Better Butter Chicken
By :The Instant Pot Bible by Bruce Weinstein
Here’s our version of an internet craze: a buttery, tomato-laced, cream-rich sauce enrobing meaty pieces of chicken. Unfortunately, many recipes use cut-up bits of boneless, skinless chicken breast, which become tough shards; or chicken thighs, which leave the sauce greasy. We use bone-in skin-off chicken breasts to give the sauce a more savory, bony flavor, with some collagen melted into it to enrich every bite. To remove the skin from a chicken breast, grab the skin on the narrow, pointy end with a paper towel and pull the skin back and off the meat. Remove any large blobs of fat on the meat. Then cut each breast in half width wise so there’s about the same amount of meat in each portion.
Votes: 74
Rating: 4.05
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Poultry
Duration 15-30 min
Diet Keto, Low Carb
Cooking Technique Max Pressure Cook, Pressure Cook
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
6 servings
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp butter 1/2 stick, cut into bits
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tbsp peeled fresh ginger minced
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 3 bone-in skinless chicken breasts cut in half width wise
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Poultry
Duration 15-30 min
Diet Keto, Low Carb
Cooking Technique Max Pressure Cook, Pressure Cook
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
6 servings
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp butter 1/2 stick, cut into bits
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tbsp peeled fresh ginger minced
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 3 bone-in skinless chicken breasts cut in half width wise
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Votes: 74
Rating: 4.05
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
  1. Press the Saute button and set for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the tomatoes, broth or wine, onion, butter, curry powder, ginger, and salt in the cooker. Cook, stirring occasionally. Until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Turn off the SAUTE function, add the chicken, and toss well in the sauce to coat. Lock the lid onto the pot.
  3. Option 1 MAX Pressure Cooker
    Press Pressure cook on MAX level for 12 minutes with the Keep Warm Setting off.
  4. Option 2 All Pressure Cookers
    Press 'Meat/Stew or Pressure Cook (Manual) for 15 minutes with the Keep Warm Setting off.
  5. Use the quick-release method to bring the pot’s pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the pot. Use kitchen tongs to transfer the chicken breasts to a serving platter or individual serving bowls.
  6. Press the Saute button for 5 minutes.
  7. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring quite frequently. Stir in the cream and cook the sauce at a low simmer, stirring quite often, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Turn off the SAUTE function and spoon the sauce over the chicken breasts.
Recipe Notes

• You must halve the recipe for a 3-quart cooker.
• For an 8-quart cooker, you must increase all the ingredients by 50 percent.
• The curry’s buttery enough to serve over mashed potatoes.
• Or serve it on top of split-open baked sweet potatoes.
• Or serve it over riced cauliflower. There’s no need to cook the cauliflower. The warm sauce will do the job for you if you serve it immediately and set the bowls aside for a minute or two.
• Garnish servings with minced fresh cilantro and/or chives. And sprinkle unsalted shelled chopped pistachios over them, too.

79 replies
  1. says:

    This is very good but in my opinion it needs more spice. I would add a little heat with some cayenne pepper. I highly recommed for keto. If you are not doing keto sub the heavy cream with coconut milk for a little more flavor.

  2. Bwatts001
    Bwatts001 says:

    Got the burn notice when making this as directed. Next time I will follow my instincts and make the chicken first, then the sauce. Flavor was nice. Added cayenne pepper heat.

  3. Sarahgich320
    Sarahgich320 says:

    Easy peasy, I followed the instructions and this was kid approved! I added a bit more salt and the sauce never realy thickened, but it was delicious.

  4. Ioannidis
    Ioannidis says:

    This was really tasty. I made it per the instructions. Next time i will not use the bone in chicken breast as it left splinters in the dish and it needs a bit more salt. Other than that it was delicious and i will be making again in the very near future. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  5. Kitchenunderpar
    Kitchenunderpar says:

    Agree with the others that the flavor was a little bland. Added a quarter teaspoon of Garam Masala and a little bit of cracked pepper.

    I wanted a thicker sauce to really coat the chicken and be a good sauce over my riced cauliflower, so after cooking for five minutes I added a little bit of xanthan gum to tighten it up.

  6. karennaiker
    karennaiker says:

    It was a wonderful reciepe. I also added one Tablespoon Garham Masala and it really made it good. I love my InstantPot. The best presant my husband ever got me for the house.

  7. Omarodoch
    Omarodoch says:

    Taste wondeful, we just added 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and one tablespoon of water mixed to make it thicker.

  8. shellmann
    shellmann says:

    My first recipe in my instant pot, and it was very easy! Flavor was okay, but slightly bland. I would make it again and spruce it up with more vegtables and garden marsala. Overall, a simple dish that is great for beginners!

  9. Carriejo5
    Carriejo5 says:

    I thought this was a great dish! I used white wine instead of broth, used 2 cloves of chopped garlic for added flavor, and added fresh basil at the end. A little bit of Siracha adds heat if you like it hotter. Chicken couldn’t of been more tender!

  10. EBethW
    EBethW says:

    It was okay. Not fantastic, but okay.
    I found it needed more salt and the burn notice came on several times, so I had to open it up and add more liquid, which then caused it to be runny, so I had to thicken it.
    Perhaps it was just because it was my first time using my IP, but it seemed rather labour intensive for an easy recipe.
    Will try again, but make a few adjustments to the ingredients

  11. Jan Dickens
    Jan Dickens says:

    Cooked it tonight. I thought it was OK, but my husband really loved it! I served it over cubes of sweet potatoes with a side of steamed broccoli. Will def do again but try adding some ofthe other cooks’ seasoning ideas.

  12. ktpylyp
    ktpylyp says:

    I know its a no-no to review when you didn’t prepare according to instructions… but I made a few subs based on what I had on hand and it was great!

    Arrabiata pasta sauce (for crushed tomatoes)
    Ground ginger
    Add 1t garam masala
    Served with fresh ground pepper

  13. Surfmommy9910
    Surfmommy9910 says:

    Made this last night and it was delicious!! Per the opinion of others i added some garham masala (sp?) and pepper to add flavor and a bit more salt. It didnt come out bland at all, it was full of flavor. I did have to add some cornstarch though to thicken it up. Even my 8 year old gave me two thumbs up and ate his whole plate, and hes a very picky eater!! I put it over some jasmine rice that i made in the Instant Pot that i did a few days ago. Will def make this dish again!!

  14. TanyaGuilbert
    TanyaGuilbert says:

    Its a good base receipe. I didn’t have crushed tomatoes so I used a can of whole tomatoes and just drained out the liquid and put the tomatoes in the blender. The texture was perfect. I agree with the other reviews, it lacked flavor for my taste. Even though i had added garam masala. Next time I’ll use curry paste, usually that does the trick. But all in all it was quick easy and good, even the kids enjoyed it.

  15. ChefBilly
    ChefBilly says:

    I used 4 boneless chicken breasts and adjusted other ingredients accordingly. My sauce could have been a bit thicker and zestier but it was still good.

  16. Otto
    Otto says:

    Easy dish to make and has become a definite fav at our house. Flavours are suttle as we used a mild curry but very tasty for young pallettes. Ingreidents are simple for a new cook. Will be making this often!

  17. AnastasiaK
    AnastasiaK says:

    This was my first Instant Pot meal and it turned out great! My family gave it a thumbs up… I used Lalahs curry powder which is supper tasty and used boneless chicken breast cut i to chunks. Will be making this again!!

  18. 8hobo8
    8hobo8 says:

    Great, easy little recipe. It does need a bit of pepper flakes for some heat though.

    I used 35% cream which made the sauce nice and thick.

  19. Laynamai
    Laynamai says:

    Really good and easy receipe… I read the comments befor doing it so I add some crushed peppers and at the end to ticking the sauce I put in some corn starch and it was perfect

  20. margentieri
    margentieri says:

    Very good, but not spicy enough. I added more curry powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. I also used cubed chicken breast and left it in the pot for the whole cooking time. Much easier to make and ready to eat that way, and still comes out really well!

  21. Jiiyama
    Jiiyama says:

    Excellent recipe and so tasty over rice. I love spicy so will look to up the kick a bit. Any suggestions?

  22. Celiaerin
    Celiaerin says:

    Doubled recipe
    Added mansala spice.
    Added 3 full dried peppers.
    Added pepper.
    Blended onions with broth for a cremier texture.
    Very good. Tasted very traditional.

  23. Nikkicooksfresh
    Nikkicooksfresh says:

    I made this with boneless/skinless and it worked amazing! I added 1/2 tsp of chili peppers
    1/2 tsp tumric
    1/2 tsp smoked paprika.
    I cooked the cream with it from the start and added a tbsp of corn startch at the end while simmering for thickness. It was AMAZING. definitely better than the original recipe

  24. bigstarr1
    bigstarr1 says:

    Was really good, not very spicy though, next time I am going to add more curry powder and ginger. But other than that everyone liked it.. Thanks

  25. Xune
    Xune says:

    First recipe for my instant pot and it was decilious, with hot curry and médium curry (basmati rice was welcome). Thank you ^^

  26. Imagine
    Imagine says:

    Really delicious! I used “no fat” plain yogurt instead of the heavy cream and “Smart Balance” margarine instead of butter for dietary reasons. I’m sure the recipe would have been even better with the “richer” ingredients! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  27. Johnnyboy1
    Johnnyboy1 says:

    Made this last night and it was pretty good. Really easy. The only thing i would change is to add half a bell pepper

  28. RKO
    RKO says:

    So I didn’t have any bone in chicken at the store and I grabbed boneless skinless chicken breast instead. Does anyone know if this will work and what is the best way to approach this? Also Im new to instant pot so I dont know what Im doing and this is my first recipe I’m choosing. Thanks!

  29. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi RKO,

    The recipe will still work with boneless chicken, you can reduce the cooking time by about 2 minutes.

  30. Melissa618
    Melissa618 says:

    Has anyone used frozen thin chicken breasts from Costco for this recipe? If so approximately how many?

  31. Savni
    Savni says:

    I didn’t have cury or crushed tomatos so I ended up using tumeric and spaghetti sauce. It still turned out amazing. Looking forward to trying it with the actual ingredients. Kiddos even gobbled it down

  32. JaviErVasquez1
    JaviErVasquez1 says:

    On the last step Dont put the sauce on top of the chicken put the chicken back in the sauce stir it and then served it !!!!

  33. CameronHedges
    CameronHedges says:

    I used three boneless breasts because they were half the price. Meat was fork tender and not dry in the slightest. I always add more salt than a recipe asks for, and this still needed a bit more. With that said, it is amazing. I served with basmati rice, perfect combo. Likely a new staple in our home.

  34. Dickf
    Dickf says:

    It was my night to cook dinner and I tried this for my first use of the Instant Pot and my wife loved it. It came out very well using boneless chicken breasts but as noted in the recipe it was a little tough. Perhaps a slow cook instead of pressure cooking would make it tender, if you have the time?

    Certainly a keeper recipe, very good!

  35. Armyofme
    Armyofme says:

    Mild and yummy. Used 5 partially frozen boneless/skinless chicken thighs and it turned out great.

  36. Lady-A
    Lady-A says:

    “Better” butter chicken? I think not!
    Doesn’t taste anything like authentic Indian butter chicken!! Where’s the tumeric? Where’s the garam masala? Ground cumin, garlic, etc. ?
    Also Curry powder is not used in butter chicken.
    This is more like a lazy man’s “curry” with butter

  37. Tamim Aziz
    Tamim Aziz says:

    I agree, it isn’t butter chicken like in a restaurant but it is very good. It’s a keeper In my book.

  38. Marshroger
    Marshroger says:

    I added tumeric and gran marsela; substituted powdered ginger because I didn’t have anything fresh and also used coconut milk and yoghurt to the final sauce. I also used 5 1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breast from Costco. It wasn’t traditional butter chicken but it was a very good curried flavoured chicken.

  39. Afreadreacea
    Afreadreacea says:

    Somehow extremely bland, despite flavorful ingredients. Sauce never thickened up, even after adding cornstarch. Will definitely try another recipe next time.

  40. phenomenon
    phenomenon says:

    Good. Definitely add a bit of garam masala and cumin like others suggested.

    I think the chicken should be seared first.

  41. Jchaudhry
    Jchaudhry says:

    This was nowhere close to butter chicken. I have tried it from many different places and it doesn’t contain tomatoes. Didn’t like the flavor.

  42. bigwillghs
    bigwillghs says:

    Made it with a boneless, skinless chicken breast, and reduced the cooking time by 2 minutes as suggested by a previous post. Added 1 TB each of Garam Masala and Turmeric powder, and it is delicious. Paired with Jasmine rice. Will definitely be making this again.

  43. Joanna.lucas@outlookcom
    Joanna.lucas@outlookcom says:

    I’m sorry but this recipe is just AWFUL! It was extremely bland and tasteless. The sauce is runny and watery. It doesn’t even taste like butter chicken. It also doesn’t contain any tumeric, cayenne or masala which are pertinent ingredients for any decent butter chicken recipe. Don’t waste your time making this.

  44. Karen2845
    Karen2845 says:

    I learned a valuable lesson: Don’t save favorite recipes in this app – they disappear. Butter Murgh Makhani was a far better recipe than this one. I went to make it the other night and it wasn’t in my favorites nor could I find it in the app. This recipe is missing key flavors: garam, cumin, and tumeric. Please bring back the Butter Murgh Makhani recipe. Lesson learned: I will print out recipes that i love.

  45. Charspot
    Charspot says:

    I agree with Karen2845, what happened to the Murgh Makhani recipe? I thought my saved favorite recipes were secure.

    What is the reason is was taken out, Instant Pot? Do I need to save my favorites in another way?
    Very disappointed.


  46. Elissaba
    Elissaba says:

    Served it with basmati rice and broccoli. Not spicy, a little bland. I like it but might add a few extra spices next time. I also added a cornstarch slurry at the end to thicken it up.

  47. hlfieljx
    hlfieljx says:

    I loved this recipe, easy and delish, i did tweak a bit tho, i added a TBSPN od cumin, and instead of salt, i subbed a teaspoon of dark soy sauce (richer flavor) and to help out since my tomatoes tasted a bit weak, i added 1/4 cup natural unsweetened applesauce. Served with quinoa, lentil, frekkah, pecan pilaf. This was a hit with the fam, was so good, i used the extra sauce to create a curry tomato soup with cheese toasts next day for womens group lunch and they loved as well

  48. Karen2845
    Karen2845 says:

    @Charspoot – You are amazing!!! The link to the recipe looks exactly like the Butter Murgh Makhani recipe that used to be in the IP app!!

    I was griping to my husband that IP did not respond to Help/feedback – so I thought I’d check the app again to see if maybe it was added back (it wasn’t) but oh! I am delighted to see that you found the recipe!! Perhaps it was removed from the app because she has a cookbook out? I’ve printed the recipe and will make it tomorrow. Thank you!!

  49. Patricia Crawford
    Patricia Crawford says:

    The recipe was so bland. I didn’t like it until I doctored it up with cumin, chill powder, and some garlic cloves. Adding all these extra things made the food delicious my family absolutely loved it, but the recipe itself went from easy to very hard.

  50. Silvergecko0106
    Silvergecko0106 says:

    Very easy to make, but definitely not better. It lacked the depth of flavor Butter Chicken traditionally has. Needs more spices added to the mix.

  51. Eli
    Eli says:

    1 star. This isn’t butter chicken. This is brown tomato and onion soup over chicken, but that has been cooked in the same room as a spice rack to make you think there is gonna be flavour where there really isn’t. Also got the burn notice, so that is double the fun.

  52. LadyDoris
    LadyDoris says:

    Loved it, but made the following changes based on other reviews:

    – skip the chicken broth and use a chicken bouillion cube instead
    – add indian spices
    – add additional salt (about double)
    – use a full can of crushed tomatoes (398 ml)

  53. Natalie
    Natalie says:

    Good. I use 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 cooking sherry and add cremini mushrooms. Also, double or triple the sauce and probably double the ginger. I don’t really measure it. At the end, I leave the chicken in while thickening with a bit of corn starch.

  54. Epifania
    Epifania says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing
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    Thank you

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