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!
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Instant Pot Tikka Masala
- 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