This Recipe includes
|Fresh or frozen boneless chicken
|Frozen or fresh spinach
|Onion, white onion is preferable.
|Coconut milk (can substitute with heavy cream or yogurt)
|Tomato coulis or tomato paste for that tangy flavor.
|Garlic powder or crushed garlic cloves
|Red chili powder for that lovely red color
|Dried coriander; you can use fresh coriander (cilantro) as well.
|Turmeric, traditional ingredient for flavor
|Ground cumin for a bit of spiciness
|Garam masala for more spiciness (garam means warm, and masala means spice)
|Ground ginger for a bit of a bite
|Olive oil to sauté the garlic and ginger
|Pinch of salt and pepper
Accents for the curry:
|Butter, since it is called butter chicken after all 😉
|Lemon to cut into quarters and serve alongside the dish.
- Frozen spinach usually works better in the Instant pot to cook at the same rate as the chicken. But you can use fresh spinach as well, it just will probably melt into the sauce.
- The traditional butter chicken recipe uses coconut milk, but you can substitute for heavy cream or plain yogurt. You can also use greek yogurt for a lower fat substitution.
- Be sure to add the coconut milk/cream/yogurt after the Instant pot finishes cooking the chicken, otherwise the butter chicken will curdle.
Why we love it
Murgh makhani, also known as butter chicken, is one of the most popular dishes in Indian and Punjabi cuisine. This mild and creamy curry is cooked in a tomato based sauce with spices and butter.
While some Indian dishes can be quite spicy, butter chicken is relatively mild. And yet, it is packed with so much flavor that it will please the pickiest of eaters.
Traditionally the chicken is marinated for several hours before cooking, but in the Instant pot the flavors meld together easily, allowing us to skip that step. (You can also try my similar lamb makhani (butter lamb) recipe or pork makhani as well, for something different.)
What to serve with it?
In India, butter chicken or murgh makhani is usually served with plain white rice or naan. (I usually have my rice cooker going at the same time.) Serve it with some samosas as a starter, or a light salad.
How to store it?
This butter chicken can be frozen and stored for up to a month. Just let it cool before placing in an airtight glass container, before placing in the freezer.
Instant Pot Butter chicken with spinach
- 3 pounds of chicken approx. 6-8 large cuts chopped into smaller pieces
- 1 cup of frozen spinach
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 3/4 cup of tomato coulis or 1/2 cup of tomato paste
- 1 large onion sliced or chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons of red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of dried coriander
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 lemon to cut into quarters and serve along side
- pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- Add the olive oil, garlic and ginger into the instant pot and sauté for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except the coconut milk and lemon), and set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 14 minutes.
- Once the countdown has finished, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
- Open the Instant pot and stir in the coconut milk.
- Press the Sauté button again for 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken.
- Let the butter chicken rest for 10 minutes on the Keep Warm function.
- Taste to add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Slice the lemon into quarters and serve along side the butter chicken dish.
- Serve while warm.
Please note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual.
You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for entertainment purposes only.
Other Chicken recipes
- Chicken pie with mushrooms and leeks
- Oven baked BBQ chicken drumsticks
- Air fryer lemon pepper chicken drumsticks
- Chicken and brussels sprouts in the oven
- Air fryer chicken tikka
If you enjoyed that, check out our other simple Instant pot recipes that are quick and easy to make. Bon appétit!