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Mouthwatering, creamy and flavorful Butter Chicken, prepared restaurant-style yet super-easy in Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

An easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe with restaurant-style bold flavor in just 15 minutes of prep. It will be your favorite Butter Chicken ever!    Refrigerate up-to 3-4 days. Freeze up-to 6 months. Gluten free, Nuts Free. 

Today's Butter Chicken recipe is inspired from my earlier Slow Cooker Butter Chicken recipe. It has same depth of flavor but a different approach to few ingredients and cooking method. I cook this version in Instant Pot with Pressure Cooking method and use no nuts to keep it safe to eat for anyone with nuts allergy. 

Butter Chicken Recipe

BUTTER CHICKEN

Butter Chicken is an Indian specialty dish which you will often find in Indian Restaurants all over the world. In tradition preparation, chicken is marinated overnight in thick Greek yogurt and spices. Then sauteed in butter with sliced onion, fresh grated garlic, ginger, and spices. Sauce is tomatoes based.  As butter chicken cooks, sauce is infused with spices. It is finished with heavy cream and more butter for creamy texture. 

With this recipe, I'm giving you an easy recipe for homemade Butter Chicken prepared in Instant Pot. The recipe stays the same as just described. Only Instant Pot cuts sauce simmer and chicken cooking timing to almost 1/3. And flavor is spot on! this will become your new favorite way to make Butter Chicken at home. 

BUTTER CHICKEN on STOVE TOP

To make Butter Chicken on Stove Stop in a dutch oven (or heavy-bottom pan); Follow all steps as-is up-to step-3 in Recipe Card. Use 1/2 cup extra liquid in Step 4 and simmer sauce for 20 minutes or until oil shows on top. Add heavy cream, bring to boil on high heat, then simmer on medium heat, covered, until sauce is creamy.  Season and serve as suggested in Step-5.

BUTTER CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

Over the year, there are so many recipes and so many preparations adapted for Butter Chicken. I keep my Butter Chicken recipe simple and approachable to cook at home but with still lots of flavor just like you get at restaurants.

For this Butter Chicken recipe, you will need following ingredients:

  1. Chicken Thighs
  2. Tomato Puree
  3. Butter
  4. Garlic
  5. Ginger
  6. Garam Masala (Indian All-Spice)
  7. Heavy Cream
  8. Paprika and Cayenne
  9. Cilantro
  10. Onion
  11. Yogurt

This recipe for Butter Chicken is not dairy free. But you can, by all means, make dairy-free butter chicken. Replace butter with coconut oil, and replace dairy with vegan alternatives such as Coconut Milk. (for best results only use whole coconut milk) 

WHAT CUT OF CHICKEN IS BEST FOR BUTTER CHICKEN?

I would any day choose Chicken Thighs over any other cut of meat. Chicken Thighs stays moist as cook in curry, absorb flavor well and never dry out. So for best results, use boneless, skinless Chicken thighs for this recipe.

WHY TRY THIS BUTTER CHICKEN RECIPE?

If you own an Instant Pot and looking to maximize it's usage? This recipe will become one of your favorite to cook in IP. Let me summarize what makes it extra-special:

  1. Delicious Butter Chicken Broccoli : prepared fully in one pot - Instant Pot. No need to switch on oven or even stove top. Just one Instant Pot and done.
  2. Weeknight approved : easy recipe with only 15 minutes prep. A no-excuse homemade Indian dinner which saves money and is faster than wait for delivery.
  3. Make it your own: Follow the options below and make recipe your own. Adapt your family's special needs.

ADAPT BUTTER CHICKEN TO YOUR OWN DIET PREFERENCE:

  1. Make more or less. Recipe half or double easily. You can also add more chicken or less depending upon size of your IP.
  2. Add veggies such as diced bell pepper, carrots when finishing sauce with cream for a a serving of veggies.
  3. Use fresh or frozen chicken. If using frozen chicken, please don't re-freeze. Also, skip the marination and add everything directly to the sauce.
  4. Make Dairy free. Replace butter with coconut oil, and replace dairy with vegan alternatives such as Coconut Milk. (for best results only use whole coconut milk)  

Butter Chicken cooked in Instant Pot with Naan

HOW LONG DOES BUTTER CHICKEN LASTS IN REFRIGERATOR?

Just like all spiced curries, this BUTTER Chicken also gets better when prepared ahead. Make a couple of hours to a day ahead. This gives time to spices to bloom and sauce becomes way more flavorful without doing anything extra.

Butter Chicken stays good in refrigerator up-to 4 days without freezing. For the record, if have it in refrigerator, we end-up repeating it for dinner until it lasts. Always refrigerate in seal-able, air-tight container.

HOW TO FREEZE BUTTER CHICKEN?

Like I mentioned, Butter Chicken is perfect to make-ahead as well as freeze. If planning to freeze:

1. Use fresh chicken instead of frozen. Do not refreeze dish prepared with frozen chicken.
2. Freeze fast. Prepare Butter Chicken, cool to room temperature, and then freeze. Label for freshness date.
3. Freeze in small portions for quick thaw and reheat. 

WHAT TO SERVE WITH BUTTER CHICKEN?

I recommend serving Butter Chicken with Naan bread and plain white rice on the side. (most common in our Butter Chicken Dinner Menu). You can try following dishes to serve on side.

1. Garlic Naan
2. No Yeast Garlic Naan (if you prefer yeast free version)
3. Basmati Rice
4. Cilantro Rice
5. Greens Kale Broccoli Salad
6. Cucumber Salad

Bowl of delicious Butter Chicken prepared in Instant Pot

MORE INSTANT POT CHICKEN RECIPES:

Coconut Chicken Curry
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Wings
Curry Chicken Rice Chicken Mole
Instant Pot Chicken Recipes

Best Instant Pot Butter Chicken - Tasty Easy

This Butter Chicken is pleasantly spicy, loaded with flavor, and is easy to prepare for any day Indian Chicken Dinner. Make it in Instant Pot (everyone's hot favorite) or in Slow Cooker. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

Happy Cooking! -Savita 

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Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Idle Time 10 minutes Difficulty Easy Yields 4 Servings Serves 4 Notes Recipe includes IP Pressure Build Time of 10 minutes. Additional Marination Time: 30 minutes. (no included)

Ingredients

    Butter Chicken
  • 2 lbs Chicken  (boneless, skinless thighs, cut into 2 inch strips)
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter  
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil  (or cooking oil of choice)
  • 1 White Onion  (4 inch medium onion, thin sliced half moons)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger  (2 inch fresh ginger, grated or minced)
  • 1 tbsp Garlic  (5-6 cloves of garlic, grated or minced)
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala  (good quality store bought, or homemade. See Note 1 for recipe.)
  • 1 tsp Paprika  (sweet paprika, not smoked)
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper  (adjust as per heat you prefer)
  • 16 Oz Tomatoes  (can of peeled, pureed tomatoes. No salted added.)
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream  (use up-to 2/3 of cup, adjust per preference)
  • 2 tbsp Yogurt  (only use thick Greek yogurt, water drained if any)
  • 4-5 tbsp Cilantro  (fresh leaves, chopped)
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek Leaves  (Kasoori Methi leaves, optional)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar  
  • Salt  

Directions

  • 1. Marinate Chicken: In a bowl, add yogurt, oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp of grated garlic. Mix well. Add diced chicken. Coat chicken in marinade. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to overnight.
  • 2. Cook: When ready to cook, heat Instant Pot to Saute setting until it reads "Hot". Add butter and let it melt, then add sliced onions. Saute until onions are soft. (2-3 minutes)
  • 3. Add remaining minced garlic, garam masala, ginger, and sugar. Cook stirring often for 1 minute. Stir often. Don't let garlic burn. Now, add chicken, paprika and remaining cayenne with 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook stirring often for 3 minutes.
  • 4. Add pureed tomatoes. Mix well. Secure the lid on Instant Pot. Set to cook on Manual - High Pressure for 4 minutes. Once timer is up. Turn off Instant Pot. Quick Release the pressure. Open lid.
  • 5. Add 1/2 cup heavy creamy and heat sauce on saute setting 3-4 minutes or until sauce thickens up. Mix everything. Taste and adjust salt and sugar. Mix in fresh chopped cilantro and fenugreek leaves (if using). Set aside for 5-10 minutes for flavors to mingle. Serve over rice or with Naan bread. Enjoy!
    Additional Notes
    If consistency of sauce appears thin to your liking, add 2-3 tbsp more heavy cream and heat sauce on saute setting.
Savita's Notes:
  1. Butter Chicken on Stop Top: To make Butter Chicken on Stove Stop in a dutch oven (or heavy-bottom pan); Follow all steps as-is up-to step-3 in Recipe Card. Use 1/2 cup extra liquid in Step 4 and simmer sauce for 20 minutes or until oil shows on top. Add heavy cream, bring to boil on high heat, then simmer on medium heat, covered, until sauce is creamy.  Season and serve as suggested in Step-5.

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