Rich, flavorful and creamy butter chicken made in your instant pot in under 30 minutes will become your new favorite weeknight dinner!

30 Minute Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Skip the expensive take-out and opt-in for this delicious quick homemade version of butter chicken made in your instant pot in just 30 minutes. Yes, it’s possible. Try it and you will thank me later!

This is our go-to recipe when craving Indian food on busy weeknights. The recipe requires minimum prep and after making it a few times, you can practically make it with your eyes closed!

The entire dish is cooked in your instant pot and it’s as easy as adding the ingredients to the instant pot and the result is a creamy, buttery chicken and sauce that is to die for!

30 Minute Instant Pot Butter Chicken


To make this butter chicken you will need a few essential ingredients and spices. Most can be found in your local supermarket. The only ingredients that you might have a hard time finding is garam masala but luckily it can be easily ordered online.

The recipe can be made with boneless, skinless thighs or breasts. We recommend chicken thighs because they are more tender and will not dry out but either is delicious!

To make the butter chicken creamy, the best option is using heavy cream (aka heavy whipping cream). Coconut milk or cream evaporated milk or greek yogurt can also be used to make the sauce creamy.

Other than that, you will also need chopped onion and garlic along with both tomato sauce and tomato paste.

30 Minute Instant Pot Butter Chicken


  • To get started we will sautee finely minced onion and garlic in a generous amount of butter. As the onions cook, they will develop a deep golden color which is return will flavor the masala.
  • The tomato sauce, chicken and spices are then added and also sauteed for a few minutes to give develop different flavor profiles and an in-depth flavor.
  • Water is then added and the instant pot is sealed. At this point, you can allow the instant pot to release naturally if you are not in a rush or you can use the quick-release option. Be sure to follow your manufacturer guidelines when using the quick release feature.
  • Finally, heavy cream is added to turn this delicious and flavorful tomato-based sauce into the creamy dish we know as butter chicken. Top with freshly minced cilantro and serve with cooked basmati rice or toasted naan and enjoy!
30 Minute Instant Pot Butter Chicken
4.65 from 17 votes

30 Minute Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Rich, flavorful and creamy butter chicken made in your instant pot in under 30 minutes will become your new favorite weeknight dinner!
Prep10 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into small bite-size chunks, or breasts
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced or finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp EACH garam masala, smoked paprika, curry powder, *
  • 1 tsp EACH ground cumin, salt
  • 8 oz (1 cup) can tomato sauce, (or 1 cup tomato puree)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, or replace with 1/2 cup more tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup water, or chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream, *can sub with evaporated milk or coconut cream or coconut milk, or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • Turn Instant pot to saute setting. Add the butter and onion; saute for 2-3 minutes or until onion begins to turn golden. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a minute. Add the spices, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and chicken. Sautee 4-5 minutes. Add the water.
  • Cover Instant Pot. Using the manual setting, set the pressure to high for 10 minutes. Once done. Allow the instant pot to release naturally or quick-release pressure according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Switch the setting to simmer and stir in heavy cream and cilantro. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Serve with basmati rice or naan.



Pro Tip: If you will be serving the butter chicken with rice, cook the rice while the butter chiekn is cooking in the instant pot so it’s ready to serve as needed. 
Cream substitutes: Coconut cream or milk, evporated milk, or Greek yogurt can be used in place of heavy cream but be sure to add it at the very end. 
Curry Powder: Curry powder is a mixture of coriander, fenugreek, turmeric and other spices. It can be found at costco or your local Asian grocery. It can be subbed with 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp fenugreek powder, and 1 tsp turmeric.
*Chicken breasts can also be used instead of chicken thighs. The cooking time will not change. 
*Doubling or halfing the recipe will not change the cooking time. 


Serving: 1serving (1/4th recipe), Calories: 621kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 43g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Cholesterol: 327mg, Sodium: 643mg, Potassium: 972mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1727IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Butter, chicken, instant pot
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30 Minute Instant Pot Butter Chicken
30 Minute Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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  1. Flavor was good but greek yogurt was not a good substitution. It split and caused the texture to be grainy.

  2. Can breasts be used instead of thighs?

  3. Use chicken broth instead of water to add more flavor! I didn’t see that it said water OR chicken broth until it was too late. I definitely would’ve used broth instead. I doubled the recipe & it came out suuuper watery. It basically ruined the dish & drowned out any flavor it would have had. So if you decide to double like I did, don’t double the liquid.

  4. I agree this could use more spice, I added some chili flakes to give it a bit more of a kick. P.S. Don’t forget to cube up the chicken thighs, my Instant pot threw a burn warning after 5 mins, I took out the thighs, chopped them up and put them back with in some chili flakes.

    Great recipe, keep them coming.

  5. I think I misread something. Mine smelled good but there was no liquid when it was done, and it didn’t seem like there was a lot before I put on the pressure cooker. Help?

    1. What size pressure cooker did you use? It should be thick and creamy but if it’s too thick for you, go ahead and add a little cream to water it down a little 🙂

  6. If I were to cook thie butter chicken recipe for 4 pounds of Chicken ( thighs), do I double all the ingredients?

  7. Thank you! What size instant pot is this recipe for? Mine is an 8 quart and I’m brand new to them, so I want to be careful. Should I adjust the liquid at all for that size?

  8. So good! Followed recipe with some exceptions : used purple spring onions and green onions which is all I had on hand, and added some carrots, and used canned coconut milk. I have saved this recipe as a favorite- everyone in my family (9yr okd and two teenagers) LOVED it. We mixed in chili-garlic sauce to spice up afterwards (each child has their own heat tolerance). So happy to have tried this!!

  9. Yummy! I added a few vegetables, I know that is not traditional, then when cooked removed the chicken and blended everything up. I also had to add more spice so I used cayenne pepper as suggested. Thanks for posting. It worked really well in my Crockpot Express.

  10. This butter chicken recipe is delicious, so easy to make, and taStes so authentic!!! Please continue pOsting indian recipes!

      1. Made this tonight and it was delicious. I have one quick question though. What could I add to it just to spice it up a little? Chilli powder maybe?

        1. For more spice, try adding some cayenne pepper or even chop up some jalapenos if you dare! 😀