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Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Paleo + Whole30)

Cozy up with this Paleo + Whole30 Instant Pot butter chicken! It’s easy to make, full of rich flavors and versatile too. You will love how satisfied your belly and soul are after you enjoy this butter chicken recipe. 

Instant pot butter chicken in a bowl with coconut milk drizzled on top and chopped fresh cilantro.

Easy Instant Pot Cooking

We love this Instant Pot  butter chicken because it’s one of the easiest recipes to throw together. There’s pretty minimal prep, and if you don’t have fresh ginger on hand you could sub about a tablespoon of dried ginger. You also get to utilize the sauté function which we think adds a little extra flavor and texture to the sauce once it’s made. Once you’re done sautéing you just add the rest of the ingredients and set your Instant Pot  to cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. It takes a little time to build up pressure in the pot, but all in all it’s a pretty quick and easy recipe!

Instant pot butter chicken in two bowls one with white rice. Both bowls topped with coconut milk and chopped fresh cilantro.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a blend of ground spices used often in Indian cuisine. We bought a jar of pre-made Garam Masala, but you could easily make your own at home. It’s typically just a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper and coriander. Sometimes you might find recipes with variations that add in turmeric, fennel, star anise, fenugreek, etc. But at its basic form, it’s just six simple spices you probably have in your spice cabinet. Here’s a recipe you could follow if you wanted to make your own batch to use for this Instant Pot butter chicken.

Angle shot of instant pot butter chicken in a bowl with coconut milk drizzled on top and fresh chopped cilantro.

Make It A Meal

This Instant Pot butter chicken is really cozy and soul-satisfying. The flavors are savory-sweet and just right. You can eat this chicken as is in the sauce, over cauliflower or white rice and greens, just over greens or roasted veggies, etc. You can go several directions with it, which also makes this recipe great for meal prepping! You can switch it up and make your lunches during the work week feel a little different every day…or if you’re like me you could eat the same lunch every day! 😉

Instant pot butter chicken in a bowl served with white rice. Topped with a drizzle of coconut milk and fresh chopped cilantro.

Some Other Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Recipes To Try

Your Turn To Try Our Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Whether you’re old or new to the Instant Pot, plan to make this Instant Pot butter chicken real soon! It’s perfect for Fall and Winter and will keep you feeling cozy and warm. Leave a comment below and let us know how it goes. Also, take a pic to share on Instagram. Tag us @realsimplegood so we can check it out, and give us a follow if you don’t already! We’d love to stay connected!


Instant pot butter chicken in a bowl with a drizzle of coconut milk, fresh chopped cilantro and a spoon. Long pin for pinterest.

Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Paleo + Whole30)

4.74 from 23 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
This Paleo + Whole30 Instant Pot butter chicken is easy to make, full of rich flavors and versatile. It's a belly and soul-satisfying butter chicken recipe!
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For the seasoning:

  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

For the chicken:

  • 3 tbsp ghee (or sub butter - ghee for Whole30)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
  • Chopped cilantro (optional garnish)
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  • Make the seasoning mix by combining the seasonings in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Prep garlic, onion and ginger as noted.
  • Press the sauté button on the instant pot and add ghee. Once hot, add in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in the seasoning mix and stir to mix. Press the cancel button on the instant pot.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
  • Add in the ginger, coconut milk, coconut aminos, tomato paste and lemon juice. Add the chicken thighs into the pot.
  • Secure the lid on the instant pot and close the pressure valve. Press the "manual" button (or "pressure cook" button) and set the time to cook for 10 minutes at high pressure. Once the time is up, let the pressure naturally release on its own for 10 minutes.
  • Manually release any remaining pressure and remove the lid. Serve chicken topped with sauce and optional cilantro.
Tried this recipe?Take a picture and tag @realsimplegood so we can see it!

41 thoughts on “Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Paleo + Whole30)

  • So delicious! I made this last night when I took dinner to a friend. It was perfect for that, and my family enjoyed it as well. Thank you Erica and Justin!

  • This was delicious! Thank you for such a flavorful, easy to make recipe! We ended up with a lot of extra sauce. Do you think it would work to cook it with more chicken thighs next time so the sauce doesn’t go to waste? I’d love the leftovers!

    • Hi Kate, glad you enjoyed the recipe! I think you could add some more chicken thighs in easily without adjusting the rest of the recipe. Hope you enjoy this one again 🙂

  • We made this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious!! I prepped the ingredients and my 21 year son put it all together for me. We served it over jasmine rice with roasted cauliflower and roasted chick peas. This is absolutely going into the weekly rotation.

  • I made this on my second Whole30, but you DEFINITELY do not have to be on Whole30 to love this recipe!! It’s incredibly delicious! I used the crockpot on high for 4 hours and it turned out great!!

  • If you are looking for a cozy recipe that you can feel good during and after eating, this is it!
    We like this best over brown rice and definitely with the recommended chicken thighs. I tried it with chicken breasts before and it’s still really good if you are looking to make the dish a little leaner.
    My husband and I enjoy making this one!
    As always, this is a wonderful recipe to have on hand when I’m craving a savory and cozy dish!

  • Yummy! I made this in a dutch oven, seared bone in skin on thighs for about 11 minutes each. Took chx out, sauteed onion and garlic and ginger, then added broth stirred all together, put chicken back in and topped with the coconut milk mix. Covered and baked at 350 for 45 minutes. Was great! Will make again.

  • Hi, I am making this tonight. My wife is not a fan of chicken thighs. Any thoughts on how long to cook with NOT frozen chicken breasts? So excited to try this recipe!

  • I love this recipe. It’s very easy. I only added 1 tsp of lemon juice and a little salt. I also added frozen peas. It was so good!!

    • We didn’t use a thickener in the sauce, so it will come out pretty “soupy”. We use Aroy-D brand of full fat coconut milk which is thick and doesn’t separate, you could try using that. Also, you could try mixing in a tablespoon of arrowroot starch in with the chicken broth before putting it in to help thicken up the sauce. Hopefully this helps!

  • I have tried 2 other Butter Chicken Recipes and yours is by far the BEST!

    It also keeps well in the fridge for eating the next day which is a huge bonus.

    When serving the next day I mix in another teaspoon of Curry to spice it up as that flavor seems to fade.

  • Oh my goodness, what a delicious meal! Hubby just made this, lessening the lemon as one reviewer recommended, and it is OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD! Restaurant quality flavor, home-made healthy! BRAVO for YET ANOTHER fantastic recipe!

    We love you and would be suffering if it weren’t for your ahhhhhmazing site!

    Thank you for all your efforts!

  • I think I’ve just been reading through your blog for the last hour! I have tried paleo in the past, but now my husband is finally on board which makes cooking a lot easier. Before, I just omitted the things from my plate that weren’t allowed, but now I can go for it! I’m thankful to have come across your recipes…they don’t use 1001 ingredients that cost about that much money too…helpful for a family on a budget.

    One quick question about this specific recipe, and more generally for instant pot recipes. I don’t have one or plan on getting one. Could this be done in a slow cooker? How long would it need to cook for?

    Thanks again for efforts in putting this together. I feel like I’ll be returning here frequently!

    • Hey there! We’re so happy you found us, and look forward to hearing more from you as you and your hubby go for it! It really makes such a difference when you’re in it together. For this recipe, you can just toss everything in your crockpot and cook on low for 3 hours or on high for 6 hours. Don’t be a stranger! 🙂

  • I made this last night and it is soooo delicious! It had a tiny bit of a butter aftertaste but I just added a little salt and lemon to taste and it was perfect! This will definitely be on repeat. Thank you!!!

  • Just made this today… Way too much lemon! It overpowered the dish. So maybe I squeezed too much juice out of too-big lemons. What is the approximate measured amount of juice you used for “juice of two lemons”?

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