Instant Pot curry chicken is a great recipe to have on hand to make throughout the week. Not only is it packed with flavor but it is such a simple, budget-friendly recipe that even kids will love! Some are a bit scared of curry because of the spice levels that can sometimes be present. If your family is not a fan of spice you can easily alter this recipe to meet your dietary needs. On the other hand, if you like your dinners to bite back you can always up the spice level on this recipe as well!
This instant pot curry chicken recipe not only comes together in just minutes but also stores exceptionally well. That makes it a great option for meal prep recipes. I recently started doing meal prep batch cooking 2-3 times a week. It has made my life so much easier. On days that I find myself in horrible pain or low on spoons, I don’t have to cook for the night, but I can rather just grab a prepared meal and enjoy my evening. Even if you don’t live with a chronic illness I’m pretty sure most moms would agree that’s a great thing some days.
If you find that this is a recipe that your family REALLY enjoys you can always double ( or triple!) the recipe and freeze it in one large batch or in already separated meals. I have done both options in the past and find that it holds up well either way. I often will place some of my prepared meals in the freezer and then move them down to the refrigerator the night before I plan to eat them. In some meals, I find that this helps to lessen the amount of extra water you can get in your meal prep container as the food inside thaws. When I go straight from the freezer to the microwave I do tend to notice more liquid in my food, and it can alter the taste or texture at times.
Ingredients Needed for Instant Pot Curry Chicken
As with all of my recipes, you should be just fine if there is a spice that you aren’t a fan of or just absolutely can’t find. I do HIGHLY recommend taking the time to pick up and try the wide variety of amazing spices that Indian cuisine introduces you to though. Many of them quickly became favorites for me.
After you make a batch or two of this recipe you should be able to adjust the spices to your liking by adding a little more of this or a little less of that. Nearly all of my cooking is done by “eyeballing it”. I find it to be a much easier way of getting a particular flavor that I am going for.
1 lb chicken breast, chopped to 1-inch pieces ( chicken thigh can also be used if you prefer)
1 can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 C coconut milk
1 C chicken broth
1/2 C butter, unsalted ( softened)
1-2 T water
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 -2 tsp cornstarch
Directions to Make Instant Pot Curry Chicken
If you haven’t done so yet you want to start by chopping your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Usually, this is around 1-inch little chicken blocks. You want to make sure that your pieces are all around the same size. More often than not I get the pre-diced natural chicken from my local Kroger and chop down the rest of the way. I find this helps me keep the sizes even and it takes a step out of the process for me!
If you prefer a vegetarian version of this recipe you can always substitute the chicken for chickpeas and the chicken broth for vegetable broth or water. I have done that recipe many times and honestly feel as though it is just as good, if not better than the chicken version!
Once your chicken is completely chopped to size give it a good coating of salt and pepper and set aside. You can cover it and put it back into the fridge at this point too if you prefer.
Before you go any further you want to get your spices together. Once you have each of your spices added to a small bowl begin to slowly add tablespoons of water as you stir. You want to create a paste from your spices to add to the instant pot.
You can eyeball it ( noticing a pattern in my cooking here? lol) as you add water to determine how much you will need to get a paste for your spices. Some brands grind things just a little bit more coarse or fine which might alter your water needs. For the spices I use I usually find around a tablespoon and 1/2 of water to work well to get the consistency I am looking for.
Once you have the paste created you can set it aside and turn the instant pot on to the saute setting. Add the coconut oil to your instant pot and heat until melted. When the instant pot is finished heating up you can toss your chicken in and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is browned. This usually takes me around 3-4 minutes.
When the chicken has finished browning you can add in your spices and toss to coat the chicken completely. Allow the spices to cook a minute or two into the chicken, stirring frequently. Add in the tomato sauce, coconut milk, and enough of the chicken (or vegetable) broth until your chicken is completely covered with liquid.
Turn the instant pot over to the pressure cooker setting and cook for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally ( about another 10 minutes or so) and release the lid from the instant pot. You will most likely find that the sauce is fairly thin once it is done cooking. That’s ok! This is where we add in the cornstarch. Once again, you can eyeball it by adding about 1/2 of a teaspoon at a time and stirring until you reach the consistency you prefer.
Letting the sauce sit for a while can also help it thicken slightly. You can either serve it immediately over brown rice or you can portion it out into meal prep containers to eat throughout the week. I often make a garlic naan bread to go with our curry, but I store that separately as it would just get soggy stored with the curry.
How to Store Instant Pot Curry Chicken
You can store this recipe in one of two ways. I alternate between the two often with no problems. You can choose to make a whole batch and store it in the freezer for later in the week. If you prefer to have it ready to grab and go you can portion it out with brown rice in meal prep containers to freeze as well.
When I make this recipe I find that it stores well in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. If I know it’s going to be longer than that I will store it in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. You could possibly extend the freezer time a little longer, but I find that it really starts to take a toll on freshness once you go past the 2-week point.
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