Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Isn’t butter chicken just the most wonderful sounding name for a recipe? Today’s Instant Pot Butter Chicken has all of the comforting, soul-satisfying flavor any recipe with the word “butter” in it promises. Unlike other authentic Indian butter chicken recipes you’ve seen, it’s also a butter chicken recipe that’s EASY, healthy, and made with ingredients you can find at any grocery store. I’ve even snuck in a full serving of veggies to make it a true one-pot meal!

Instant Pot Butter Chicken. An easy, healthy recipe for the famous Indian butter chicken that anyone can make! Recipe uses easy to find ingredients like coconut milk and tomato, plus cauliflower to make it a true all-in-one meal.

I have been smitten with Indian food ever since my post-college roommate and I spent a month traveling India after we graduated, especially the rich, saucy curries like authentic Indian butter chicken.

I first made this easy spin on an authentic Indian butter chicken recipe to surprise my roomie/former India travel buddy when she came to visit us, it has since become one of my favorite weeknight dinners.

With its simplicity to make, fab flavor, and ability to be enjoyed with one the best Indian foods around (naan bread!), creamy butter chicken recipe is a perfect choice for casual dinners at home and for when you want to surprise friends with something fresh and different.

If you aren’t familiar with butter chicken ingredients, imagine tender, falling-apart morsels of chicken in a creamy, mildly spiced curry sauce so delicious, you catch yourself running a finger along the edge of the bowl to make sure you don’t miss a drop.

Butter chicken is not spicy in the sense of being “hot;” rather it is fully flavored with layers of Indian spices and ingredients like ginger, tomato, curry, and coconut milk.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken. One of THE BEST healthy Instant Pot recipes and Instant Pot chicken recipes! Made with coconut milk, cauliflower, and other easy to find ingredients.

While we were in India, my roomie and I took a cooking class, where I quickly realized that part of the reason Indian food tastes so incredible is that it takes ALL DAY to make.

There are whole spices to toast and grind, sauces to simmer, and bread to bake. The process is fun for an afternoon class while in India but impractical for day-to-day life at home, especially at 6:30 p.m. when the line between eating real food for dinner and eating chips + wine for dinner becomes alarmingly thin.

Enter: the Instant Pot.

(If you are in the market, this is the Instant Pot model I have and used to make this butter chicken recipe, and I love it!)

Instant Pot Butter Chicken with creamy coconut milk sauce. An easy and healthy Instant pot chicken recipe.

How to Make the Best Butter Chicken Recipe (Fast and Easy!)

I’ve been loving making Instant Pot recipes Indian, because the pressure cooker consolidates flavors in a way that mimics the effect of all-day stovetop cooking. This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala and this Instant Pot Lentil Curry have become a favorites of both mine and of many of yours too, so I wanted to explore making more Instant Pot Indian recipes.

I’ve also been loving making Instant Pot recipes with chicken, both Instant Pot chicken breasts and Instant Pot chicken thighs. Because the Instant Pot doesn’t lose moisture during cooking, it means recipes like this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice turn out perfectly tender every time. (More recipes can be found here: 15 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes!)

One of the best Instant Pot recipes - Instant Pot Butter Chicken with cauliflower.

Whenever I’m creating a recipe, it’s important to me that you can find the ingredients at your neighborhood grocery store. If I can’t easily locate an ingredient near my house in Milwaukee, you won’t see it in one of my blog recipes, with very few exceptions. (The only one that comes to mind in recent memory is the paneer in this Paneer Tikka Masala…which I ended up finding at an Indian grocery store located two miles from my house. WHO KNEW.)

Thus, this Instant Pot Butter Chicken, while perhaps not the most authentic Indian butter chicken recipe in the land, will be one of the easiest butter chicken recipes you’ll find, starting with the ingredients.

What’s in Butter Chicken Sauce?

  • I made this Instant Butter Chicken with coconut milk (look for it in the Asian food section of your grocery store), tomato sauce, and two spice blends, curry powder and garam masala.
  • My grocery store carries both blends, but if you can’t find them, Amazon has several options, and Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell them too.

How Can I Make Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken Healthy?

  • In my usual style, this is also an healthy Instant pot recipe!
  • I added cauliflower to the mix to make it half chicken/half veggie. I love the way the cauliflower breaks down and absorbs the butter sauce’s flavor. The cauliflower mimics the texture and appearance of the chicken too, so you almost don’t realize you are eating vegetables.

Can I Make this a Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipe or a Vegan Instant Pot Recipe?

  • Yes! You can try omitting the chicken and using all cauliflower or explore some of my other vegetarian Instant Pot recipes, such as this healthy Instant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.
  • To make vegan, use full fat coconut milk in place of the half and half, a vegan buttery substitute for the butter, and an unsweetened coconut milk-based yogurt in place of the Greek yogurt.

Can I Make this Butter Chicken with Frozen Chicken?

  • Yes! You can use frozen chicken and even frozen cauliflower florets. Your Instant Pot will take longer to come to pressure before the cooking time begins, but the dish will still be delicious.

Can I Make this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Instead?

  • While you can experiment, making this in the slow cooker will cause the recipe to be more liquidy. I would suggest cutting back on the amount of tomato sauce and only stir in the amount of coconut milk or half and half until you have a butter chicken sauce with your desired consistency.
  • To make butter chicken in a slow cooker, step-by-step: Sauté the onions and spices in a skillet on the stove (instead of in the Instant Pot), then transfer to a slow cooker that is lightly coated with nonstick spray.
  • Add the cauliflower, tomato sauce, and chicken, making sure the chicken is coated with the sauce. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or low for 4 to 6 hours, until the chicken is cooked through. The cooking time may vary based on your slow cooker, so check early to ensure the chicken does not dry out.
  • When the chicken is done, cut into bite-sized pieces, then return to the slow cooker and stir in with the half and half. Let cool a few minutes, then stir in the Greek yogurt.

Can I Make this Butter Chicken on the Stovetop?

  • Yes! I have not yet tested this but think this recipe could be made in a Dutch oven using the following steps. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes.
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high. Sauté until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add additional 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté the onions and spices until the onion is softened. Stir in the tomato sauce, cauliflower, and sautéed chicken.
  • Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pot then let cook, keeping the sauce at a gentle simmer, until the chicken is cooked through and the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the half and half. Let cool a few minutes, then stir in the Greek yogurt as directed.

One of the best healthy Instant Pot recipes. Indian Instant Pot Butter Chicken. Made with coconut milk, cauliflower, and other easy ingredients.

I hope this Instant Pot Butter Chicken inspires some fresh flavors and brings a taste of adventure to your kitchen. Even if you’ve never cooked (or eaten!) Indian food, I think you’ll be surprised and refreshed by the way something as simple trying a new recipe can transport you from the comfort of your own table.

Recommended Tools to Make Instant Pot Butter Chicken


Instant Pot Butter Chicken. An easy, healthy recipe for the famous Indian butter chicken that anyone can make! Recipe uses easy to find ingredients like coconut milk and tomato, plus cauliflower to make it a true all-in-one meal.
4.67 from 57 votes
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Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
Instant Pot Butter Chicken. An easy, healthy recipe for Indian butter chicken made with easy to find ingredients. Delicious and not too spicy!


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small yellow onion — diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic — about 4 teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4  teaspoon kosher salt
  • Splash of water or low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 small cauliflower — or 1/2 large head, cut into florets (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter — cut into small pieces (use coconut oil to make dairy free)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half — or full-fat coconut milk, do not use light coconut milk, as it will water down the sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt — or non-dairy yogurt to make dairy-free
  • Prepared brown rice — quinoa, or naan, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro — for serving


  1. Add the coconut oil to the Instant Pot and set to SAUTE. Once hot, add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, curry, garam masala, chili powder, and salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn the Instant Pot to OFF. Add a splash or water or chicken broth and stir, using a sturdy plastic or wooden spoon to scrape loose any browned bits that have stuck. Make sure you remove all of the stuck on bits so that you don't trigger a burn warning. 

  2. Add the tomato sauce and cauliflower florets and stir to combine. Lay the chicken breasts on top, then scatter the butter pieces over the top.

  3. Close and seal Instant Pot. Cook on Manual (HIGH) pressure for 12 minutes. Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then vent to immediately release any remaining pressure.

  4. Carefully open the lid and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Cut into bite-sized pieces, then return to the sauce. Stir in the half and half or coconut milk. Let cool a few minutes, then stir in the Greek yogurt (do not stir it in immediately or it will curdle). Serve with rice and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat leftovers gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • To make in the slow cooker (not tested, but this is my best estimate—some readers have tried and did report that the sauce ended up being thinner): Sauté the onions and spices in a skillet on the stove, then transfer to a slow cooker that is lightly coated with nonstick spray. Add the cauliflower, tomato sauce, and chicken, making sure the chicken is coated with the sauce. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or low for 4 to 6 hours, until the chicken is cooked through. The cooking time may vary based on your slow cooker, so check early to ensure the chicken does not dry out. When the chicken is done, cut into bite-sized pieces, then return to the slow cooker and stir in with the half and half. Let cool a few minutes, then stir in the Greek yogurt. (Note that the sauce may be a thinner consistency when made in the slow cooker.)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Easy Instant Pot Dinner, Instant Pot Butter Chicken, Instant Pot Indian Recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 6), about 1 1/2 cups butter chicken and sauce, plus 1/2 cup prepared brown rice) — Calories: 439, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Carbohydrates: 42g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 39g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. I’ve never made butter chicken before…but this looks and sounds delicious! :)

  2. Love your recipes!  Quick question.  For this recipe, can  I cut up the chicken breast and put it in the instant pot; rather than cutting the chicken breast after it has been cooked?

  3. I think I’m in love with you.

  4. Hi Erin..sadly l don’t own an instant pot. Can this be done in a crockpot?

  5. How would you adapt the recipe to remove the cauliflower? My husband loves Indian food but hates cauliflower.

    • Traci, you can leave it out or add an extra chicken breast. I hope you both enjoy it! If you’d like to add some veggies, you can stir in peas or baby spinach at the end.

    • My husband isn’t a big cauliflower fan either. I just kept the recipe the same but served mine over cauliflower rice for me. :) Delicious recipe, Erin. Thank you!

  6. Wow your butter chicken looks and sounds delicious, Erin! I love that you made it in the instant pot! :)

  7. Hi, I don’t have an instant pot. Can this be made on the stovetop and/or oven

  8. The second you posted this, I knew I had to make it and HOLY YUM. This is going to be a regular. The leftovers are so tasty too!

  9. We just made this tonight!  Sooo good!!  Even my super picky husband gobbled it up ??.  Thanks!

  10. I’ve been waiting to make this since you posted the recipe! I just made it,  and my only regret is I didn’t make more of it! It was hard to just have one serving! Excellent recipe, thank you so much!

  11. I made the Buttered Chicken and even a few of my husbands coworkers that are Indian couldn’t believe I made it homemade!!

  12. Hi, sounds delicious. Any idea how much sodium in the recipe? Trying to keep a low(ish) sodium diet. Also, how do you determine all the nutritional info? Do you need a special machine or just add up the info from the various ingredients? Thanks!

    • Dave, you can calc the nutrition (including any extra fields like sodium you like) for free at That’s why I use! I’ve heard good things about a site called Spark People too.

  13. Amazing dish – my family loved it! We will make this over and over with cheers and seconds. Thank you!

  14. The flavor of this was excellent. I only used cauliflower as I cannot eat chicken. 12 minutes (I should have known) was too long for just cauliflower. How long would you suggest?

    • Sarah, I’m afraid it might be a bit of an experiment at first! I didn’t have an issue with cauliflower being overcooked, but it was also mixed with the chicken so that might have changed things. How overcooked was it? I’d use that as a gauge and adjust. You can look for other cauliflower recipes for reference too.

  15. Made this recipe last night! I put a bag of frozen cauliflower instead of fresh and it turned out perfect! Will be adding to the rotation- thanks erin!

  16. I made this in the slow cooker and I liked but didn’t love it. On the plus side it was extremely easy and pretty nutritious. I used an entire cauliflower and threw in a bag of peas at the end for color in the absence of cilantro. Strike one – I cooked my chicken on low for 4 hours which ended up being too long and the chicken dried out. Strike two – as you warned us, it could be more liquid. I don’t have an instantpot to compare texture/viscosity but I did find it a little too “wet,” like an Indian soup. I ate the whole thing anyway for lunches and dinners :). I think it’s really hard to replicate Indian as a home cook but I appreciate the simplicity of this recipe. It was worth a try!

    • Alison, thanks for reporting back on the slow cooker version. If you try it in the Instant Pot at some point, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  17. In this recipe you cut up the chicken after it’s cooked. One of your replies is so the chicken doesn’t dry out. In the butter chicken recipe you cut up the chicken before you cook it. What’s the difference.

    • Pierre, this is an adaptation for the Instant Pot, so I find that it’s better/easier to leave the chicken whole. Some stovetop versions might call for cutting it first, but this is a twist for the pressure cooker.

  18. This recipe is ridiculously good and easy.!

  19. Hi, sounds delicious. I will trying tomorrow:))

  20. This looks spectacular. Can it be doubled? I’m new to the Instant Pot game and am not sure what kind of flexibility it allows.

    • Jade, I’ve never tried doubling! If you have an 8 quart Instant Pot, you could experiment with 1.5 times the recipe, but to be 100% safe, I”d make the recipe per the quantities here.

  21. Elizabeth M Smith Reply

    So easy and so delicious!! Everyone in my family agreed on giving it a Top 10 rating.

  22. Ridiculously good. A++++++

    This was my first recipe that I ever made in my instant pot.  I was a little nervous but was able to follow the directions verbatim.  My husband loved the dish.  Says he could eat this every week.

  23. Wow … i tried this yesterday and it came out soo well. I say this with greatest compliment…. i can’t imagine a non Indian making AMAZing indian food ! i have tried making Butter chicken and tikka masala from recipes i have received from my Indian friends . nothing have even come close to this.
    what a keeper !

  24. Do you have your own recipe for the naan bread too?  

  25. Awesome!  That’s what it was!  MY husband has been to Northern India 3x on a mission trip and absolutely loves Indian food.   We have a really good Indian restaurant about 20 min. from our house, so while out, I stopped by and ordered some naan bread to go and then went home and made this.  Was he ever surprised – and loved it!  And I love my Instapot so it’s a win/win!  I found a grill pan on Amazon so I’m going to give the non-oven naan bread recipes a try that are on some of the Indian youtube channels.  Thanks for an awesome Instapot recipe, Erin!

  26. hi, nice recipe looking yummy and delicious. butter chicken is my all-time favorite dish .you have cut the chicken after cooking. I will try this

  27. This was amazing, and even better, my whole family loved it! My 8 year old (super picky) said it’s super yummy and he likes how I “baked” it, my six year old kept going on and on about how good it smelled the whole time I was cooking, and hubby said it’s good to go in our regular dinner rotation. Thank you!

  28. Great recipe.  I made this tonight and substituted sliced zucchini(it’s that time of year) for the cauliflower .  It was fantastic!  I sliced the zucchini into approximately 1/4 inch slices to keep it from over cooking and it cooked perfectly.  Yummy! 

  29. I tried this recipe for my first time using my new Instant Pot. It was fabulous, our guests raved. I even forgot to add the butter, and it made no difference. Makes a lot, too! Four people pigged out on this, plus we had enough to freeze for another meal for two or three people. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  30. Can this be cut in half?

    • Hi Amy, I’ve only tested this quantity in my Instant Pot, so I can’t say for certain. There should still be enough liquid to come to pressure, so if you do give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes.

  31. 28 oz. of tomato paste? Didn’t know they even made them that big. :( I will have to look I guess. This looks delicious!

  32. Saralee M Czajkowski Reply

    The flavors!! The textures!! The spices!! All on point! So quick and easy to make too!

  33. Hello, I was wondering if I am able to make this in a deep skillet?

  34. I doubled this recipe and tried to make it in the instant pot. It kept not coming up to pressure, even though the gasket ring was in place and it was on seal for the pressure. Eventually put it into a dutch oven and cooked in the oven and it tastes great. I had cleaned off the bottom after cooking the onions and spices but the tomato sauce seems to have burned. Not sure if this was because I hadn’t used enough stock to deglaze with or if there’s just a problem in doubling the recipe.

    Once again the taste was really good. Thanks for the recipe!


    • Todd, thanks for giving it a try and leaving your notes about doubling! I’m glad to hear it still came out delicious in the dutch oven.

      • I had the same problem, but without doubling. I did use chicken thighs instead of breasts… and I am not sure what size instant pot you use (I have the 6 quart). It also seems like too little liquid for 2 lbs of chicken? Any advice on avoiding the burn trigger would be great!

        • Hi Kristin, I have the 6 quart. My advice for avoiding the burn is to make sure you get all the stuck on bits off the bottom of the pot before sealing it and bringing it up to pressure. The recipe has worked great for me and other readers as written, but I know it’s disappointing to run into problems, so I hope it goes better next time!

  35. I used 1/ 2 frozen chicken breasts and frozen cauliflower my instant pot did not pressurize but turned on for 12 mins. Didn’t cook the chicken. Did it again using the more setting finally pressurized and cooked it. Wasted alot of time and am wondering if this is normal. Sorry new at the instant pot Recipe though once it was finally cooked was delicious. Would like to do it again but nervous haha

    • Hi Tracy, I didn’t encounter that issue when I made the recipe, so I can’t say for certain. I would do an online search to see if you can troubleshoot that particular problem! I’m glad to hear it still turned out delicious.

  36. I really enjoyed this recipe as I love Indian food! Including the cauliflower to bulk it up and get some veggies in is such a great idea. I’ve struggled at times with chicken in the instant pot (it can dry out easily), but the cook time on this was perfect, and dicing it after cooking helped retain the moisture.. The Indian flavors are spot on, especially given how quick the recipe is to prepare. I also love that it uses a reasonable number of ingredients to achieve great flavors. Great job, Erin!

  37. I have had a hard time finding a good Butter Chicken recipe for either the Instant Pot or the Slow cooker – often it comes out wet and flavorless, and terribly soupy. I wonder if it has something to do with the tomatoes that I use (usually canned diced or crushed tomatoes). Could you be more specific about the brand/type of Tomato Sauce that you use?
    I look forward to trying out this recipe!

    • Hi! As long as you make sure it’s tomato *sauce*, not diced or crushed tomatoes, it should work out fine! I hope you enjoy!

  38. I just made this tonight and I wasn’t sure about it at first because I don’t eat that much Indian food but after my first helping, I can’t stop eating it! It’s really good!! And it was pretty easy to make!

  39. Valerie Gillilan Reply

    I’ve made Butter chicken at home before and it never had much flavor compared to the spice packets you can buy at the store. Well, goodbye, spice packets! This is wonderful and not too much heat. Will make this over and over again. Thank you!

  40. I’m making this for dinner right now. I didn’t read all the way through the recipe and cut up my raw chicken. Uggh!! Would the cook time change with the chicken cut up? Thanks!

  41. I really appreciated the simplicity of this dish after making stovetop Tikka masala last month– the spices needed and in what order was a bit stressful for a first time maker!
    I subbed cayenne pepper for the chili pepper and sour cream for the yogurt and only one 15oz can of tomato sauce +water to get 28oz, my husband says it’s delicious. We also blended the sauce while the chicken was being cut up so it was smoother.
    I’m looking forward to trying an instapot variation on the tikka masala I made now!

  42. Erin’s recipe is near perfect. I love the fact she sneaks in the cauliflower. I chose to to cook this on the stove top. (Shame on me. I don’t own an InstaPot) The recipe works great on the stove top.

    Small side note: I live in a large Indian community (Farmington, Michigan) and the Butter Chicken here is a bit more spicy. I add 2-3 chopped thai peppers to give the recipe a bit more kick.

  43. Can I use curry paste? yellow or red? Thanks!!

  44. I am making the stovetop version of the butter chicken and I saw at the last minute you use olive oil instead of coconut oil. I already put the coconut oil lol. Does it matter which one you use?

  45. I love Butter Chicken. The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon chili powder. Is that the same chili powder that you use in Southwest Chili, or is it Chili Powder like Cayenne ? Thanks

    • Charles, like the chili powder in chili, NOT cayenne. A full teaspoon of cayenne would be ultra spicy!

      • Thanks Erin for the prompt response. :) I will be making this recipe this week !

        • Note to self: read comments BEFORE making. Unfortunately I made the cayenne pepper mistake. Holy smokes. So tasty but so spicy!!!! Can’t wait to make this again without the cayenne pepper. 

          • Rachel, I’m glad you still enjoyed it, and I hope you LOVE it with your preferred spice level next time!

  46. This was so so yummy and also, my husband was genuinely shocked there was cauliflower in it :) first time making one of your recipes and I’ll definitely be back for more!

  47. Erin, this is such a fantastic dish, it’s so flavourful!  I add large chunks of carrots and potatoes, too.  Thank you, for posting so many easy, tasty recipes!  

  48. This looks so yummy and would love to make it, I don’t own an insta pot, but have a stove top pressure cooker I love, can I make it in that…what do you think?? Thanks

    • Hi Ann, I don’t have experience using a stovetop pressure cooker, so I can’t say for certain, but it should work. If you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes.

      • Hello, Finally got around to trying this out in my stove top pressure cooker and it worked great. My entire family loved it. Will definitely be making this again.
        Thank you!

  49. My husband hates the smell and flavor of all yogurt. Do you think it will hide well in the sauce, or is there a substitute you could recommend? (Note: I will be making this on a stove top, if that matters) :-)

    • Hi Amy, sour cream would work! The taste of the yogurt doesn’t stand out—it’s more for texture and creaminess. The real flavor is the spice.

  50. Another winner, Erin! This was delicious! I was a little skeptical of using the chicken breasts instead of thighs but they worked out great following your directions cook them whole. I really enjoyed the cauliflower in it; I served it in a bowl over sauteed spinach and with a side of naan. Loved it!

  51. This tastes so great!  Loved it. I made it with coconut oil vs butter. I added crushed red pepper to spice it up.  I did have difficulty cooking it.  Even though I added chicken stock to the onion mixture, I still got a burn indicator 2 times!  It was so annoying.  The tomato sauce was burned to the bottom.  I just took the chicken breasts out, stirred and scraped the tomato sauce and put the chicken back.  I must say it was the only 2nd cook in my instant pot.  I will definitely make this again, but I will have to thing on how to keep it from burning.  Thanks for the recipe!

    • Natalie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot before you try to seal it is key to making sure you don’t get a burn indicator. I hope next time you give it a try it goes better!

  52. Hi , thank you for the recipe, I just made it and for some reason the sauce had more of the tomato flavor and didn’t taste like the butter chicken sauce I tried in an Indian restaurant, I’m not sure why. Anyway, probably, my fault.

    • Hi GG, I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste. Not every butter chicken recipe tastes the same, but I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I truly wish you would have loved this!

  53. First recipe in my new Instant Pot Ultra 8 qt that I purchased today. Very easy recipe to follow and so quick to throw together. It tasted delicious, but I did had to add some more salt when I served it. I guess that is a good thing as it is easier to add salt to taste rather than it just be too salty. I will make this again for sure. I am sure that when this is made in a restaurant it is much richer and not as healthy. This recipe seems to be pretty healthy and I like that.

  54. Kristen from the Creek Reply

    Is there anything to substitute for coconut? My husband is allergic…

  55. This looks so good! I just got my Instant Pot and I’m so excited to make this! Can I swap the nonfat Greek yogurt for 2%? That’s all I have on hand at the moment. Also, does it reheat ok after adding the dairy at the end?

    • Hi Taryn! Yes, you can use 2% Greek yogurt. Leftovers reheat great! See the recipe notes below the instructions for my tips.

      • Thanks so much! I’m excited to try it!

      • Hi again! I just tried making this and it smells so good, but I keep getting a burn error! I made sure that I thoroughly clean the bottom of the pot after sauteing, any idea why this might be happening? The only thing I changed is that I used half chicken breasts and half thighs.

        • Taryn, that is so frustrating! I have heard new IP models trigger the burn warning more often than the older models. Next time, my best idea is to add some water (maybe 1/2 cup) as that tends to do the trick for others. I’m sorry that it happened to begin with though!

  56. Is it possible to use the 3-quart Instant Pot for your Instant Pot recipes? We were just gifted one, and I’m eager to break it in. :)

  57. This was my first Instant Pot recipe and it was a huge success. I cut up the chicken pieces and they still ended up being moist and delicious. Thank you!

  58. Yum this looks amazing! I can’t have dairy so I’ll be subbing for coconut milk. Also I can’t find any dairy free plain yogurt near me- is there anything else I can use in lieu of the yogurt?

    • Allie, you could try using a slightly lesser amount of coconut cream. I haven’t done this myself so it would be an experiment, but I think it would be worth a try!

  59. Wow!! Butter chicken is my favourite dish in the world. Unfortunately my fiancee is nervous about cooking and prefers to use her Instant Pot. I’m so excited to show her this recipe and hopefully get to eat more of my favorite meal without having to go to a restaurant! Thank you so much for making this!

  60. I’ve made several butter chicken recipes and I have to say, this isn’t BY FAR my favorite!!! I’m never making another recipe again. I LOVE hidden veggie recipes. Perfect for a picky husband! Thanks, Erin!

  61. UGH! I keep getting the “burn” notice. putting it in a cast iron pot on the stove now. This is my first attempt at the instapot so any tips would be appreciated.

    • Hi Trish! My advice for avoiding the burn is to make sure you get all the stuck on bits off the bottom of the pot before sealing it and bringing it up to pressure. The recipe has worked great for me and other readers as written, but I know it’s disappointing to run into problems, so I hope it goes better next time!

  62. My chicken wasn’t done after 12 minutes on high/high in my instant pot. I did have to substitute tomato paste for half of the tomato sauce though. Is that what happened? Should the sauce cover the chicken?

    • Carlyssa, you might also have had very large chicken breasts. Or were they partly frozen? Also using tomato paste would give different results. If that happens again though, you can release the pot and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.

  63. Followed the recipe but got BURN so I took everything out and washed the pot well and put everything back in again. I got BURN again. Ended up finishing it on my stovetop because I wasn’t going to waste dinner. Perhaps a “splash” of water/stock wasn’t enough? Maybe my brand of tomato sauce was too thick? Anyway  this dish wasn’t instant for me. 

    • Hi Tina, I’m sorry to hear you got the burn warning. I’m glad you were able to still to try the recipe!

    • Same here. Have tried it three times on two different pots. For reference they were the Duo 6qt V3. I could cook a vegan version with tofu fine, but never with Chicken. Ended up sauteing the chicken in a and adding it to everything else afterwards and it turned out fine though.

      • Hi Christina! Thanks for sharing your workaround—I know it’s frustrating when a recipe works for some people but not others!

  64. I’m trying to make this now and I can’t even get to the countdown to start. Always says burn. :( I’ve opened and scraped the bottom. But it’s happened again. :( is it my pot? I was so looking forward to this meal. 

    • Hi Hazel! I’m so sorry about the frustration—I haven’t personally experienced this issue, but it does seem to be an issue with newer models. I’d recommend adding some additional liquid. I hope that helps!

  65. I kept getting a burn warning error. I deglazed the pot well, but the tomato sauce alone is just too thick for my machine I think. I had to stir in about a cup of chicken stock to avoid the error. I have the crock pot brand electronic pressure cooker. So if anyone else gets this error, don’t give up. Just add more liquid. It still tastes great.

  66. Butter chicken is my favourite dish. This wasn’t creamy and had a tangy sour taste to it. Won’t be making this again 

    • Hi Jamie, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe. Many other readers have tried it and loved it, but I know everyone has different tastes. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I truly wish you would have loved it!

  67. My husband and I made this for the first time last night. It was very yummy but came out the consistency of chili. The cauliflower basically disintegrated and the chicken fell apart (shredded) and couldn’t be cut in pieces. We topped with cheese and sour cream and had a really good butter chicken chili! I looked at other butter chicken recipes and it calls for 5-7 minutes of pressure cooking – not 12 as called for in this recipe. Not sure if others had this problem but may try cooking for less time. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Kathleen, it may have been that your chicken pieces and cauliflower pieces were smaller than mine, which would cause them to cook faster. If you decide to try the recipe again, I hope a timing adjustment or chopping the cauliflower larger will do the trick!

  68. Made the butter chicken last night and it came out great. The only problem was the cauliflower must of been over cooked since I couldn’t even find it. Not   to sure  what happened. I also added peas  at the end. Made way to much food for 2  so I froze  part of it.  I also forgot the butter but that didn’t seem to make a difference.

    • Carolyn, I’m so glad you loved it! The cauliflower does cook down. My guess is also that you chopped your florets fairly small. If you leave them larger, they’ll hold up to the pressure cooking a bit better. Thanks for sharing this review!

  69. I doubled the onion because WE love onion, and a marinated the chicken in the spices while the rest simmered. I used stewing chicken breasts and thighs that I cut up. So it needed way more than 12 minutes. At 30 minutes, it was soft, but not tender. I let it simmer until I was ready to eat. The ingredients were bomb. I just had to add my own kicks too it. I like the extra sauce, so I still used regular coconut milk and added coconut sugar to reduce it more. 

  70. We LOVED it!  I doubled it and it did take longer to cook, as anticipated.  We also added cayenne pepper to spice it up, and I like things even spicer than the rest of the family so I added chili oil to my dish, jasmine rice, and topped it with fresh cilantro.  Delish!!!  I liked the addition of fresh ginger root and the cauliflower.

  71. My first time making butter chicken! This recipe was so easy to follow and came out tasting delicious! I was hesitant to try cauliflower but it actually taste good! Thanks for the recipe. I will add it to our dinner rotation ! 

  72. This is so good!  I went looking for a recipe after paying $6 for a small tv tray size serving from the freezer section and liking it a lot.  This is cheap and easy and way way better/delicious.  My 18 year old son loves it too.  Toast up some naan bread in the oven to go with it.  You can do basmati rice at the same time in a small cake tin on a rack above the other ingredients.  We like it even better with diced chicken thighs vs breasts.  Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  73. Hi Erin! If I didn’t want to use cauliflower and just used chicken, would you double the amount of chicken? (also would you need to increase the cook time?) Approximately how many people does this recipe feed as is? I’m planning to make it for 4 adults and 4 teenagers (so basically – 8 adults!!) Thanks!

    • Hi Katie! The number of servings was hidden—thanks for pointing that out! I would estimate the recipe serves 6, so if you’re feeding more, I would recommend increasing the chicken and possibly doubling it if you’re leaving out the cauliflower. (The sauce ingredients may also need to increase.) I have not experimented with doubling the recipe in the Instant Pot, so it may need some adjustment with the cook time, and you’ll want to be sure you’re not going over the fill line. If you decide to give it at try, I’d love to hear how it goes.

      • Thanks Erin! I will likely double it and I’ll report back. How much more time do you think should be added to the cook time if there is twice as much chicken in the pot?

        • Hi Katie! I haven’t experimented myself, so this is just my best guess, but as long as the chicken isn’t too packed in the pot, you may not have to increase the cooking time, but the pot will take longer to come up to pressure. Again, I don’t have personal experience, but if the chicken isn’t quite done after the cook time, you can put the lid back on for a few minutes (without turning the pot back on) and recheck.

  74. First time making Indian food and this tastes like my favorite Indian restaurant dish!!! So good – thanks for sharing this recipe!

  75. Such a nice recipe. I tried this at home with my family members. I love this recipe.

  76. Just made this tonight and picky hubby and child (age 10) both loved it. I accidentally used boneless, skinless thighs and they came out perfectly tender and delicious. I served with tortillas, but I can see that rice makes better sense since there is so much sauce that you will want to sop up and enjoy. Excellent recipe and will def make again. Thank you!

  77. Thank you so much for your time and effort with this recipe.  It was so delicious and as good as any Indian rendition I have tasted.  The directions were excellent and covered everything to make this successfully .  I am now hooked on the instant pot and this site!

  78. Anthony Robin Dew Reply

    Erin, your Instant Pot Butter Chicken Lists 1 28 oz can of Tomato Sauce. Here in Australia that would be read as Tomato Ketchup? Does it mean Tomato Paste/puree? I can’t wait to try some of your recipes, they sound delicious.

    • Hi Anthony! The tomato sauce is like tomato puree, but a little thinner consistency. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  79. Unfortunately, this was not flavorful, and my family did not like it. I made it exactly as the recipe was written, and had high hopes based on the review and the aromas when adding the spices. I will keep looking for another recipe

    • I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Laura. Many other readers have tried it and loved it, but everyone has different tastes. I know it’s disappointing to try something new and not enjoy it, so I truly wish you would have loved it!

  80. This was delicious and super quick and easy! Win, Win, WIN!

    This recipe as written is not spicy hot at all, which was appreciated by the kids, but I prefer things hotter. I made this a second time and added some cayenne. YES!

  81. I also had issues with the burn warning. Very frustrating, because after almost 25 minutes of coming up to pressure I had to release the pressure, empty the pot, clean it, and start over. On the second try I first brought the liquid to a boil in a separate put, the put the boiling liquid back into the IP, replaced the chicken and the it worked fine. That’s how I’ll do it next time.

    One other note. I really liked the recipe but will add more spices next time. Was pleasant but not flavorful enough. Could be that my Garam Masala was a little dated, or maybe because I used 3#, not 2# chicken.

    All that aside, this was easy and good, so it’ll get a second chance for sure

    • Thanks for sharing your feedback! It sounds like you know exactly how to adjust the recipe to suit your tastes next time, so I hope it’s perfect!

  82. Any advice on using bone-in drummettes instead of boneless breasts? I assume a little longer cooking time because there are bones, but at the same time drummettes have far less meat than a boneless breast. Thoughts on cook time? 

    • Hi Caitlin! I’ve never tried this recipe with drumettes, and unfortunately I don’t think this would be the best use for them because there’s little meat, extra skin, and lots of bones. If you’re trying to use them up, you may be interested in this black pepper garlic chicken wings recipe: I hope that helps!

  83. I thought this was pretty good. I have had a lot of Indian food and been to the country twice. I will make this again. Thanks for the recipe, Erin.

  84. This recipe is delicious!!  I made it just shy of 3 months ago and froze a portion so I could see how it would do coming out of the freezer. It was just as good as the day I made it!!  For those who have family members who won’t eat Indian food (I’m the only person in my house that eats it), just portion it out and freeze. I didn’t even thaw mine overnight. I just did the frozen dinner setting on my microwave and it was perfect!

    • Chanda, thanks for taking the time to share this review and report back on freezing! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  85. I’m excited to make this tonight! I have a question about adding the yogurt…can I have the pot on “keep warm” when adding the yogurt, or does the pot need to be fully turned off before adding the yogurt? Thank you!!! looks amazing!!!!

    • Hi Jamie! I haven’t tried it that way myself, but it may work. The key is to make sure the chicken has cooled somewhat so the yogurt doesn’t curdle. The Keep Warm setting *should* be okay, but like I said, I don’t have personal experience trying it that way. I hope you love it!

  86. Laura Anderson Reply

    Anyway I can substitute the coconut? I’m allergic. 😭

  87. The cauliflower was way too mushy.  It completely fell apart.  Next time I would roast it in the oven and only add it at the end.  Also, could use a bit of salt and more heat.  But we like our Indian food spicy:).  Thanks for the recipe.

    • Thanks for taking the time to review the recipe, Danielle! Sounds like you know exactly what you’d like to tweak next time—I hope you love it!

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