Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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Instant Pot Butter Chicken delivers restaurant quality butter chicken in the comfort of your own home. Ready in only 30 minutes, this Butter Chicken is extraordinary with a rich and creamy sauce and a fantastic blend of spices.

overhead of white plate with butter chicken and rice surrounded by naan

As promised, here’s my super easy butter chicken recipe that’s done in 30 minutes start to finish in an Instant Pot. If you’re wondering if your Instant Pot can develop flavors as rich and complex as other traditional methods, this Butter Chicken recipe is the perfect dish to deliver the answer. And the answer is yes. This butter chicken is super creamy and full of beautiful spices. It delivers all the flavor of an incredibly popular restaurant dish, all in the comfort of your own home

What Is Butter Chicken?

This is a modern Indian curry dish. It’s made up of chicken cooked till tender in a mildly spiced tomato based sauce. This dish traditionally takes some time to make, definitely over an hour especially when prepared at home because so much flavor has to develop. But as I’ve always said, homemade is better and I wanted to deliver to you guys a way to make this fantastic dish with as much ease as possible!

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instant pot with cooked butter chicken in it

Ingredients In Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  • Spices – Coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, and garam masala. For information on garam masala scroll down and read my section that describes this Indian spice blend.
  • Chicken – Chicken thighs are used in this recipe today because we want juicy and tender chicken. Chicken breast can also be substituted for thighs.
  • Aromatics – Fresh ginger and garlic.
  • Liquids – Water and whipping cream are needed for the rich curry portion of this dish and also for liquid in our Instant Pot. The cream can be substituted for heavy cream or coconut cream. We’re looking for something with a high fat content.
  • Tomato – Tomato paste and passata, or tomato puree, are both needed for the sauce base of this dish.
  • Butter – Unsalted because we want to control our sodium intake.
  • Seasoning – Salt to taste but adjust as needed.
  • Parsley – Garnish to be sprinkled liberally on top.

What Is Garam Masala?

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Garam masala is a staple spice which when translated means “warm spice”. This is because it includes cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, nutmeg and peppercorns. You can make your own garam masala spice blend if you’d like. Follow this guide for instructions how.

two plates with butter chicken and rice garnished with parsley

How To Make Butter Chicken In The Instant Pot

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Prepare the Instant Pot: Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. (See your manufacturer’s guide for detailed instructions on how to use your instant pot). Add the butter and cook until the butter has melted. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute or until the garlic becomes aromatic.
  2. Combine the curry: Add the tomato puree and tomato paste to the Instant Pot and stir. Add the garam masala, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric and salt to the Instant Pot, stir and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken thighs, water and stir everything together. There should be enough liquid in the pot to cover the chicken, so add more water if needed. Close the lid and set the timer for 5 minutes on the poultry setting. Allow to cook.
  3. Finish the Butter Chicken: Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, should take about 10 minutes. Remove the lid. Switch the Instant Pot to the saute setting (do not put the lid on). Add the whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should thicken and reduce a bit. You don’t want it to reduce too much.
  4. Garnish the dish: Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot over rice or with warm naan.

Some Tips

  1. Always follow your Instant Pot manufacturer instructions for best and safest use of your Instant Pot.
  2.  If you’re looking to cut calories from fat in this dish feel free to substitute half and half or evaporated milk.
  3. Spoon this dish over fluffy jasmine rice, serve alongside warm naan, serve it over fries, substitute it for pizza sauce, drizzle it over pasta. This sauce goes on anything!
closeup of butter chicken and rice in a white bowl surrounded with naan

Why This Butter Chicken Recipe Works

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  • This dish is so fast and easy to make.
  • You’re going to be able to develop tons of flavor in your magic little Instant Pot.
  • There’s no need to marinade your chicken as the intense pressure and heat will allow all that flavor to be absorbed by the chicken as it cooks.
  • No need to brown your chicken first, as lots of butter chicken recipes call for. It will cook and become so tender just in the sauce itself.

Storing Leftovers

This recipe will store for up to 7 days stored in a shallow airtight container. It also freezes well. Store again in an airtight shallow container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge and reheat on the stove when ready to eat!

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