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instant pot chicken tikka masala

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

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


The quickest way to a silky smooth, satisfying bowl of chicken curry! This Instant Pot chicken tikka masala is warm and fragrant 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.
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: indian

Keywords: Instant Pot chicken tikka masala // easy chicken tikka masala

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