I’ve been on an Indian kick lately. I planned dinner not intended to make this Instant Pot chicken tikka masala, but I’m a sucker when it comes to my kids, and I’m so glad I did. Try it out, let me know what you think, and shop the affiliate links I share which gives me a small percentage from any purchase.
So really, I had planned to make my Instant Pot curry chicken. As the weather turns colder, I love recipes that warm me up from the inside. Indian dishes tend to fit the bill perfectly, and I love their flavor, too.
When I told my daughter my dinner plans, she made a face. Apparently, I made my chicken curry too often. Oops? As much as she likes it, she wanted something different.
Since I’m a sucker, I changed my plans. Fortunately, it worked out for the best, as she loved this alteration to our usual Indian dinner choice. I brought it to a friend who was stuck working and had no food – because it makes great leftovers. She agreed to try it but was skeptical. By the time she’d taken two bites, she had already asked when I planned to share the recipe on the blog.
Lucky for her, I paid attention to what I did. This recipe works beautifully in the Instant Pot. I love that I can use it to saute to get the full flavors from my spices then pressure cook the meal in the same pot. Less mess always wins in my house.
I chose to use chickpeas in this recipe to complement my chicken. Why? First, I love the added protein, as well as the texture and flavor they provide. Of course, it’s also because I made some roasted chickpeas and had cooked up some extra dried chickpeas in my Instant Pot for those and needed to use them!
You could choose to use all chicken or sub out the chicken and use extra chickpeas to make this not only a gluten free dinner but a vegan one, as well. Obviously, sub out oil for the butter, too, but this recipe works great either way. I love dishes I know I can bring to gatherings where people may or may not have dietary restrictions!
If you don’t have or don’t like chickpeas, you could use other veggies, too. I added some carrot, and you could increase the carrots. Use cauliflower or even potato if you’re in a crunch. The best part of dishes like this is that the gravy you create with the spices drives this Instant Pot chicken tikka masala. The chicken or chickpeas are simply the vehicle to deliver it.
Best of all, this is a dish that gets better on Day Two. Anytime I can make something that creates leftovers my family wants to eat is a win for me. This becomes the lunch my kids take to school, and it makes after school snacks or “oops I didn’t have time to cook” dinners easy, too.
Serve this over basmati rice or with naan – if you’re lucky enough to have it. Each bite has a burst of flavor you’re sure to love.
How to make Instant Pot chicken tikka masala
Turn your Instant Pot to saute. Chop your onion and mince garlic. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add butter, onion, garlic, grated ginger, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, and cardamom. Stir and let saute to two to three minutes.
While onions and spices cook, chop chicken into bite size pieces. Peel your carrots and slice into thin coins, about an eighth to a quarter inch thick.
Turn off Instant Pot, and add tomatoes with the juice. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits that may have gotten stuck to the bottom. Use your immersion blender to puree and make a smooth gravy.
Add chicken, chickpeas, and salt. Stir to coat chicken and chickpeas.
Add Instant Pot lid and seal. Set to cook for 8 minutes. Let the pot do a natural pressure release (NPR) for 10 minutes.
Release any remaining pressure, then remove lid. Add coconut milk and stir to combine.
Serve immediately over rice.
Have you ever made Instant Pot chicken tikka masala? What are your favorite IP recipes?
Looking for more great Instant Pot recipes? Check out some of my favorite Instant Pot recipes:
- Beer cheese soup (stovetop recipe also available)
- Corn chowder
- Spanish rice (one of my most popular recipes!)
- Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy chickpea tomato soup (with adaptation to make on stovetop)
- Easy peasy tomato soup
- Homemade chicken stock
- Updated (healthier) honey bourbon chicken
- Pulled pork
- Broccoli cheddar soup
- Lentil Soup
- French onion soup
- Chicken curry
- 1 T butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 t ginger, grated
- 1 t cumin
- 2 t turmeric
- 1/2 t garam masala
- 1/4 t Indian chili powder
- 1/4 t cardamom
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 lb chicken
- 3 c chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
- 1 c coconut milk (full fat canned)
- Turn Instant Pot to saute. Chop onion and mince garlic. Once Instant Pot is hot, add butter, onion, garlic, grated ginger, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, and cardamom. Saute to two to three minutes, stirring periodically. Turn off Instant Pot after 3 minutes.
- Chop chicken into bite size pieces. Peel carrots and slice into thin coins.
- Add tomatoes with the juice to sauteed onions to deglaze the bottom. Blend the contents to make a smooth gravy. Return to Instant Pot if using a standard blender.
- Add chicken, chickpeas, and salt. Stir to coat chicken and chickpeas.
- Seal Instant Pot and set to cook for 8 minutes. NPR for 10 minutes, then add coconut milk and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately over rice.
Make this vegan by swapping out chicken for more chickpeas and butter for oil. Don't have or like chickpeas? Use cauliflower instead. Bulk up with more carrots. Add potatoes if you're in a pinch. This recipe is about the flavors from the gravy you create and how you serve it becomes flexible.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 507 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 112mg Sodium: 205mg Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 7g Protein: 36g
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