Vegan Butter Chicken that can be made in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop! This is a 100% plant-based recipe without chicken and without dairy. However, it comes with lots of flavors! This chicken-free Tikka Masala will satisfy your taste buds because the recipe is so creamy, rich, and delicious!
Flavorful Vegan Butter Chicken
First, don’t worry! My pet chicken “Erna” is doing great! This is a vegan version of my favorite comfort meal called “butter chicken”. It’s packed with so much flavor and reminds me of the good old times. My mom used to make a non-vegan version when I was little and even though I absolutely do NOT miss meat now, I missed the flavor of this curry.
Yes, the amazing flavor comes from the Indian spices which make this dairy-free butter chicken so special. That’s why I simply had to veganize this popular Indian dish, which most people all around the world love so much. And let me tell you, it’s all about the spices.
Instant Pot Vegan Butter Chicken
The great thing about this vegan Tikka Masala recipe is its simplicity. This vegan dinner is seriously very easy to make, either in an Instant Pot or on the stove. I recently received my Instant Pot and this was actually the very first recipe that I made in it.
This is the Instant Pot which I bought:
I love it and can’t wait to make more recipes in it. But don’t worry if you don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. You can make this vegan butter chicken on the stove in a regular pot! I made both versions, but preferred the easier Instant Pot version.
How To Serve This Vegan Tikka Masala?
I love to serve this curry with Basmati rice or Jasmine rice. However, it also tastes amazing with naan bread. You can even serve this vegan Tikka Masala with potatoes or quinoa. I bet also pasta would taste amazing, hehe. Rice is probably the most common Indian side though and in my opinion also the best. But since I love to vary my dishes, I am sure I will serve this meatless butter chicken also with potatoes and all the other sides I mentioned before.
Ingredients Of This Chicken-Free Curry
The vegan meat substitute which I used for this Instant Pot butter chicken is textured soy protein (I use soy chunks). You might have heard of “soy curls” before, which are sold by a US company and made from non-GMO soybeans. The product is free of chemical pesticides, 100% natural, and contains the whole soybean. I must admit that I don’t use meat alternatives very often, just a few times per year.
But these kinds of meat substitutes are great for people who transition to a vegan diet and still miss the texture of meat. So in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with trying out this plant-based meat alternative.
If you don’t want to or can’t use soy, don’t worry! You can use chickpeas instead! Chickpeas are another great source of plant-based protein, and they taste amazing!
You can make this vegan butter chicken with cashew milk or any other plant-based milk. However, I recommend using canned coconut milk because the higher the fat content of the milk, the better the meat-free butter chicken sauce will taste!
All remaining ingredients are spices, green pepper, vegetable broth, and passata (you can use tomato sauce).
How To Make Vegan Butter Chicken?
It’s super easy to make this recipe.
- First, chop the bell pepper, garlic, and fresh ginger. Then measure all the remaining ingredients. It’s important that you have all ingredients readily available before you turn on the Instant Pot.
- Start by sautéing the fresh ginger, garlic, and bell pepper in one tbsp of oil. You can also use vegan butter if you prefer the buttery taste of the meat-free sauce.
- Then add all spices, the passata, soy curls, and close + seal the Instant and cook on manual for 10 minutes.
- Quick-release once the time is up, carefully open the Instant Pot, add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and coconut milk.
- Finally, add fresh herbs of choice (cilantro or chives, or even parsley) and serve this vegan Tikka Masala with your favorite rice or naan bread.
You can reheat leftovers in a pot on the stove the next day or in the microwave. Leftover curry keeps well in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for a couple of months.
This Meat-Free Recipe Is:
- Vegan (dairy-free)
- Easy to make in an Instant Pot
- A delicious dinner
- Great for meal prep
Should you recreate this delicious recipe, please leave a comment below, and don’t forget to tag me on your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan #elavegan because I love to see how your vegan Tikka Masala turned out! If you want to make more vegan comfort meal recipes, definitely also check out my favorite Mushroom Stroganoff and Easy Lentil Stew!
Vegan Butter Chicken
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter
- 1 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 4-5 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/3 cup (50 g) green pepper finely chopped
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp salt (or more/less to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 3 cups (720 g) passata (or tomato sauce)
- 1 1/3 cup (320 ml) vegetable broth
- 2 cups (150 g) soy curls dry (*see recipe notes)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup coconut milk (canned) (*see recipe notes)
- Fresh herbs for garnish
- For serving: cooked rice or naan bread
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.I recommend using a kitchen scale for this recipe.
- Add the oil to the Instant Pot and set it to "SAUTE". Add the fresh ginger, garlic, and bell pepper, and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Check the recipe notes below for the stovetop version!
- Add all spices, sugar, passata, broth, and textured soy protein. Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on "MANUAL" for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, quick release.
- Carefully open the lid and add the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Also, add coconut milk and stir.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more salt/pepper/sugar/cayenne to taste.
- Serve with rice or naan bread and garnish with fresh herbs (cilantro or chives, for example). Enjoy!
- Soak 2 cups of textured soy protein (soy curls) in a bowl with 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) of hot vegetable broth and set aside for 10 minutes. The soy curls will begin to fluff and absorb all the liquid.
- Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat, add the fresh ginger, garlic, and bell pepper and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add all spices, sugar, passata, and the soaked textured soy protein. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Also, add the coconut milk and stir. Follow the remaining steps of the recipe.
- You can use cashew milk (or, preferably, cashew cream) instead of canned coconut milk. I wouldn't recommend any boxed plant-based milk with high water content, though.
- You could use two 15 oz cans of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) instead of the textured soy protein (soy curls). I haven't tried out this version yet, but I would recommend using just 2 1/2 cups of tomato sauce/passata. Cook on "MANUAL" for 10 minutes, then quick release.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
If you are using Pinterest, feel free to pin the following photo:
Delicious! I made cashew cream and added a bit of onion. I didn’t have fresh ginger so I just increased the ground ginger to 3/4 tsp. Thanks!!
Sounds great! Happy you liked it, Melissa. 🙂
Delicious! I tried another beef style stew made with TVP (soy curls) in recent weeks and discovered how good they can taste if cooked correctly.. I made this on the hob and it came our so well. I simmered over a low heat for about 45 minutes after the last step, as I had to keep it warm. This made the soy even more tender and delicious. I also added a cornflour slurry, as the sauce was a little thin. My omni partner loved it too 👍🏾
Sounds great, Abigail! Glad it turned out delicious. 🙂
I made this using tofu instead of soy curls and it was divine
So happy you liked it 🙂
I just found you and I am loving your recipes. I hope this isn’t a dumb question: I cannot find the “recipe videos” you refer to on the recipe page. Sometimes there’s a video for a different recipe but not the one featured on the recipe page. What am I missing??? Thanks.
Hi Pam, not all recipes have a featured (related) video, but at least 2/3 of all my recipes do have a related video (also this one does). You’ll see it always quite at the beginning of a post and once you scroll past it, it will stick to the screen and play. After 25 seconds, there will be a question if you want to stay at the video or skip it. If you do not click on stay, the next video in the playlist will play. I hope this helps. 🙂
Looks fantastic. I use Butler soy curls quite often, and what you use for your pictures don’t look like them at all. Soy curls are thin and yours are square, like cubed tofu.
Am I missing something? Thanks.
Yes, as mentioned in the post (and shown in the video) I used textured soy protein (large chunks), but most Americans don’t know what I mean if I write “soy chunks” or “TVP” and only know the term “soy curls”. 🙂
Interesting as I understand the opposite and I’m American. Never heard of soy curls but have heard of soy chunks and tvp and have used tvp in the past. And all it takes is a search on the internet to find out about any one product if one’s not familiar. Ordered the curls and chunks and they’re on their way! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Been looking for a vegan tikka masala. ☺️
Thanks so much for sharing, Dana! 🙂
Thank you very much for the recepi! I like it pretty much, but I used lime instead of vinegar, and vegan cooking cream instead of coconut milk because my boyfriend doesn’t like it… idk why! Thanks a lot <3
I am glad it turned out delicious! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂
This recipe is a game changer! The best butter “chicken” I’ve ever had. I am so happy to have found this! Thank you
Hi Yen! I am so glad you liked it! Thanks for your feedback. 🙂
Great recipe, perfect flavour! I’m surprised to see so many comments that it was soupy. I made mine in a newer Instant pot and kept getting a burn warning. The only thing that worked finally was putting all the coconut milk in and some extra water. (I probably could have done without the extra water though but in the end it was wonderfully rich and saucy and still quite creamy. I was using larger soy nuggets and I think the absorbed a lot of water. It was perfect in the end.
So happy it turned out perfect in the end. 🙂
Thanks for your feedback, Anita!
Omg. I followed the recipe exactly as written, and used cashew cream and it is soooo delicious! Omg omg, wut the… Soy curls absorbed a lot of the liquids, so it already looked creamy. Gurl, thanks for sharing!!!
I am glad you enjoyed it, Camil. 🙂
This was delicious!
I made a naan recipe into a pizza crust and put this recipe on top for butter chicken pizza. I didn’t read thoroughly and put all the ingredients in the instant pot before cooking. It tasted fine but wonder what it would have been like had I followed your directions. I did whip up a quick bit of cashew cream to make it creamier and I bet I wouldn’t have had to do that had I pod attention.
Thanks for your feedback, Ashley. I am glad it tasted fine. 🙂
This was a big hit with us. Definitely will become part of our regular rotation. I made just a couple of additions because I like a bit of a tangier tikka masala. I added 3X as much balsamic vinegar and also about a 1/2 cup of vegan yogurt. I also added a bit more of the milk than the recipe called for because I like a bit of a creamier tikka masala. I also put about another 1/3 cup of soaked soy curls (I made the stove-top version). Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe, Ela!
You are very welcome, Annie! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
So delicious! I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years and never heard of soy curls?! Thanks for introducing me! My husband (not veg) enjoyed this too and says it’s a keeper! Since we’re not vegan we added 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt and 1/2 cup regular cream in place of the coconut milk, and it was perfect! Also added in green beans (cooked separately) but such an easy and delicious weeknight dinner! Thank you!
I am so glad you both enjoyed it. 🙂
Looking forward to trying the. I have soy curls and would like to use them up, then move on to chickpeas or cauliflower. Can’t wait to see more instant pot recipes. I love my instant pot. I have electric stove, so saves on electric bill to use my pot. Less time and nutrition in veggies not lost.
Awesome! Enjoy it! 🙂
Hi- could soy milk replace coconut milk?
Hi Tyla! No, as mentioned in the recipe notes: “You can use cashew milk (or preferably cashew cream) instead of canned coconut milk. I wouldn’t recommend any boxed plant-based milk with a high water content though.” 🙂
You could use plant based milk with a few drops of coconut extract.
The flavor is really good, but without the soy curls to absorb all that liquid, it is really soupy. Better to follow the notes and cut way back on liquids if you’re using chick peas instead. Or, think of it as soup and enjoy anyway! ???? (yeah, that’s what I did!)
Yes, the soy curls absorb a lot of liquid! That’s why I mentioned it in the recipe notes. I am glad you liked the taste, Jann! 🙂
Sorry to pile onto this comment- I couldn’t find where to start my own comment!
I’m confused- does this use the large TSP nuggets, or actual soy curls? They’re not the same but I have both & don’t want to get it wrong!
Hello! No worries. 🙂 I used 150 grams of the nuggets but you can use the curls if you like. 🙂