Instant Pot Vegan Butter Chicken! 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!
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 which comes from the Indian spices that make this plant-based 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 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 which 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. 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 Butter Chicken 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 in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan and #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!
Instant Pot Vegan Butter Chicken (Tikka Masala)
- 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
- I recommend using a kitchen scale for this recipe. You can easily switch between US and metric measurements underneath the ingredient list. Check the video below for easy visual instructions.
- Add the oil to the Instant Pot and set to "SAUTE". Add the fresh ginger, garlic and bell pepper, and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Check the recipe notes below for the stove top version!
- Add all spices, sugar, the 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, the 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 a 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.
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