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. 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 hard to be wow-ed because we can cook. Once you learn how to cook easy healthy dishes (like the ones from ifoodreal.com haha), your takeout bill drops dramatically.
We would rather make $15 pressure cooker butter chicken, serve it over the most fluffy brown rice and eat it all weekend.
- Chicken thighs or drumsticks
- Can of coconut milk
- Tomato paste
- Garlic and ginger
Tip: Use canned organic full fat (no low fat) coconut milk. My favourite brand is Thai Kitchen. The best consistency and no preservatives.
What Are the Spices?
If you are an Indian cook, you can judge me all you want and tell us, Westerners, we do not cook Indian dishes in true authentic way. I see a difference between my grandma’s Ukrainian borscht, pierogies and cabbage rolls, and their Westernized versions. However, it’s about what you grew up to know, your family’s taste buds and diet preferences.
- Yellow curry powder
- Garam masala
- Chili powder
This Instant Pot butter chicken recipe is kid friendly version. Want it spicier? Add more curry powder.
Tip: As per RawSpiceBar substitute garam masala with 1 part cumin + 1/4 part allspice. Or any combination of coriander, cumin, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg.
Best Coconut Milk
Not all canned coconut milk is created equal. Some brands are full of preservatives and have lumpy texture. We want silky smooth butter chicken, right?! Brands that I have tried and recommend are 365 Organic, Trader Joe’s coconut cream, Thai Kitchen and Compliments (Canadian brand found in Thrifty Foods and Sobeys). Brands with lumpy texture are Native Forest and Everland (although organic and affordable).
Tip: When choosing coconut milk look for coconut milk, water and guar gum at maximum on the ingredients list.
Make a Freezer Meal. Yes!
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!
How Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- Add ingredients in exact order: water, onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, salt, pepper, coconut milk, tomato paste, maple syrup and chicken.
- Cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes. Do Natural Release or Quick Release to let out built up pressure. Doesn’t matter.
- Press Sauté. In a small bowl, whisk water and cornstarch with a fork, pour over chicken and stir gently. Cook until sauce has thickened a bit, for a few minutes.
Craving More Healthy Indian Dishes?
- Crockpot butter chicken – in case you don’t own a pressure cooker.
- Chicken curry with coconut milk – loaded with cauliflower and so good!
- Slow cooker chicken tikka masala – finger licking homemade Indian food.
- Butter chicken spaghetti squash boats for a low carb Indian dinner!
Also you have to check out my 30 healthy Instant Pot recipes!
Watch Olena Make Healthy Butter Chicken
And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Easy 30 minute pressure cooker butter chicken with 5 star reviews from Indian husbands themselves. Your family next favorite!
- 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
- 3 – 3.5 lbs chicken drumsticks or thighs*
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- Cilantro and green onion, for garnish
- Brown rice, for serving
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.