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Easy Keto Butter Chicken Instant Pot Version

The perfect blend of spices makes this the best super easy keto butter chicken Instant Pot recipe, so quick and easy in the pressure cooker! Moist and tender chicken with a low carb chicken tikka masala style sauce makes this the perfect gluten-free recipe for a keto diet plan.

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Who’s with me and absolutely loves the spices and flavors of Indian cuisine?

In college, I spent a semester in England and fell in love with their Indian restaurants and food. To be honest, I have no idea how authentic it was to any certain region of India, or if it was an English version of the originals.

All I know is, I loved it! Without any Indian restaurants in my area of the woods, I knew I had to recreate some of my favorites. Of course, I had to give some keto versions a try.

My go-to order at an Indian or Nepalese restaurant is always the Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala. They are very similar to my taste buds, although I’m sure many would disagree.

Plate of keto butter chicken with fork

What is the difference between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala?

This is the argument. Ask restaurant owners, chefs, people actually from India or with Indian ancestry, and you’ll almost always get a different answer. There are many, many, many recipes for butter chicken with slight variations.

Some people will say there’s a difference in the amount of tomatoes, the cream, the butter, or how the chicken is cooked. Is the chicken marinated in yogurt, and is it cooked in the tandoori oven? All of these variations bring debate to the “proper” recipe for butter chicken or chicken tikka masala.

From what I’ve read, I tend to agree that chicken tikka masala is the British take on butter chicken, aka murgh makhani.

Britain’s favourite curry, chicken tikka masala, is based on the Indian dish commonly known as “butter chicken”. Chicken is marinated in yoghurt and spices, cooked in a tandoori oven, then covered in a creamy tomato sauce. The difference is the British version is slightly sweeter.

The Guardian

Really, the point is moot. I love the flavors, and this is my easy version of keto butter chicken, or keto chicken tikka masala, as my tastebuds remember it.

Who doesn’t love meat in a spiced gravy?! So let’s get to it!

What do you need to make a keto butter chicken? Or do I mean keto chicken tikka masala? 😉

🍴Equipment

Instant Pot with ingredients

🥘 Ingredients

  • 14.5 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less for desired spice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Keto butter chicken ingredients

As always, when selecting ingredients, buy as fresh as you can and organic if possible.

Also, don’t forget to read the ingredients even for things like diced tomatoes or heavy cream! Surprisingly, or maybe rather not so surprisingly, different brands can hide sugar, preservatives, and other unwanted junk.

The best plan is to select quality ingredients for anything you make. The recipe includes nutrition facts with what I use. However, if you’re calculating macros and I always advise figuring your own facts with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe.

Now, shall we make this amazing keto butter chicken in the Instant Pot?

Yes, please!

Keto butter chicken and cauliflower rice on a blue plate

🔪 Instructions

First off, assemble all the kitchen equipment and ingredients. This includes the Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. It just makes things easier and personally, it relaxes me while I’m cooking when everything’s close at hand.

Once you have all the ingredients together, this is really a quick and easy low carb dinner recipe with tons of flavor.

First, place the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, turmeric, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, onion powder, cumin, and one teaspoon of garam masala in the pot. Yep, just measure it all in there.

💭 Top tip

What is garam masala?

Good question! When I first discovered garam masala it was a true lightbulb moment. That was the flavor I was looking for in so many dishes. Garam means “warm”, and it’s an amazing blend of warming flavors.

Initially, I thought it would be difficult to find other than in specialty shops. However, lately I’ve been able to get good garam masala at my local grocery store or easily online on Amazon or other stores.

Depending on how in-depth you want to get in your cooking, you can also make your own. There are different kinds, with variations on the amounts. But generally, it’s a blend of cinnamon, mace, ginger, coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, nutmeg, cumin, and sometimes fenugreek.

As I am trying to make this recipe as quick and easy as possible, I go with buying a good garam masala spice blend without any added ingredients.

🍛 Instant Pot instructions

Back to the keto butter chicken Instant Pot edition!

All the ingredients should be in the pot of the pressure cooker except for the chicken, butter, cream, cilantro, and one teaspoon of garam masala.

Mix the ingredients together into a sauce with a whisk or a spoon. Then, press the chicken thighs in on top of the sauce.

⏲ Cooking time

After that, close the lid and set it to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Yes, you read that right! 10 minutes.

Let the pot release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then move the Pressure Release/Quick Release valve to vent to release all of the remaining pressure.

Now open the pot and remove the chicken to a dish and set it aside for the moment.

Next, it’s time to blend the sauce. Personally, I prefer to dump the sauce from the pressure cooker pot into a standing blender. Don’t forget to use mitts – it’s hot! Blend it on a medium speed for thirty seconds or so or until it’s smooth.

This can also be done in the pot with an immersion blender.

Do let the sauce cool slightly, three to four minutes. Then mix in the butter, cream, and one more teaspoon garam masala. Pour half the sauce into a container to use later (BONUS!) and keep half in the pressure cooker pot.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, although preferably not shredded. Next, return it to the pot and mix the chicken with the sauce.

Now, turn the Instant Pot to “sauté” and heat it all through on medium-high while stirring. This should only take three to four more minutes.

Lastly, top it off with chopped cilantro and serve it to your delighted family or friends with cauliflower rice, cauliflower mashed potatoes, or even zucchini noodles.

Yum! 😋

Bite of keto butter chicken

🥣 How to store keto butter chicken

Keto butter chicken can be kept in the refrigerator in a glass air-tight container for up to three or four days.

Also, if you are cooking keto for one, you can divide the recipe into four equal portions. Put each portion in a freezer bag or other freezer-safe storage container. Keep in the freezer for up to one month and pull out for a quick and fabulous keto dinner!

👩‍🍳 How to use extra sauce

There are so many options for this spiced curry!

It can be poured over cauliflower rice, or heated with paneer. Paneer is an Indian cheese made from curdled milk and a fruit or vegetable acid like lemon juice. It’s not aged and doesn’t melt so it mostly stays formed in the sauce.

Or use it on other meats however you’d use a gravy. Believe me, it will make those tastebuds happy.

Family favorite dinners

I always have to smile whenever I make an Indian inspired dish. Why? Because my husband is Georgian, and he absolutely loves 1) gravy 2) spices.

He always says, “This is Georgian!”

Granted, many of the spices are also used in Georgian cuisine so I can see the similarity. However, it also makes me think of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The father of the family always declares how everything comes from the Greek!

Different cultures definitely flavor life, from foods to dance to family traditions.

Why not try out easy keto butter chicken Instant Pot version today?

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If you LOVE this recipe please consider giving it a five-star rating in the review area below!

🍲 More keto recipes

  1. Georgian Eggplant With Walnuts
  2. Keto Thai Coconut Soup
  3. Keto Chicken Enchiladas
  4. New Orleans Style Keto Gumbo
  5. Keto Jambalaya

📖 Recipe

Overhead view of keto butter chicken instant pot and cauliflower rice

Easy Instant Pot Keto Butter Chicken

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

The perfect delicious mix of spices makes this the best easy Keto Butter Chicken made in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Tender chicken in a chicken tikka masala style low carb sauce.

Ingredients

  • 14.5 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less for desired spice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Get out the Instant Pot, or pressure cooker, and ingredients.
  2. Place the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, turmeric, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, onion powder, cumin, and one teaspoon of garam masala in the pot.
  3. Mix the sauce together with a whisk or spoon. Press the chicken thighs in on top of the sauce.
  4. Close the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Let it release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release/Quick Release valve to vent to release all remaining pressure. 
  5. Open the pot and remove the chicken to a dish and set aside.
  6. Either use an immersion or standing blender to blend all the ingredients together well.
  7. Let cool slightly, then mix in the butter, cream, and one more teaspoon garam masala. Pour half the sauce back in the pot (if using a standing blender) and keep the remaining half to use later.
  8. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then return it to the pot and mix with the sauce. Turn the Instant Pot to "sauté" and heat through on medium-high, 2-3 minutes.
  9. Top with chopped cilantro and serve with cauliflower rice, cauliflower mashed potatoes, or zucchini noodles.

Notes

Use the leftover sauce by warming through with any leftover cooked meat or paneer (cheese).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 509mgCarbohydrates: 6gNet Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gProtein: 23g

*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For most accurate facts, calculate your own with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @explorermomma on Instagram and hashtag it #explorermomma. Thanks a bunch!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Please be aware I am not a medical specialist or nutritional professional. On this blog, I share recipes and what works for me. Please do not take anything on this blog as medical advice and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrition facts as a courtesy to my readers, and I remove erythritol from the final carb count and net carb count because does not affect my own blood glucose levels.  

This is as accurate as possible, but it’s best to independently calculate nutritional information on your own with the specific ingredients you use. I expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website.

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