Butter Chicken (with MOAR VEG)

Butter chicken is a favorite in our house, but in my ongoing quest to, you know, not die tragically in my early 40’s, we spend a lot of time tweaking and adjusting recipes. This week I’ll share recipes for mostly egg white bites, chicken kofta with turmeric fonio (a killer substitute for couscous), air-fried samosas with mint-cilantro chutney, vegetable burrito bowls, and more.

But can you sense a theme? I’m leaning hard into flavor so that I can use less salt. To that end, here’s a lightened up Instant Pot butter chicken filled with lots of nutrition.

Butter Chicken with All the Veg

(serves 6-8)

  • 2 T ghee (you can use a neutral oil)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 5-6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3/4 pound skinless and boneless chicken thighs, chopped into large chunks (omit and double the cauliflower for a vegetarian entree)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne (we like it hot)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Couple of grinds of black pepper
  • 1– 15 oz can tomato sauce (look for something with no added sugar or salt)
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped into chunks
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • Pinch of fenugreek leaves (celery leaves are a decent substitute)
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Brown rice or basmati rice for serving


On your Instant Pot, in saute mode, add the ghee and onions to the pot. Stir occasionally until the onions are translucent, and then add the chicken, cauliflower, ginger and garlic. Once the chicken is lightly browned, add the spices and tomato sauce stir to combine. Cook on 8-9 minute on manual high pressure, and manually release when done. Once again in saute mode, add the bell peppers, peas, and carrots, before stirring in the coconut milk and fenugreek (or celery leaves). Reduce slightly, season to taste with kosher salt (we didn’t add any), and serve over rice with chopped cilantro.

We served this over brown rice, with samosas and chutney on the side, and all was right with the world.

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