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Instant Pot Butter Chicken

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes (plus 10 minute NPR)
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


An easy, no-fuss method of making your favorite Indian dish at home. This recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients that you can find at a normal grocery store. We love to eat this chicken and succulent sauce over rice or with naan bread.  


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp peeled and minced ginger root
  • 4 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup warmed half and half or cream
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch stirred together with 1 Tbsp cold water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for serving


  1. Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting (“more”). While it heats up, prepare your ingredients. When it reads HOT on the display add in the butter and oil. When it is melted stir in the diced onion. Saute for about 3 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pot with the broth.
  2. Add in the chicken, ginger, garam masala, tomato paste, salt, and tomato sauce. Stir.
  3. Secure the lid in place and make sure valve is set to “sealing.” Set the manual button (or pressure cook button) to 4 minutes for chicken breasts or 5 minutes for boneless thighs.
  4. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure by moving the valve to venting.
  5. Remove the lid and stir in the warmed half and half. Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting and then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Let the sauce thicken then turn the pot to the Keep Warm function.
  6. Serve chicken and sauce with naan bread or rice. Top with chopped cilantro.


I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*.

Chicken–when I made this recipe in the slow cooker I used chicken thighs. When I made it in the Instant Pot I used chicken breasts. I definitely prefer using boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. However, if you’re not a dark meat lover the breasts work fine too. I think you could totally make this recipe with bone-in chicken as well. I would remove the skin of the chicken before adding it into the Instant Pot. If you use bone-in chicken you’ll also need to cook it longer. I would cook it for 10-15 minutes if you use bone-in chicken. 

Ginger–I like to buy ginger root and store it in my freezer. I wrap it in foil and then whenever I need it for a recipe I have it on hand. Here is a good tutorial on how to peel and mince ginger.

Garam Masala–garam masala is just a spice mixture used in Indian cooking. I bought the McCormick’s brand and found it in the spice aisle at Smith’s (Kroger).

  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Instant Pot