Last updated on September 21st, 2019
I’ve got an Instant Pot paleo chicken tikka masala that is so full of flavor and gets whipped up very quickly. It is so delicious and tastes wonderful over a bed of cauliflower rice. This dish is low carb, dairy free and Whole30 compliant, too!
Just wanted to let you know this wonderful chicken tikka masala recipe is sponsored by my friends over at Lucini!
A super flavorful paleo chicken recipe made quickly!
I have been seriously yearning to make Indian food again for quite a long time. Last year, I made a delicious Whole30 chicken korma recipe.
It was SUCH a crowd pleaser, I knew I had to continue creating Indian inspired dishes. I am sad it has taken me this long but am excited to share nonetheless.
I am so darn excited that I’ve made this paleo chicken tikka masala in the Instant Pot. Let’s face it…
It can be extremely difficult to really build flavors without a ton of time on your hands. I have found that with many Asian and Indian influenced dishes, this is especially true.
Even so, Indian cuisine is one of my absolute favorites.
Whenever we go out for Indian, no matter how full I may be at the end of our meal, I always want more.
The way they infuse such aromatic spices and in turn flavors into their dishes completely baffles me.
I decided last weekend that it was time to cut the lallygagging out and get down with some Indian cooking in my kitchen again.
More Instant Pot recipes like these:
Is it possible to build enough flavor using the Instant Pot?
After a few hours of recipe development, what I took away was that I need to always add more garlic and ginger. This is especially true because I am using an Instant Pot.
It seems as though a ginger garlic paste can be made to really amplify flavors, and that’s what I have decided to add in this tikka masala.
The ginger garlic paste is at the base of the marinade for the chicken and incorporated into the masala sauce.
It’s so darn vibrant, I think I need to triple batch it and freeze some into cubes for later use.
Know what else helped out a TON in the flavor and “mmph” department? Using Lucini’s tomato sauce as the base for the masala sauce which omitted my need for canned tomatoes.
Can paleo chicken tikka masala be made on the stove top?
Absolutely, yes- I have you covered. I’ve provided stove top instructions for you below:
Make the marinade the same way as you do in the Instant Pot instructions
Place the chicken in a cast iron pan and pop it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 16-20 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it is cooked through, remove it from the oven and set it aside.
To prepare the sauce, pour the oil in a thick bottom pan. Add in the ginger garlic paste. Turn on the flame and let the paste cook slowly as the oil heats. When the oil is hot, add in the spices and mix it all together well.
Add tomato sauce and mix it very well with all the spices. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce starts reducing and the excess water has evaporated. Make sure you are stirring occasionally, while scraping the bottom of the pot.
Add in the coconut cream and cooked chicken pieces along with their drippings. Mix everything together, and continue letting it simmer for another 10-12 minutes.
Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving it. After 10 minutes, taste the sauce and add any additional sea salt to your taste preference. Shred with two forks or using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Without too much further babble, let’s get to making some paleo chicken tikka masala!
Get ready for your house to smell like a big slice of heaven for at least 24 hours.
Maybe it will last for a few days if you’re lucky! 🙂
Instant Pot Paleo Chicken Tikka Masala (Low Carb, Whole30)
Ginger Garlic Paste
- 2/3 cup coconut milk yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon powdered fennel seeds
- 1 3/4 cups rustic tomato basil sauce SEE NOTES
- 2/3 cup coconut cream SEE NOTES
- fresh cilantro for serving
- cauliflower rice or white rice for serving
- In a spice grinder or with a pestle & mortar, mix together the ginger garlic paste ingredients. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together coconut yogurt and lemon juice. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients and stir until smooth throughout. Add chicken into the marinade and mix everything very well (I used my hands). Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce in the Instant Pot. Turn the pot on and press the "SAUTE" function. Let it heat up for a few minutes and add oil. Once the oil has heated up, add ginger garlic paste and sauté (adjust to "less" setting) for about 1 minute until fragrant, stirring frequently so it does not burn. Add the rest of the spices and stir.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and coconut cream and let it cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently. It can splatter a bit so I like to take a lid or splatter guard and cover the pot between stirring. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Once the chicken has finished marinating, add it along with the marinade into the Instant Pot. Make sure the chicken is submerged in the liquid, put the lid on and set the pressure valve to "SEALING." Turn pot on and hit "MANUAL" + "HIGH PRESSURE" for 12 minutes.
- Once the chicken has finished cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the valve to "VENTING" using a kitchen towel or oven mit to release any excess pressure. When done, open the lid and shred the chicken with two forks or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Serve over a bed of cauliflower rice with a dollop of extra coconut yogurt if you'd like and some fresh cilantro.
- You can prep the ginger garlic paste and get the sauce going one day and let the chicken marinade overnight if you'd like!
- If you cannot get your hands on the Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce, use (1) 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes instead.
- Coconut cream is the cream that has risen to the top of a can of coconut milk that has been sitting in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. You can alternatively buy cans of coconut cream like this!
Hi! I’m Monica – recipe developer, matcha addict and lover of all things chocolate, kombucha and any & all puns. I am also the blogger, real food lover, & bonafide hustler behind the blog ‘The Movement Menu.’ I’m so excited to welcome you to my happy space, where my appreciation of creative recipes and healthy & mindful eats come together to inspire you to live a healthy, balanced life.