2. Chicken Recipes

Instant Pot Butter Chicken


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 3 plum tomatoes pureed
  • 1 can unsweetened full fat coconut milk allow these to separate – DO NOT shake. Best if left in fridge overnight
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sugar skip for paleo
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped, for garnish


Step 1 – sauté onions & spices

Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode and heat ghee. Add onions and salt. Cook until onions are soft and translucent for 2-3 mins (with a glass lid on to speed this process). Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, and red chili powder. Mix well and cook until fragrant for 2 mins (photos 1 – 2)

steps showing sautéing onions & spices

Step 2: Add chicken and tomato puree

Separate the coconut cream and water. Keep the coconut cream aside. Add only the watery portion of coconut milk and pureed tomatoes mixing with spices and deglazing the pot if needed so there is nothing sticking at the bottom. Add chicken and mix well (photos 3 – 4). 

steps showing chicken and curry sauce

Step 3: Optional Pot in Pot Rice

This is an optional step to make pot in pot rice with butter chicken: To make rice, place a tall trivet over the chicken in the instant pot. Place a stainless steel pot with white rice, water, and salt over the trivet. 

Step 4: Pressure Cook

Close the Instant Pot lid with steam release handle to sealing position. Pressure cook for 8 minutes followed by a quick release. (Note: If using chicken breasts, pressure cook for 5 minutes followed by 5 mins Natural Pressure Release) 

Step 5: Finishing ingredients & Garnish

Open the Instant Pot, stir in coconut cream, tomato paste, garam masala, fenugreek leaves, sugar, and half of the cilantro. Add more salt if needed. Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Cook without the lid to allow the curry to thicken for 5 minutes. If the sauce starts to splutter, set adjust to Saute(Less). Garnish with remaining cilantro (photos 5 – 8).

Steps showing final steps for Instant Pot butter chicken


Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 791mg | Potassium: 697mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 860IU | Vitamin C: 8.2mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 3.9mg

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