to your butter chicken meal will take your dining experience to the next level.

Salad Options to Accompany Butter Chicken

What to Serve with Butter Chicken

While butter chicken is undoubtedly delicious, it’s also undeniably rich. Adding a salad to your meal can help balance the flavors and bring a lighter, refreshing element to the table. Here are some salad options that pair perfectly with butter chicken:

Cucumber Raita Salad

Cucumber raita is a classic Indian side dish that pairs perfectly with butter chicken. Made with cooling cucumbers, creamy yogurt, and aromatic spices, it provides a refreshing and tangy contrast to the rich flavors of the chicken. You can also add chopped mint leaves and sliced onions for an extra burst of freshness.

Tossed Green Salad

A simple green salad tossed with a tangy vinaigrette can bring a crisp and zesty flavor to your butter chicken meal. Try adding ingredients like sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers or bell peppers, or a sprinkle of feta cheese for extra flavor and texture.

Pickled Onions

If you’re looking for a tangy twist, pickled onions are a great option to complement the rich and creamy butter chicken. Simply slice red onions and cover with vinegar and a pinch of salt for a refreshing and zingy flavor that brings a delightful crunch to the table.

Chutneys and Dips for Butter Chicken

To take your butter chicken to the next level, pair it with a variety of chutneys and dips. These flavorful accompaniments add an extra layer of taste that complements the rich and creamy flavors of the dish.

Some options to consider include:

Chutney or DipDescription
Mint chutneyA refreshing and cooling dip made with mint, cilantro, chili, and lemon juice that pairs well with spicy dishes like butter chicken.
Tamarind ChutneyA tangy and sweet chutney made with tamarind pulp, sugar, and spices that can add a nice balance to the richness of the butter chicken.
Yogurt dipA creamy and cooling dip made with yogurt, garlic, and spices that can help soothe the spiciness of the butter chicken, making it perfect for those who prefer milder flavors.

Whether you choose one or all of these options, adding chutneys and dips to your butter chicken meal can take it to new heights of deliciousness. Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect match and enjoy the rich and aromatic flavors of butter chicken with these top picks for accompaniments.


Don’t settle for a plain and boring meal when you can elevate your dining experience with the perfect sides for butter chicken. From rice varieties like fragrant basmati and savory saffron-infused rice to traditional Indian bread like naan, roti, or paratha, the options are endless. Adding vegetable side dishes, refreshing salads, and flavorful chutneys and dips can bring balance and freshness to the rich flavors of butter chicken. Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect match and enjoy a memorable dining experience with these top picks for accompaniments.

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