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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Do you guys have any meals that you like to make that require a fair bit of time, with many components, but you all thoroughly enjoy SO much that it’s worth it!? For me, this was chicken tikka masala before I got an Instant Pot!

I would marinate the chicken, thread it onto skewers, grill it, make the sauce, prepare some dough for fresh naan, cook the naan, then make some rice. It was a full afternoon affair, trying to time everything right so that your naan is fresh and warm at the same time as your chicken and sauce, and the rice, however; it was SO good it was all worth it. One of those meals where you can’t stuff it into your face fast enough, and you’re almost disappointed when you start to feel full.

Well, I’ve now been making chicken tikka masala in the Instant Pot, and this dish has ALL of the flavor with SO much less time. I usually still whip up some naan bread and rice, but I don’t fuss with the skewers and the grill and hovering over the stove. It’s practically a total dump-n-go dish now! The sauce is silky smooth and flavorful, and the chicken is so moist and tender!

instant pot chicken tikka masala

For the longest time, I didn’t think I would have much use for an Instant Pot. I kept seeing all of these amazing looking recipes online and wondered if it was too good to be true. I enjoy cooking a lot, so would using a pressure cooker take away from that? Turns out, the recipes are (mostly) as awesome as they looked, and I’m still enjoying the process of cooking.

I have been using my Instant Pot a ton! My favourite thing to do with it is make a quick soup when I’m in a pinch and I need a fast lunch or dinner. Please tell me you’ve tried my loaded cauliflower soup!

Chicken Tikka Masala

instant pot chicken tikka masala

If you’re a fan of thick and saucy curries, I guarantee you’ll be making this one again and again. It has just the right amount of spice, so the whole family loves it!

I keep meaning to post my recipe for naan bread too, but hey. There’s only so much time in a day! Until then, try this one. There’s nothing like sopping up all of that silky smooth sauce with a piece of warm, garlicky naan!

If you’re reading this and you want to try out this recipe but you don’t have an Instant Pot, I’ve included stove-top directions for you too!

Happy eating!!

chicken tikka masala


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Chicken Tikka Masala

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

  • Author: Katherine
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The quickest way to a silky smooth, satisfying bowl of chicken tikka masala! Use your Instant Pot to create a warm, fragrant sauce with chunks of tender chicken smothering a bed of fluffy white rice.



Chicken Marinade

  • 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” chunks


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, for topping (optional)


  1. Prepare the marinade. In a large container with a lid, or a large Ziploc bag, prepare the marinade by combining together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, lemon juice, cumin, black pepper, and cinnamon. Add the cubed chicken to the marinade and stir to completely cover. Close, and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours*, or overnight.
  2. Cook the chicken. Once you are ready to start cooking (about 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat), remove the chicken from the fridge. Turn the Instant Pot to the Sauté mode, on medium heat, and add the oil. Once the oil has heated up, add the garlic cloves and sauté for a minute or until fragrant. Add the marinated chicken, along with the remaining marinade. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Turn the Instant Pot off.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, followed by the garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric and salt. Stir to combine everything. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, locking it and ensuring the valve is sealed. Turn the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure. When the 10 minutes is up, allow the steam to release naturally for about 5 minutes, before using the quick release to finish releasing all of the steam.
  4. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté, and add the cream, stirring to combine. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Serve immediately, with basmati rice and/or naan to sop up all of that delicious sauce. Garnish with cilantro.

Stovetop Directions

  1. Follow Step #1 above as written. When ready to start cooking, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the oil, allowing it to heat up. Add the garlic cloves and sauté for a minute or two. Add the marinated chicken, cooking until completely browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken and transfer to a plate, covered, to keep warm.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, as well as the garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric and salt. Stir to combine everything. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn down to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Slowly add in the cream, stirring to combine. Add the chicken back into the mixture, and allow everything to simmer for 3-4 minutes and thicken slightly. Serve immediately!

Leftovers will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days.


  1. strongly recommend marinating the chicken for at least 4 hours. If you’re in a pinch, and hour will do.
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Need another cozy Instant Pot recipe?

Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower Soup

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala


  1. I SOOOOOOO wish I had an Instant Pot!! This Tikka Masala looks so yummy and FULL of flavor! I need this for dinner on these cold nights 🙂

  2. Kathy, this is one of our family’s favorites and yours looks so delicious with that silky, smooth sauce! Love that it’s made in the instapot!

  3. Oh, you know I’m a huge curry fan like you! And I do know the feeling of feeling disappointed when getting full, but you reeeeeally love the meal, lol. That sauce looks absolutely DIVINE! Can’t wait to whip this one up on a Friday night! Have a great weekend, Katherine! XO

  4. We are so in love with Indian food that every single minute is worth of making it. This is going to be on our menu quite often 🙂

  5. Whoa Kathy, I love this recipe for so many reasons. My favorite tikka masala cooked in my favorite Insta pot!! How fabulous is this? Can’t wait to try this recipe:)

  6. What a great recipe for comforting family meals. Bet it smells absolutely wonderful Katherine! Pinning for later!

  7. This is one of my favorite dishes Katherine! So full of flavor and so comforting. Pinned and can’t wait to try your recipe.

  8. I love a saucy curry! This sounds AWESOME! I still haven’t gotten an Instant Pot but when I do this will be the first thing I make. YUM!

  9. I’ve never had tikka masala! The longer I’m a food blogger, the more I realize how many dishes I’ve never tried! This looks so flavourful! I have an Instant Pot, and I go through spurts of using it. This recipe is definitely inspiring me to break it out again!

  10. YUM!!! I love chicken tikka masala and the fact that I can just throw it all in my instant pot and call it a meal makes me SO happy! Looks so spicy and delicious! Also – you definitely can’t forget the garlic naan! 🙂

  11. Isn’t the Instant pot the best? You just gave me another reason to love it! Your Tikka Masala looks so delicious! It looks rich in flavor and comforting in taste!!

  12. I love how much easier the Instant Pot makes this Chicken Tikka Masala! Who has time for marinating, skewering and grilling?! Another favorite Instant Pot Recipe.

  13. Tikka Masala is my go to takeaway!! I love the creaminess! Love this hassle free way of making it in the IP, can’t wait to try it!

  14. this is comfort food at it’s best. tikka masala has such wonderful flavor, and cooking it in the IP is just genius!

  15. This Tikka Masala, that I have heard of but never had, does look incredible (and I’m vegetarian!). We are among the few that don’t own an Instant pot. Wondering if it’s time to buy it😊.

  16. I have a new instant pot and looking for new recipes , this one is a keeper! There is so much flavor going on in there!

  17. YUM! I’ve been wanting to make a curry in my instant pot, you must have read my mind! I look forward to trying this next week 🙂

  18. It looks like Chicken Tikka Masala is so popular now and everyone talks about it. I’ve never tried it before, but I think it’s time! Love the recipe and will save it to make next week!

  19. I’m always looking for new recipes to try in my Instant Pot and this looks like a good one, especially since it’s something I rarely make at home!

  20. Chicken Tikka has to be my favorite. I love the way the spices enhance the chicken, when served with rice, makes the perfect meal

  21. Yum! Love Tikka Masala and this recipe looks so easy and simple to make in an insta pot! Thanks so much for sharing :).

  22. Can’t tell how much I love chicken tikka masala. It’s one of the best comfort food with rice and flatbread any day. It looks so delicious.

  23. Pingback: Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Tacos | Love In My Oven

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