Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

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One of the things I miss most about living in England is the amazing Indian cuisine that's available absolutely everywhere. This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala curbs those Indian food cravings and it's super easy to make.
If you want to jump straight to the recipe without my notes and recommendations, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the recipe card. 
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Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Although my favorite Indian dishes are the spicier, vegetable based meals, there's just something about a good Chicken Tikka Masala that's comforting for me. Found on most pub menus, Chicken Tikka Masala is a mild way to enjoy some international flavor and it's simple to make at home.
My Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is a meal everyone in my family looks forward to. That alone makes this one a keeper, right? Everyone eats it without whining. Winning.
Instant Pot chicken tikka masala
This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my family's favorite dinners.

This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorite quick family meals and I love the ease of making it in my pressure cooker, although it does require a little bit of prep work. 

Chicken Tikka Masala on a plate with rice
We usually serve this with rice…it's very saucy and that's why I like it so much.

This is a very saucy recipe by design. It's great over rice – you'll need to make the rice in a separate pot – or with naan for dipping. Or both. Go crazy.

If you can get naan at your grocery store, that's great to use to sop up the extra sauce – YUM.

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This is good with any sort of rice. Basmati rice is the most authentic but it's really good with sticky white rice or even brown rice.

Confession time: I have used sour cream when I had no Greek yogurt on hand. I didn't notice that much of a difference, maybe a slight bit more zip/tangy-ness

Marinating the chicken in the yogurt for at least an hour is a must. I've marinated it for longer and had the same type of result. I've left the meat in the marinade bag overnight in the fridge.

The yogurt makes the chicken super moist.

I've never tried using pork or turkey, although you certainly can.

I have never substituted turkey or pork for the chicken but I have substituted chopped veggies for some of the chicken when my chicken on hand hasn't measured up to quite a pound.

My favorite veggies to use in this are red pepper strips, onion, cauliflower and peas. You can easily use whatever you have on hand or leftovers.

If you're using fresh garlic, I'd use 2-3 cloves depending on how garlicky you like your food.

I like to use minced garlic off the grocer's shelf versus fresh garlic. Yes, I know fresh is always better but the minced garlic is just SO. MUCH. EASIER. 

If you want to reduce the fat a little bit you can try subbing half and half for the heavy cream. I haven't tried that with my Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala but I do use half and half in my Instant Pot Tomato Soup Recipe, when the original recipe called for heavy cream so it would probably work.

As I lean more toward a grain free and dairy free lifestyle, I'm thinking of using full fat coconut milk versus the heavy cream. I use this brand of canned coconut milk in most of my cooking now and I notice very little difference in taste of texture of my food. I'm still trying to figure out a good substitute for the yogurt, though. 

Want more Indian flavor or something more plant-based? A lot of the soups on this list of vegetarian soups are waiting for you!

Seriously one of the easiest meals I make

This is one of the easiest savory dishes I make. If I didn't have one kid who absolutely can't take heat, I'd add some crushed peppers to the mix to give it a little kick, although chicken tikka masala isn't typically a spicy dish. 


I hope you enjoy and love!

Try my other Instant Pot favorites:

Orange Chicken, Minestrone, & Sweet Potato and Jalapeno Soup

Ultimate list of easy weeknight meals

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Yes, you can make chicken tikka masala in your Instant Pot and it's easy!

  • 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 7 oz container of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp (+ 4 tsp reserved) Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • cooked white rice
  • chopped, fresh cilantro
  1. Mix yogurt, 1 tbsp of Garam Masala and lemon juice. Add chicken and stir to evenly coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

  2. Add chicken and marinate to Instant Pot. Set to saute until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently.

  3. Add tomato sauce, garlic, 4 teaspoons Garam Masala, paprika, turmeric and salt and mix well.

  4. Place the lid onto the instant pot and seal shut. Close the pressure release valve. Set the instant pot to manual, high pressure for 10 minutes.

  5. When cooking cycle is complete, quick release pressure and carefully open instant pot.

  6. Slowly stir in heavy cream. 

  7. Serve with white rice and topped with chopped fresh cilantro. 

  8. Serves 4


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