This chicken tikka masala recipe is restaurant quality, made from scratch, and easy to make in a pressure cooker. The chicken is tender and flavorful, simmered in a creamy tikka masala sauce with a hint of lemon.
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Marinate: 1 hr
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (Note 1)
- 7-ounce container plain greek yogurt (Note 2)
- 1 tablespoon
garam masala(Note 3)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon
- Marinate Chicken: Stir together all marinade ingredients except chicken in large bowl until well-mixed; set aside. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, and cut into bite-sized chunks, 1/2 to 1 inch in size. Stir chicken chunks into marinade until well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Sauté Chicken: Select sauté mode on
pressure cookerfor medium heat. Once heated, add chicken chunks (along with any marinade sticking to them) to pressure cooker. Sauté until chicken is cooked on all sides, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off sauté mode, and deglaze if needed (Note 6).
- Pressure Cook: Add all sauce ingredients except cream to pressure cooker, over chicken chunks, and stir. Secure and seal lid. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Perform quick pressure release by turning pressure knob to venting position.
- Finish & Serve: Uncover, and select sauté mode on pressure cooker for low heat. Once heated, add cream to pot, stirring with other ingredients. Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, a few minutes. Serve (Note 7).
|Makes 4 Servings|
|Amount Per Serving:|
|Calories 460 (53% from fat)|
|Total Fat 27g||41%|
|Saturated Fat 17g||85%|
|Net Carb 10g|
|Total Carb 14.5g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 4.5g||18%|
I love this recipe! I’ve made it so many times now. I make a way unhealthier version with whole Greek yogurt, I double the amount of chicken and use thighs, double the amount of Garam Masala, serve it with Basmati rice and naan and sprinkle with cilantro and it’s about the best InstantPot recipe I’ve ever found. Thank you!
One of the best recipes I’ve made in my Instant Pot!
Cody – do you adjust cooking times when adding more meat and other ingredients?
I’ve made this recipe many times now and wanted to point out that garam masala is not like other spices – Garam masala is a mixture of many different spices so can be very different depending on where you buy it. I’ve purchased from three different places and used them in this recipe in the same way. One time it was literally perfect. One of the best recipes I’ve ever made. With a different garam masala it was soooo spicy and with a third garam masala it wasn’t as flavorful. You may need to experiment.
Mind if I ask which one made it perfect? If you recall…
Yes! I buy it from a store in Manhattan called Kalustyan’s. You can actually buy it off their website although the shipping is expensive. The brand is Marhaba – not sure if they sell directly
Can this be done dairy free? What’s a good substitute for the yogurt and heavy cream?
Check your supermarket for dairy-free options for yogurt — there are a lot of brands making coconut based or almond milk based yogurts. Even better if you can find one that is plain, unsweetened, with a very thick texture like Greek yogurt. As for heavy cream, I would substitute with canned coconut cream or canned full-fat coconut milk.
I’ve been using Nutpods original in place of heavy cream for recipes. It has a more neutral flavor than coconut milk/cream.
This was amazing! Everyone in my family loved it, my 16 year old got up in the middle of the night to eat more.
This recipe has been in my almost-weekly rotation for a long time, and I love it! This time I prepped everything, marinated the chicken overnight, brought my IP to work and made it for my friends at the office. One pal brought her homemade naan. It’s a feast! I used a trivet to hold a pan of rice and broth over the chicken/sauce to cook at the same time, and it was just divine. Thank you for this fabulous recipe.
Almost 2 years ago was the first time I made this recipe, the first Instant Pot dish I ever made and after making 50+ dishes in the Instant Pot this is still my go to when having guests or cooking a meal for my SO. Its my favorite recipe I’ve ever found and I’ve made it more time than I can count. Thank you so much Julia!
I love this recipe but the yogurt always curdles, any way to avoid this?
Try using yogurt with a higher fat percentage, like 5%.
It happened to me me, too! I used full fat yogurt. The sauce was clumpy and broken up after cooking. I removed the chicken from the sauce and then threw the sauce into my Vitamix on high for about a minute and that made the sauce smooth and creamy.
You can also easily use an immersion blender – works great!
I have never commented on a recipe before but I had to for this one. This recipe is AMAZING!!!!! It has quickly become our absolute favorite meal and is incredibly delicious. Even our leftovers taste like it was just made. The only thing I change is adding a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (vs 1/4 teaspoon) because we LOVE the heat it adds. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! We found a 2 ingredient naan recipe we pair with it along with some basmati rice and cilantro and we just can’t get enough!
Very delicious! Had a kick to it, so if you dont want it so spicy, maybe leave the ceyenne out and add some after to individual dishes.
Didn’t have yogurt or chicken breasts at home, so I used sour cream and chicken tenders. Turned out great! I used the stove top so I didn’t have to clean more parts on the instant pot also lol. Will be saving this one for SURE!
Love this recipe! How would you modify it to use tofu instead of chicken?
Hi! My daughters boyfriend is Indian and Vegetarian and they use Paneer instead
Does this freeze well, if at all?
Absolutely loved this recipe and also wondering about freezing. Would be great to make a large batch of this and freeze portions for weekday meals
I love this recipe! It was very easy and my boyfriend who grew up in India gave it 8/10 which is pretty high praise for an Indian recipe that I make!
What types of veggies would you add to this? (red pepper? Yellow Pepper? White or red onion?) and when would you add?
Love this recipe! Making it for the second time right now. Doubling the recipe since it went so quick last time.
Hi Heather! I suggest adding an onion; I usually opt for a yellow onion and a smaller-sized one so that the dish isn’t overwhelmingly onion-y. For preparation, I would finely chop the onion and add it at the same time as the sauce ingredients, just prior to pressure cooking. If you’d prefer, you can saute the onions first with a bit of oil, but I don’t think it would make a noticeable difference.
Onions will release liquid as they cook, increasing the overall wateriness of your final sauce. After pressure cooking, you may need to use the saute mode for a longer period of time until the sauce reaches your desired thickness.
Hope that’s helpful!
I roast cauliflower and pour it over that. It’s so creamy, the rice isn’t needed at that point if you want to eat less carbs and more veggies
No taste. But no onion very few spices., no wonder
I thought it was weird to saute the chicken with the marinade, too, so I didn’t. My chicken was cut up into bite sized squares. I poured the whole bowl with the marinade and the chicken into the pot, and then poured the sauce on top. I pressure-cooked on high for 10 minutes then did a NR for 10 more before quick-releasing the rest of the steam. What an awesome recipe!! We served ours over plain spaghetti squash, because that is what I had.
For me as a pretty new cook I was confused on what was the marinade and what was the sauce. I did it wrong and I’m pretty sure it won’t work out for me. Maybe for others who are regular cooks and who cook Thai foods this would be a given, but it wasn’t for me. If it had been labeled “Marinade” instead of “Marinating Chicken” I would have likely not gotten confused. Oh well, it looks like other people really enjoyed it! Thanks
My husband and I make this almost weekly. We love it! We actually make this rather than going out. A fantastic recipe!
Flavor was really good. However, I don’t quite understand sautéing the chicken in a yogurt marinade. It doesn’t sear with that sauce on it and then putting it in the instapot gave me a burn warning when trying to pressurize. I think I’m just not good at this instapot thing.
It’ll sear with the sauce on it if the pot is hot enough. To get it hot enough, sear the chicken in batches (to avoid cooling the pot too much) or turn up the saute setting temperature. After searing, use a stiff utensil to loosen anything stuck to the bottom of the pot, to avoid burn errors during pressure cooking. I’ll be updating this recipe with better instructions, but in the meantime, I hope you find these tips to be helpful and continue to use your Instant Pot.
I’ve modified it by adding a half a sautéed yellow onion and frozen peas right before pressure cooking. I also prefer to sear the chicken pieces in a separate pan so I can transfer the chicken over to the IP without all the liquid watering down the sauce. I also only use ½ a cup of heavy cream (cutting the amount of cayenne in half as well). It’s best to refrigerate over night and serve the next day, in my experience.
The chicken breasts were dry. I don’t see the point of attempting to saute chicken that has marinated (in my case, 24 hours) in Greek yogurt; it doesn’t really sear with the yogurt on it. I ended up sauteing it for 5 minutes (per the recipe), IP for 10, and the meat was dry. Next time I’ll skip the sauteing and use thighs instead. Tasty sauce.
I tried this recipe for the first time tonight. I’ve been using my instant pot for about 2 years and I’ve been wanting to expand on my recipes now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with it. While making this recipe everything was going fine until I put the lid on to cook the chicken with the other ingredients. The instant pot never pressurized (it usually takes about 10 minutes to do that before the cook time starts going; I think it was only a few minutes before I noticed the time counting down to cook). Once the time finishes I went to do a quick release and… nothing happened. I opened the pot and it didn’t look like much had changed from when I put the lid on.
I decided to move on to sauté and before I could add the heavy whipped cream I got a burn notice. I quickly turned it off, waited a little and tried again making sure to add the cream in immediately and that seemed to help.
I’m wondering if mixing in the tomato purée is the issue? Maybe the tomato purée needs to sit on top of the chicken versus mixed in and that’s why the pot couldn’t pressurize properly. I made sure nothing was sticking to the bottom of the pot. Or maybe more liquid needs to be added into the recipe? I’ve made quite a few recipes and I’ve never gotten a burn notice before, but based on what I’ve learned from other recipes, tomatoes seem to work best when they aren’t touching the bottom/mixed in with the other ingredients, and that the instant requires liquid.
I really like this recipe it seems really straight forward. It’s just a little disappointing when it doesn’t quite workout well and that’s your food for the night. I’ll give this another try again and try adding water to see if that helps.
This happened to me one time , my rubber ring wasn’t pushed all the way in so it never came to pressure !
My pot not coming to pressure happens sometimes with this recipe too…maybe because I double it a lot? I end up adding some water just in case but it’s so delicious I don’t even care.
I have chicken thighs. Will it taste just as good with those?
I love this recipe! It’s one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes. However, my boyfriend is a vegetarian and I was wondering if there was a way to make this recipe with cauliflower?
I have a vegetarian tikka masala recipe that uses cauliflower https://www.savorytooth.com/cauliflower-curry/ but it’s designed for the stovetop, not Instant Pot.
I tried to make this and found it to be way, way, way over spiced. Either I made an error, which may be likely, or this is just a super spicy dish. I haven’t found that to be true at Indian restaurants, but they could have been Americanized.
My family doesn’t like spice so I leave out the cayenne pepper entirely. It also depends on the Garam Masala you chose. Some have cayenne, some don’t. They’re not all made the same! I personally make my own blend.
This was waaay too much spice any barely edible for our family! Ugh, I expected a fabulous dinner and out tongue lashing ended up numb and sinuses cleared!