Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken is extra creamy, big on flavors, get’s ready in 10 mins from start to finish. This is the best ever Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken you’ll make. Fewer ingredients, dump and cook, so much flavor!
Instant Pot Indian Butter Chicken
Call it Instant Pot Butter Chicken Curry or Chicken Makhani Instant Pot, this restaurant quality dish will steal your heart at one go. It is the simplified version of the traditional Indian Butter Chicken that takes much longer to cook & involves an intimidating list of ingredients.
My Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe has an extremely silky smooth, creamy sauce with oodles of butter and tender, juicy, perfectly cooked boneless chicken breasts.
It get’s done in 10 mins.
Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken Ingredients
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements way below the post on the “Recipe Card“. The list below is just a reference.
- Boneless skinless Chicken breasts or thighs. We however prefer Breast meat for it’s milder flavor.
- Tomato Sauce. We love the store bought cans. Use your favorite brand.
- Tomato Paste.
- Lots of Butter. Don’t skimp on this one 😀
- A good dose of heavy cream.
- Honey for sweetness and balance. This one ingredient really pulls together the flavors and makes the dish a Bomb!
- Spices: Onion powder, Garlic powder, Cayenne Pepper powder, Paprika Powder, Tandoori Masala (totally optional). I’ve also mentioned subs for the individual spices down below in the NOTES at the bottom of the page.
- Crushed Black Pepper or Black pepper powder.
- Garnish (totally optional) : Dry fenugreek leaves (available in every Indian grocery store). This ingredient is not at all mandatory. You may garnish the dish with chopped cilantro leaves as well.
Tips & Tricks
- Texture: For an extremely silky, smooth and creamy Butter Chicken Sauce use tomato sauce and not diced or crushed tomatoes. Butter Chicken is meant to have a smooth and texture free sauce.
- Not Spicy: The amount of Cayenne Pepper powder in the recipe doesn’t really make the dish spicy. However, it lends the curry sauce a subtle complexity. If you are skeptical you can avoid it totally.
- Heavy Cream: Add the heavy cream once the cooking cycle is over.
- Thicker Sauce: Simmer down the sauce if you prefer it thicker. Do this once the cooking cycle is over.
- The Sauce texture: Always remember Butter Chicken sauce thickens as it cools down.
- Honey: Do not skip the Honey. It completely brings together the flavors and makes the dish extremely delicious. You can sub it with maple syrup or even white sugar.
- Tandoori Masala Substitute: Add 1 teaspoon each garam masala powder and cumin powder if you do not have Tandoori Masala handy.
- Richness: The recipe is meant to be rich and creamy so do not reduce the quantity of heavy cream. It’ll impact the dish for sure.
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements way below the post on the “Recipe Card“.
Step #1 Sear the Chicken
Coat the chicken pieces with cayenne pepper, Tandoori Masala powder (if using), black pepper & salt.
Sear the boneless chicken pieces with butter on SAUTE (NORMAL) until opaque or until they begin to turn lightly golden around the edges.
Step #2 Pressure Cook
Add all the ingredients in the pot along with more butter.
De-glaze the pot very well so that there are absolutely no bits and crumbs stuck at the bottom of the pot.
Pressure Cook on HIGH for 4 mins followed by quick pressure release.
Step #3 Cook down the sauce and serve
Add the cream & garnishes and simmer the sauce for 5 mins on SAUTE (LOW) or until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
Serve hot, enjoy!
Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken tastes best with Naan, Tandoori Roti and Basmati Rice.
However, we love to relish it with couscous and white quinoa as well.
Freezer: Butter Chicken can be frozen for upto 3 months. We love freezing it in individual portion size ziplock bags.
Fridge: It lasts for 5 days in the fridge when stored in moisture free air tight containers.
You can make the Butter Chicken Sauce thicker by simmering it down to evaporate the excess liquid.
You can make Butter Chicken less spicy by adding honey or sugar to the recipe. The sweetness balances off the spices and makes the dish incredibly delicious.
Basmati rice tastes best with Butter Chicken.
Butter Chicken tastes best when served with Bordeaux red wine or Pinot Noir Red Wine.
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
Easy Instant Pot Butter ChickenPrint Recipe Pin Rate
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- 1.50 pounds Boneless Chicken Breast diced into 1.5″ chunks (or use boneless skinless chicken thighs)
- 3+2 tbsp Unsalted Butter (you can use more or less)
- 16 oz tomato sauce (I used two 8 oz cans, 225 g each can)
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 tbsp Honey (or 2 tbsp white sugar, you can use more too)
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves crushed (or chopped cilantro)
- Dice the boneless chicken breasts or thighs into 1.5″ chunks. Wash them and pat them dry completely. Coat them with the Tandoori Masala Powder, cayenne pepper, crushed black pepper & salt.
- Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE & set it on NORMAL. Add 3 tbsp butter. When the butter is sufficiently hot gently release the chicken pieces and sear them until opaque or lightly golden around the edges.
- Set aside the chicken pieces and add more 2 tbsp butter to the pot.
- Add all the other ingredients except the cream and the honey, like the tomato sauce, tomato paste, the rest of the dry spices, salt and give everything a very good mix.
- De-glaze the pot very well with the help of a spatula so that there are absolutely no bits and crumbs stuck at the bottom of the steel pot of the Instant Pot.
- Add back the seared chicken pieces. Give everything a very good mix until all the chicken pieces are well coated with the sauce.
- CANCEL the SAUTE function. Close the lid of the Instant Pot. Seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK for 4 minutes on HIGH.
- When the pressure cooking cycle is over the Instant Pot will begin to beep. Do a QUICK PRESSURE RELEASE (QPR) by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position.
- Open the lid when the pin drops. Add the heavy cream and the honey, mix well.
- CANCEL the Pressure Cook function and turn back the SAUTE function, set it at LOW. Cook down the sauce for 5 more minutes or until it reaches your preferred consistency. The right consistency is that the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of your ladle.
- Garnishing the Butter Chicken dish is totally optional. If you want to add the dry fenugreek leaves do add them as a garnish and mix well with the sauce. However, you can even sprinkle a few finely chopped cilantro and serve it or skip the garnish totally. Enjoy!
- Measuring Units used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
- Sub for Tandoori Masala: 1 teasppon cumin powder + 1 teaspoon garam masala powder. Add them with the other dry spices.
- Don’t have garlic powder handy? Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
- Where can I buy Tandoori Masala Powder? It’s avalilable in any Indian grocery store and the Whole Foods in the USA.
- Sub the dry fenugreek leaves with chopped cilantro. Or you may skip the garnish totally.
- Sub for Honey: 1 tbsp white sugar or the same amount of maple syrup.
- This Instant Pot Butter Chicken is mildly sweet and we love it that way. So yum, so good.
- Don’t want to sear the chicken? Well, you can add the raw chicken directly with all the other ingredients and cook it following the recipe. In that case, this recipe will become a purely dump and cook recipe of Butter Chicken.
- The Cayenne Pepper powder will not make the dish spicy. It lends a lovely hue to the dish and helps build so much flavor.
- You can add more butter, more cream and more honey. It’s totally upto you. So play with the ingredients and choose what you love.
- Storing Tips: You can freeze it for upto 3 months. Lasts for 5 days in the fridge in airtight moisture free container.
- Serving IDEAS: Tastes best with any kind of Naan, Tandoori Roti, Rice, Couscous, even boiled white quinoa.