This recipe is a favorite of my family and it could be for your’s too! Instant Pot Butter Chicken is quick and easy to make and a cure for those boring chicken dinners.
First, let’s talk about what this dish is and isn’t. A completely authentic dish? No. A good replica that is simple and easy enough for you to make at home on a weeknight? Yes!
Butter Chicken is an Indian dish that has a rich creamy tomato gravy. It uses mild spices and has a very good flavor that will appeal to a wide variety of people. If you look it up, the history is that butter chicken evolved as a way to use up leftover Tandoori Chicken and is not intended to be spicy, but rather rich, smooth and creamy.
This Instant Pot Butter Chicken is a take on all of those mild flavor but comes together quickly so that you can enjoy this delicious meal with your family any night of the week, right at home.
- Curry paste – typically used in Thai cuisines and made from chili peppers it will add a bit of spice to your dish
- Curry powder – a blend of spices usually used in Indian inspired dishes and generally mild in flavor
- Heavy cream and butter – to make this recipe dairy free simply swap out for full fat coconut milk
Tips for making Butter Chicken in an Instant Pot:
- I don’t find any need for browning the chicken ahead of time. You don’t want it to get dried out since we are using chicken breasts, and with the gravy there’s no need to brown it.
- Stir everything together well before sealing the pot so that it will cook evenly
- Wait until after the pressure cooking is done to add the cream and cornstarch as adding fats and thickeners while pressure cooking can cause the pot to malfunction
To Make Ahead:
Butter chicken makes a great freezer meal.
Simply assemble the ingredients (minus the dairy and cornstarch) in a freezer safe container and store in fridge for up to 3 days or freezer up to 3 months.
To cook from frozen add 5 minutes to cooking time and 1/2 cup water or broth to Instant Pot.
Store leftovers in airtight container in fridge up to 3 days. Leftovers can be frozen up to 3 months.
How to serve Instant Pot Butter Chicken:
This is a dish that can be served very simply. All you need is some naan (a type of flatbread) and some basmati rice! It also makes great leftover and will freeze well. We like to freeze individual servings for lunches later on!
And if you love trying out different flavors of chicken in the Instant Pot, you’ll love my Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken!
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- 6 quart Instant Pot
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion diced
- 3 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 14.5 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream for later
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch for later
- Add all ingredients except butter, cream and cornstarch to Instant Pot
- Seal and set to high pressure for 12 minutes
- Allow 5 minute natural pressure release then quick release
- Whisk cornstarch with an equal amount of water and stir into chicken along with cream and butter
- Allow to rest and thicken 5 minutes before serving over rice or as desired
- Add all ingredients except dairy and cornstarch to a freezer safe container.
- Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months
- If cooking from frozen add 1/2 cup liquid to bottom of pot and add 5 minutes to cooking time