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)”
Another amazing recipie! everything I have tried has been brilliant!!
Hi! I just came across your blog and am SO excited to start cooking some of your recipes! They look fabulous! I did want to ask you, what would you recommend me using instead of the tandoori masala powder? If I don’t have it on hand,
Thank you, Saleha! I’ve tried testing without the tandoori masala and it wasn’t as tasty so I wouldn’t recommend omitting. If you can find another DIY Tandoori masala you like, go for it! If not, try subbing it with a garam masala you like with a bit of paprika.
This was AMAZING! I used to not like butter chicken that much, but I LOVED this recipe. Please keep posting recipes. Do you have Biryani recipe? instant pot or stove top?
Thank you so much once again. You’re the best!
Aww thanks so much, Sidrah. Means so much to me! I’m working on biryani and iA it will be worth the wait! Thanks for your comment & request!
I made this today and it was simply amazing. By far the best butter chicken recipe I have tried. Husband and all three kids loved it. Clean plates all round! My husband even told me to save this recipe????????.
Thank you so much!
SO happy to hear that, Zaib! Thanks so much for your review!
This is my first time trying one of your recipes and I loved it!! Wonderful flavor and fairly easy. This will be a keeper iA 🙂
Perfect for the (potentially) last Iftar of this Ramadan!
Look forward to trying out more !
Thanks for these fantastic recipes.
I’m going to try this tomorrow. I wanted to ask, if I want to make double the amount of chicken here, do I simply double everything or are there ingredients that would overpower things if I did that?
Thank you, Alia! I think doubling it should work. Maybe hold back on some of the spices a little if you’re concerned it’ll be overpowering.
This dish was a home run. Thank you Izzah, your recipes aren’t so easy to follow, the way you write them, and the flavours never disappoint. I follow your instructions to a tee, and the spices, salt, everything is perfection every time. Alhamdulillah! Thank you for all your efforts, and helping me make great tasting meals my whole family can enjoy.
OMG I meant to say your recipes ARE SO EASY to follow ????????
It’s wonderful to hear that, Zainab! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice review!!
Tried your butter chicken today and the whole family (even my picky tween) loved it! Your recipes never let me down – thank you for sharing them:)
So nice to hear that, Sam! Thank you for such a kind review!
Hi Izzah and I hope that you and family are well and safe during this pandemic.
So I came across your blog randomly while trying to google recipes for nutricook smart pot (since there’s not much out there for the said brand I landed on insta pot and hence your blog)
Am I glad I did? 100%! See I’m what you call a total fail at cooking and my mind zones out when someone talks about cooking. My husband is a foodie and for 5 years he’s been asking for butter chicken and I tried a few times but failed and we gave up. Till I found your blog. Best part is you cook for our palette and I love that! I made this recipe of yours today and he said and I quote “I’m in makahni heaven right now’ ????
Thanks for helping cooking failures like me.
Also can you pls do the Haleem and nihari recipes on instant pot? Pasanday would be nice too!
Thanks once again and May the force be with you!
Your comment made my day, Nadya! Thank you so much! I’m so happy you guys liked it. I do have Instant Pot Nihari: https://www.teaforturmeric.com/easy-instant-pot-nihari-pakistani-beef-stew/
Hoping to get to haleem on IP soon too!
My husband and I have tried so many butter chicken recipes and they never turn out right. I made this last night and this is the best version we’ve made yet!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. You will be my go-to for most recipes now! Thank you! ????
You’re welcome. Thank you for the review, Zainab. Excited for you to try more recipes!