Dairy-Free Instant Pot Butter Chicken

This butter chicken is rich, velvety, and SO flavorful. And the best part? It tastes like a big ol’ bowl of comfort food, but it turns out to be sooo nourishing and good for you. Butter is not even in this recipe… or any dairy for that matter, and it’s still absolutely delicious. The second-best part? It’s easy. As in, a truly simple weeknight meal without any funky ingredients. You are going to love this Dairy-Free Instant Pot Butter Chicken!

Dairy-Free Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Dairy-Free Instant Pot Butter Chicken

What makes it dairy-free?

Full-fat coconut milk. One of my favorite ingredients to cook with. It creates such a rich, smooth, velvety texture. And it’s packed with all kinds of healthy fats.

What if I don’t have garam masala?

Don’t worry about it! When I run out, I use this simple homemade garam masala recipe from AllRecipes. It makes more than you need for this recipe, but I just store it in a jar for next time! Garam masala is an amazing blend of spices to have in your kitchen.

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

And if you’re missing some of those ingredients, just look up “garam masala substitute” to find a combination you have on hand. One of my biggest cooking tips is not to take yourself (or a recipe) too seriously in the kitchen— there are endless flavor combinations that taste amazing and never just one “right” way to make a recipe!

Healthy Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Dairy-Free Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Servings: ~6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes


  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless + skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Add all ingredients to your instant pot except for the chicken thighs, coconut milk, lime juice, and cilantro. Thoroughly mix together in bottom of instant pot, then place chicken thighs on top.
  2. Close the instant pot and set for 10 minutes on high and turn the pressure valve to the sealing position. Once the instant pot beeps, turn valve to the venting position to release all remaining pressure.
  3. Once pressure is released, remove the lid and let cool for 10 minutes before adding the coconut milk, lime juice, and cilantro. Stir well until incorporated. (Sometimes the coconut milk can separate if it is added when the sauce is too hot— if this happens, don’t worry. This slightly changes the appearance of your sauce, but not the taste or texture.)
  4. Serve over basmati rice and enjoy!

Healthy Instant Pot Butter Chicken

If you liked this recipe, I think you would also love my One Pot Massaman Curry!


love always, nik

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with  nik  email  club!