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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Davis

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

I love spice, the more the better. And by spice I do not necessarily mean 'heat', though I love heat as well ☺️. My love for Indian food goes all the way back to high school. I would go over to a friend's house and her mom cooked the most flavorful and spicy recipes I'd ever had. I remember it being so hot and burning my mouth because it was too good to wait for it to cool. My mom doesn't like a lot of spice, so while I was trying a lot of different cuisines as a kid, I never was really exposed to spicy cuisines like Indian, African, Cajun, etc. Fast forward to when Dayne and I got married, I always wanted to go out and explore different cuisines so I thought I would get him hooked on one of my favorites. He was surprised by how much he loved it and now he will eat just about anything.

Recently, we have been on a trek around the globe via NYC restaurants (will to share my list for those who are interested). One of our favorites is an Indian restaurant called Junoon. If you are ever in NYC and want to see what Michelin star Indian food is like, you have to try this place, it is heaven! Anyway, their butter chicken is so delicious I was inspired to re-create my recipe but lighten it up just a bit. I substitute light cream cheese for heavy cream and add cauliflower. I use light cream cheese instead of greek yogurt because the yogurt tends to curdle at high temperatures and can be temperamental. This created a fool-proof, velvety, delicious sauce.

If you love this recipe, share it! Drop a comment below, follow on Facebook or Instagram, and Pinterest. Enjoy!




  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs, trimmed

  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt (or one single serve container)

  • 1 Tbsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger

  • 1 tbs minced garlic, about 3 cloves

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger

  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic (about 3 cloves)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional depending on desired heat level)

  • 1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 4 ounces light cream cheese


  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl or gallon zip lock baggie and mix to combine

  2. Trim chicken thighs and add to marinade

  3. Set aside for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours

  4. Heat a cast iron or skillet over medium-high heat, working in batches sear the chicken pieces for about five minutes per side

  5. Set aside and tent with foil for about 5 minutes then cut into 1x1 inch cubes

  6. Meanwhile, heat your instant pot to the sauté setting. Combine the butter and onions and cook for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent

  7. Stir in the garlic, ginger, salt, cumin, garam masala, chili powder, and cayenne pepper until fragrant, about 1 minute

  8. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, cauliflower, and chicken thighs and stir until combined

  9. Seal the pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure

  10. Quick release the steam and open pressure cooker lid

  11. Stir in the cream cheese until combined

  12. Serve with chopped cilantro and naan or rice, Enjoy!

Serves 6

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