Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Easy & Authentic)
This tried-and-tested Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe is easy to prepare yet yields authentic flavor and tender chicken!
“This recipe is fantastic! I’ve made it several times. Always a winner!! Thanks for sharing.”Katie
Instant Pot Butter Chicken – Chicken Makhani
Whenever I go to Indian or Pakistani restaurants, I’m inclined to order either butter chicken or chicken tikka masala. As much as I want to try different menu items, those rich, creamy, tomato-based chicken curries are hard to pass up.
I’ve taken my personal restaurant favorite and made it easy to achieve at home in your Instant Pot!
You’ll love this Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe because…
- It’s super easy yet tastes authentic. We’re using traditional spices and simple South Asian cooking techniques to create that depth of flavor that butter chicken is famous for.
- There’s less work. No need to take out the tomato mixture to blend it. We use a food processor to finely chop the onions and tomatoes before we add them to the Instant Pot. So you’re saving chopping time too. (For more Instant Pot recipes check out my collection of 15+ Easy Pakistani Instant Pot Recipes).
- The chicken is perfectly tender. We use chicken tenderloin to make sure the chicken is extra tender and restaurant-like. Chicken tenders are the little strips of meat that are attached to the underside of the chicken breast. If you don’t have tenders, you can also use thighs or breast, though they may not give equally tender results.
Notes on the Ingredients
Most of the ingredients are readily available at American grocery stores except dried fenugreek leaves (or kasuri methi) and maybe Tandoori Masala (though I’ve seen it at many American stores). Dried fenugreek is an herb available at most Indian/Pakistani grocery stores. If you don’t have it, no worries. It’s an optional ingredient that won’t make or break the butter chicken. It just gives a nice restaurant-like finish and scent, and you can use it for many more of my recipes like:
Tried this recipe? If you have a minute, please consider leaving a comment & star rating telling me how it was! If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. I truly love hearing from you! Thank you!
Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Easy and Authentic)
- 1 lb chicken tenderloin (you can also use thighs or breast), cut into 1” cubes
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt
- 1-2 tbsp tandoori masala powder, depending on how spicy you want it
- ½-1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
To Pressure Cook
- 2 tbsp ghee or butter
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 small to medium yellow onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes*, or sub 1 8-oz can tomato sauce – See Note 1
- 2 tsp tomato paste, optional
- 1 small Serrano pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder or paprika
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- ¼-½ tsp red chili powder or cayenne
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1/4-1/2 tsp sugar, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1-2 tbsp butter, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi) (optional), crushed between your fingers
- 1/4 tsp garam masala, optional
- 1-2 tbsp cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- Combine the chicken with the ingredients to marinate. Mix well and set aside.
- Place the onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor and chop very finely. Make sure the garlic and ginger is properly minced. If you'd like, you can chop the onion first and then the garlic and ginger together.
- Turn Instant Pot on sauté mode. Once hot, add ghee, oil and chopped onion mixture.
- Sauté for about 8-10 minutes, until the onions are golden. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes in the food processor. If needed, deglaze the pot with 1-2 tablespoons of water to help brown the onions evenly.
- Add the blended tomatoes, tomato paste (if using), Serrano pepper, spices, salt, and sugar and sauté for 6-7 minutes. Once the tomatoes have broken down well and most of the moisture has evaporated, add the water and marinated chicken. Mix well to coat the chicken and close the pressure cooker.
- Cancel sauté and pressure-cook on high for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5-7 minutes. Then, manually release any remaining pressure.
- Open the lid and select Sauté – More/High. Once the butter chicken is to desired consistency, cancel Sauté and add in the butter, heavy whipping cream, and dried fenugreek (if using). Taste and adjust salt and sugar. Garnish with garam masala and cilantro. Serve with naan or rice.
82 Comments on “Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Easy & Authentic)”
Hi! Love many of your recipes and even tried it out exactly how you mentioned above, but for some reason my IP gave me the ‘food burn’ message! Twice after cleaning and adding more water. Have you ever had that before?
Thank you! And sorry to hear that, Reja! I’m not sure why it would do that. My friend Neena has a great guide on the burn message https://www.paintthekitchenred.com/instant-pot-burn-message/
This recipe looks great, but I don’t have an insta pot. Any chance you have guidance on how to do it on the stove?
Hi Taylor, I would cook down the tomatoes first, then add the chicken and cook until done. After that, follow the instructions post IP cooking.
Hi, I really want to make this since my husband loves butter chicken. Can I use greek yoghurt instead of heavy cream?
Hi Samiha! You can most certainly use greek yogurt though I have not tried it. Maybe use less quantity or thin it out for more butter chicken consistency!
Hey boo thanks for this! Made it just now-yum. So I wanted to ask you this-at the restaurants there’s this inexplicable tart-kinda-sweet almost taste. Do you know how they do that to their chicken dishes?
Hi Nimrah! They often use canned tomato sauce. I would say either use the tomato sauce or increase the sugar and tomato paste if you want more of the tart taste. Hope that helps!
Made this for the first time ever tonight and my husband said it was alhumdulillah ahhhhmazing! I had all but the fenugreek and he loved it, thank you for having the best recipes!
Ah so happy to hear that! That’s so nice of you to share, Khadija. Thanks for taking the time to leave the review!
Made this for my hubby, he said it was alhumdulillah ahhhhhmazing, Thank you SO much!!!
I tried the recipe and it turned so well, so delicious. I am not Pakistani and I am struggling while trying to make PAkistani dishes. My husband – who is Pakistani, loved the butter chicken a lot. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it’s brilliant!
I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed this, Aisha! Thanks so much for sharing your review!
Omg same lol not Pakistani (Indian but learned nothing when I was younger) but hubby is and loves butter chicken. I found one recipe on YouTube that I’ve been using but it’s a lot of work and with a 4mo and 3 year old I’m looking for something quicker and easier! I’m trying this recipe tonight iA…hope it works well!!!
This recipe is fantastic! I’ve made it several times. Always a winner!! Thanks for sharing.
So glad to hear that, Katie!! Thank you for sharing!
I have made this recipe so many times and its always delicious!! I have shared it with few friends and they all love it as well! Thank you for this!!!
I’m so happy to hear this, Humaira!! Made my day! Thank you for the feedback and for sharing!
Oh my goodness! This butter chicken is delicious! Thank you!
Yayyy!! Very happy to hear this! Thanks so much for trying and leaving feedback, Rebecca!!