Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe

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Our tender chicken is marinated and then pressure-cooked in flavorful spices and seasonings to make a creamy and mild instant pot butter chicken recipe.

spoonful of instant pot butter chicken.

Did you know you can make butter chicken in your instant pot? Speed up the cooking process and still enjoy all the rich flavorful components of this popular Indian dish. Instant pot butter chicken is so easy to make and the velvety and creamy sauce throws this main dish to a whole new level. Skip takeout and stay in for dinner tonight.

When I lived overseas the Indian food was amazing. The flavors and colors just took my breath away at times. I went to a friend’s recently who shares my love of this beautiful food. She has an instant pot so we made this butter chicken recipe and y’all, it is truly heaven!

If you have an electric pressure cooker, you know how wonderful they are. Quicker cook time, no heating up the house like the stove or oven, plus it uses less electricity. Create wholesome and flavorful meals like this easy butter chicken recipe in a fraction of the time of a traditional recipe.

Before we dive in, I gotta be honest with y’all. There are a lot of ingredients for this dish. Basically, the chicken is marinated in a blend of spices (you’ll see them below). Then we need even more seasonings to make our creamy butter chicken sauce. But, man oh man, the flavors are outstanding so I promise it’s worth a little extra effort. 

Ready to give my instant pot chicken recipe a go?

ingredients for instant pot butter chicken.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Greek yogurt
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Red chili powder
  • Ginger garlic paste
  • Garam masala
  • Coriander
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Cashews
  • Ketchup
  • Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves. You can use Fenugreek seeds or even dried spinach or kale).
  • Tomato puree
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Fresh cream
  • Cilantro (or basil if you can’t stand cilantro)

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken

marinating chicken in "chicken" ingredients

Start with your bowl and add all of the marinade ingredients (see recipe card below).

Cover the chicken pieces and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Saute chicken in instant pot with butter.

Next, you will turn your pressure cooker to the saute mode and add a tablespoon of butter.

Toss in the chicken pieces and cook till lightly brown.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.

Add cashew, onions, and water to pressure cooker.

Next, you will add in the cashews, onions, and 1/2 cup of water.

Use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot and remove stuck-on bits.

Otherwise, you will get a burn notice when you pressure cook.

Remove the onions and cashews and blend in a blender until a smooth paste is created. Then set it aside.

making butter chicken sauce

Back to the instant pot, add another tablespoon of butter and ginger paste, and saute until fragrant.

Then toss in the chili powder, salt, and coriander, and stir.

Add in the cashew onion paste, stirring.

Then pour in the tomato puree and stir and cook for 6 minutes.

Add the chicken to the tomato sauce along with a cup of water and stir to combine.

Turn saute off and place the pressure cooker lid on.

Make sure the valve is set to sealing then pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes with a natural release of 10 minutes.

Once done, remove the lid, hit the saute button again, and add in the Kasuri Methi, garam masala, sugar, and ketchup.

Allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes and stir often or it will burn.

Add cream and butter then serve.

Add in the cream and 1 tablespoon of butter and stir well.

Turn saute off and your instant pot butter chicken is done!

Indian butter chicken in a bowl on table

Serve over basmati rice with naan or roti and top with cilantro and sour cream.


If you have leftovers, they can store for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Or if you want, freeze for 3 months. Thaw the leftovers and then reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Recipe Notes

  • The ketchup adds a nice tangy component to the chicken. But you can leave it out or swap it for tomato paste instead if you like.
  • When searing the chicken, do not cook the chicken fully, just enough to create a brown color to help lock in flavor and moisture.
  • The sugar helps to balance all the spices and herbs. But you do not have to add it in if you don’t want to.
  • Any boneless chicken works for this recipe. Boneless skinless chicken thighs have some darker meat which will hold and thus add more flavor.
  • Make sure to fully deglaze your pot before you pressure cook or it will give you a burn notice when you go to start pressure cooking.
  • Kasuri methi is dried fenugreek leaves and is optional but recommended. It’s a must for authentic flavor and aroma. It’s mainly used to bring out a pleasant aroma to dishes cooked with Garam Masala. If you can’t find leaves you can use fenugreek seeds, or even dried spinach or kale. But as noted, using fenugreek really makes the flavor pop.
  • Instead of heavy cream, you can use milk, half and half, or coconut milk.
  • Other fresh herbs you can use as a garnish include parsley or mint leaves.
  • Other creamy condiments include cream or plain Greek yogurt.

Recipe FAQs

What is butter chicken?

Butter chicken is an Indian cuisine recipe. This chicken is a form of mild curry that is super creamy and offers a thick tomato-based sauce that covers the chicken. You will find this dish is traditionally paired with rice and naan bread.

What is garam masala made of?

Garam masala is a staple Indian spice made with a combination of warm ground spices. These include cinnamon, cardamon, peppercorns, mustard seeds, nutmeg, coriander seeds, cloves, and cumin.

Is this dish spicy?

You are able to control the spice factor in this dish. The dish itself has spices used in it, but it is not considered spicy. Stir in some red pepper flakes or even some curry sauce to help amplify the heat if you want extra.

What does it mean to naturally release pressure in the instant pot?

To naturally release pressure means exactly what it sounds like. Because the pressure cooker or instant pot needs pressure to cook, you have to naturally release it, otherwise, you may have a mini explosion on your hands! So when I say set the natural release for 10 minutes, you just let the instant pot sit on your counter and wait for a 10 to flash on the screen. Then use a spoon to release any remaining pressure in the instant pot before opening the lid.

What do you serve with this butter chicken instant pot recipe?

Serve the butter chicken on a bed of basmati rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice. I also recommend serving it with naan bread or roti.

You may also like these other easy chicken recipes:

Easy Chicken and Rice Soup

Crockpot Fiesta Chicken and Rice

Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry With Brown Rice

Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice

Chicken Fried Brown Rice

Cheesy Chicken and Rice (Crockpot Version)

spoon with chicken on it

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Our tender chicken is marinated and then pressure-cooked in flavorful spices and seasonings to make a creamy and mild instant pot butter chicken recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Natural Release Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken, butter chicken instant pot, instant pot butter chicken
Servings: 8
Calories: 12kcal


Chicken Marinade

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup hung curd or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder or dried basil

Butter Chicken Sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 cup whole cashews
  • 1 tbsp ketchup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 3 tbsp fresh cream


  • Place all marinade ingredients, including the chicken pieces, in a large bowl. Mix them properly with your hands then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for 30 minutes.
    1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces, 1/2 cup hung curd or Greek yogurt, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper powder, 1 tbsp red chili powder, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tbsp coriander powder or dried basil
  • Set the instant pot on the Saute function and let it heat up. Then add 1 tablespoon of butter.
    3 tbsp butter
  • Add the chicken pieces and cook until the chicken changes color to light brown. Then transfer the chicken to a plate.
    1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • Keep the instant pot running on the Saute function and add cashews and onions. Add 1/2 cup of water and give it a nice mix. Deglaze the pot by stirring properly so that no food is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Let it cook until the cashews become a little soft and the onions turn translucent.
    1 onion, roughly chopped, 1/4 cup whole cashews, 1.5 cups water
  • Next, transfer the blanched onion and cashews into a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Set this aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pot along with ginger garlic paste and saute it for a few seconds until it becomes fragrant. Add red chili powder, salt, and coriander powder, and give them a stir.
    3 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Next, add in the cashew onion paste and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomato puree and mix, then stir and cook for 6 minutes.
    3/4 cup tomato puree
  • Add in the chicken pieces and 1 cup of water, mixing everything properly. Then cancel the Saute button.
    1.5 cups water
  • Close the lid and pressure valve. Select the Pressure Cook button on High Pressure and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Once the pressure-cooking cycle is over, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes.
  • Open the lid carefully and select the Cancel button. Then select the Saute button next one last time.
  • Add Kasuri Methi, garam masala, sugar, and tomato ketchup, and let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
    1 tbsp Kasuri Methi, 1 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp sugar (optional), 1 tbsp ketchup (optional)
  • Finally, add in cream and 1 tablespoon of butter and give the butter chicken sauce a good mix. Cancel the Saute function.
    3 tbsp fresh cream, 3 tbsp butter
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and some sour cream. Serve hot with rice and naan or roti.


Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 306IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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One Comment

  1. 1 star
    I was hoping it would be an easy/simple recipe like most of the others on this blog. Yikes, I’m not sure about making this one. TY for your hard work though.

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