Skip to Content

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a regular for us. I’m all about minimal ingredients and simple steps when making dinner, and so this easy chicken tikka masala is the perfect recipe to throw in the Instant Pot. 

Side Note: Do you have an electric pressure cooker? I have both the Instant Pot and the Pressure King Pro – I’ve not decided which one I prefer yet. Once I’ve compared them some more I’ll write a Instant Pot vs Pressure King Pro review 🙂 

But, now, back to the easy chicken tikka masala recipe! 

Chicken Tikka Masala In An Instant PotThe Ingredients

Ingredients For Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 1tbsp olive oil (or your choice of oil)
  • 4 chicken breasts (or 3 large ones)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1tbsp grated ginger (or 1tsp of ground ginger)
  • 4tbsp chicken tikka masala powder (or you can make your own, see recipe notes at the end to see how)
  • 300g passata
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 150ml cream (you can substitute with coconut milk or yoghurt)

How To Make Easy Chicken Tikka Masala In An Instant Pot

Everything can be done in the Instant Pot, from sautéing the onions, garlic, chicken and spices, bringing it to the boil and then pressure cooking it. I like to use a chicken tikka masala spice powder that has already been mixed (we use a lot of it!) but you can make your own. The steps to making chicken tikka masala in an Instant Pot are;

Sauté onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add in the spice mix and stir to coat the onions and garlic. I like to add a little bit of the chicken stock at this stage to create a paste as well as deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot inner bowl. Make sure you scrape away any spices stuck to the base.

chicken tikka spices in Instant Pot

I then add in the chicken breasts (whole) and quickly sear them on each side, letting them get coated in the masala paste mix. I usually sear them for about 1 minute on each side, just enough for the meat to seal.

searing chicken breasts in Instant Pot

With the sauté function still on, add the passata and stock. Give everything a good stir to ensure there is nothing stuck to the bottom.

adding passata and chicken stock to Chicken Tikka Masala

Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 7 minutes. It will take about 6 minutes to come to pressure. When it has finished do a quick release.

Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and using some tongs take out the chicken breasts.

Switch the Instant Pot to the sauté function to allow the sauce to thicken up.

In the meantime shred up the cooked chicken breasts. Once shredded, put them back in the Instant Pot. Add in your cream (or substitute) and stir through.

Garnish with coriander and serve with rice, naan bread and maybe some onion bhajis? 🙂  

How Long Does It Take In The Instant Pot?

Instant Pot showing how long it takes to make chicken tikka masala

This recipe has very minimal preparation time, just a case of chopping up the onion and crushing the garlic. The sauteeing step takes about 5 minutes all in (onions, garlic, spices and chicken).

Cooking in an electric pressure cooker is quicker than other methods, but what a lot of the marketing doesn’t reveal is the time needed for the cooker to get up to pressure. How long it takes is dependent on what you have inside, that is, the quantity (large volumes will take much longer), as well as the temperature of what’s inside.

For this chicken tikka masala recipe, the Instant Pot took 6 minutes to get to pressure. I then set it for 7 minutes at high pressure with a quick release at the end. It was then left on the saute function for about 5 minutes whilst I shredded the chicken breast. This also gave the sauce some time to boil down and thicken up a little before adding in the cream (or your chosen substitute).

So, from first chop to plating up I would say to allow just under 25 minutes for this chicken tikka masala recipe. Plenty of time to tuck into the poppadoms 😉   


Chicken Tikka Masala Finished In A Bowl With Rice

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

This easy chicken tikka masala is even quicker to make in an Instant Pot! With very few ingredients and steps to follow you'll be tucking into this yummy curry in less than 25 minutes.


  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp fresh ginger, grated (or 1tsp ground ginger)
  • 4tbsp tikka masala spice mix (see notes to make your own)
  • 300g passata
  • 150ml chicken stock*
  • 150ml cream/yoghurt/coconut milk**


  1. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot using the sauté function.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened (about 3 to 4 minutes).
  3. Add the tikka masala spice mix and ginger and continue to sauté for 1 more minute. You might need to add a little stock at this stage to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the chicken breasts to the pot to seal them (about 1 minute on each side).
  5. Add the passata and chicken stock and allow to come to a gentle boil.
  6. Switch off the sauté function and put the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot on high pressure for 7 minutes. It should take about 6 minutes to come to pressure.
  7. When the cooking time is up perform a quick release.
  8. Take the lid off and take the chicken breasts out. Switch the Instant Pot to sauté mode to allow the sauce to thicken up a little.
  9. Whilst the sauce is boiling down, shred the chicken breast up. It should come apart easily as it will be nice and tender from the wonders of the Instant Pot!
  10. Return the shredded chicken to the Instant Pot and stir in.
  11. Switch off the sauté function and remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot.
  12. Stir in your choice of cream, yoghurt or coconut milk.
  13. Garnish with chopped coriander (optional).


Making Your Own Tikka Spice Mix

2tsp garam masala

3tsp ground coriander

3tsp ground cumin

2tsp chilli powder

1tsp garlic powder

1tsp ground turmeric

1tsp ground ginger

Pinch of salt

Simply mix it all together!

*Chicken Stock

I used 1 chicken stock pot in 150ml water, ignoring what the stock pot instructions told me to do. This will add more yummy flavour to your final dish.

**Cream Substitutes

Depending on your tastes and diet you might want to use an alternative to cream in this recipe. For a creamy chicken tikka masala texture you can use one of the following;

Double cream

Single cream

Fat free Greek yoghurt

Coconut milk

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 547Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 45g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook


I accept the Privacy Policy

Elizabeth Kowalski

Friday 5th of March 2021

Never ever made a successful curry though im a pretty good cook at most things but curry. Wasn't expecting this to turn put good as most curry recipes I have used never did. But this was delicious!!!

Liana Green

Tuesday 9th of March 2021

I'm really pleased to hear you enjoyed this Elizabeth :)

Dennis Cranswick

Friday 29th of January 2021

Hello, in the ingredients list it has 1tbsp of ginger but it is never mentioned when to use it in the method? When would i add the ginger?

Liana Green

Thursday 4th of February 2021

Hi Dennis - oops, sorry about that! I've updated the method to show it being added at the same time as the tikka masala spices! Thanks for letting me know.


Saturday 28th of November 2020

I have a Crockpot Express cooker and find it a boon. I like it because of the non stick pot, so easy to clean.

Liana Green

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Thanks for your comment - I've heard good things about the Crockpot Express!

Christine Dawson

Friday 27th of November 2020

I have a king pro pressure cooker. It doesn't have high or low temperature settings. Would I cook on meat and for how long please

Liana Green

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Hi Christine - yes I would cook it on the meat function and for the same time - I believe this should be the equivalent temperature setting - just double check the chicken breast is cooked through before serving. Hope that helps!

Skip to Recipe