Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe

This Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe features chicken simmered in a mildly spiced, creamy tomato sauce. This recipe-quality Indian dish will be on your dinner table in a flash.

What is Butter Chicken?

  • Butter chicken is a delicately spiced Indian dish served in a creamy tomato sauce. It’s typically served over rice and has a hint of sweetness.

It’s definitely one of my favorite Indian dishes! And when it’s Meatless Monday, I’ll reach for these Indian Butter Chickpeas.

For years now, I’ve been making butter chicken in the slow cooker. But times have changed. My slow cooker is getting buried deeper and deeper in the pantry and instead I’ve been reaching for the Instant Pot.

It was time to bring an instant pot butter chicken recipe to life.

Just like with my slow cooker butter chicken, I’m lightening up this recipe up (and making it dairy-free) by using coconut milk in place of the heavy cream and butter. And, the traditional spices of curry, garam masala and ginger combine to bring the most beautiful, aromas to your kitchen.

It’s simply the best instant pot butter chicken! And I’m sharing the recipe with you today.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato Paste
  • Ginger
  • Curry Powder
  • Garam Masala
  • Chili Powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Bone Broth (or chicken broth)
  • Cornstarch (to thicken)
  • Coconut Milk

How do you make Butter Chicken in the Instant Pot:

  • Set Instant Pot to SAUTE and heat olive oil.
  • Saute onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, salt & pepper and saute for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  • Add chicken.
  • Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk together cornstarch and water and add to Instant Pot with coconut milk.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened.
  • Serve garnished with cilantro and greek yogurt.
Side view of bowl of butter chicken.

FAQ

Can I use frozen chicken?

You can use frozen chicken in this recipe. Cook time will remain the same, but it will take a bit more time for the instant pot to come up to pressure.

What Is Garam Masala?

Garam masala when translated means “warm spice”. It is an Indian spice blend that generally includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, nutmeg and peppercorns. You can easily find it in the spice aisle of your grocery store. Or, make your own using this guide.

Is Butter Chicken spicy?

Butter chicken is not a spicy dish. If you would like to add some heat, add in some cayenne pepper or top your butter chicken with some minced jalapenos or serrano peppers.

Is Butter Chicken Keto?

This is a keto-friendly butter chicken recipe. It is also paleo and low-carb. Try serving it over cauliflower rice.

What does Indian Butter Chicken taste like?

Butter chicken is a delicately spiced Indian dish served in a creamy tomato sauce with just a hint of sweetness.

What’s the difference between Chicken Tikka and Butter Chicken?

Butter chicken is more creamy than chicken tikka masala. In this case, it is made creamy with the addition of coconut milk. Tikka masala is more tomato based and has less sweetness.

How to store butter chicken:

  • Fridge: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Store tightly sealed for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight it the fridge before reheating.
  • To reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stove, adding a splash of water or chicken broth, if needed.
Overhead shot of butter chicken in bowl topped with lime wedges and cilantro.

Wine pairings for Indian Butter Chicken:

  • Riesling or Gewurztraminer are your best bet for pairing with this spicy dish.

More Indian Food recipes:

More Instant Pot Recipes

If you loved this Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me onInstagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

What to serve with butter chicken:

Have a slow cooker? Be sure to try my slow cooker butter chicken too!

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe

Overhead shot of butter chicken in bowl topped with lime wedges and cilantro.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

This Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe features chicken simmered in a mildly spiced, creamy tomato sauce. This delicious Indian dish, served over rice, will be on your dinner table in a flash.
4.60 from 15 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Time for pressure to build & release: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 2-inch pieces (or breasts))
  • 1 ½ cups bone broth (or chicken broth)
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Greek yogurt for topping
  • Naan (for serving)

Instructions

  • Set Instant Pot to SAUTE and heat olive oil.
  • Add onions and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, salt & pepper and saute for 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add the chicken thighs. There should be enough liquid to cover the chicken, so add additional broth or water, if needed.
  • Cover and seal the lid – turn the vent to sealing. Hit CANCEL then press the MANUAL (high pressure) button and set the timer to 10 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for Instant Pot to come to full pressure, then the display will show a countdown timer.
  • Once the 10 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid, hit CANCEL then press SAUTE. Whisk together cornstarch and water and add to Instant Pot with coconut milk. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve garnished with cilantro and greek yogurt.

Notes

Storage:

  • Fridge: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Store tightly sealed for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight it the fridge before reheating.
  • To reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stove, adding a splash of water or chicken broth, if needed.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 830mg | Potassium: 640mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Watch the Instant Pot Butter Chicken web story here.

This post was originally published in 2019. It was updated in 2022 to add new photographs and information. The butter chicken recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

20 thoughts on “Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe”

  1. I recently learned how to use my Instant Pot safely and butter chicken is high on my list of tries (so far I’ve made rice and yogurt). I will keep this on hand for when I want to make this dish. Thanks for the timeliness of this recipe!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Oh goodness this sounds so good! My kids have been requesting Indian food A TON lately and they would absolutely love this. I’m making this for them next week for sure! I’ll let you know how we all like it 🙂

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    This looks like such an easy dish to make in the Instant Pot! I love Indian food and this looks like a comforting dish. Love all process images too.

    Reply
  4. Hi Erin! I’m new here. Thanks for your bone broth recipe! My Instant Pot arrived today, and I cooked a chicken, then made broth right afterward. I just enjoyed my first cup of homemade broth and it is delicious! I’m excited to try out your other recipes soon. I have a question about the nutrition facts following the recipes- are the calories per serving or per recipe? I know it says per serving, but some of the calorie counts seem pretty high. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Kathleen – They are per serving, but I am not a nutritionist. I use a program that calculates the values, but I cannot guarantee that they are 100% correct. I do my best to double check them though!

      Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Update! I made this for my family last week and everyone LOVED it. My kids even asked to take the leftovers to lunch the next day (and they ONLY ever want PB&J for lunch).
    I made a small mistake of adding a bit too much liquid (I overestimated how much I’d need, my bad!), but I just simmered it a little longer than you suggested in the end to reduce it and added a little more seasoning to compensate for diluting it. Your liquid amount would have just right! Thanks for the great recipe. We will definitely be making it again and again 🙂

    Reply

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