Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe (2024)

Everyone loves butter chicken! So here I am sharing with you the easiest butter chicken version that’s entirely made in the Instant Pot! This comforting, hearty, and delicious chicken curry is a family-friendly recipe, and definitely a crowd-pleaser! You can easily double or triple this recipe and have food ready on the table in under 30 minutes.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe (1)

And it’s probably obvious, but oh my God, this recipe is totally delicious especially when it’s served with homemade naan bread and this easy Indian salad, it’s healthy, and makes for excellent leftovers. Although it’s entirely made in the Instant Pot and it’s so easy to make, you will be impressed with your cooking skills when you make this! So get ready to make the best Instant Pot butter chicken recipe that you will ever have! For a stovetop version, find my butter chicken recipe here.

Butter chicken is in authentic Indian curry, in India, it’s called “Makhan murg”. And you probably have seen lots of butter chicken recipes on the internet, but they all call for spices that you probably have never heard of or don’t know where to get from.

Luckily, I have a simple recipe for you that uses ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. This dish is cooked in tomato gravy, and it’s so creamy, rich, and satisfying with the addition of butter and cream.

PS. You can also make this in the slow cooker if you like. Find my Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Recipe here.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe (2)

Butter Chicken Ingredients

I normally make this Instant Pot butter chicken using skinless and boneless chicken thighs, but if you only have skinless chicken breast available then go for it. The reason why I like to use thighs is that they’re more flavorful and turn out super tender and moist.

As for the spices, nothing unusual. You will need turmeric, smoked paprika, garam masala, cumin, chili powder (optional! only if you like spicy food), and salt.

I use heavy cream to make the sauce super creamy! Many readers reported having great success with substituting heavy cream with half and half, or coconut milk for a dairy-free version.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe (3)

How to Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken?

You can totally turn this into a dump and start recipe, by throwing all of the ingredients (except for the whipping cream) in the Instant Pot. But I prefer sauteing the ginger and garlic in butter first, just to activate the flavors and for the ginger to lose its crunch.

I also lightly toast the spices to activate the flavors before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Add passata or tomato sauce to the pot and a ¼ of a cup of water, followed by the chicken. Mix everything and cover with the lid.

The cooking time is just 6 minutes on high pressure. Keep in mind that the pressure cooker takes around 10 minutes to come to pressure. Once the cooking program ends, quickly release the steam.

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Stir in the whipping cream. This will change the color of the sauce, and make it super creamy and oh so delicious! And finally, you can reduce the sauce if you like on the SAUTE setting until it becomes thicker and you’re happy with the consistency.

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Is This Recipe Really Spicy?

My version is medium spicy (heat), so if you’re feeding children I recommend that you leave out the chili powder. I would say that the spices in this recipe are warming.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

You totally can! The only difference is that Instant Pot will take a bit longer to come to pressure but that’s it. Make sure that the internal temperature of chicken reaches at least 165°F (74°C).

What to Serve Butter Chicken With?

  • Basmati rice – probably the most traditional way and the most delicious. I love cooking basmati rice in the Instant Pot, and it turns out so perfect every single time!
  • Jeera rice – super simple restaurant-style Indian cumin rice. So easy and good! And you can make it in the Instant Pot as well.
  • Brown rice – to keep things healthier, make brown rice in the Instant Pot, and serve it with this butter chicken.
  • Naan bread – to eat all of the sauce and not miss any drop (yes it’s that good!).
  • And make this mushroom bhaji to serve on the side, it’s SO easy and good!
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recipe Tips

  • Passata, tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes that are blended, or a can of crushed tomatoes that are blended and sieved can be used in this recipe.
  • Make your own garam masala blend at home. It’s so easy!
  • Traditionally, a little bit of sugar is added to the sauce to make it sweeter. I personally don’t add any sugar to my butter chicken as the tomato sauce that I use isn’t acidic. But feel free to add 1 teaspoon of granulated or brown sugar to the sauce before pressure cooking.
  • Make sure that you pressure cook on high pressure, rather than low pressure.
  • You can stir in more butter in the sauce after pressure cooking for a creamier texture. This recipe calls for butter just to saute the aromatics, and it tastes wonderful. But you can add more butter at the end if you like.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs before serving. The recommended herbs for garnish are fresh cilantro, mint leaves, and parsley.
  • You can substitute the whipping cream with full-fat canned coconut milk for a dairy-free version.
  • If you don’t have fresh ginger available, you can use ½ teaspoon of ground ginger instead.
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Storing Tips

  • Fridge: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave and make sure that you add a splash of water before reheating as otherwise, the sauce might be too thick.
  • Freezer: Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat:Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the microwave or over the stovetop. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water and mix.

Recipe Video

While this butter chicken in Instant Pot recipe is so easy to make, it always helps to watch a quick video.Give it a watch below!

Also, make sure to check out my Instant Pot chicken tikka masala! It’s AMAZING!

And if you love creamy curries, try my Instant Pot coconut chicken curry, it’s SO easy to make and really flavorful!

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Recipe

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe (8)

4.99 from 407 votes(Click stars to rate!)

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 6 minutes mins

IP to come to pressure + reducing the sauce: 15 minutes mins

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

Author: Diana

Print Rate Recipe

The easiest ever Instant Pot butter chicken! This super creamy, and fragrant Indian dish is so comforting, healthy and delicious.

6 servings

The easiest ever Instant Pot butter chicken! This super creamy, and fragrant Indian dish is so comforting, healthy and delicious.

Recipe Video

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 cloves garlic about 5 teaspoons, minced or crushed
  • 2 inch (5 cm) fresh ginger root grated (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt add more if needed
  • 2 pounds (900 grams) chicken thighs skinless, boneless, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 15-ounce can (425 grams) tomato sauce or passata
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream or coconut milk, or half and half*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or mint or cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  • On the Instant Pot press on SAUTE and melt the butter. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).

  • Add all of the spices, and the salt, stir, and cook for a minute. You might want to deglaze the pot at this point if the mixture is stuck to the bottom of the pot, just add a splash of water and scrape off any stuck bits with a wooden spoon. Then add the tomato sauce (passata) and a ¼ cup of water. Switch off the saute setting.

  • Add the chicken thighs, give everything a mix.

  • Secure the lid and set the vent to SEALING. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 6 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take around 10 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. When the cooking program ends, quickly release the steam.

  • Carefully remove the lid, and press on SAUTE. Stir in the cream, and allow the sauce to reduce a little (season with more salt if necessary). Taste the sauce and see if you need to add a little bit more salt. Serve warm over rice with chopped parsley or cilantro.

Notes:

  1. Do not add water, the chicken will produce enough liquid for the Instant Pot to come to pressure (if worried you might get a BURN message, read note #8).
  2. Chicken breasts can also be used in this recipe, however, chicken thighs are more flavorful and are more tender. If using chicken breasts, pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  3. The Passata sauce can be substituted with tomato sauce, or a can of plain tomatoes that are blended and sieved.
  4. You can substitute heavy cream with half and half, or coconut milk for a non-dairy option. Keep in mind that the sauce won’t be as creamy as if you use heavy cream.
  5. This dish is medium spicy (heat), so if you’re feeding children then I recommend that you leave the chili powder out.
  6. You can skip sautéing the garlic and ginger for a speedy dinner, but the ginger might have a little bite if left without the sautéing.
  7. Do not add the cream before pressure cooking as it might separate.
  8. If you double the ingredients, do not adjust the cooking time.
  9. You should not get a BURN message, unless you’re using less tomato sauce than indicated in the recipe. I also heard that newer Instant Pot models show BURN messages more often. If you get a burn message, add 1/4 cup of water to the sauce and using a wooden spoon scrape off any bits that are stuck to the bottom and start the Instant Pot again.
  10. Traditionally, a little bit of sugar is added to the sauce to make it sweeter. I personally don’t add any sugar to my butter chicken, and it tastes great. But feel free to add 1 teaspoon of granulated or brown sugar to the sauce before pressure cooking.
  11. You can stir in more butter in the sauce after pressure cooking for a creamier texture. This recipe calls for butter just to saute the aromatics, and it tastes wonderful. But you can add more butter at the end if you like.
  12. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving. The recommended herbs for garnish are fresh cilantro, mint leaves, and parsley.
  13. Serve with Instant Pot basmati or brown rice, and/or fresh naan.
  14. If you store the leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken up. Reheat in the microwave by adding a splash of water and mix. You can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  15. Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
  16. The recipe makes 4 large portions or 5-6 medium portions.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 548kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 46g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 218mg, Sodium: 945mg, Potassium: 644mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1442IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 2mg

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

© Little Sunny Kitchen

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe (2024)

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