This Instant Pot butter chicken is full of healthy veggies like bell peppers, carrots, and onion. It uses tofu instead of chicken so it’s suitable for a vegan & vegetarian diet. Using the Instant Pot makes cooking it quick & easy!
I created this vegan curry recipe for a vegan butter chicken in the Instant Pot by total accident. I had too many bell peppers in my kitchen and needed to find some way to use them up. So I chopped and added red and green bell peppers, onions, carrot, a little tomato paste, and some curry powder… the end result just tasted so much like how butter chicken tastes so I decided to call it that.
How To Make Vegan Instant Pot Butter Chicken
First, there is a little bit of chopping to do. Just a little! You’ll need to chop the carrots, bell peppers, and onion.
They go in the instant pot along with the tomato paste, curry powder, water, and the block of tofu. The tofu sits on top of all the other ingredients so it doesn’t burn. As the Instant Pot gains pressure, it will squeeze out some of the water in the tofu, changing the pressure a bit. When the pressure comes down again, it will absorb the flavors of the veggies. So no manual pressing, waiting for it to drain, or using up paper towels. Just let the IP do it’s magic in making your vegan butter chicken!
Step 1 – Add the ingredients to the Instant Pot
Step 2 – After cooking, remove tofu and some veggies
Step 3 – Add coconut milk and blend the sauce
Step 4 – Add the veggies back in & cut tofu
Step 5 – Add tofu back in and serve with rice
red bell peppers
Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A and have antioxidant properties (read about why antioxidants are thought to be good for you). Red bell peppers have 2x more vitamin C and 8x more vitamin A than green peppers.
Red peppers also tend to be more expensive than green peppers at the grocery store, which makes sense since they require more time and resources to cultivate.
Some quick tips on saving money on bell peppers –
- Check your grocery store’s discount produce section often! I’m always finding bell peppers for 70% off at my local store.
- Shop at Aldi or Lidl. I use Aldi to do my weekly stock-ups. My sister swears by Lidl. If you don’t have these stores in your area check out an ethnic grocery store because they may have better prices than the big chains.
- Grow your own! My dad has been growing tons of peppers all summer. He says they like a lot of sun, they need well-draining soil, and to protect them with netting if you live in an area with deer.
Other Vegan Instant Pot Curry Recipes
I have some more Instant Pot curry recipes you may like:
Vegan Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- Pressure cooker
- Immersion blender
- 1 16oz block firm tofu
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 green bell pepper
- 4 carrots
- 1 white onion
- 1 red onion
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1.5 cups canned coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- Chop up all of the peppers, onion, and carrots, and add them to the Instant Pot. Add in the tomato paste, water, and curry powder. Drain the tofu and place it on top of the veggies.
- Close and seal the lid of the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Do a quick release when done.
- Carefully remove the tofu and a third of the veggies. Chop up the tofu into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the canned coconut milk into the Instant Pot and use an immersion blender to blend until it's smooth. Then add in the chopped tofu and the reserved veggies. Enjoy with rice, naan, and a garnish of chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) if desired. Keeps in the fridge up to 3 days.
- You can use whatever colors of peppers you want, or whatever you have on hand. If you don’t use any red peppers the end result may not be as orange/reddish as in my photos but it will still taste good!
- It’s important to use a good quality canned coconut milk. Cheaper cans will just make the runnier without adding richness.
- For a vegetarian version of Instant Pot butter chicken, use paneer instead of tofu. Just add it at the end, don’t cook it with the veggies.