Instant Pot Butter Chicken – Succulent chicken in a creamy tomato sauce, a flavor explosion in every bite.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Delight

Hey, my fellow flavor enthusiasts! Chef Ethan Harris here, the maestro of the Instant Pot symphony, and today, we’re diving into a dish that’s as comforting as a cozy blanket on a chilly day – Instant Pot Butter Chicken. Buckle up, because we’re about to embark on a journey that will have your taste buds doing the tango!

What is Butter Chicken?

Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani, is a popular Indian dish that has won hearts worldwide. Imagine tender chunks of chicken bathed in a creamy, tomato-based sauce infused with a harmonious blend of spices. The dish is rich, flavorful, and boasts a perfect balance of savory and slightly sweet notes.

Traditionally, Butter Chicken involves marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices before cooking it to perfection. The luscious tomato sauce is enriched with cream, butter, and a medley of aromatic spices like garam masala, cumin, and coriander. The result is a velvety, mildly spiced curry that’s a true comfort food delight.

How To Make the Best Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe

Recipe by Ethan HarrisCourse: Dinner, Lunch, MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Intermediate


Prep time




Calories per serving



A tantalizing plate of Instant Pot Butter Chicken, featuring succulent chicken chunks in a creamy, tomato-based sauce, garnished with fresh cilantro.


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (because yogurt makes chicken extra happy)

  • 1/4 cup ghee or unsalted butter (because we’re not holding back on richness)

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated (for that zesty kick)

  • 1 can (14 oz) tomato puree (the saucy superstar)

  • 1 cup heavy cream (because we’re going for creamy dreamy)

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (the spice maestro)

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (for that earthy warmth)

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (because golden hues are magical)

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (spice up your life, or tone it down – your choice)

  • Salt and pepper to taste (because every masterpiece needs a dash of balance)

  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (because cilantro is the showstopper)


  • Marinate the Chicken:
    In a bowl, mix chicken chunks and yogurt. Let them mingle for at least 30 minutes – we’re marinating for maximum tenderness.
  • Sauté Showtime:
    Instant Pot on “Sauté” mode. Ghee, onions, garlic, and ginger take center stage. Sauté until they’re golden and aromatic – the prelude to flavor town.
  • Pressure Cook Perfection:
    Chicken, tomato puree, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, salt, and pepper join the party. Secure the lid, set Instant Pot to high pressure for 8 minutes, and let the magic happen.
  • Creamy Crescendo:
    Quick-release pressure, stir in that heavy cream, and let it simmer in “Sauté” mode until your sauce reaches creamy perfection.
  • Garnish Grand Finale:
    Sprinkle with fresh cilantro – the pièce de résistance. Your Instant Pot Butter Chicken masterpiece is ready to steal the spotlight!


  • Burn Error: If your Instant Pot is more sensitive to the “BURN” notice (usually the newer versions of Instant Pot), use 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock instead.
  • Soy Sauce: It may not be a traditional Indian ingredient, but it’s our own little twist to boost up the umami flavors. Try it and see what you think

Serving Suggestions for Instant Pot Butter Chicken

You’ve crafted the perfect Instant Pot Butter Chicken, and now it’s time to present it to your eager taste buds. Here are some delightful serving suggestions to elevate your culinary experience:

Basmati Brilliance: Spoon your Butter Chicken over a bed of fragrant basmati rice. The grains will soak up that rich sauce like flavor sponges.

Naan Nirvana: Warm up some naan bread – it’s the ideal companion for scooping up every last bit of that creamy goodness.

Quinoa Twist: Feeling a bit health-conscious? Try serving over quinoa for a protein-packed alternative.

Vegetarian Voyage: For a veggie-centric option, ladle your Butter Chicken over a medley of roasted vegetables. It’s a flavor explosion for plant-based enthusiasts.

Salad Serenade: Fresh, crisp greens with a zesty vinaigrette make for a refreshing sidekick. It’s like a culinary dance on your palate.

Cucumber Raita Refreshment: A dollop of cucumber raita on the side adds a cool, refreshing contrast to the warmth of the Butter Chicken.

Garnish Gala: Sprinkle with additional fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime for a burst of brightness.

Cooking Tips for Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Welcome to the Butter Chicken maestro class! Here are some insider tips to ensure your Instant Pot journey is smooth and your Butter Chicken hits all the right flavor notes:

Yogurt Tenderizer: Let that chicken soak in the yogurt marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes. It’s like sending it to a spa for tenderness.

Ghee vs. Butter Showdown: Ghee brings a nutty richness to the party, but if you’re out, unsalted butter is a fabulous understudy.

Sauté Swagger: When sautéing onions, garlic, and ginger, aim for that golden brown perfection. It’s the secret to building flavor layers.

Spice It Right: Adjust the chili powder according to your spice preference. Want to turn up the heat? Go for it. Playing it cool? That works too.

Creamy Crescendo: When adding heavy cream after pressure cooking, let it simmer in “Sauté” mode until the sauce reaches your desired creamy consistency.

Garnish Grace: Fresh cilantro isn’t just a garnish; it’s the final touch that elevates the dish. Sprinkle with gusto!

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Wings

Instant Pot Chicken Piccata

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