This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is a quick and easy Whole30 compliant version of the classic Indian dish which comes together in less than 30 minutes! I’ve included slow cooker directions for you, too! 

Indian food is probably my most favorite of all time. My mom and I love going to the Royal Taj in Columbia, MD because 1) it’s delicious and 2) I know I can get a safe gluten free meal there! Last time we went, I brought my Nima Sensor and everything came back with a smiley face. The nice thing about Indian food is that a lot of it is naturally gluten free (minus the naan, of course)!

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my go-to entrees to order, so I decided it deserved a spot on the blog. Not only does it deserve a spot, but a quick, easy, and Whole30 friendly spot 🙂

Traditional Tikka Masala includes heavy cream and/or yogurt and butter. I replaced these with coconut cream (just the hardened part at the top of a can of full fat coconut milk) and ghee, and the flavors are incredible. The best part about Indian Food is the spices that go into everything – usually a bit of spicy, some sweet and aromatic (cloves I’m looking at you), and lots of savory.

Do I need Garam Masala to make this?

Yes, you definitely need to have some Garam Masala to make this. It is a traditional Indian spice blend and it makes everything delicious. I got mine on Thrive Market because I love knowing Primal Palate spices are organic and gluten free, but you can find Garam Masala at most grocery stores!

Should I get an Instant Pot?

The answer to this question is, YES. This is the Instant Pot that I have and it was pretty much the best purchase I’ve ever made. Well, maybe not EVER, but pretty darn close. So many people tell me that they are intimidated/scared to use one. DON’T BE! Once you get through the first time using it, you will see how incredibly easy and life changing it is. Just in case you’re not ready to hop on the Instant Pot train, I have also included slow cooker directions for you below.

Looking for other easy Instant Pot recipes? Check out my Whole30 Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken or Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli and “Rice” Casserole!

Ok, let’s get cookin’!

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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala {Whole30}

A dairy free version of the classic Indian dish which comes together in 30 minutes or less. Slow cooker directions included below, as well!
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large onion , diced
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce or tomato puree
  • 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1.5 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne , more if you like heat!
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Slurry

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Slow Cooker

Instructions
 

  • Hit the "saute" button and add ghee. Once hot, add in onion, garlic, and all of the spices. Stir 1-2 minutes until the onions begin to soften and the spices are very fragrant.
  • Add in chicken pieces and continue to stir for 2-3 more minutes until slightly browned. Add in tomato sauce and chicken broth and stir to combine.
  • Hit the "cancel/keep warm" button. Lock the lid and turn the vent to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes, then manually release the pressure.
  • Stir in coconut cream (the hardened white part at the top of your coconut milk can), leaving the clear liquid in the can. Hit the "saute" button again and bring to a boil while stirring.
  • Mix the arrowroot powder and water together to create the slurry. Add it into the pot and stir. It will thicken quickly. Add more salt to taste. Hit "cancel/keep warm" and let it sit until ready to serve. Serve over cauliflower rice for Whole30, or regular basmati rice for just gluten free! Enjoy!

Notes

*To make this in a slow cooker, complete the first step using a sauté pan on the stove. Add the cooked onions/garlic/spices to the slow cooker along with the raw chicken pieces. Add in tomato sauce and chicken broth, and stir. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 7-8 hours. Stir in the coconut cream. If the sauce needs to be thickened, turn the slow cooker on high. Make the slurry and add it in and stir for a few minutes. Serve over cauliflower rice for Whole30, or regular basmati rice for gluten free. Enjoy!