Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Lunch / Dinner

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

This rich and creamy tomatoey dish is spiced just right — not too much, and not too little. While similar to the British creation, tikka masala, butter chicken actually hails from India. And when you pair it with fragrant basmati rice, this meal is special enough for company.


6 servings (7 cups)

Total Time

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A blend of spices from northern India, there are endless variations of garam masala. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, mace, nutmeg, and even more.


Preheat Instant Pot on “Sauté” setting; add butter and melt.

Add onions to Pot; cook until softened, 23 minutes. Add serranos, garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and paprika; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken; sauté until browned, 45 minutes. Select “Keep Warm” setting.

Whisk together coconut milk and tomato paste; pour over chicken.

Close lid, lock Pot, select “Manual” (or “Pressure Cook”) setting and 15 minutes time.

Pressure cook chicken until time is up, then natural release, 10 minutes. If lid hasn’t unlocked, release excess steam and remove lid.

Return Pot to “Sauté” setting.

Whisk together cornstarch and water; stir into Pot. Let sauce simmer until thickened, 12 minutes; stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Top servings with cilantro.

Seeding and removing ribs of serrano peppers for Instant Pot butter chicken

Seeding and removing one or both of the serranos' ribs is optional, depending on your heat tolerance.

Whisking together coconut milk and tomato paste for Instant Pot butter chicken

For a smoother sauce, whisk together the coconut milk and tomato paste until combined.

Adding a cornstarch slurry to help thicken sauce for Instant Pot butter chicken

Adding a cornstarch slurry helps thicken the sauce. But, be sure to stir it in until it’s fully dispersed.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 492

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 33g 50%

Saturated Fat 5g 25%

Cholesterol 137mg 45%

Sodium 279mg 11%

Carbs 15g 5%

Fiber 3g 12%

Protein 35g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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