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Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

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Instant pot Chicken Tikka Masala is a rich, spicy, and creamy Indian recipe of boneless chicken! Tasting as good as the dish served in restaurants, you’ll be licking your fingers and going back for seconds!

Chicken tikka masala in a white bowl next to ginger and an instant pot.
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Just thinking about Indian food gets the mouth watering. Aromatic, spicy, sweet, and savory at the same time, instant pot Indian recipes encompass a range of flavors.

My favorite Indian dishes are butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, paneer tandoori, and gulab jamuns. But chicken tikka masala is the dish we make at home most often!

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Is Chicken Tikka Masala the Same as Butter Chicken?

Although they’re similar dishes, Butter Chicken is a traditional Indian dish invented by Kundan Lal Gujral in Northern India in 1948, while Chicken Tikka Masala is a British invention from the 1960s. Legend has it that when asked to prepare butter chicken, a new Bangladeshi chef whipped up something similar to it, but not exactly butter chicken. This dish was christened chicken tikka masala and soon because famous. The essential difference being, Butter Chicken leans more towards the creamy side, while Chicken Tikka Masala leans more towards the tangier tomato side.

As a Western adaptation of Indian cuisine, Chicken Tikka Masala has spent over half a century providing spice and flavor to the kitchens in the UK and here in the US. It’s now a comfort food synonymous with multiculturalism, and a popular dish the world over.

So now let’s get down to the business of making the best chicken masala recipe!

Chicken tikka masala in a white bowl next to a fork, cilantro, ginger and an instant pot.


Instant pot chicken curry is a tangy, rich, and creamy dish where tomato paste, butter and cream are major ingredients. Whip out this recipe when you want something perfect for those TV dinner nights!

  • Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Sliced Garlic
  • Sliced Ginger
  • Heavy Cream
  • Butter
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Garam Masala
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Cilantro

How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka is as easy to make as the infamous butter chicken. Are you ready to make this one popular instant pot Indian recipes at home?

Step 1: Cut Chicken

Cut the chicken breast in cubes and set aside.

Step 2: Cut Ginger and Garlic

Slice the ginger and garlic into fine pieces. Then saute them with the butter for 3 minutes before turning the instant pot off.

Step 3: Add More Ingredients

Add the chicken to the Instant Pot. Also add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, garam masala, salt, and paprika. Seal the instant pot and let it cook at high pressure for 6 minutes.

Step 4: Add Heavy Cream

Remove the chicken from the instant pot and set aside. Add heavy cream to sauce left in the pot and allow to simmer for 6 minutes. Stir occasionally.

A half cup meaure of heavy cream held over an instant pot of chicken tikka.

Step 5: Finish and Serve

Return the chicken pieces back to the pot and mix well so that they are coated with the sauce. Then spoon the instant pot Chicken Tikka Masala into a bowl, top with cilantro, and serve!

Chicken tikka with cilantro in a white bowl next to an instant pot.

Optional Serving Suggestions and Tips

  • Make extra. It gets eaten really fast.
  • Although you can cut it into bigger chunks, slicing the chicken into bite-sized chunks makes it easier to grab with your fork or hand.
  • Simmer the sauce with the cream for longer if you want a drier curry base.
  • This chicken tikka masala goes perfectly with white rice or naan bread.
  • Chicken spring rolls are the perfect appetizer for a tikka masala dinner.
  • This easy homemade peach ice cream goes amazingly well with Indian dinners.

FAQs About Chicken Tikka Masala

I’m having a party for friends in the evening. Can I make the chicken tikka masala in the morning?

Yes, of course you can. Once the chicken curry is ready, let it cool and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat it in the instant pot or skillet for 5 minutes before serving.

Can I store leftover chicken tikka masala in the refrigerator?

You can store leftover chicken tikka masala in the freezer section of your refrigerator. Let the dish cool completely, transfer it to airtight containers, and freeze till you need it. When you’re ready to eat the rest of it, thaw for an hour or so, then reheat and serve.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

Yes, you can use chicken thighs. But you will have to cook the chicken under pressure for 8 to 10 minutes longer.

Do I have to add color to the chicken tikka curry?

No, you don’t have to add any color to the curry. It will naturally turn orangeish-brown with the tomato, garam masala, and paprika used.


You can print off the complete ingredients and instructions for this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe via the recipe card below.

If you love this recipe please leave a 5-star rating!

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📋 Recipe

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Corinne Schmitt
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Natural Release 5 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 415 kcal


  • Electric Pressure Cooker


  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 3 lbs chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • cilantro garnish


  • Start by cutting up the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Slice the garlic and the ginger piece.
  • Set your Instant Pot to sauté.
  • When the display reads "Hot" add the butter, ginger, and garlic to the Instant Pot.
  • Sauté the garlic and ginger in the butter for approximately 3 minutes. Then, turn off the Instant Pot by pressing cancel.
  • Add the chicken, tomato sauce, tomato paste, garam masala, salt, and paprika to the Instant Pot.
  • Secure the lid and turn the pressure valve to sealing.
  • Set to high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • Once the cook time has ended, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then, quick release the steam by moving the pressure valve to venting.
  • Carefully remove the lid and then remove the chicken from the Instant Pot.
  • Add the heavy cream to the sauce left in the Instant Pot. Press "Saute" and simmer the sauce for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Return the chicken to the pot and stir well to coat it in sauce.
  • Spoon into bowls and top with cilantro to garnish.



Serving: 1gCalories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 50gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 1003mgPotassium: 1070mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 977IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5 thoughts on “Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala”

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for the information
    The recipe here is really delicious
    The taste and aroma are really delicious
    using fresh ingredients and the right spices

    • You’re welcome. I’m glad you like the recipe and thought it was flavorful. Thanks for commenting and letting us know.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe reminds me so much of that day when I first tasted an Indian dish! This is so tasty!

    • I love how food brings up such wonderful memories. Thanks for commenting.


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