Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala (Dairy-free)

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This healthy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is dairy-free and comes together quickly in your Instant Pot. I've added cauliflower and carrots for extra nutrition, and you can conveniently cook a bowl of rice in the pressure cooker to save time.
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chicken tikka masala with pot in pot rice

The following guest post is by Megan Gilmore, a certified nutritionist consultant (CNC) and the creator of Detoxinista.com. As a self-proclaimed “lazy cook,” Megan shares quick recipes using easy-to-find real food ingredients to help naturally support your body. For fast weeknight meals, check out her latest book, The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook.


This Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala is a good-for-you and convenient one-pot meal. I love how a bowl of rice cooks at the same time as the main dish, all in the same Instant Pot.

(If you don’t have a pressure cooker—check out the stove top & slow cooker options listed for you down below the recipe.)

This recipe comes from my brand new The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook, which is loaded with fast weeknight recipes, all made with easy-to-find real food ingredients. There is a photo as well as nutrition information for every recipe, and I love how nearly every sauce is naturally dairy-free and vegan to help accommodate a number of special diets.

While everything in the Instant Pot isn’t always ready in an “instant,” I love how it makes the cooking process more hands-off. Instead of watching the stove to make sure something doesn’t burn or boil-over, you can simply add the ingredients to the pot, press a button, and walk away.

You don’t have to worry about your dinner again until the cooking cycle is over, so you can finish up tasks around your house, or play with your kids, or simply relax until dinner is ready. It makes you the ultimate multitasker!

When compared to other cooking methods, pressure cooking has been shown to preserve more nutrients in your food. This could be due to the fact that food cooks so quickly under pressure, or that it is rarely cooked above 250ºF in the pressurized pot. So, you’ll be getting more nutritional bang for your buck every time you use your Instant Pot.

Instant Pot on 10 Days of Real Food

Using Your Instant Pot

When it comes to using your Instant Pot, there is definitely a learning curve at first. I hope this new healthy Instant Pot cookbook will make it as easy as possible for you.

Each recipe walks you through the exact steps you need to take, the timing to expect, and the buttons you need to push so that you’ll get fool-proof results every time.

The front of the book is full of photo tutorials, commonly asked questions, and troubleshooting tips for your Instant Pot so that you’ll get comfortable with your pressure cooker a lot faster than I did!

(If your electric pressure cooker happens to be another brand, don’t worry; I intentionally avoided using specialty buttons so that these recipes could easily work for any machine.)

I hope you’ll enjoy this comforting recipe soon!

Chicken Tikki Masala on 100 Days of Real Food

Don’t have an Instant Pot? Try a variation below!

Slow Cooker Method:

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne and stir for one more minute, just until fragrant. Transfer the onion and spices to the bowl of your slow cooker.
  3. Drain the can of tomatoes and blend them in a blender (or mini chopper) with the maple syrup to create a smooth tomato sauce. Pour the blended mixture into the slow cooker and add the chicken thighs on top. Season with the salt, then add the cauliflower and carrots on top of that, so it can all cook at once.
  4. Cover with the lid and set your slow cooker to cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours.
  5. When the time is up, use tongs to transfer the cooked chicken thighs to a cutting board and use two forks to shred them. Add the shredded chicken back to the sauce, stir in the coconut milk, and adjust any seasoning to taste. Serve over cooked rice or quinoa.

Stove Top Method:

  1. Saute the onion and spices as directed above in the slow cooker method, using a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Blend the tomatoes (with their juices) and maple syrup and add them to the cooked onions and spices, then place the chicken thighs, cauliflower and carrots on top. Season with salt and bring the pot to a boil. Cover the pot and lower the heat to a simmer, cooking until the chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked, about 25 minutes.
  3. Use tongs to remove the cooked chicken and shred them with two forks on a cutting board. Add the shredded chicken back to the sauce on the pot, and stir in the coconut milk. Adjust any seasoning to taste then serve with cooked rice or quinoa.

Giveaway!

Giveaway is no longer accepting entries – Congratulations to Dorothy on being the winner!

Want to win your very own Instant Pot and a copy of Megan Gilmore’s new book, The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook? Comment below with your favorite Instant Pot recipe by 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, to be entered! One lucky winner will be chosen and notified by October 18, 2018, via email (so make sure you include a good email address in your comment). See full giveaway terms below.*

Find more healthy Instant Pot recipes on Detoxinista.com, or in The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook.

*Giveaway details:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite Instant Pot recipe to enter. Limit one (1) entry per person, email address, and household for the duration of the giveaway period. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries. Entries will be chosen at random. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. Winner will be contacted by October 18th, 2018, via email. The winner will have 3 days to respond before they are disqualified and a new winner is chosen. We may share your first name, last initial, and comment publicly but will not share any other information with anyone except to facilitate the shipment of your prize(s), which will be shipped directly from the respective vendor. 100 Days of Real Food will not use your email address for anything other than contacting you about this giveaway. Giveaway open to US residents only, aged 18 or over, residing within any of the 48 US continental United States. We are not liable for errors stemming from lost/delayed e-mail, posting or typographical errors, technical failures, etc. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is being held by Leake, LLC doing business as 100 Days of Real Food. We may be reached at info{at}100daysofrealfood{dot}com.

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58 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala (Dairy-free)”

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  1. While I love Detoxinista (seriously every recipe I’ve tried of hers has been a winner!!) I’m struggling a little with her portion sizes, our boys are big eaters and there is no way even with lots of veggies and rice that 1.5# of thighs would feed 4 of us, let alone 6. I think part of eating clean, whole foods is recognizing you may have to eat more to feel full. Mind over much mentions this on her you tube channel and it was such a relief to hear a pro echoing what my husband and I notice in our house. Friends of mine with growing kids have the same issue. If anyone is reading this and taking suggestions, bigger recipes and meal prep would be great!! :) Thank you!! P.s. one of our faves is her Instant pot wild rice and mushroom soup but again I have to cook extra sides to feed us for dinner.

  2. WOW! I just received an email from you that I won the Instant Pot and the Cookbook. I tried to reply to you from the email but it didn’t work. I am hoping this will get to you. Please contact me so I can give you my address. Thank you sooo much. Dorothy

  3. This looks yummy! I don’t have an instant pot, but would love to win one to try this recipe! My friend made buffalo chicken dip in an instant pot and it was delicious – so I would have to say that is my favorite recipe (so far).