If you love Indian food, this is the Instant Pot butter chicken recipe you have to try

Instant Pot Butter Chicken - instant pot butter chicken

When you’re hungry for ethnic fare, this Instant Pot butter chicken recipe is even more delicious than most Indian takeout. Bonus: It cooks up in just 10 minutes in your very own kitchen.

Instant Pot electric pressure cooker recipes have taken the cooking world by storm — and with good reason. The popular electronic pressure cookers get delicious dinners to the table with little fuss and in record time. This recipe shows us how to use this cult-fave kitchen gadget to transform poultry into the iconic Indian butter chicken dish that’s traditionally cooked in a tandoor (a clay pot oven).

Butter chicken is a beloved Indian chicken curry that features garlicky, gingery chicken drenched in a thick, mildly spiced tomato cream sauce made with butter. The key to this recipe’s authentic Indian flavor and flair? Garam masala.

ALSO TRY: Pressure cooker salted caramel cheesecake

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Put marinated chicken into the pressure cooker

Like all great butter chicken recipes, this one starts with marinating the chicken for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Put marinated chicken into the pressure cooker

Stir cooking chicken in the pressure cooker

The Instant Pot is for more than just pressure cooking — you can use it like a stove to cook something in the pot without the lid on.

WHICH INSTANT POT IS THE BEST FOR YOU? Find out the differences between the top-rated pressure cookers at Reviewed.com

butter chicken in instant pot

Continue to allow the butter chicken to cook

The garlic, ginger and chicken are sautéed in butter and then mixed with tomato paste, ketchup, spices, sugar, and water.

butter chicken simmers in instant pot

Stir one last time before adding final ingredients

Make sure the chicken is covered fully in the sauce, and has had a chance to simmer and to soak in that amazing flavor.

Stirring chicken in instant pot

Finish recipe with fresh chopped cilantro and cream

A mere 10 minutes in the electric pressure cooker yields a fragrant dish that’s ready for some heavy cream and cilantro.

add cilantro to finished butter chicken

An amazing and easy pressure cooker chicken recipe

This dish is best served hot, right out of the pot, with naan to mop up every last bit of sauce. Never heard of naan? It’s a leavened flatbread that’s easy to make at home but also available in the bread aisle or Indian food section at the grocery store.

MORE: Pressure-cooker white bean chili

Instant Pot Butter Chicken - instant pot butter chicken on a white plate with white rice, and cilantro

Instant Pot butter chicken looks beautiful on the plate

Whether you serve it with naan or not, butter chicken is super-satisfying when served alongside or ladled over basmati rice.

serving of butter chicken with rice

Instant Pot butter chicken recipe

Yield 6 servings


  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or puréed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, finely minced or puréed
  • 1/2 cup (a 6-ounce/70-gram can) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Cut chicken into chunks and marinate with 1/2 tablespoon chili powder and lemon juice for 30 minutes up to overnight.
  2. Set Instant Pot to sauté mode. When pot is fully heated, add and melt butter. Stir in garlic and ginger. Add chicken and sauté until surface turns white.
  3. Add remaining chili powder, tomato paste, ketchup, garam masala, salt, sugar and water. Cover pot, select "manual setting," and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  4. When Instant Pot beeps, turn to "quick release." When valve drops, remove cover carefully.
  5. Add heavy whipping cream and chopped cilantro; stir to mix well.
  6. Drizzle more heavy cream on top of butter chicken before serving, if desired.


  • This recipe's sized for a 6-quart Instant Pot.
  • You can skip garam masala, but this spice mix gives butter chicken its iconic Indian flavor and aroma.
  • You may use chicken breasts. If you use frozen chicken, increase the pressure-cooking time by 50%, or a total of 15 minutes.
  • If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make this recipe in an ordinary pot. Simmer on low heat until the chicken thighs are cooked through and tender.
  • Serve over rice.

Courses Main dish

serving of butter chicken with rice