Instant Pot Tikka Masala is flavorful, tender and so easy to make in the pressure cooker. It is one of our favorite Indian dishes to make at home.
I love recreating my favorite restaurant dishes at home and this Instant Pot Tikka Masala is one of them. The only ingredient you may not have is a spice called garam masala. It is easily available at most grocery stores.
What is Garam Masala?
This is a key ingredient to authentic Indian food so don’t leave it out. It is a blend of black pepper, coriander, cumin, cloves, cardamon, nutmeg and cinnamon. It has some warmth and sweetness to it and just a touch of heat.
If you just can’t find it at your store you can substitute one part cumin and 1/4 part allspice.
Chicken Tikka Masala Ingredients
Chicken. You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs. I prefer thighs.
Spices. This recipe has a lot of flavor thanks to ginger, garam masala, chili powder, cumin and turmeric. Add more or less chili powder depending on your preferred heat level.
Tomatoes. Use a combination of petitie diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Cream. I like to use coconut milk which also makes this dish dairy free. You can also use 1/2 and 1/2 or Greek Yogurt. This is added in at the end.
Garlic and Onion.
How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala in the Instant Pot
- Cut chicken into bite size pieces, about 1 inch and add salt and pepper.
- Preheat Instant Pot using the saute setting.
- Add olive oil, garlic, onions and seasoning. Stir for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Add in chicken and stir to coat.
- Add in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
- Put on lid, turn valve to sealing and set timer to Manual, high pressure for 5 minutes. Do a quick release.
- Remove lid. If you are using coconut milk, add in and turn to saute and allow sauce to thicken for about 5-10 minutes. If you are using Greek Yogurt or half and half, allow to thicken first and then add in dairy before serving otherwise it might curdle.
Can I Make Chicken Tikka Masala in the Slow Cooker?
Tikka Masala is easy to make in the slow cooker. Just add in all the ingredients except for the dairy and cook for on low for 5-6 hours. Add in dairy at end.
How Do I Serve Chicken Tikka Masala?
Our favorite way to serve it is with rice. I often make my rice in the Instant Pot too. Sprinkle the rice with some chopped cilantro. Add a side of Naan Bread which is the perfect thing for scooping up all that delicious gravy that forms.
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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 4 tsp garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 Tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 14.5 oz. petite diced tomatoes
- 1 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- cilantro for garnish
- Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- Add oil to Instant Pot and preheat on saute. Add in onions, garlic and seasoning and stir to combine until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add in chicken and stir to coat with spice mixture. Brown chicken lightly, about 5 minutes.
- Add in tomatoes and tomato sauce and remaining 1tsp salt if needed.
- Put on lid. Cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes and do a quick release.
- Stir in coconut milk and turn Instant Pot to saute and allow sauce to thicken for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- If using Greek Yogurt, allow to simmer and thicken first and then add in yogurt right before serving.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro.