Recipe Makeover: Urvashi Pitre's Instant Pot Butter Chicken

By Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD | January 27, 2020 | Rally Health


Urvashi Pitre, a Dallas-based food blogger (and founder of a global consulting firm), posted a recipe for her Instant Pot Butter Chicken in a Facebook community group, and many likes later landed a publishing deal for the "Indian Instant Pot Cookbook." Pitre maintained the dish’s traditional flavors, while cutting its laborious cooking time to just 10 minutes. No wonder it was an instant hit.


  • Used no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • Decreased salt and butter
  • Used chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs
  • Swapped heavy cream for half-and-half
  • Added baby spinach

76 Calories
7g Saturated Fat

Serves 4

1 (14-oz.) can no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. garam masala, divided
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 oz. butter
¼ cup half-and-half
1 (10-oz.) pkg. baby spinach, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1. Place all ingredients in Instant Pot, EXCEPT for chicken, butter, half-and-half, spinach, cilantro, and 1 tsp. garam masala. Mix ingredients well, then place chicken on top.

2. Close and seal the cooker, and cook on high (or manual) for 8 minutes. Use the quick-release method to let out pressure.

3. Carefully open pot and remove chicken to a cutting board.

4.. Use an immersion blender to blend together sauce in Instant Pot. Add remaining 1 tsp. garam masala, butter, half-and-half, and cilantro. Let cool slightly to thicken. Remove half of sauce to freeze for later or for another use.

5. Add half of spinach, stirring until just wilted. Add remaining half of spinach, and the chicken. Cook until warm throughout and spinach is wilted.

NUTRITION FACTS: Calories 238; total fat 11g (saturated fat 5g); cholesterol 103mg; sodium 385mg; total carbs 7g (dietary fiber 2g, total sugars 3g, added sugars 0g); protein 28g


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