Home > Dinner > Instant Pot Butter Chicken Instant Pot Butter Chicken October 13, 2022 | No Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. This easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken packs a punch with its rich, creamy sauce, warm spices, and tender chicken. It’s pure comfort food, absolutely perfect with some rice and naan. And the best part? It’s super quick! The multi-cooker slashes cooking time, slotting this dish right into even the most hectic weeknight schedules. Instant Pot Butter Chicken Last birthday, my family booked an Indian spot I’d been eager to try for quite some time. Top rated in the city, and yeah, it deserved that hype. Everything was amazing, but the butter chicken stole the show. Even my kids, all three of them, were all over it, making me promise to whip up a batch as soon as we got back. I’ve had my go-t0 and beloved Butter Chicken recipe and a solid Butter Chicken Meatballs recipe, but I needed something quicker, less of an event. So, here’s the deal: Instant Pot Butter Chicken. It’s quick, no-nonsense, and downright delicious. Seriously, 30 minutes, tops, and the pressure cooker does the heavy lifting. Perfect for when the kids (or, let’s be honest, you) need that butter chicken fix, stat! Though quick to prepare, this Instant Pot Butter Chicken doesn’t skimp on flavor; it’s genuinely restaurant-quality! QUICK TIP We refer to Instant Pots in this recipe, but any similar multi-process pressure cooker will work. Instant Pot is a trademarked brand of pressure cookers manufactured by Instant Brands. Instant Pot Butter Chicken Ingredients Coconut or olive oil: Olive adds an earthier flavor while coconut lends a subtle sweetness. Yellow onion: Dice it small for a faster sauté Ginger paste and minced garlic: Fresh will have a more potent flavor, but also takes extra time/effort. Spices: Freshness is key; it makes a world of difference in the dish’s final flavor profile. Red pepper flakes: Add slowly if sensitive to spice or serve on the side if serving divided palates. White sugar: It’s the secret to cutting the tomatoes’ acidity. Tomatoes (crushed/diced): Go for quality. The better the canned tomatoes, the better the flavor! Chicken thighs (boneless, skinless): They’re the star; juicier and more forgiving than breasts, which can get a bit rubbery here. Unsalted butter: Why unsalted? It’s all about controlling the salt; plus, you can always tweak at the end. Heavy whipping cream: This is non-negotiable for that authentically rich, creamy curry; lighter substitutes just don’t do the trick. Cilantro: Adds freshness; not a cilantro fan? Parsley or basil are solid stand-ins. SHORTCUTS Grab pre-diced onions from the produce or frozen veggie aisle for a time-saver, or blitz an onion in your food processor. For hassle-free garlic and ginger, try Dorot® cubes from the freezer section or snag some refrigerated pastes. They’re game-changers for speed and flavor. How To Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken Deglaze the pot: After adding tomatoes, scrape the bottom to avoid burn warnings and incorporate all the caramelized goodness. Layering: Place chicken evenly (not bunched up) in the sauce for consistent cooking. No water? Yes, really. You’ll get plenty of liquid from the tomatoes and chicken for pressure cooking. Blend the sauce: After cooking, smooth out the sauce with an immersion blender or by transferring the sauce to a blender. Don’t skip the spices: They’re few, but important! Garam masala, a blend of several spices, is particularly crucial for flavor in this recipe. Taste and adjust: Check for flavor balance, adding salt or sugar as needed. Spice check: If you’re unsure about the heat level, start with less. It’s easier to add than subtract heat. Resting time: Let the sauce cool slightly before incorporating butter and cream. This helps to maintain sauce thickness. QUICK TIP When blending, be mindful that heat causes expansion! Before blending, let the sauce cool slightly. Then, start slow and watch carefully to prevent overflow. Open the lid cautiously — steam will release. If your blender doesn’t have a hot/soup setting, cover it tightly with a towel to manage steam. Read If You’re New To Instant Pot Cooking Account for extra time as the pot builds and releases pressure, beyond the recipe’s stated cooking duration. Use a six-quart Instant Pot for best results, as size influences cooking time and liquid needs. Check the sealing ring and valve for proper placement to ensure pressure build-up. Understand release types: Natural cools slowly (10-25 mins), while Quick vents steam to speed it up. Prevent a burn alert by using enough liquid and avoiding food sticking. Use the ‘sauté‘ function to enhance flavor by browning meats or veggies before pressure cooking. QUICK TIP To do a quick release: Find the steam release handle on the lid, marked ‘Venting’ and ‘Sealing.’ Carefully move it from ‘Sealing’ to ‘Venting,’ standing clear of the top to avoid the burst of escaping steam. STORAGE Storage and Freezing Yes! And leftovers taste even better the next day after flavors meld overnight. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Reheat on the stove, thinning sauce if needed with water or cream; avoid the microwave to prevent tough chicken. For longer storage, freeze in airtight containers; defrost in the fridge, then reheat gently (low heat) to avoid curdling the cream. Serve Instant Pot Butter Chicken with: Basmati rice: Fragrant and fluffy, it’s a classic companion. Naan/roti/paratha: Ideal for scooping up sauce. Simple Garden Salad or Creamy Cucumber Salad: Adds a fresh, crisp contrast. Raita: A cooling yogurt side to balance the spice. (We share our fave easy raita on this Daal recipe.) Roasted Vegetables: Healthy, colorful accompaniment. QUICK TIP How To char the naan: Spray naan with olive oil spray, then briefly grill on stovetop over medium open flame until charred, flipping with tongs. Fold and cover with a towel to keep warm, or alternatively, heat in a skillet, toast, or microwave under a damp towel. MoreRecipesBlack Beans (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)Instant Pot Chicken And DumplingsInstant Pot Baked ZitiBeef Stroganoff (Instant Pot OR Crockpot!) Recipe adapted from TwoSleevers More pressure cooker recipes: Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings Instant Pot Mac ‘n Cheese Incredible Pinto Beans Instant Pot Beef Stew Instant Pot Oatmeal FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Instant Pot Butter Chicken 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe This easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken packs a punch with its rich, creamy sauce, warm spices, and tender chicken. It's pure comfort food, absolutely perfect with some rice and naan. And the best part? It's super quick! The pressure cooker slashes cooking time, slotting this dish right into even the most hectic weeknight schedules. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Instant Pot Butter Chicken 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe This easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken packs a punch with its rich, creamy sauce, warm spices, and tender chicken. It's pure comfort food, absolutely perfect with some rice and naan. And the best part? It's super quick! The pressure cooker slashes cooking time, slotting this dish right into even the most hectic weeknight schedules. Course Dinner, Main Course Cuisine Healthy, Indian Keyword Instant Pot Butter Chicken Prep Time 10 minutes minutes Cook Time 8 minutes minutes Natural Release Time 5 minutes minutes Total Time 23 minutes minutes Servings 4 -6 servings Chelsea Lords Calories 659kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $10.12 Equipment6-quart Instant Pot (pressure cooker) Ingredients▢ 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil▢ 1 large yellow onion, diced (1-1/2 cups)▢ 1 tablespoon each: ginger paste and minced garlic (Note 1)▢ 1¼ teaspoon each: smoked paprika, ground cumin, turmeric, fine sea salt▢ 2¼ teaspoons garam masala, separated (Note 2)▢ Optional: ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon white sugar▢ 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes▢ 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (Note 3)▢ 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons▢ ½ cup heavy whipping cream▢ ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro, optional▢ For serving: cooked rice, warmed naan (Note 4)US - Metric USMetric InstructionsSAUTÉ: Set the Instant Pot to the 'sauté' mode. Once hot, add oil, followed by onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until the onion is golden, about 3-6 minutes. Add all the seasonings holding back 1 tsp garam masala for later. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-3 minutes until fragrant. Add tomatoes, stirring and scraping any bits from the bottom of the pot (to avoid burn warnings). Turn off Instant Pot. ADD CHICKEN: Add chicken thighs and stir through sauce; then press into one even layer (not bunched up). PRESSURE COOK: Secure the pressure cooker lid and set it to cook on high pressure (manual mode) for 8 minutes. Once done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure and take off the lid. DICE CHICKEN and BLEND SAUCE: Carefully remove the chicken and transfer it to a cutting board. Coarsely chop it into bite-sized pieces. Next, use an immersion blender to purée the sauce in the pot until smooth (or carefully transfer sauce to a regular blender -- See Note 5).FINISH SAUCE: Return the blended sauce to the pot if you used a regular blender. Add the butter, the reserved 1 teaspoon of garam masala, and the cream. Stir until the ingredients are well combined and the sauce is smooth. (Use the 'sauté' function if necessary to melt the butter and slightly thicken the sauce.) FINISH: Return the chopped chicken to the sauce and add cilantro if using. Stir thoroughly. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve the butter chicken over your choice of rice with warmed naan on the side. Enjoy! Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Ginger and garlic: For convenience, you can use pre-prepared refrigerated garlic paste and ginger paste instead of fresh. Note 2: Garam masala: This is a blend of spices and adds loads of flavor so don't skip it! The flavor and heat can vary based on the brand; we love Private Selection® Garam Masala Blend. Add 1-1/4 tsp at the beginning and the last 1 tsp at the end. Note 3: Thighs: Much juicier and more forgiving than breasts, which can get a bit rubbery/tough/dry here. Note 4: Serving suggestions: For serving, you can use any rice that you prefer, even microwaveable rice for convenience. Naan is the best for soaking up the extra sauces -- especially when it's been charred/warmed through! How to warm naan: Spray naan with olive oil spray, then briefly grill on the stovetop over medium open flame until charred, flipping with tongs. Fold and cover with a towel to keep warm, or alternatively, heat in a skillet, toast, or microwave under a damp towel. Note 5: Blending: Remember heat causes expansion, so before blending, let sauce slightly cool. Then, start slow and watch carefully to prevent overflow. Open the lid cautiously -- steam will release. If your blender doesn't have a hot/soup setting, cover tightly with a towel to manage steam. Nutrition information is for the main dish only and does not include naan or ricee. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 659kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 309mg | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 953mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1503IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 3mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! 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