Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

5 from 9 votes
10 Comments

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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala makes one of my favorite Indian dishes so simple I can make it any night of the week. The sweet and savory spices mixed with tender chicken creates the perfect comfort dish. 

If you haven’t tried many instant pot recipes yet, this is a perfect one to start with! For a super fast meal that packs a ton of flavors, the instant pot can deliver every time. Try our Easy Instant Pot Gumbo or our  Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff too!

A bowl with rice and chicken tikka masala inside next to an instant pot

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

I am absolutely in love with Indian food. The herbs and spices of Indian cuisine have this sweet and savory blend that is just so comforting to me. Some people crave sweets, but I crave this chicken tikka masala recipe ALL THE TIME. I love making it in the Instant Pot. I only have one pot to clean up at the end of dinner, but it tastes like I was in the kitchen making a big mess all day.

A piece of chicken on a fork covered in sauce

Differences from Authentic Tikka Masala

If you are looking for perfectly-authentic-in-every-way Chicken Tikka Masala, this recipe might not be the one. However, if you are looking for perfectly-delicious-easy-to-make Chicken Tikka Masala then you are in the right place! I wanted to share this recipe because it is easy, and uses methods and ingredients that are accessible to most people. That being said, there are a few ways you can up the authenticity if you are interested! Traditionally, the chicken would be cooked in a tandoori oven before simmering in the sauce. You can recreate this at home by searing the chicken on the grill before adding it to the Instant Pot. You can also swap out full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream to make it more authentic. You can also serve it with Raita (pictured below).

Bowls of rice, chicken tikka masala, and raita on a table with naan bread

The Difference Between Butter Chicken and Chicken Masala

If you’ve had butter chicken before, this recipe will taste very similar; however there are some slight differences. Butter chicken has a less intense tomato flavor with more of a creamy texture. And this chicken tikka masala is a bit less creamy but boasts a richer tomato base in the sauce.

What to Serve with Tikka Masala

A simple side of steamed rice and your choice of vegetables pair perfectly with this sweet and savory dish. But you could also make a side of basmati rice, or cauliflower rice. Other sides to try include:

Other Instant Pot Recipes To Try

The Instant Pot is one of our favorite kitchen tools. Dinner can be on the table so much faster, without sacrificing taste. Try some of our other favorite Instant Pot recipes!

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

A bowl with rice and chicken tikka masala inside next to an instant pot

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

5 from 9 votes
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala makes one of my favorite Indian dishes so simple I can make it any night of the week. The sweet and savory spices mixed with tender chicken creates the perfect comfort dish. 
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Marinating Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 6-Quart Instant Pot Pressure Cooker (See Instant Pot Note Below)

Ingredients

For the Chicken

For the Sauce

For Serving (Optional)

Instructions

For the Chicken

  • Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garam masala, cayenne pepper, ginger, and salt and pepper. Pour over cubed chicken.
  • Stir until the chicken is evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate.

For the Sauce

  • Turn the Instant Pot to "Saute" mode. Add vegetable oil. Once the oil is heated, add onion, garlic, and garam masala. Cook until onions are tender.
  • Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Then add chicken and all the marinade.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and move the vent to the "Sealing" position. Set the Instant Pot to "Poultry" and set the timer for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes. Then do a quick release. Remove the lid and stir the contents.
  • Add heavy cream and butter. Stir to combine. If the sauce is too thin, set Instant Pot to "Saute" and cook until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve over rice or with naan bread. Optional: top with fresh chopped cilantro.
    A bowl with rice and chicken tikka masala inside next to an instant pot

Notes

Garam Masala Substitution Note: Garam Masala is an amazing Indian spice blend. You can find it at most grocery stores, but if it is not available near you, you can substitute it. Combine 4 parts cumin with 1 parts allspice. For example, 1 tablespoon of cumin and ¼ tablespoon allspice.
Instant Pot Note: We use a 6-quart Instant Pot brand pressure cooker that we bought in 2016. Different or newer versions may be more sensitive to the “BURN” notice. If you are concerned about the burn notice, please refer to the Instant Pot webpage about Overheat Protection, found HERE.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1gCalories: 463kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 37gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 773mgPotassium: 950mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1438IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 2mg

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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The instant pot makes this so easy! It’s such a popular meal that everyone loves & it’s full of flavor!

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of my absolute favorite recipes! So creamy and packed full of flavor! Thank you for the step by step directions too! So helpful!

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks a lot for sharing this chicken tikka masala! It taste really amazing and very easy to make! Job well done! Highly recommended!

  4. 5 stars
    Perfect for our family curry nights. We love tikka masala, not too spicy for the kids but has a bit of a kick for the adults.