Instant pot butter chicken is the most amazing and quick weeknight meal!
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Butter chicken is at the top of the list of our favorite weeknight meals. I can’t even recall how many times we have made it, but when the instant pot came out, we went full throttle when it came to this dish and started making it even more. It’s very simple to make, and is ready in under an hour. Very little prep is required, and when it comes to spice, you can go as crazy as you want. This is your classic “Americanized”-version of butter chicken. It combines all of the best flavors: vibrant curry powder, tender chicken thighs, tart and pungent tomatoes, and slightly spicy ginger. It is comfort food to the max. Place it on top of rice and use some naan to soak up that sauce. You’ll make this dish over and over again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went into the weekly rotation.
Can I used chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?
This is totally your call. I have made this recipe with chicken breast before, and while it is delicious, it is no match with the chicken thighs. Chicken thighs just tend to be more tender, but if dark meat isn’t your thing, chicken breast will work just fine.
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Any suggestions for something other than rice?
I’m a big fan of egg noodles. We eat them all the time. This butter chicken really goes well with buttered egg noodles, so go to town!
Is this dish spicy?
If you are using your standard run-of-the-mill supermarket curry powder, than no. I don’t think it is too spicy. With that being said, Zach and I tend to like spicier foods, so we will use a curry powder that is on the spicier side, or we will make our own.
This is definitely a hotly contested subject. I ALWAYS add a pinch of sugar when I’m using a ton of tomato products. The acidity really gets me, and sugar really tones down that flavor. If acid is your thing, feel free to leave out the sugar. You can’t taste the sugar in the end. It just tones down the acidity from the tomatoes.
Are you looking for more great chicken recipes on Cooking and Beer? Well, we have a ton of them! Check out some of my favorite chicken recipes!
- Instant Pot or Similar Pressure Cooker
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger finely mince
- 5 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
- 6 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- salt and black pepper as needed
- 1 1/2 lb boneless and skinless chicken thighs roughly chopped into smaller pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream more as needed
- chopped parsley for garnish
- 4 servings basmati or jasmine rice
- 4 servings naan optional
- creme fraiche or sour cream optional
- Turn your instant pot to the sauté setting. If the pressure cooker you are using does not have a sauté setting, sauté in a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. (Please reference the manufacturer’s guide for detailed instructions on how to use your instant pot or pressure cooker.)
- Add the butter and melt. Immediately add the ginger and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds before adding the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, curry powder, paprika, sugar, and a heavy pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir in the chicken. If the liquid doesn't mostly cover the chicken, add chicken broth until it is mostly submerged.
- Close the lid on your instant pot, and set to pressure cook on high for 7-10 minutes depending on your altitude (we cook for 10 minutes at 7220 feet above sea level). Let the instant pot naturally release for 5 minutes before carefully performing a quick release.
- Turn the sauté setting back on and stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Serve the butter chicken over rice, sprinkled with parsley, and drizzled with creme fraiche or sour cream if desired. Use naan to soak up the sauce and enjoy!
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