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instant pot butter chicken
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4.68 from 80 votes

Instant Pot Butter Chicken {paleo recipe}

Butter chicken is a flavorful chicken curry with heavenly aroma of the garam masala and fenugreek, in a creamy sauce with orangish hue from the red chili powder and turmeric.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Calories: 381kcal


  • 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
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped, for garnish


  • Set Instant Pot to Saute mode and heat ghee. Add onions and salt. Cook until onions are soft and translucent for 2-3 minutes (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.
  • Separate the coconut cream and water. Keep the coconut cream aside. Add ½ cup of the watery portion of coconut milk and pureed tomatoes mixing with spices. Add chicken and stir well.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid with steam release handle to sealing. Pressure cook for 8 minutes followed by quick release. (Note: If using chicken breasts, pressure cook for 5 minutes followed by 5 minutes of natural pressure release)
  • 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. Serve the butter chicken with Homemade Parathas and Basmati Rice or Cumin Rice and  Cucumber Raita. For a low-carb meal serve with Cauliflower Cumin Rice.



  1. Instead of coconut milk, you can use ½ cup of water to pressure cook the chicken and then add heavy cream in the end to garnish 
  2. ¾ cup of store-bought puree can be used instead of homemade tomato puree 
  3. Skip tomato paste if you do not have it, tomato paste adds vibrant red color and thickness to the butter chicken 
Vegetarian Options:
  • Check out my Paneer Makhani recipe that uses the same sauce for a delicious vegetarian option


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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