Recipe: Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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Yes, you read that right. Butter. Chicken. This is a concept that I first heard about on a Facebook group for Instant Pot enthusiasts, and at first it didn’t sound even remotely appealing to me. But everyone kept raving about how great it was, so I finally looked into it a little further. Turns out there are quite a few variations out there, but all have a few things in common. Chicken, butter, coconut milk, tomatoes, and lots of spices. It sounded worth a shot, so I decided to give it a go.

And since then, I’ve made it a few times, with a few of my own adjustments, and its become a hit in our house. It is simple, rich, tasty, and easy to fix. I’ve served it over rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or even ramen noodles. I like that I’m able to use a more affordable cut of chicken (thighs) and that it can be made from frozen too! It can be made dairy free (notes in recipe) if needed. This is a Keto lover’s dream thanks to the low carb count and high focus on fat and protein. The recipe requires adequate liquid in the pot to come to pressure, so you will end up with more sauce than needed. I like to freeze half of the sauce and use at another time over my Easy Peasy Whole Chicken or over veggies and shrimp. I will note, this recipe doesn’t offer the variety of colorful veggies I usually encourage as part of a balanced plate. So on days we are having this meal, I like I balance things out with a chop box of veggies for my snack or a big, rainbow salad later on. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Author Jordan Clapp - Organically Optimistic


To Cook:

  • 14 oz. canned, diced tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger I have also used ginger paste or ground ginger if fresh is not available
  • 1.5 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs breasts, legs, or other cuts can also be used

To Finish:

  • 4 oz. grassfed butter or coconut oil if dairy free
  • 4 oz. full-fat coconut milk


  1. Place the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and dried spices in the Instant Pot. Place the chicken on top of these ingredients.

  2. Seal the Pot, and set for 10 minutes on Manual. If using frozen chicken, set for 15 minutes.

  3. Once the cook time has expired, allow for Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes, then release remaining pressure and open the Pot.

  4. Remove the chicken and place it in a serving dish or Pyrex container.

  5. Allow the cooking liquid/tomatoes to cool slightly (about 10 minutes). To finish the sauce, either use and immersion wand or traditional blender to blend the cooking liquid and tomatoes with the butter and coconut milk. Upon blending, the mixture should become creamy and orange in color.

  6. Pour half the sauce over the chicken and serve.

  7. Store the other half of the sauce in a mason jar in the freezer for another time. I like to use it over my Easy Peasy Whole Chicken or over Shrimp with veggies. Yum!