Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala


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This healthy Instant Pot chicken tikka masala recipe is made with delicious spices and cooked easily in the Instant Pot for a delicious Indian meal at home! 

Easy Instant Pot recipes are definitely my go to recipes for busy nights. There are definitely nights when I’m craving ethnic cuisine and since we have a large family, ordering out just isn’t very practical. That’s when delicious recipes like this chicken tikka masala come in handy. I love the smells of this food, and it is so delicious served with basmati rice and some naan bread!

Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

The first time I had chicken tikka masala was when I was 14 years old. My grandparents took my brother and I on an epic road trip from Arkansas to California and back. We saw the Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, spent a couple of weeks touring California with family, and then we came home through Utah and Colorado. 

While in California, we visited several different restaurants. One of my favorite experiences was trying Indian food for the first time. This place was 100% authentic. My favorite food of the entire buffet was the chicken tikka masala. While the flavors were definitely unique to my Southern palate, it was absolutely delicious! I devoured it with naan bread. 

I’ve wanted to recreate the flavors of that delicious meal, and this recipe comes pretty close!

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

We’re going to take our chicken tikka a step further and make it easy by using our Instant Pot. This easy Instant Pot chicken tikka masala uses only white meat chicken and a blend of several delicious spices. It’s so yummy. Let’s get started.

Let’s get started by making the marinade for the chicken.

We are going to start very simply with some plain Greek yogurt. We are going to add ginger, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper.

I’m using grated ginger for the best flavor. All of the other spices will make the marinade taste delicious as well, while the Greek yogurt will have a tenderizing effect.

Stir all of that deliciousness into the Greek yogurt.

You’ll want to put your diced chicken breasts into the Greek yogurt mixture and marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. You can also refrigerate the mixture overnight.

Instant Pot Tikka Masala Sauce

Now, let’s get started making that flavorful homemade chicken tikka masala sauce!

Pour a little olive oil into the inner cooking pot of your Instant Pot and hit the saute function.

Saute onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno until fragrant and soft. 

Then add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garam masala, honey, and chicken broth. Stir to combine and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. 

Turn off the saute function and add the marinated chicken to the pot. Seal the pot and set it to cook for 10 minutes.

Temper the heavy cream with a bit of liquid from the Instant Pot before pouring it in. Stir in the tempered heavy cream, taste and adjust seasonings, and enjoy with a side of basmati rice!

This chicken tikka is so flavorful!

It takes me right back to the days of trying it for the first time in an Indian restaurant. That’s an experience I’ll never forget!

Yield: 4-6

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka

Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala makes this delicious Indian chicken dish a little easier to make at home with tons of flavor!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 c. Greek yogurt

  • 1 T. fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 t. garlic powder
½ t. ground cumin

  • ½ t. ground coriander
¼ t. cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 T. fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 medium jalapeño, finely diced
1 T. tomato paste

  • 1 28-oz container crushed tomatoes
1 T. garam masala

  • 2 t. honey, preferably local

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • ½ c. heavy cream, room temperature

  • 3 T. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  • 3 c. cooked basmati rice, to serve


  1. Combine the Greek yogurt, ginger, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
  2. Add chicken to yogurt mixture and stir until coated. Marinate at room temperature for up to one hour or cover and refrigerate overnight. (If refrigerating, set on counter for 30 minutes to one hour before adding to the Instant Pot®).
  3. Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot® inner cooking pot and select the “Sauté’ function. Use the “Adjust” button to select the “Normal” (medium) setting.
  4. Once hot, add onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and the onions are soft.
  5. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, garam masala, chicken broth, and honey. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Push the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the Sauté function.
  6. Add the marinated chicken to the Instant Pot® and add the lid. Lock the lid into place and set the vent to “Sealing.” Select the “Manual” button and adjust to the “High” setting, if necessary. Set cook time to 10 minutes.
  7. When cook time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before doing a quick release on any remaining pressure. 
  8. To prevent curdling, temper the heavy cream by add 2-3 tablespoons of the hot liquid from the Instant Pot® to warm it up a bit before adding it to the soup. Stir to combine.
  9. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Serve immediately topped with chopped cilantro and with some basmati rice on the side. Enjoy! 

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