Instant Pot Butter Chicken with Brown Rice

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

In this easy Instant Pot recipe, chicken cooks to perfection in a heady mix of spices and juicy tomatoes. To make this simple preparation a complete meal, add about 2 cups of cut vegetables, such as cauliflower florets or green beans, with the tomatoes.


  • 2 Tbs. ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 lb. (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) cubes
  • 1 can (15 oz./470 g) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream or coconut milk
  • Steamed brown rice for serving
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


In an Instant Pot set to Sauté, melt the ghee. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chile, cinnamon, garam masala, paprika, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes.

Lock the lid in place, turn the valve to Sealing and set to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.

When the pressure cooking is complete, turn the valve to Venting to manually release the steam. When the steam stops, carefully remove the lid, stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the rice onto individual plates and top with the chicken. Garnish with cilantro and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams Sonoma The Instant Pot Cookbook (Weldon Owen, 2017)