Instant Pot Butter Chicken


A delicious and simple dish with loads of flavour from aromatic spices!


  • 8-12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp Garam Masala (most grocery stores carry this!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger (grated or puree)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or you can use a larger can if you like it saucier!)
  • 14 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch (dissolved in cold water)


  1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with the first amount of garam masala, salt and pepper.
  2. Set Instant Pot to saute (more) setting and melt butter.
  3. Brown chicken thighs in instant pot, working in batches if needed. Remove from pot.
  4. Add onions to butter and cook until they start to soften. Add garlic and ginger and saute for a couple minutes longer. Add the cumin, second quantity of garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, and brown sugar. Saute for a few minutes to bring out the flavour in the spices.
  5. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Scrape it clean so there are no burnt on pieces on the bottom. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  6. Sit the chicken thighs on top of the sauce and add any juices back.
  7. Seal the instant pot and set to cook for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  8. When complete, let it naturally release for about 10 minutes, before releasing the remainder of the pressure.
  9. Remove the top once pressure is released. Add the cream and corn starch.
  10. Allow sauce to thicken.
  11. Season with salt and additional brown sugar to taste.
  12. Serve with basmati rice, roasted cauliflower, and naan bread or papadams.



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