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Butter Chicken over rice on white plate next to gold fork

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Instant Pot Butter Chicken is a rich and super flavorful Indian dish. Make this awesome tasting and easy Butter Chicken in your pressure cooker!

Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Keyword pressure cooker butter chicken
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Servings 6 - 8
Calories 385 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton



  • 1 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala, plus 1 tsp to finish
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 3/4 tsp Coarse Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek (optional) (not everyone has this, and if you don't it's okay. It's a traditional Butter Chicken spice)

For the Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Neutral Oil (Peanut, Sunflower, Light Olive)
  • 6 Tbsp Butter, divided (4 Tbsp, then 2 Tbsp to finish)
  • 2 small Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 Cinnamon Stick
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 1 Small Onion, finely minced or chopped fine in a food processor (I use a mini processor and make a paste from them)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 14.5 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes, juice and all
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth, low sodium
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 lbs Chicken Thigh Meat, Cut in 1-2 inch cubes

To Finish

  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 14 oz can Coconut Milk Cream (optional) (just the thick, cream from the can. Save the watery part for another recipe)


  • Cilantro Leaves chopped
  • Cashews toasted


Prepare Spices

  1. Combine the dry spices in a bowl and set aside.

Make the Sauce

  1. Turn on the Sauté setting of your pot. When the display reads Hot, add the oil and 4 Tbsp of the butter.

  2. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, garlic, and onion. Stir and let cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Don't let it burn.

  3. Add the fresh ginger, if using. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

  4. Add the spices. Stir well to combine.

  5. Add the tomatoes, broth, and lime juice. Stir well.

  6. Add the tomato paste, but don't stir it. You want it in there, but you don't want to risk it burning.

  7. Add the chicken and don't stir too much. Just spread it out.

  8. Turn off the sauté setting.

If You Are Also Making Rice

  1. Place a tall trivet over the chicken and set the pan of rice/water on it. I like to use Jasmine or Basmati rice, with a 1:1 rice/water ratio.

Pressure Cook It

  1. Close the lid. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.

  2. Press the Manual (or Pressure Cook) button or dial and then the + or - button or dial to select 8 minutes.

  3. After cook cycle ends, let the pot naturally release the pressure for 8 minutes. Then manually release the remaining steam and open the lid.

  4. Use a slotted spoon to take out the chicken, and set it aside in a bowl covered with foil.

  5. Use an immersion blender to make the sauce really smooth. You could use a blender if you want. Either way, be very careful since the contents are so hot!

  6. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala and the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter. Stir until butter is melted.

  7. Add the heavy cream & coconut milk cream if using, and the chicken, and stir until combined. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.

  8. Serve over rice, or with naan, and garnish with cilantro leaves and toasted cashews (optional).

Recipe Notes

You can cook the basmati rice at the same time if you wish We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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1. After adding the chicken, set a long legged trivet in the pot. Set a pan with 1 cup of rinsed basmati rice, and 1 1/2 cups of water or broth (stirred) on the trivet (I use one of my ekovana Stackable Stainless Steel Steamer Insert Pans).
2. That's it! You don't have to cover the pan, and it cooks in the same amount of time as the Butter Chicken! Just take the pan out of the pressure cooker and fluff the rice with a fork. Set it aside while you finish the Butter sauce!


Some of my inspiration for this recipe came from Flo Lum's video - Butter Chicken in the Instant Pot, and also my friends Lakshmi and Meenah, who let me watch them make tasty things!