chicken tikka masala

another one-pot, stick-to-your-bones, comfort meal for your fall collection! this tikka masala can be made in the variation of your choice and in as little as 15 minutes. all you need? a pressure cooker, instant pot or slow cooker; whichever you have or depending on how long you'd like it to take. use a pressure cooker and have the chicken cooked in 10 minutes or use a slow cooker and allow it to cook on low for the 8 hours that you are at work/busy going about your day. the masala itself is made with just 5 easy ingredients [chicken, onion, bell pepper, carrots, tikka masala sauce] and all of them are dumped right into the pot your are cooking it in! although I would love to make the sauce from scratch someday, I saved myself some time and bought Kroger's Private Selection brand of the tikka masala simmer sauce, which you can shop here.

times & variations

you can use chicken, beef, tofu or have it be all veggies! if you are using an instant pot, you can just use the appropriate button to determine the length of cooking time. if you are using a pressure cooker without all of the buttons, here is a little time chart of the cooking times that I use:

  • chicken – 10 minutes + 10-minute natural release

  • beef [chunks] – 15 minutes + 10-minute natural release

  • rice – 3 minutes + natural release

pressure cooker natural release vs. quick release

  • natural release – use when cooking heartier and heavy-liquid items such as soups, cuts of meat, legumes and rice. you will use this 90% of the time. it allows for the food to slowly continue cooking and meat to become nice and tender.

  • quick release – use when making dishes that wouldn't benefit from continued cooking; delicate foods like eggs, vegetables, seafood, etc. that don't require a ton of cook time to begin with.

chicken tikka masala

yields: 4 servings prep time: 5 minutes cook time: 15 minutes


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and chopped in 1-inch thick pieces

1 tsp. minced garlic [2 cloves]

1 [16 oz.] jar of tikka masala simmer sauce

2 cups dry white or jasmine rice

2 Tbsp. butter

flake salt & freshly ground black pepper

optional: plain Greek yogurt and freshly chopped cilantro and scallions, for topping


Pat the chicken dry and cut into 1-inch chunks and place in the base of a slow or pressure cooker.

*optional: toss the chicken in salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, paprika before cooking -- if you have the spices on hand, why not? if you don't, it's nothing to worry about. the dish will still have plenty of the flavor!

Place all of the chopped veggies [onion, pepper, carrots, garlic] into the cooker along.

Pour the jar of tikka masala simmer sauce into the cooker and begin cooking!

pressure cooker – cook for 10 minutes + 10-minute natural release

slow cooker – cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Cook your rice according to package.

*I like to make mine in the pressure cooker as well… 3 minutes + natural release!

Add butter, salt and pepper to the rice and stir to combine.

Spoon the rice into bowls and ladle the tikka masala over the top.

Optional: top with plain Greek yogurt and freshly chopped cilantro and scallions!

*you can use any fresh herbs that you have on hand! I also added dill and parsley to mine

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