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Instant Pot Butter Chicken

It is so incredibly simple to recreate restaurant quality butter chicken in the comfort of your own home in less than 30 minutes all thanks to the instant pot!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butter chicken, instant pot butter chicken
Servings: 6
Calories: 425kcal


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless (cut into 1.5-inch cubes)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the chicken thighs (start with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper, then add more to desired taste at the end). Set aside.
  • Using a food processor, puree garlic, onion, and ginger into a smooth paste
  • Mix cumin, garam masala, turmeric powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper in a separate bowl
  • Press the [SAUTE] button. Add oil and butter into the inner pot
  • Once the butter is melted, add the pureed garlic/onion/ginger mixture and cook it for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Then, deglaze the pot by adding chicken broth. Scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot to avoid the "burn" message.
  • Now without stirring, layer in the ingredients in the following order: chicken thighs (spread evenly in the pot), spice mixture (sprinkle evenly over the chicken thighs), and tomato paste.
  • Close the lid and turn the steam release handle to the “sealing” position. Press [PRESSURE COOK] (or [MANUAL] for older models) and set the instant pot to cook on HIGH pressure for 12 minutes.
  • Once it is done cooking, QUICK RELEASE the pressure by carefully turning the steam release handle to “venting”. Open the lid and press the [SAUTE] button. Add heavy cream, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the butter chicken reaches your desired consistency. If you wish to thicken up the gravy even further, you can use cornstarch as described in the notes below.


Thicken up the gravy: 
  1. Leave the instant pot on “saute” mode to boil off some liquid (approximately 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally), OR
  2. Make a cornstarch slurry by adding 1-2 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl and adding an equal amount of cold liquid. Stir until a smooth paste forms and then add this mixture into the butter chicken. 
**This recipe was tested with a 6-quart Instant Pot DUO**


Calories: 425kcal