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If your family enjoy Indian food, they’ll love this easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe! The buttery tomato sauce infuses into the tender chicken for so much flavor!
Every time we go to an Indian restaurant, I love trying a different Indian curry. I also like to recreate these Indian recipes at home using non-traditional methods like pressure cooking.
My easy butter chicken recipe is so delicious that my whole family enjoys eating it. It can be made quickly for a weeknight dinner, but tastes so great it can be served on a special occasion too.
And the ingredients are pretty simple too. The only special thing you may have to buy is Garam Masala, which is a warm spice blend that is used in Indian cooking for things like soups, stews and curry recipes.
- Step 1: Cook Onion in Butter
- Step 2: Add Garlic, Ginger and Cilantro
- Step 3: Add Spices
- Step 4: Add Chicken, Stock and Tomato
- Step 5: Pressure Cook Butter Chicken Ingredients
- Step 6: Add Coconut Cream
- Step 7: Press Cancel
- Step 8: Serve Butter Chicken
- What to serve with butter chicken
- Burn error
- Storage tips
- Buy the best chicken breasts online
- More Instant Pot chicken breast recipes
- ¼ cup of butter
- ½ cup of diced onion
- 6 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon of red chili powder (optional)
- 2 pounds of cubed boneless chicken breast
- ½ cup of chicken stock
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- ⅓ cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 cup of coconut cream
- 4 cups of cooked basmati rice
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting board
- Wooden spoon
- Instant Pot
By the Numbers: How to Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Follow these simple step by step instructions to learn how to make the best butter chicken in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.
Step 1: Cook Onion in Butter
Melt ¼ cup of butter in the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Once melted, add ½ cup of diced onion to the pot and cook until translucent.
Step 2: Add Garlic, Ginger and Cilantro
Add 6 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger and ⅓ cup of chopped cilantro to the pot and stir to combine. Once fragrant, turn off the heat.
Step 3: Add Spices
Add all of the spices to the pot, including 2 teaspoons of garam masala, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of coriander powder, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and ¼ teaspoon of red chili powder (optional). Stir to combine.
Step 4: Add Chicken, Stock and Tomato
Next, add 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast cubes (cut into bite-sized pieces), ½ cup of chicken stock, 1 can of tomato sauce and 1 can of diced tomatoes to the pot and stir to combine. While you’re stirring, use your spoon to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot so you don’t get a burn error.
Step 5: Pressure Cook Butter Chicken Ingredients
Next, close the lid on your Instant Pot, make sure the pressure release valve is in the sealing position and set it to cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Once the cooking time is up, allow for a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes before you quick release the remaining pressure. Open the lid.
Step 6: Add Coconut Cream
After you open the lid, turn your Instant Pot back onto Saute mode. Stir in one cup of coconut cream and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens.
If it doesn’t thicken well, you can make a slurry by whisking 1-2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) into a small amount of water. Then whisk that mixture into the pot to help thicken it.
Step 7: Press Cancel
Once it’s thick enough, turn the heat off on your Instant Pot by pressing the cancel button. Your butter chicken is ready to eat.
Step 8: Serve Butter Chicken
Transfer the butter chicken to a serving dish to set on the dinner table with the basmati rice (cauliflower rice also tastes amazing). Garnish your homemade butter chicken with chopped fresh cilantro or green onions.
Tips for Making Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Answers to all of your questions about making this authentic Indian butter chicken recipe, including tips and substitution ideas.
If you’re trying to make dinner with ingredients you have on hand or within your dietary restrictions, here are some substitution ideas:
- Use the thick part of canned full fat coconut milk, heavy cream or Greek Yogurt in place of coconut cream
- Use coconut oil instead of butter for a dairy free option
- Use boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts for extra juicy chicken
- Use leftover cooked chicken instead of fresh chicken
- Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce before adding the chicken and pressure cooking for a really smooth sauce
What to serve with butter chicken
Butter chicken can be enjoyed in several different ways. It’s great as a main dish with one of these sides:
- Basmati rice or other white rice
- Brown rice
- Garlic naan bread
- Riced cauliflower for a lower carb option
Some Instant Pot models seem to get a burn notice when cooking tomato-based ingredients. I have not experienced a burn notice with this recipe myself. However, if you have that issue, you can use the pot-in-pot method.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days. I love the silicone lid for the Instant Pot because you can store leftovers right in the inner pot with one, making dinner cleanup a breeze.
Buy the best chicken breasts online
While you can buy chicken breasts at the grocery store, the ones I used in this recipe are from Perdue Farms. They are so tender and flavorful!
More Instant Pot chicken breast recipes
If you want more ways to use chicken breasts in your Instant Pot, check out these yummy recipes:
- Instant Pot Crack Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup onion - diced
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger - grated
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder - or cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts - cubed
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- ⅓ cup cilantro - chopped
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 5 cups cooked basmati rice
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting Board
- Wooden spoon
- Instant Pot
- Melt butter in the Instant Pot using the Saute function. Add diced onion and cook until translucent.
- Stir in garlic, ginger and cilantro. Once fragrant, press the Cancel button.
- Add all of the spices to the pot and stir to combine.
- Stir in cubed chicken pieces, chicken broth, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes to the pot. Use your spoon to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. Allow for a natural release of pressure for at least 15 minutes before quick releasing any remaining pressure. Open the lid.
- Press Saute on your Instant Pot, then stir in coconut cream and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens. To thicken it faster, you can make a slurry by whisking 1-2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) into a small amount of water. Then whisk that mixture into the pot.
- When it has thickened, turn off your Instant Pot.
- Serve the butter chicken in a bowl set on the dinner table with the basmati rice. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or green onions.