Chicken Tikka Masala in the Instant Pot


From its vibrancy to its turmoil to the friendliness of its people to its cuisine, everything about India captured my heart. While I miss many aspects of India, the hot, creamy curries, fluffy, tender naan bread, and vivid spices are among my favourites.

What are the ingredients in Chicken Tikka Masala?

Chicken tikka masala is a rich, fragrant Indian meal made up of bite-sized pieces of succulent boneless chicken marinated in a thick, spicy curry sauce. It’s spicy in the sense that it’s incredibly tasty, not in the sense that it’s “hot.” The tikka sauce is often orange in colour and incorporates a creamy component such as coconut cream or yoghurt. There is no one-size-fits-all chicken tikka masala recipe, and there are dozens (if not hundreds) of variations available online. Today, I’m going to share my favourite easy chicken tikka masala recipe, which is made using common grocery store components.

The Components

Chicken. I went with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which cook out delightfully moist and tasty. (Try this Tofu Tikka Masala if you’re searching for a vegetarian option.)

Butter. While I like butter in this recipe, ghee, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil might also be used.

Vegetables. The addition of onion and frozen peas was simple and delicious.

Garlic and ginger are two of my favourite ingredients. With both of them, it’s best to keep it fresh.

Spices. The wonderfully flavoured tikka curry sauce’s secret! I used garam masala, chilli powder, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper, all of which should be readily available in your local supermarket.

Sauce made with tomatoes. With minimal effort, it adds tremendous taste.

The Instructions

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, try this Chicken Tikka Masala on the stovetop. However, if you’re using an Instant Pot, follow these steps:

Salt and pepper the chicken.

In the Instant Pot, melt the butter on SAUTE and then add the onion, garlic, ginger, and spices. Cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic.

Cook until the chicken is browned. Add the tomato sauce and mix well. Cover and cook for 8 minutes on HIGH pressure. Immediately let out a sigh.

Remove the top and pour in the coconut milk. Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and cook until the sauce has thickened. Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and mix in the peas. Allow for some cooling time before adding the Greek yoghurt. Serve with the sides and toppings of your choice!

Is Chicken Tikka Masala Harmful to Your Health?

While the calories in regular chicken tikka masala are hefty, this lightened-up version is healthy.

This meal is high in protein and nutrients while remaining low in calories thanks to the smart substitutions.

What Is the Taste of Chicken Tikka Masala?

The tomato foundation of chicken tikka masala is thick and creamy. It’s slightly earthy, with garlic and ginger overtones and a tinge of spice that’s unique but not overpowering. What’s the difference between chicken tikka masala online and butter chicken? While the appearance and texture of both meals are similar, butter chicken has less seasonings and a stronger tomato flavour than chow mein.

Why Use a Pressure Cooker to Make Chicken Tikka Masala?

As you might have guessed from the headline, I made this quick chicken tikka masala in my Instant Pot.

Because real Indian food recipes can take hours to prepare (due to toasting and grinding whole spices, as well as extensive simmer times), using a pressure cooker to create a comparable effect in a fraction of the time is a natural, helpful shortcut. The chicken also stays deliciously moist since the pressure cooker does not lose moisture. Instant Pot Indian chicken recipes have enchanted me. A couple of the same healthy Indian spices are included in this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice (though its flavour profile is more subtle). (See m for further information.)

Is it possible to create this healthy chicken tikka masala in a slow cooker? I haven’t attempted a slow cooker version of chicken tikka masala yet, but I’m sure it would work! In the notes section of the recipe below, you’ll find ideas for making the recipe in the slow cooker and on the stovetop. Also, take a look at my Slow Cooker Chicken Curry recipe.