Tender, hearty vegan cauliflower butter chicken is a meat-free version of classic Indian butter chicken. This recipe is super easy to make from scratch, and is loaded with rich spices and a delicious cashew and tomato cream sauce.
This easy vegan butter “chicken” recipe features roasted cauliflower simmered in a homemade vegan butter sauce. It’s hearty, bold with lots of vibrant spices, and perfectly creamy thanks to a rich blend of cashews and almond milk.
Start to finish my simple and flavorful cauliflower butter chicken takes less than an hour to make from scratch. Serve it with fluffy rice and naan for a complete, comforting meal any night of the week. In fact, make extra – leftovers taste amazing!
Ingredients Needed to Make Vegan Cauliflower Butter Chicken
To make the roasted cauliflower you need:
- fresh cauliflower
- preferred neutral oil for roasting – like canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil
- Indian spices – turmeric, garam masala, cumin
For the zesty, rich vegan butter chicken sauce you need:
- vegan butter
- garlic cloves
- fresh ginger
- serrano pepper – optional, for heat
- vegetable broth
- canned crushed tomatoes
- coconut sugar
- unsweetened plain almond milk – or preferred plant-based milk
How to Make Vegan Cauliflower Butter Chicken
First, roast the cauliflower in just 3 simple steps:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash, dry, and cut the fresh cauliflower into florets.
- Combine the oil, spices, and cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Toss well to completely coat the cauliflower.
- Roast on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and/or nonstick spray for about 35 minutes. Give the florets a gentle toss about halfway through roasting.
Meanwhile, make the vegan butter sauce:
- Melt plant-based butter in a deep skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook for a few minutes, until they become translucent. Then add the garlic, ginger, and pepper – if using. Cook for another minute or two.
- Next stir in the vegetable broth, cashews, crushed tomatoes, and coconut sugar. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Working in batches, use a blender to puree the vegan butter sauce until smooth. You might need to let the sauce cool a bit if your blender warns against blending hot ingredients. Add the sauce back to the skillet.
Once the cauliflower is done roasting, add to the skillet with the vegan butter sauce. Stir gently to coat. Taste the sauce, and add more spices if you like.
How to Serve Vegan Butter Chicken with Cauliflower
Enjoy savory, spicy cauliflower butter “chicken” over white rice with a side of naan. And sprinkle of chopped cilantro adds a great pop of fresh flavor!
How to Store Leftovers
Let leftover cauliflower butter chicken come to room temperature before sealing in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. The flavors get better as everything sits together! But be sure to keep the rice stored separate from the saucy butter cauliflower.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop. You want to heat until just warmed without over-cooking, or the cauliflower might get a bit mushy.
Can You Freeze Vegan Cauliflower Butter Chicken?
Yes, this vegan butter cauliflower is great to freeze! Transfer cooled leftovers to a freezer-safe airtight container, and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stovetop until just warmed for the best consistency.
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Here are More Delicious Vegan Dinner Recipes You’ll Love:
- Slow Cooker Chana Masala
- Vegan Thai Green Curry
- Vegan Beef with Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Curry
- Easy Vegan Peanut Noodles
Vegan Cauliflower Butter Chicken
- 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil canola, grapeseed, or avocado are good choices
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1+1/2 inch knob ginger peeled and minced
- 1 serrano pepper diced (for heat - optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk can substitute with soy, oat, or cashew milk
- cilantro chopped
- cooked white rice
- naan bread
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cauliflower, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, salt, and oil. Mix well.
- Transfer cauliflower to a baking sheet in an even layer. Make sure a flat side of the cauliflower is touching the baking sheet to get crispy edges! Bake for 35 minutes.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt vegan butter.
- Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent.
- Add garlic, ginger, serrano pepper (optional), and salt. Cook until garlic and ginger are fragrant (1-2 minutes).
- Add vegetable broth, cashews, crushed tomatoes, and coconut sugar. Stir well. Simmer for 15- 20 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to a blender and add almond milk. Blend until smooth.
- Add the sauce back to the skillet and add cooked cauliflower. Stir until cauliflower is evenly coated with the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Serve with white rice and naan bread. Top with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
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