Curry Chicken Rice (Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker)

Coconut yellow curry Chicken and Rice, an one pot meal all prepared in Instant Pot. Dairy free.

Curry Chicken Rice (Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker)
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

Curry Chicken Rice is my ultimate one-pot weekday chicken dinner.  Flavored with homemade yellow curry paste, coconut, and spices. This Instant Pot Chicken Rice are fragrant, mild spicy with subtle flavor and richness of coconut milk. Dairy free, nut free, perfect for meal-prep or a quick weekday dinner at moment's notice.

Recipe comes with instructions to cook Chicken Rice in Instant Pot. I have also included electric pressure cooker method in notes.

This recipe showcases the yellow curry paste which I shared with you last week. Yellow curry paste is one versatile paste which you will always find in my refrigerator. From Chicken Khao Soi (yellow coconut curry soup) to these coconut curry chicken rice. It not just works well, it makes everything taste delicious. Did I tell you, it has good refrigeration life too! Make once and use many times for weeks.

Oh, and recipe comes with a crispy crunchy surprise. Read on to unfold...

Chicken and Rice Recipe with flavorful yellow curry paste

One Pot, All in Instant Pot:

Thanks to Instant Pot pressure cooking, this recipe is, by far, one of the easiest chicken and rice recipe ever. Once you have Yellow Curry Paste. (I recommend making a batch ahead or over the weekend. It stays good for more than 2 weeks.) The curry chicken rice are as easy to make as:

1) season and sear chicken, 
2) cook curry paste, 
2) add rice, 
3) close instant Pot. Done! 

5 minutes on high pressure and a delicious, fragrant, rich chicken and rice dinner is ready to serve. Also, great to make-ahead and refrigerate. Which makes it one of my favorite meal-prep ever. A serving of fresh green salad and life is simple on weekdays. 

Fusion Curry Chicken and Rice:

This curry chicken and rice recipe is my fusion Modern take on classic Curry Chicken and Rice with 1) blend of Asian and Indian spices, and 2) yellow curry paste, and 3) Instant Pot (pressure cooker) method. 

For above reasons, it is not really a Indian Curry Chicken Rice but have touch of South Indian cuisine and influence of Thai. It is more of how I like Chicken and Rice than representing a cuisine. 

If you looking for more classic and regular dutch oven method version of this recipe. I recommend checking my One Pot Curry Chicken and Rice recipe. The earlier version uses base of onion-garlic-ginger paste and Indian spices such as Garam Masala. This version uses coconut milk and yellow curry paste which is blend of chilies, ginger, garlic, lemon zest, lemongrass. One thing that stands common is Curry Powder. There is not curry chicken without it. (I'll be sharing recipe to make own curry powder soon).

Curried Chicken Rice in Instant Pot

I decided to use Coconut milk instead of dairy. Here are a couple of reasons:
1) Coconut milk gives rich creamy texture to rice.
2) It mellows the flavor of chilies and spices.
3) Along with Whole spices (star anise, bay leaf, mace) it makes rice fragrant.
4) Keeps meal Dairy free.

One star element in this recipe is : Crispy Fried Chicken Skin (Bacon). I marinate the chicken with skin and then remove it later before cooking chicken and rice. When chicken rice cooking in Insinat Pot, I fry the curry coated chicken skin in a tablespoon oil until it is crispy. It gets crackling crispy and adds delicious rich crunch when served on side with Chicken and Rice. (almost like chicken bacon)

Bowl of Chicken and Rice prepared in instant Pot

I highly recommend adding coconut milk and spending some time to make fresh yellow curry paste. It really makes a lot of difference in flavor and texture of these Chicken Rice. Garnish with cilantro leaves, serve sliced red onion, and lime wedges on side for a splash of freshness. I hope you will enjoy as much as we did.

Life Update: Guys, if you wondering where was I whole last week? My family had pretty bad last week... My grandma passed away. I did not get to even see her one last time...  But she passed away peacefully, all family was with her in her last time. That's what comforting me most at this difficult time... 

Please pray to God with me that she rest in peace. Amen..

Stay blessed.


A few more chicken and rice recipes for dinner:

Chicken Souvlaki Coconut Cashew Curry Chicken and Rice with Mango Slow Cooker Mojo Chicken and Rice Bowl

Curry Chicken Rice (Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker)

5 (6 reviews)
Curry Chicken Rice (Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker)
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Asian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 4 Servings - Serves: 4


Smart Swap: Add some shrimp, or use all seafood for Seafood Rice.


  • 1. In a bowl, add chicken thighs, season with 1/2 tsp curry powder, lemon juice and generous 2 pinch of salt. Set aside. Start Instant Pot to saute setting. Heat oil. Ad chicken and cook until no longer pink from both sides (2-3 minute each side). Remove in a plate. Additional Notes: If using skin-on chicken, I reserve chicken to fry later and serve for crispy topping. (optional)
  • 2. In Instant Pot, add curry paste, followed by remaining curry powder, whole spices, chili powder (if using) and saute 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and simmer until oil separates (2-3 minutes).
  • 3. Add rice, coconut milk, salt, green peas with water (or stock if using). Mix well. Return chicken to pot. Close the lid. Set to cook on Manual, High Pressure for 4 minutes. Once timer completes. Let pressure auto release for 10 minutes. Additional Notes: Adjust the amount of salt, if using chicken stock or if curry powder with salt.
  • 4. Open lid. Fluff rice. Add cilantro. Garnish with red onion, cilantro, green chilies. Serve and enjoy. (Crumble crispy skin on top if reserved and fried from step 1)
Savita's Notes:

*Use unsweetened coconut milk.

**Grab recipe to make Homemade Yellow Curry Paste.

***Whole Spices: I use 2 star-anise, 1 mace blade, and 2 bay leaf. You can also use mace powder.


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18 Responses

  1. I would add more spice if I were making it to my tastes, but the kids (my primary audience) *loved* this!
  2. I made this after a coworkers wife made something similar and I scoured the internet for something that could be what she made. Ive never made a curry anything... and this was phenomenal. Even the 4 year old devoured it, and our extremely picky 11 year old too. This is worth the time it took to make this, and then some.
  3. I made this recipe using one finely chopped chicken breast, and added frozen green beans and four minced garlic cloves. It was absolutely delicious. Going into regular rotation. Thank you!
    Thanks for letting me know. Frozen green beans is great idea!
  4. This was delicious! A great recipe for my new Instant Pot. Both my husband and I really enjoyed it. I didn't have a mace blade, so I used 1/4 tsp. mace powder. Loved the blend of thai, indian and asian spices. My rice tasted great, but was a bit mushy. I'll work on fixing that next time. Well definitely do this again.
    Hi Nancy, thanks for sweet feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed.
  5. hi, before I try,,, is the coconut milk the kind in the dairy section ina carton like milk or the thick stuff in a can?
    Hi Diana, I used canned coconut milk.
  6. Very GOOD recipe!!! Took me making it 3 times to discover why the first two times I got the burn notice. 1 reason you have to deglaze the pan. 2 reason 4 minutes on my 8 quart is 0:04 not the default 4:00 which is 4 hours. I thought the 4:00 was minutes and could not figure out why it was taking so long and burning things up 😖
    Thanks for sharing your experience, Debra. I'm glad you enjoyed recipe. Agree, I had same IP confusion when I first time switched to larger IP.
  7. This was so delicious. I also got the burn message like the previous poster, but when I checked it (after manually releasing steam) it was perfectly cooked.
    Thanks for feedback, Katy. I'm glad you enjoyed Curry Rice. To avoid burning rice, I recommend washing rice before adding to the Instant Pot. Wash under running water until water runs clear. This step helps me avoid burning rice in IP. I hope it helps.
  8. I suggest deglazing after you sauté the chicken , will prevent burning !!!!
  9. I’ve done this recipe twice now, and while it is very tasty, it gives me the ‘burn’ message on my instant pot. Any helpful suggestions to avoid this?
    Hi Elizabeth, I’m glad you like Chicken Curry Rice. I make it so often but have never seen this butn setting on my instant pot. One thing to understand is, instant pot heating system works like a hot plate. after food cooks and pot is off, food still keeps heating up due to hot bottom plate which can dry moisture in rice or may lead to sticking these at bottom. I’m interested to know how fo you find rice when you take out of pot after this message - perfect done, or dry or darker sticky at bottom? This will help me suggest you something for your instant pot. Also are you altering the recipe or using something different than mentioned in recipe. Thanks for asking question though. I’m happy to help as much I can. Best
  10. I made the recipe with millet; used 1 C water, 1 C coconut milk; seasoned salt on chicken w/ curry; left out tomatoes and only used 1tsp curry, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1tsp garam masala mixed in coconut milk and poured over chicken--absolutely delicious!!!
  11. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Thanks Twinkle.