I used to think of things like my One Pot Mac and Cheese as pretty much the ultimate comfort food. But then I tasted Indian Butter Chicken, (while we were living in Calgary where they have amazing Indian food!) and that was all it took for me to change my mind about comfort food. While I’m not saying anything against mac and cheese by any means, there’s just something about butter chicken that I love even more.
And I know I’m not alone in this, because everyone I know loves butter chicken once they’ve first tried it. So of course that means we all need an easy and healthy version to make at home. This one is made in the Instant Pot for ultimate ‘hands off’ approach. But I’ve also included stove top instructions as well below.
You can serve this butter chicken with any side you’d like. To keep it Whole30 try cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash. But I will say there’s really nothing quite like perfectly steamed Jasmine rice with this dish.
For the broccoli pictured here, I just tossed it with a bit of roasted garlic olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper before roasting it at 450ºF until crisp tender. You can also do this with brussels sprouts and green beans. But out of these 3, I think the brussels sprouts have been my favorite so far.
This recipe comes together quickly, so it’s best to have everything prepped and ready to go before starting to cook.
You start by sautéing the chicken, then you add the ginger and garlic. It’s important to sauté the ginger and garlic briefly because the cooking time is so short, that a jump start with the garlic and ginger is always good.
Then the seasonings go in along with the tomatoes and extra liquid from the can of coconut milk. Before you set the timer to cook, be sure and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. If the Instant Pot senses anything over browning on the bottom of the pan, it will shut down with a ‘BURN’ sign on the front.
After a few minutes of cooking time, you stir in the reserved coconut cream, and lightly thicken it if desired.
And then of course it’s time to serve it up with your choice of sides. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, they reheat beautifully. Tyler ended up with some in his lunch twice and loved it!
I just heat up a thermos with boiling hot water while I warm the leftovers together in a pan until piping hot. Then after the thermos has preheated for at least 10 minutes, I scoop the hot leftovers into the thermos. Then he has a hot lunch to go, which is nice in the winter since he’s often outside!
For a stove top version, check out my Easier Butter Chicken! That recipe is slightly different, so you can also just apply the same cooking principles to this recipe if you’d like.Print
The ultimate comfort food made extra easy in the Instant Pot!
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2″ pieces
1/4 cup ghee, or butter if you’re not doing a Whole30
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Teaspoon ground fenugreek leaves
1 Teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 Teaspoon turmeric
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1 Teaspoon sea salt
1-14 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated, see notes
3 green chilis, whole
2 teaspoons garam masala
Mix together the chili powder, smoked paprika, fenugreek leaves, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and sea salt until combined, and set the spice mixture aside.
Pour the diced fire roasted tomatoes into a blender. Scoop the hardened cream from the top of the can of coconut milk, and set it aside. Pour the liquid coconut ‘water’ into the blender with the tomatoes and blend until smooth with a few chunks.
Set the Instant Pot to sauté and add the ghee. When it’s hot but not smoking add the chicken pieces and sauté until browned. Add the minced garlic and ginger to the pan. Stir to combine and cook 1 minute. Then add the spice mixture along with the tomatoes blended with the coconut ‘water’. Turn off the Instant Pot and stir, making sure to scrape up any browned bits that may be on the bottom.
Place the chilis on top and set to pressure cook for 2 minutes. After the cooking time is done, use the quick release function. When the Instant Pot is safe to open, remove the chilis and set them aside. Turn on the sauté function, and add the reserved coconut cream along with the garam masala. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, and taste to see if you need to add more salt. You can thicken the sauce slightly if desired, (I did in the version you see pictured) by mixing together 2 teaspoons tapioca starch with 2 tablespoons of water, (omit for keto). Slowly drizzle the mixture into the simmering sauce, stirring constantly until the sauce reaches the texture you desire.
Serve immediately with your choice of sides.
The coconut milk needs to be refrigerated or it needs to have been sitting on your pantry shelf for a few weeks to help the cream separate to the top. It’s important to add the cream only at the end or the sauce will break.
Keywords: Whole30, Keto, Paleo, Gluten Free, Indian