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Instant Pot Tikka Masala

With a rich, tomato based sauce and just the right amount of spice, this Instant Pot Tikka Masala will help you get an amazing dinner on the table with a minimal amount of work!

overhead view of a white and brown bowl filled with white rice topped with tikka masala

Authentic Tikka Masala is a dish believed to have originated in India or possibly the UK. Traditionally it’s a marinated roasted chicken in a dry sauce. In this version, I’ll take a few adaptations that have happened over time and turn it into a a similar recipe that works in the Instant Pot.

Recipes like this with spices you may not use as often around your house are some of my favorites. The kids love the different flavors and often beg for me to make meals like this.

view of cans of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and coconut milk

Ingredients Needed for Tikka Masala

This tikka masala has a thick tomato base with just a bit of creaminess from the coconut milk.

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • boneless skinless chicken breast (could also use thighs if desired)
  • crushed tomatoes + tomato paste
  • onion and garlic
  • dried spices including: ginger, turmeric, garam masala, cumin and red pepper flakes
  • coconut milk (canned not in the carton)
step by step process photos of making tikka masala in the instant pot

How to Make Tikka Masala in the Instant Pot

I love this recipe because there are no separate cooking step required, everything is done right in the Instant Pot.

The crushed tomatoes provide enough liquid for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

And because we are using coconut milk instead of heavy cream, we can add it right in from the start. If you swap out the coconut milk for dairy, you’ll need to add it after the end of pressure cooking.

tikka masala in instant pot with spoon

Prep Ahead Instructions

All of the ingredients can be assembled ahead of time and stored in a container or baggie in the fridge until ready to cook.

You may also freeze the ingredients together in an airtight bag or container for up to 3 months.

Thaw before cooking or you can cook from frozen by adding an extra 1/2 cup water or broth to the bottom of the Instant Pot.

chicken tikka masala over white rice in brown mini bowl topped with chopped parsley

Additional Cooking Tips

If the sauce is not thick enough for your liking, you can mix together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and mix it in. Let heat on sauté until it thickens.

If desired, you can sub out the chicken breasts for boneless skinless chicken thighs.

Tikka Masala vs. Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is generally creamier and milder, where Tikka Masala is more tomato forward.

overhead view of a white and brown bowl filled with white rice topped with tikka masala

Instant Pot Tikka Masala

Print Recipe
With a rich, tomato based sauce and just the right amount of spice, this Instant Pot Tikka Masala will help you get an amazing dinner on the table with a minimal amount of work!
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Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:10 mins
Pressurize:15 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 15 oz canned coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Chop chicken into bite size pieces
  • Add chicken to Instant Pot along with remaining ingredients
  • Stir and add lid and set to seal
  • Set Instant Pot to high pressure for 10 minutes
  • Once cooking time has completed, let the keep warm timer count up to at least 10 minutes for natural pressure release
  • Release remaining pressure and remove lid
  • Stir to combine and serve over rice or as desired

Notes

If the sauce is not thick enough for your liking, you can mix together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and mix it in. Let heat on sauté until it thickens.
All of the ingredients can be assembled ahead of time and stored in a container or baggie in the fridge until ready to cook.

Nutrition

Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 974mg | Potassium: 1450mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Calories: 411kcal

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