Who else is obsessed with their Instant Pot?! Yes, I definitely fall in that category. But it took me awhile. I got my Instant Pot several years ago during the mad fury of an Amazon Black Friday sale. I had seen so many healthy, paleo Instant Pot recipes all over the internet and I was convinced this would be my new primary form of cooking.

Fast forward about 6-months, post-Instant Pot arrival…and it remained neatly, safely, tucked away in my pantry. The idea of pressure cooking in my (then) all-white kitchen, gave me images of tomato explosions and splattered sauce on the ceiling. The Instant Pot terrified me. When I finally got up the courage to use it, I’d run out of the room after turning it on, so at least it wouldn’t explode on me. When it was time to “manually release the pressure”, I did so using a spatula as a tool to turn the dial, so I wouldn’t have to jeopardize my hand. I know, pathetic, right?!

Fortunately, I have since overcome those fears and now use the Instant Pot to cook healthy dinners at least once a week, explosion-free! Long story short, don’t fear the pressure cooker.

More recently, I was catching up with some friends about travel. I was recalling a trip to India I made over 10 years ago and my friends were asking me my impressions. I LOVE India…the cultures, the colors, the people, THE FOOD. It made me really crave Indian food, probably my favorite type of cuisine. I love the spices, the sauces, and the slow-cooked meats and vegetables. So. Many. Flavors. And so many anti-oxidants.

While I adore Indian food, the heavy creams and dairy don’t always adore me. With PCOS, I don’t tolerate dairy that well, as it tends to make me break out. Sad face. Fortunately, I’ve come up with some adapted recipes that are still bursting with flavor, but with minimal-to-no dairy, like this Butter Chicken recipe here.

If you’re looking for a traditional Butter Chicken, this is probably not going to be what you’re searching for. However, if you want a paleo and whole30-friendly Instant Pot “Butter Chicken” that will please a crowd, you’ve come to the right place. And it definitely checks the low-carb, keto-friendly box, as well.

So let’s get started.

Pro-tip: Measure all your spices into a small bowl or ramekin first. This will safe you from having to scramble with a bunch of measuring spoons once you have the heat going on your Instant Pot.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed ghee (or coconut oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless, pasture-raised chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more if you like it spicy!
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 18 oz jar diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Fresh chopped cilantro

Here’s what you do:

  1. Turn your Instant Pot to sauté and add the ghee.
  2. Once the ghee has had time to heat up, add your onions and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften and become translucent.
  3. When the onions are soft, add the garlic and ginger and sauté for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  4. Add the spice mixture and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Turn the sauté function off. Add the tomatoes, 2 lbs. of chicken, and cinnamon stick to the pot.
  6. Seal your Instant Pot, choose manual, and set the cook time to 6 minutes. When it’s finished cooking, set a timer for 10 minutes to allow a 10-minute natural release.
  7. After the 10-minute natural release, release the rest of the pressure manually.
  8. Serve in bowls, topped with some fresh lime juice and lots of fresh cilantro.

This recipe goes great with some cilantro-coconut cauliflower “rice”.

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important notes:

I am not a doctor, and I don’t claim to be one. I can’t prevent, treat, cure or diagnose illness or disease. The information presented on this website is not meant to replace a one-on-one relationship with your health care professional and is not intended as medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. The purpose of this website is to share knowledge from my research and experience. I encourage you to make your own decisions regarding your health care based on your own research and relationship with your health care professional. 

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