Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

I’ve made this Tikka Masala for years in the Crock Pot, but anytime you make chicken that way there’s a chance it gets over done. This basically ruins it, the chicken’s texture just is too dry.

Thankfully my Instant Pot rendition of it should fix this! I start with thawed chicken that I brown a bit, then just 8 minutes under pressure, 5 minutes of natural release and a few minutes of adding in cream and you’ve got this amazing Tikka Masala! Seriously try this! It’s best served over basmati rice with some naan bread!

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken, indian, instant pot, instantpot


  • 5 boneless chicken breasts cut into cubes (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp ginger, minced (can substitute powder)
  • 1 can tomato puree (29 oz can)
  • 1.5 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-3 tsp cayenne pepper (depends how hot you want it)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or use coconut cream)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice


  • Turn Instant Pot to saute, then add the olive oil and brown the chicken for a few minutes until it is no longer pink on the outside
  • Turn off saute.  Stir in onion, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, yogurt, garam masala, tumeric cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Make sure everything is combined well and the chicken is well coated.  Scrape the bottom of the pan to get any bits of chicken that are sticking to the bottom.  Place the bay leaves on top.
  • Turn on pressure cooking on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • Allow to naturally release for 5 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure.  Place the instant pot on saute.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream and corn starch, then pour in and stir into the instant pot.  Allow to cook for 5 minutes.  
  • Stir in lemon juice.


This is best served over basmati rice! 
Be careful of the cayenne pepper; too much can make this dish really spicy!

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