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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe


Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Written by: Lucas Johnson

This chicken tikka masala is my go-to comfort food. It's creamy, spicy, and packed with flavor. The instant pot makes it a breeze to whip up, even on busy weeknights.

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You're in for a real treat here! I'm about to share my go-to instant pot chicken tikka masala recipe. A mouth-watering blend of rich spices and tender chicken cooked effortlessly in an instant pot. Pure comfort food and a sure hit at any dinner table. Hang on and let's get the tastebuds dancing!

Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala in the Instant Pot

  • Chicken thighs: Tender and flavorful meat that absorbs spices well, adding richness and depth to the dish.
  • Plain yogurt: Adds creaminess and tanginess to the sauce, balancing the spices and enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Onion: Provides a sweet and savory base for the sauce, adding depth of flavor and a subtle sweetness.
  • Garlic: Infuses a pungent and aromatic flavor into the dish, enhancing the overall taste and aroma.
  • Ginger: Adds a warm and earthy flavor, complementing the spices and adding a subtle heat to the dish.
  • Diced tomatoes: Brings a rich and tangy flavor to the sauce, providing a vibrant color and texture to the dish.
  • Tomato paste: Intensifies the tomato flavor, thickening the sauce, and adding a hint of sweetness to balance the spices.
  • Garam masala: A blend of warm spices that adds depth, complexity, and a rich aroma to the dish.
  • Ground cumin: Earthy and warm spice that enhances the overall flavor profile, adding a nutty and aromatic element.
  • Ground coriander: Citrusy and slightly sweet spice that complements the other flavors, adding a fresh and aromatic note.
  • Paprika: Adds a mild heat and a rich red color to the dish, enhancing the visual appeal and flavor.
  • Turmeric: Provides a vibrant yellow color and a warm, slightly bitter flavor, adding depth and complexity to the dish.
  • Cayenne pepper: Adds a spicy kick to the dish, balancing the other flavors and adding heat to the sauce.
  • Heavy cream: Adds richness and creaminess to the sauce, balancing the spices and creating a luscious texture.
  • Fresh cilantro: Adds a fresh and herbaceous flavor, brightening up the dish and providing a vibrant garnish.

READ MORE: Salsa Sausage Chili in the Pressure Cooker Recipe

Essential Tools for Making This Delicious Recipe

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the chicken and creating a flavorful tikka masala sauce in a fraction of the time.
  • Cutting board: Needed for prepping and cutting the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces for the recipe.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes


  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. In a bowl, mix together yogurt, garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Add chicken pieces to the yogurt mixture and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Turn on the Instant Pot to sauté mode and add a bit of oil. Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant.
  4. Add marinated chicken and cook until browned.
  5. Stir in diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
  6. Close the Instant Pot lid and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  7. Once done, do a quick release and stir in heavy cream.
  8. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Nutritional value:

Per Serving in Calories: 420 kcal | Carbohydrates: 12 g | Protein: 32 g | Total Fat: 26 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g | Cholesterol: 160 mg | Sodium: 820 mg | Dietary Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 6 g | Calcium: 150 mg | Potassium: 780 mg | Iron: 4 mg | Vitamin A: 800 µg | Vitamin C: 15 mg

Tips for Making Chicken Tikka Masala Ahead of Time

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Marinate the chicken as per the recipe instructions and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking.
  • You can also prepare the entire dish ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Freezing Instructions

  • Allow the chicken tikka masala to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove or in the microwave.

Marinating the chicken in yogurt helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor, making it juicy and delicious in the final dish.

Common Questions About Preparing This Flavorful Dish

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs for this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute chicken breasts for thighs, but be mindful of the cooking time as chicken breasts may cook faster.
Can I use Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt?
Yes, Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for plain yogurt in this recipe. Just ensure it is plain Greek yogurt without any added flavors.
How can I make this dish spicier?
To make the dish spicier, you can increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add some chopped fresh chili peppers to the recipe.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
What can I serve with chicken tikka masala?
Chicken tikka masala is traditionally served with rice, naan bread, or even over quinoa for a healthier option.

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