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This easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken is better than what you’d find in a restaurant! Enjoy all the authentic, rich flavors of your favorite curry sauce cooked with tender chicken and served over basmati rice. Check out our other Instant Pot recipes: 7 Easy Instant Pot Freezer Meals and Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken.

I have had the biggest craving for Indian food, especially my favorite dish Butter Chicken, but with our new financial goals, we have been trying to make more meals at home. Thankfully, after tweaking a few recipes, I was finally able to create this version that tastes better than a restaurant! Seriously, it is so flavorful and juicy, I wish I had tried it before! My husband, who doesn’t even like Indian food (I know, right?) loves this dish and has even requested me to make it again!

Butter Chicken

Instant Pot

I made this Instant Pot Butter Chicken using the Instant Pot Duo Mini, which holds 3 quarts! This recipe could easily be doubled for a 6-quart Instant Pot or bigger. Although you can convert it to the stovetop, we found the Instant Pot can pack in so much more flavor in a shorter amount of time!

Marinade
the ingredients for the chicken marinade

Combine chicken with marinade ingredients. Coat evenly and cover. Marinade for at least 45 minutes, but can be marinated up to 24 hours.

*Browning the Chicken

*This step is optional, but seals in the moisture and enhances the flavor! Truthfully, there is a noticeable difference when we skip this step. Heat a saucepan on medium heat on stovetop and melt 1 tablespoon of butter place marinated chicken on pan. Cook until browned (approx 2 minutes on each side). Once browned, remove from heat.

Common Substitutions:

Spices The most important ingredients are the spices, so don’t skimp! Specifically, I love the Manitou Trading Company brand for the Garam Masala, because it gives it a really authentic taste.
Chicken breasts If you want, you can definitely substitute chicken thighs for the chicken breast, but after experimenting with each, we actually preferred the chicken breasts for this particular recipe. We’ve also replaced the protein with lentils or chickpeas and it is pretty good!
Heavy cream For a healthier meal, you can choose low-fat half & half or coconut milk instead, but it does lose some of the creaminess.
Butter Margarine is a fair substitution for butter if you are aiming to make this a vegan meal.
Tomato paste We often use tomato puree instead, and it turns out great.
Greek yogurt Sour cream is a good replacement for the greek yogurt, but the flavor is altered slightly. Whatever you do, make sure it’s plain. We accidentally used vanilla-flavored yogurt once and it was NOT tasty!

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

This easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken is better than what you'd find in a restaurant! Enjoy all the authentic, rich flavors of your favorite curry sauce cooked with tender chicken and served over basmati rice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Marinating Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped 2 in. cubes
  • 4 T unsalted butter sliced into 4 chunks
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 1 T ginger minced
  • 1 T garlic diced
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • cilantro optional

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt plain
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt

Spice Blend

  • 1 T Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne  (this makes it spicy- add more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T sugar

Instructions
 

Marinating the Chicken

  • Combine chicken with marinade ingredients. Coat evenly and cover. Marinade for at least 45 minutes, but can be marinated up to 24 hours.

Browning the Chicken

  • *This step is optional, but seals in the moisture and enhances the flavor! Heat a saucepan on medium heat on stovetop and melt 1 tablespoon of butter place marinated chicken on pan. Cook until browned (approx 2 minutes on each side). Once browned, remove from heat.

Cooking Instructions

  • Turn on Sauté function. Melt half of the butter (2 Tbsp) and add onions, garlic, and ginger.
  • Sauté for about 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add remaining butter to pot and melt thoroughly.
  • Throw in the spice blend and mix. Cook 1 min.
  • Use lemon juice to deglaze the bottom of the pot, making sure to scrape off the bottom to prevent burning.
  • Next, add the tomato paste and stir thoroughly.
  • Cook down for an additional minute. Add heavy cream and mix thoroughly.
  • Add marinaded chicken to pot and mix.
  • Turn off Sauté function and set it to Pressure Cook for 5 minutes.
    **If you did not brown the chicken, Pressure Cook for 8 minutes.
  • After the pressure cooking is completed, allow Instant Pot to do a natural release for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Perform a quick release, remove lid, and stir.
  • Serve with basmati rice and garnish with cilantro (optional)
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Check out our other Instant Pot recipes!
7 Easy Instant Pot Freezer Meals
The Best Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
Tangy Instant Pot Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken

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