Incredibly flavorful and tender, this authentic Instant Pot Butter Chicken is so easy to make! It is loaded with Indian spices, garlic, ginger, and heavy cream. This is a great healthy weeknight dinner option for the whole family. Make it at home instead of ordering take-out!
This is the Best Instant Pot Butter Chicken! It is so flavorful, creamy, and loaded with spices. Made with chicken thighs, crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, and tons of Indian spices. Serve with rice or keep it low carb with cauliflower rice!
This recipe comes together in minutes! I like to marinate the chicken the night before to save time. When you are ready to eat the sauce and the chicken all get cooked in the instant pot and takes less than 15 minutes to cook!
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What you’ll need for this recipe
Butter Chicken Marinade
- Chicken: Chicken thighs are my favorite meat for this recipe. They stay super juicy! Chicken breast would work as well.
- Yogurt: Plain greek yogurt adds creaminess, and tanginess, and also tenderizes the meat perfectly. Other plain yogurts would be fine too!
- Spices: Here’s where all of the amazing curry flavor comes in! I added garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
- Butter: I use butter instead of oil for sautéing. It adds a delicious flavor.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger: These three ingredients aren’t overpowering, but really bring all of the other aromas together.
- Spices: Some more spice, garam masala, cumin, and chili powder season the Butter Chicken sauce perfectly.
- Tomatoes: I used a can of crushed tomatoes. Died tomatoes or tomato sauce are great alternatives.
- Cream: Heavy cream adds richness! Make sure you don’t add it until the very end. It will curdle if cooked in the instant pot under pressure.
- Garnish: I sprinkle some cilantro at the end for serving.
How to make butter chicken in the instant pot
- Marinate: Start by marinating your chicken for 1 hour or overnight. I marinade the chicken in greek yogurt, garam masala, turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder, ginger, and cumin.
- Heat instant pot: When you are ready to eat select the saute option on the instant pot. Add in butter.
- Sauté: Once the butter is melted add onion and saute until golden brown and soft. Add in ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add spices: Stir in garam masala, cumin, and chili powder. Cook for one-minute stirring constantly so it does not burn.
- Brown chicken: Add in chicken and saute for 2 minutes to get some color on it.
- Add tomatoes and pressure cook: Stir in tomatoes then covers the instant pot with the lid. Cancel the saute setting and switch to high pressure. Set it for 8 minutes.
- Mix in cream: Remove the lid and stir in the heavy cream. Turn back onto saute and let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes to help thicken it.
- Season: Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh cilantro on top!
Tips for Success
- Chicken thighs are the juiciest, however, chicken breast would also be delicious in this recipe.
- Don’t add the heavy cream until the very end! It will curdle if it is cooked in the instant pot.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in the microwave, in a pot on the stove, or in the oven until it is heated all the way through.
- Freeze for up to 4 months in an airtight container in the freezer, Thaw completely before reheating.
What goes well with butter chicken
Can you put butter in an instant pot?
Yes! Butter is a great ingredient to cook with because it sautées ingredients while adding flavor. It is great in an instant pot as well!
Can I add milk instead of cream to butter chicken?
You can! Milk won’t be quite as rich as heavy cream, so it’s a good idea to also add a little butter to the Instant Pot Butter Chicken as well.
Love this Indian-inspired recipe? Here are more Indian recipes to try!
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Butter Chicken Marinade
- Add all of the marinade ingredients to a large ziplock bag. Shake to coat the chicken and let marinate for an hour or overnight.
- Select the saute option on the instant pot. Add in butter.
- Once the butter is melted add in onion and saute for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and soft.
- Add in ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in garam masala, cumin and chili powder. Cook for one minute stirring constantly so it does not burn.
- Add in chicken and saute for 2 minutes to get some color on it. If needed add a bit more butter to the pan if the chicken is sticking.
- Stir in tomatoes then cover the instant pot with the lid. Cancel the saute setting and switch to high pressure. Set it for 8 minutes.
- When it's done cooking remove the lid and stir in the heavy cream. Turn back onto saute and let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes to help thicken it.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh cilantro on top!