I love my Instant Pot, and I love how I can take some of my favorites and convert them to work in this format, like this Instant Pot Chicken Curry recipe. If you like it, check out the Amazon affiliate links in this post. If you buy anything, I earn a small commission that helps support my blog – and my Instant Pot addiction.
My daughter once told me that she didn’t like Indian food. She told me she didn’t like coconut milk either, but I didn’t believe her. I set out to prove her wrong, and I succeeded when I first made my standard version of chicken curry. The recipe for the Instant Pot version is fairly similar, but I switched up a few things to give it a different set of flavors and textures. Plus, it’s fun to mix and match ingredients. Indian cooking tends to be fairly forgiving that way.
Instead of using chicken, try chickpeas or tofu. Add potatoes to the stovetop version. Add fresh tomatoes to the Instant Pot Chicken Curry. Turn up the heat with a little cayenne. This recipe is gluten free and continues to be so when I serve it over basmati rice, but my family loves this even more when I make homemade crepes and use this as a savory filling. Obviously, that makes it no longer gluten free, but oh my word, it’s fantastic.
Best of all, the Instant Pot Chicken Curry takes almost no time to prep, which makes it great for busy nights. I tend to run here and there and everywhere with my kids, and they get hungry, so a hot dinner waiting for us always wins. I tend to make this more often in the winter, but the weather in Chicago hasn’t been very summer like, so I kept it in the rotation. This tends to make enough for my family to have leftovers for lunch the next day, and I find it’s almost better then, once the flavors have a chance to meld.
I usually use fresh chicken when I make this, but sometimes I have frozen breasts in my freezer and use those instead. When I do, I add an extra 7-8 minutes to the cook time and pull them out to chop after the NPR.
If you find your sauce is thinner than you’d like, thicken it with cornstarch. If I add tomatoes, I find those juices are enough to thin the sauce enough to require two teaspoons of cornstarch mixed with a teaspoon of water. I stir that into the cooked dish and saute it for a couple minutes to thicken the sauce then serve. Then again, some nights I like to thin it out even more either with chicken stock or another can of coconut milk (or both) and make it into more of a chicken curry soup. See? Flexible, so adapt this recipe to your preferences.
How To Make Instant Pot Chicken Curry
Turn Instant Pot to saute while you chop your onion and garlic. Add the oil and follow with the onion, garlic, tomato paste, turmeric, and curry powder. Stir for a minute then turn off the Instant Pot.
Grate in ginger. Add coconut milk and stir. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and add to pot. Add salt and bay leaves. Peel and slice carrots into coins. Wash potatoes and cut into bite size pieces. Add both to the Instant Pot and stir again.
Turn Instant Pot to chicken setting for six minutes. Be sure the vent is closed and sealed. Let the curry do a Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for 10 minutes, then remove lid. If you cook this while out and about, you can let it do a full NPR and just stay warm until you’re home and ready to eat. I’ve left it up to two hours, and it’s been great.
Remove the bay leaves and check the consistency of the sauce. Add the cornstarch if needed, as described above. If you used frozen chicken, make sure you cooked it an extra 7-8 minutes and remove the chicken to shred or chop it, then return to your Instant Pot.
Serve over basmati rice or as a crepe filling.
What else to make in your Instant Pot (besides my Instant Pot Curry Chicken)?
I’ve had my Instant Pot for several months now, and I love using it. I purchased “just” the Duo, and recipes I share work in either. While I’d love the yogurt function and the ability to cook under low pressure, I have too many delicious options to regret my choice. Some of my favorites?
- Spanish rice (one of my most popular recipes!)
- Creamy chickpea tomato soup (with adaption to make on stovetop)
- Easy peasy tomato soup
- Homemade chicken stock
- Updated (healthier) honey bourbon chicken
Have you ever tried Instant Pot Chicken Curry? What’s your favorite recipe?
This easy recipe for flavorful Instant Pot Chicken Curry comes together in under a half hour and is completely kid friendly, while including enough flavor to please adults. Enjoy as a savory crepe filling or over basmati rice. This curry is gluten free.
- 2 T oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 t turmeric
- 4 t curry powder
- 1 t fresh ginger, grated
- 1 t salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3/4 lb red potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 lb chicken, cut into bite size pieces
- Turn Instant Pot to saute, then chop onion and mince garlic. Add oil, onion, garlic, tomato paste, turmeric, and curry powder. Stir for a minute then turn off the Instant Pot.
- Grate in ginger. Add coconut milk and stir. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and add to pot. Add salt and bay leaves. Peel and slice carrots into coins. Wash potatoes and cut into bite size pieces. Add to Instant Pot and stir.
- Turn Instant Pot to chicken setting for six minutes. Be sure the vent is closed and sealed. Let NPR for 10 minutes, then remove lid.
- Remove the bay leaves and check the consistency of the sauce. Add the cornstarch slurry (2 t cornstarch with 1 t cold water) if needed.
- Serve immediately over basmati rice or as a crepe filling. This keeps in the fridge in a tightly sealed container up to two days.
You can also use who frozen chicken breasts in place of the fresh chicken. If you do so, simply add the frozen breasts to the curry mixture and cook for an extra 7-8 minutes. After the NPR, remove the chicken to shred or chop it, then return to your Instant Pot.