by Olena

Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Video)

by Olena

5 from 24 reviews

Instant Pot Butter Chicken is easy 30 minute pressure cooker dinner with 5 star reviews from Indian husbands themselves. Your family’s next favorite!

This Instant Pot Butter Chicken Recipe with coconut milk makes healthy restaurant quality meal at home, in your electric pressure cooker, in 30 minutes from start to finish.

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 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 it all weekend.

Healthy Ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • Can of coconut milk
  • Tomato paste
  • Cornstarch
  • Garlic and ginger
  • Spices

Tip: Use canned organic full fat (no low fat) coconut milk. My favourite brand is Thai Kitchen. The best consistency and no preservatives.

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken

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.

best canned coconut milk for instant pot butter chicken

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!

Butter chicken freezer meal

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes. Do Natural Release or Quick Release to let out built up pressure. Doesn’t matter.
  3. 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?

Also you have to check out my 30 healthy Instant Pot recipes!

Watch Olena Make Healthy Butter Chicken

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 24 reviews

Instant Pot Butter Chicken is easy 30 minute pressure cooker dinner with 5 star reviews from Indian husbands themselves. Your family’s next favorite!

  • 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.

51 comments on “Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Video)

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  1. Preparing for this recipe to deliver to a family with a newborn…and while I’m at it, for my family as well! 😉 Thus I would like to double the recipe. For this recipe, should the water be doubled (to 4 cups)? Or should it remain the same to avoid it becoming to watery? I know that some recipes made in the Instant Pot should still double the fluid if doubling the recipe, but not all. Thank you for your recipe and help.

    1. Yes, you have the right thinking. DOuble everything but not the water. There will be enough liquid. Especially if you are using bone in chicken. If you are using boneless and skinless breasts maybe add 1/2 cup just in case.
      Is the mom breastfeeding? I remember spicy food doesn’t go well with breastfeeding in some cases. Just sharing… Maybe chicken and potatoes or spaghetti or lasagna?

  2. Hi Olena!! I am really enjoying your site and thank you for all the effort you have put into it for those of us who want to eat healthy. I have started recently to change my life and my health and am thankful that this site shows real food can be delicious! I want to make this butter chicken and was wondering if you had ever tried freezing it after it was cooked. I would like to portion it out; otherwise it will take me a very long time to eat it all 🙂 Thanks again!

    1. Hi Kimberly! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes! Yes, this butter chicken freezes just fine.
      Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

  3. I’ve made Butter Chicken before, but it’s been a few years as it’s normally too rich and required too many ingredients that I didn’t have in my cupboard.

    This recipe was the very best buter chicken I’ve ever had, including from restaurants. I made it for my family and for a meal exchange I recently participated in. Everyone loved it as much as I did.

    All I needed to buy was the curry and Garam Masala, both were about $1.50 at the Indian grocery store. The recipe was so easy to follow and I’m telling you, don’t change a thing as it’s perfect as written.

    I love this blog, thank you Olena! I will be trying many more of your healthy, easy to prepare meals.

  4. This recipe gets an A+++++++! It is my new favorite recipe from Olena. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and it came out fork-tender perfect. Very easy and on the table in 30 minutes (I batch cooked brown rice to use throughout the week).

  5. This was SO GOOD! Absolutely delicious! It totally hit the spot for me tonight, and it was so easy to throw together. 15 min was perfect for chicken breasts. Thanks for another great recipe!!

    1. Hi Katherine! Right??? I could not believe myself what an amazing Instant Pot butter chicken I made myself and how easy it was because I’m not even Indian. So easy! So happy you enjoyed.:)

  6. Delicious! My husband is Indian and loved it as well (as did my 4-year old daughter who is a very picky eater). Super-easy to make (this was my first Instant Pot recipe), and turned out very flavorful, just the right amount of spice. The meat was perfectly tender, falling off of the bone. This will be one of my go-to dishes!

    1. Oh my goodness, Michelle. How awesome! I tried butter chicken at local restaurants and hands down I always come back to my Instant Pot butter chicken and think next time I will go out for sushi. It’s just so easy to make it tasty at home. Enjoy your IP! I LOVE mine!

  7. Olena, I made this dish yesterday, and you know what – my husband is Indian, and I wondered what he will say :)….. AND…. he loved it! 🙂 Thanks!

  8. I did not know that you could put maple syrup in Indian food! I tried it and it was delicious. This is so easy, healthy and exciting. Thank you for this recipe.

  9. Found this recipe while looking for an Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe. This was sooo good. Perfectly spicy and saucy. Will make this one over and over again, I’m sure.

  10. Butter Chicken is one of my favorite recipes. I like that it’s from scratch and super easy to throw together.

  11. This was my first attempt at making anything Indian from scratch and not using a sauce from a bottle full of preservatives and other crap.
    My 17yo son nearly licked a hole through his plate and had THREE helpings.
    Next time, for my personal taste I plan on doubling the spice.. but start with it as is and adjust to your own liking! You will not be disappointed it was SOOOOO quick and easy (as is everything Instant Pot!!!)

  12. This was my first official instapot recipe and I couldn’t have been happier! It was so easy and so full of flavor. We paired it with roasted veggies and a spinach salad for dinner! Another hit, thanks Olena!!!

  13. This is absolutely DELICIOUS.
    Will be a new staple in our house, so quick & easy!!! I used a whole cut up chicken (skinned) it came out perfectly. Might have to do 2 batches next time though, it sure didn’t last long!! Highly recommend to anyone!!

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