Make the best instant pot butter chicken recipe (Murgh Makhani) that’s keto and low carb. An Indian restaurant favorite that can be made into one of the best keto dinner recipes served with cauliflower rice. Whether you make this keto butter chicken sauce with chicken breasts or thighs this is one meal you won’t forget in a hurry. Let me show you how to make this butter chicken Indian recipe at home in a few easy steps.
Keto Instant Pot Butter Chicken
When you search for instant pot butter chicken one of the recipes you will find popping up is the butter chicken lady. That’s because Uvatshi Pitre is the boss of instant pot Indian recipes. I haven’t read her instant pot book but I sure enjoyed her air fryer Revolution cookbook which I was honored to review.
Instant pot butter Chicken is a creamy, spicy Indian recipe that tastes amazing. It’s tomato based sauce cooked with butter, cream and aromatic spices.
Butter Chicken VS Tikka Masala What’s the difference?
These two delicious dishes are similar in their reddish orange color and creamy taste but still different in some other ways for instance, butter chicken is said to be an authentic Indian dish originating from Delhi while Tikka Masala is an English invention
Both have similar ingredients chicken, tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes and spices and herbs which include Garam Masala an authentic and common spice in Indian cuisine.
In other words, chicken Tikka masala is not an authentic Indian recipe. It is more of an English interpretation of an Indian dish.
Butter Chicken Ingredients (What’s in my keto instant pot butter chicken recipe)
- Boneless chicken breast ( you can use chicken thighs) I love using these pre cut diced chicken breasts from Perdue farms
- Tomato sauce
- Garam masala spice blend. I usually use my homemade Garam Masala recipe. You can also buy some in the international aisle of your favorite grocery store or online.
- Granulated garlic or fresh garlic
- Ground ginger or fresh ginger
- Heavy cream
- Chopped cilantro or parsley
How to make Instant Pot Butter Chicken Keto
Ready for some good news dear friend, butter chicken doesn’t require anything special to make it keto. It’s a keto and low carb friendly dish right out of the box.
Below is an overview of the recipe with step by step photos full recipe can be found at the printable recipe card at the bottom if this page.
Pic 1-3; To the instant Pot inner pot, add tomato sauce, spice blend and chicken chunks.
Pic 4-6; Stir, cover instant pot, select pressure cook and time.
Pic 7-8; scoop out cooked chicken from sauce, turn on sauté function, stir in heavy cream and butter then let it simmer for about 5 mins
Pic 10-12; or till reduced to the desired consistency. Add the chicken back unto dm sauce and serve.
How to make Butter Chicken without cream
If you are allergic to dairy or don’t want to use heavy cream, a good substitute would be coconut milk.
You can use any other plant based milk of your preference. Substitute butter with vegan butter or coconut oil
How to serve
Down to my favorite part, you can serve butter chicken with pretty much anything you like. Eat it as is, serve with cauliflower rice or shirataki rice.
It can also be served as a dipping sauce for keto tortillas or any of the keto breads listed below;
Make ahead instructions and how to store
This sauce can be doubled and divided for storage in the freezer for up to a month. Left over portions can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
If you don’t have enough chicken to double the recipe, You can double the sauce ingredients. When it’s ready, scoop out half the sauce into a freezer friendly container and set aside then serve the other portion.
When the Portion set aside cools down completely, freeze for up to a month. When you are ready to eat it boil some more chicken and simmer in sauce.
Quick Recipe Notes and Tips
- If you don’t have an instant pot yet see notes below for how to make butter chicken in a slow cooker or stove top.
- This is a very fast and easy way to cook butter chicken. Using tomato sauce skips the step of needing to purée the sauce with a stick blender after cooking.
- If you use chicken thighs, add some
- When simmering the sauce to thicken it, don’t let it get too thick because it thickens some more while it cools.
- I skipped the yoghurt marinade to save me some time but if you like to marinade your chicken, add half cup of Greek yoghurt to the listed spices and marinade your chicken in the yogurt marinade for up to 3 hrs. Then dump every thing into the instant pot and cook as indicated in the recipe.
How to make butter Chicken on the stove top or slow cooker.
- Stove top method: Pan fry chicken breasts lightly. Then add the tomato sauce. Lower heat, add spices. Heavy cream simmer for about 15 mins. Turn off heat and finish off with butter.
- Slow cooker method: For this method I like to use the thighs instead of the breast because chicken thighs take longer to cool are less likely to overcook in the slow cooker. Dump everything in slow cooker, except the butter and cream. Add two cups of water and cook on high for 1 ½ hrs or on low for up to 4hrs. Stir in the heavy cream and butter 30 mins before time is up.
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Keto Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- 6 qt Instant Pot
- 1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder (substitute with 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger)
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (substitute with 4 cloves of garlic)
- ¼ tsp ground cumin (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ tablespoon pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon bouillon powder (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 2 lbs diced chicken breast or thighs
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- To the inner pot of the instant pot, add the tomato sauce, seasoning blend and diced chicken
- Stir to mix chicken with sauce, cover instant pot and set valve to sealing position. Select pressure cooker/manual setting, set timer to 8 mins and high pressure. Do a quick release when the cook time is up.
- Scoop out the chicken and set aside,Turn on the saute function of the instant pot, add the heavy cream and butter and let simmer for 2-5 mins.
- When saute time is done or the sauce is thickened to your liking, turn off instant pot, scoop cooked chicken back into sauce, stitr and add som chopped parsley.
- Serve over cauliflower rice
I just finished eating this on cauliflower rice with a side of green beans. DELICIOUS!!! Thank you!! Side note: I didn't have tumeric on hand so I substituted it for dry mustard (per google, lol) and only used a half of teaspoon of cayenne. I'm in love!!! 🙂
Thank you for your feedback. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the mustard tip. Would not have thought of that lol. I usually used curry as a sub. Now thanks you, I’ve learnt a different sub.
Maybe next time I'll try coming on the stovetop. It was way too juicy.
Hi A Beynon,
If you find it too watery, you can use the sauté function of the instant pot to cook it down to the consistency you like. I thought I mentioned that in the post. I will check and update the post.
Yes you can also cook it on the stove top if you prefer. However I like the convenience the instant pot gives.
Thank you for trying out the recipe and leaving a feedback. Enjoy!
I have made this recipe so many times! It is so easy to make and I love that I can make it on a busy week night and still have something hot, delicious, comforting, and healthy. Thank you so much!
Happy you love the recipe. Thank you for letting me know. It’s one of our fav recipes too. Enjoy!