Instant Pot Butter Chicken Bowties

Butter Chicken is easily one of my favorite Indian dishes ever. I mean, tender chicken in a smooth and silky butter-based sauce tossed with wonderfully flavorful spices? Yes, please. 

In fact the sauce is so perfect, I decided to make it into a pasta. Why? Because I love turning classic dishes with rich sauces into pastas that elevate it to cloud nine. Just check out my Chicken Marsala Pasta or French Onion Pasta, both of which are huge hits. 

And since the Instant Pot makes pasta so perfectly in one pot, Butter Chicken Bowties is going to be one of the greatest new hits at your dinner table!  

Here’s How I Made It! (Scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe): 

It begins with an onion… 

…diced. 

Then, take some boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)… 

…and slice them into bite-size pieces. 

Now, let’s Streisand this up. Take a whole stick of butter (yes, that’s correct. It’s ain’t called “Butter Chicken” for nothing, folks!), add it to the pot and give it some heat. 

One the better’s melted and bubbling… 

…add in the onion and sauté in that golden butter for a few minutes. 

Then, add in the garlic and sauté for another minute. 

By now, you’ll already want to lick the pot, but don’t. You’ll burn your tongue. 

Now it’s time to add in that chicken! 

Add to the pot and stir constantly so it lightly sears the edges. 

It shouldn’t be fully cooked, but just pinkish-white in color. Once it looks like this, we’re ready to season it up! 

Add in the key spice, which is garam masala. This spice is frequently used in a ton of Indian dishes and is relatively easy to find in most markets and can be very easily found in all Asian/Indian markets and online. 

Follow that with some curry powder… 

…ground ginger… 

…and cumin. 

Sauté with the chicken and onion in the pot for a moment and the fragrance is going to immediately make your mouth water. 

Next, pour in some chicken broth… 

…and some coconut milk. 

Give it all a good stir until combined. 

Now it’s time to add in those bowties (known as Farfalle). 

When you pour it to the pot, DO NOT STIR IT… 

…but rather smooth it out with a mixing spoon… 

…until the pasta is lightly submerged in the liquid. It is perfectly acceptable for the pasta to peak above the liquid a bit. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure. 

When done, the pasta will have cooked perfectly! 

NOW we can give it all a stir. You’ll notice most of the liquid has been absorbed by the pasta, with a little remaining for the sauce’s base. Speaking of which, let’s add in the finishing touches. 

Add in a can of tomato paste… 

…and stir it up.  

The tomato paste strikes the PERFECT sauce consistency and flavor. 

Then, pour in some heavy cream… 

…some more garam masala… 

…and some seasoned salt. The reason we add these two spices at the end is so they have a bit more potency in flavor since they’re going in post-pressure cooking. 

Give it all a good stir… 

…stick a fork in it… 

…and marvel at this unique and absolutely perfect pasta dish! Enjoy! 

At the time of this post, Pressure Luck used Better Than Bouillon/Southeastern Mills for all soup bases and bouillon

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Bowties
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Bowties

Instant Pot Butter Chicken Bowties

Butter Chicken is an Indian staple and I thought it'd be creatively delish to dress it up for a bow-tie affair. I'm talking transforming butter chicken into a pasta dish that really showcases them in a new light on the dance floor.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 2 pounds chicken boneless, skinless thighs (or breasts), diced into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala powder, divided in half (NOTE: this spice is necessary to achieve that specific Butter Chicken flavor – you can get it at most markets that have a broad spice section, an international aisle or easily online)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (you’ll find this in the basic spice section)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups chicken or garlic broth (I used 2 tsp Chicken Better Than Bouillon + 2 cups of water)
  • 13-14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (shake the can to make sure it sounds liquidy instead of thick)
  • 1 lb (box) Farfalle (Bowtie) pasta
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Instructions

  1. On the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Add the butter and, once melted, add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until lightly translucent in color. Then, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer.
  2. Next, add in the chicken and sear while stirring constantly for 2 minutes until the sides become pinkish-white in color (it shouldn’t be fully cooked by now). Add 1 tablespoon of the garam masala, curry powder, ginger power and cumin and stir for 1 minute more.
  3. Then, pour in the chicken broth and the coconut milk and stir until combined. Then, add in the Farfalle but DO NOT STIR! Simply smooth it out so it’s lightly submerged in the liquid. It is perfectly fine for the pasta to be a little above the liquid
  4. Secure the lid, move the valve to sealing position, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done
  5. Stir in the tomato paste, cream the remaining tablespoon of garam masala and the seasoned salt
  6. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

Want to add in more veggies? That’s fine! Feel free to add in a 10 oz box of frozen veggies of your choice while stirring in the final ingredients in Step 5!

Want to use another pasta? No problem! Any short pasta such as rigatoni, penne or cavatappi will do just fine. Same cook time!

Want it creamier? Add up to 1/2 cup of heavy cream!

This dish is only very mildly spicy, if at all. If you want it spicier, feel free to add in a little Cayenne pepper (I would start with 1/8 teaspoon and adjust from there as a little goes a long way)



Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Paul

    Thanks for the great recipe! Your website and YouTube channel has got me using the instant pot and this recipe was terrific, with flavors me family loved and plenty for leftovers. I added some scotch bonnet curry to my servings for spice, which was perfect to me, and my kids and wife enjoyed it mild. I’ll be making many more of your recipes and recommending your channel and website. Thanks again!

  2. PJ Lainis

    Hi Jeffery!
    We are empty nesters now! This is a lot of food for two people. Does it freeze well (I’d be ahead 1 dinner!)? Or would it be better to make half of a recipe?
    Thanks! PJ

  3. Shellby

    Hi! I just subscribed to your youtube channel and am excited to try this. Is there any way I can substitute the heavy cream with almond milk or 2% milk? We never have or buy heavy cream and are on budget lol

  4. Jim

    Great recipe and my family loves it! However I constantly get the burn signal on my instant pot how do I stop this from happening?

  5. Liz

    I’ve been eating butter chicken for years, and while I am looking forward to trying this-I have never seen it over pasta… Who hurt you?
    Don’t get me wrong, I love pasta as much as the next person- but why not put it over rice like it is typically served?

  6. Stephanie Karpf

    Hi Jeffrey! I love your channel. I make all of yours recipes in the Ninja Foodi as I don’t have an InstantPot. Was thinking about getting the mini (3 quart) for making side dishes and such. Would this recipe work in the mini pot if I halved it?

  7. stacey davis

    I have made this and love it. Wanted to add the frozen veggies like your suggestion. Your note says to add them in step 5. Will they cook if added at the very end? Thank you!

    • Jeffrey

      Yup! Just stir until they’re heated. You can turn it on Sauté as well to make that happen if using a lot of frozen veggies. But also best to take them out to thaw a bit before you begin pressure cooking.

  8. Connie

    Made this tonight and it was amazing!

    Had to add three minutes to cooking time as bowties we’re still crunchy but the taste was amazing!

    Our third successful Instant Pot meal, and second using one of your recipes 😊

  9. Karin

    Made this last night, added around 25% more spices and YUM YUM that tasted GOOD!
    I will cook 2 minutes more next time as bowties were still crunchy.

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