by Olena

Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Video)

by Olena

5 from 26 reviews

Instant Pot Butter Chicken is such an easy healthy 30 minute dinner you can make whenever you crave Indian food. Many readers give it 5 stars and call this recipe authentic.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken

This Instant Pot butter chicken with coconut milk makes healthy homemade Indian restaurant quality meal in pressure cooker in 30 minutes. Chicken comes out tender, sauce tastes authentic and flavorful served over freshly cooked rice and sprinkled with cilantro and green onion. Delicious!

Butter chicken is the only Indian recipe we make at home because we just love it! Our family is not huge on eating out because it is extremely expensive, hard to eat healthy, and frankly it’s not easy to be wow-ed because we can cook.

Once you learn how to cook easy healthy Instant Pot dinners, your takeout bill drops dramatically. We would rather make $15 pressure cooker butter chicken, serve it over the most fluffy brown rice and eat all weekend.

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken

Ingredients You Will Need

  • Any chicken pieces work: chicken thighs, breasts or drumsticks with bone in or boneless. Meat with bone releases more juices, so you might need more cornstarch. Frozen chicken is ok too – same cooking time.
  • Can of coconut milk: Use canned organic full fat (no low fat) coconut milk. My favourite brand is Thai Kitchen – the best consistency and no preservatives. When choosing coconut milk look for coconut milk, water and guar gum at maximum on the ingredients list.
  • Tomato paste adds colour and flavor.
  • Cornstarch thickens the sauce. Substitute with flour or arrowroot powder.
  • Fresh garlic and ginger: I would not recommend to use dried ginger as flavor is not even close. To never run out of ginger, you can peel, chop and freeze it. Then pull out as much as you need.
  • Spices: yellow curry powder, garam masala and chili powder. This butter chicken is kid friendly but if you want it spicier, add more curry powder. You can substitute garam masala with 1 part cumin + 1/4 part allspice. Or any combination of coriander, cumin, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg.

best canned coconut milk for instant pot butter chicken

How Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Do you have an Instant Pot but still not 100% confident around it? Read my Instant Pot guide. Lot of tips and tricks. Still on a fence about Instant Pot? Check out which one I recommend to buy from my experience.

  • Add ingredients in exact order listed in the recipe starting with water, onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, salt, pepper, coconut milk, tomato paste, maple syrup and chicken. This is the best way to ensure you will not get Burn.
  • Cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes and then do Natural Release or Quick Release to let out built up pressure. It really doesn’t matter with this recipe.
  • To thicken the sauce press Sauté. In a small bowl, whisk cold (!) water and cornstarch with a fork, then add to the pot and cook until sauce has thickened, stirring a few times. Takes couple minutes. Cold water is important to prevent cornstarch from lumping.

Butter chicken freezer meal

How to Make a Freezer Meal, Store and Reheat

Freezer meal – Assemble ingredients minus all water and cornstarch in the order listed in the recipe and freeze uncooked in gallon size Ziploc bag. When ready to cook, cook from frozen following recipe’s instructions + 2 cups water increasing time to 30 minutes. After follow whisk 1/4 cup water with 3 tbsp cornstarch and Saute until thickened.

Check out my full list of healthy freezer meals. I’m obsessed!

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Or if you have room in the fridge, you can stick entire inner pot covered with glass or silicone fitting lid. Then reheat right in Instant Pot on Saute mode. Ha!

You can also freeze cooked butter chicken leftovers for up to 3 months. Then thaw in the fridge overnight or on a counter for 6 hours.

I hope you enjoy this Instant Pot butter chicken as much as we do!!!

More Healthy Dump and Go Instant Pot Recipes

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.


Instant Pot Butter Chicken

5 from 26 reviews

Instant Pot Butter Chicken is such an easy healthy 30 minute dinner you can make whenever you crave Indian food. Many readers give it 5 stars and call this recipe authentic.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch ginger root, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 oz can coconut milk, full fat
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 33.5 lbs chicken drumsticks or thighs*
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • Cilantro and green onion, for garnish
  • Brown rice, for serving


  1. In Instant Pot, add ingredients in exact order as listed above: water, onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, salt, pepper, coconut milk, tomato paste, maple syrup and chicken.
  2. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 20 minutes. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  3. After 20 minutes, Instant Pot will beep, display will say OFF and now it needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. You can let it do it on its own which will take about 20 minutes – Natural Release. OR you can do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 2-3 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid the mess and smell.
  4. Open the lid and press Sauté (cancel Keep Warm if it’s on). In a small bowl, whisk water and cornstarch with a fork, pour over chicken and stir gently. Cook for a few minutes until sauce has thickened a bit. Serve with brown rice, garnished with cilantro and green onions.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.

Freezer Meal: Assemble ingredients minus all water and cornstarch in the order listed above and freeze uncooked in gallon size Ziploc bag. When ready to cook, cook from frozen following recipe’s instructions + 2 cups water increasing time to 30 minutes. After follow Step 4.


*You can use boneless chicken breasts or thighs as well. Cooking time will be 15 minutes.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

57 comments on “Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Video)

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  1. I’m not usually a big fan of Indian food, but made this the other night and it’s delicious! I’ll definitely be making it again!

  2. Made this recipe twice and it was delicious both times. I just use chicken I have on hand… first time was with bone-in chicken breasts, just cooked it right and and then de-boned after. Second time with boneless thighs. The dark meat was better, just more tender. But such a great dish both times. One of my favorites!!

  3. Hi! Thank you for the recipe, I cannot wait to try it. I am thinking of preparing to go back to work when my mat leave ends in a few months. Ideally I would like to batch-prepare freezer to IP meals every couple weeks. A couple questions:

    1) When you say leave out “all water” from your freezer meal does this include coconut milk? Just add it when you start cooking?
    2) “add ingredients in the exact order” should I reverse the order when Im adding them to my freezer bag/container since i will be dumping it out upside down?
    Lastly, please let me know of any freezer to IP recipes you think I should try for a family of young toddler 🙂

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Amelia. 1. Yes, just water. There is no need to freeze water – just add before cooking. 2. Yes, that would be the best. I just didn’t think of it at that time. If you don’t, you can just turn around the frozen blog in the pot. A bit messy but works.

      Here is have 10 healthy freezer meals. 😉

  4. I’m stocking up my freezer with freezer meals before baby comes, but I’m finding your Instant Pot instructions hard to understand… (maybe it’s because I’ve not used my Instant Pot yet..)

  5. We made this for Thanksgiving this year as the fist recipe in our Instapot. The flavor was fantastic! We enjoyed it. My question is this. We used boneless, skinless chicken thighs,left whole, and the totally fell apart. We followed the directions from your recipe. Being new to the Instapot, is this supposed to happen? Would bone in thighs stay together? Thanks Diane

    1. You know, it is one of my first IP recipes I ever created. Now with more experience, I would cook boneless chicken thighs for 10 minutes and they should hold better. They honestly don’t need 20 mins. I might re-do this recipe.:) Glad you enjoyed it overall.

  6. The recipe says 3-3.5lbs of chicken drumsticks. If I substitute them for boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), what quantity should I pick up? This looks delicious but I’m new to cooking and I’d rather skip anything with bones or skin! Also, is it okay to substitute the garlic cloves and ginger root for already minced ingredients?

  7. This is hands-down the best chicken meal I’ve ever made. I’m not a horrible cook by any means, maybe just uninspired. I’ve gotten rave reviews for this dish, even from people who claim not to like Indian dishes.

    I use boneless skinless chicken thighs that I further trim of skin. I found that it pulls apart in a more yummy way than chicken breast.

    And when I say this is EASY to make, I mean it!

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