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:
This is the best butter chicken vegan recipe I have found on the internet. It is now my goto recipe. Thanks!!!
Thanks so much for your wonderful feedback, Scott! I am so glad you like this recipe. 🙂
this was amazing. my only issue is that the sauce wasn’t very thick…more like soup. I used the instapot and cooked it on high pressure for 10 minutes. Any suggestions. We want to have it for a dinner party tomorrow night.
Hi, I am glad you liked the recipe. As regards the thickness, did you use 2 cups of the textured soy protein? Were the chunks rather small or large? Mine were quite large, so I assume they soak up more liquid. 🙂
This looks so good! I wish this was my dinner ?
Would love to share it with you. 🙂
Omg your recipes are literally the BEST thing what could happened to me! I tried just two of them so far but they saved my lack of apetite.
Aww, that’s awesome and makes me really happy! Thanks for telling me. 🙂
Amazing!!! my friends and husband loved! This is a brilliant recipe, like all your recipes!
Wonderful! Thanks for your great feedback, Marcela! 🙂
I made this for the first time last week, and I’m making it again tonight! That’s all that needs to be said.
p.s. I swapped the soy curls for tempeh and it turned out amazingly!
Awesome! Tempeh sounds delicious as well. 🙂
This looks amazing! I’m so excited to try it! Do you know if it’s possible to use tofu instead of soy curls and the method one would go through using tofu? Thanks!
Yes, some of my Instagram followers already made the recipe with tofu. But since I didn’t try it myself, I cannot tell you how it tastes or the exact method. 🙂
Do you soak the soy curls in the water first? Or do you just add the water (Vegetable stock) to the instant pot? Made this last night & I think I added to much water but it was still incredible. I’ve been looking for a vegan butter chicken recipe & yours is definitely the best one.
No soaking if you make the recipe in an Instant Pot. If you make it on the stovetop you need to soak the soy curls.
So happy you loved the recipe, Carolyn! 🙂
I couldn’t upload a picture but this curry is amazing I am so surprised and it tastes restaurant quality. I can’t believe I cooked it. This is a brilliant recipe.
Wow, such a great compliment! Thank you very much for your feedback, Katie. I wish you could also rate the recipe. 🙂
PS: If you have an Instagram or Facebook account, you can tag me with #elavegan @elavegan 🙂
In my 5 years of being vegan and cooking my way through all sorts of recipes yours are the most tasty, simple and affordable I’ve ever come across. Every night we’re blown away and licking our bowls clean. I’ve told my partner we’re putting down our cook books and just cooking our way through your website from now on. It’s all too good to be true. Thankyou Ela, we’re a very happy and satisfied household!
Also we loved that this got us to use our cooker for the first time. Game changer xx
Wow! Thank you so much for your amazing feedback, Ellie! It makes me so happy that you like my recipes.
Lots of love, Ela ?
Hi there! This looks absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to make it! When you list “green pepper”? do you mean bell pepper or am I way off?
I was just introduced to your site and can’t wait to try this and other recipes.
Thank you so much,
Yes, green bell pepper! I hope you will like my recipes! 🙂
I would happily eat this every single night 😀 absolutely delicious! It was my first time trying my instant pot too so thank you for the clear instructions.
Awesome! So happy you liked the recipe and yay for using the Instant Pot! 🙂
Omg made this yesterday with my boyfriend, is whole family loved it! I don’t usually like butter chicken butter chicken but this was amazing!
My boyfriends sister loves butter chicken but she couldn’t eat it because she can’t have nightshades, is there anything that could possible replace the Passata in this recipe xx
Hi Gia, I am so glad you all loved the recipe!
Ok, that’s a difficult question regarding the passata. Maybe you could use a combination of plant-based milk and vegetable broth instead of the passata. Or what about pumpkin puree?! If it’s too thick then mix it with broth. Might be an interesting combo! Let me know if you give it a try! 🙂
Nisha / Rainbow Plant Life
Yay! I didn’t realize you had an instant pot! Now you’ll be able to try the recipes in my cookbook 🙂 and this sounds so incredibly indulgent and delicious! It’s such a better cruelty free alternative to the traditional recipe!
I love the Instant Pot, it’s so convenient. I am very excited Nisha! 🙂
But why?? Just call it what it is. Soy curl masala or whatever. What logic ?
I made this last night and it was so delicious! I’ve never had a recipe turn out so well, even when I made modifications! I used the stove top method and used chickpeas instead and it was so good! Even the meat eater in the family loved it!
Thank you so much for sharing!
That’s awesome! Thanks so much for your awesome feedback, Louisa! ???
Okay talk about a thick curry! This is stunning, Ela! And that color is just so rich!
Thank you very much, Britt! 🙂
Wow this looks great! Do you think it would work with Quorn nuggets as a substitute for the soy culs?
I honestly don’t know because I never tried Quorn nuggets. Please report back if you give it a try! I would love to know if it works. 🙂
Delicious recipe, Ela!! My family and I loved it! I used quorn nuggets and did pressure cooker mode for 5 mins. What a HIT!
AMAZING! Thanks so much for getting back and sharing your experience! Very helpful! ???
Quorn pieces work grat in any curry recipie.
I just love the sound and look of this curry Ela! Such a delicious idea for dinner!
Thank you very much, Anna! 🙂
I cooked this delicious recipe for a quick dinner and even my non-already-vegan boyfriend loves it ❤ i really recommend it❤❤❤
That’s awesome, Raffaella! I am so glad you both loved the recipe! 🙂
Hi! Could you also add pictures of the soy curles throughout the process? It would help find them in the store.
If it is what I think (the round ball-shaped ones, the size of an olive before cooking) – they were very soggy when I used them last time. Do you have any tips for that? Would using a pressure cooker help with this problem?
Hey, when you go to the recipe and click on “soy curls” there is a link which will redirect you to Amazon. Or click here for a different product where you can see a better photo: https://amzn.to/2Gb0nUD (this looks similar to the one I used). You can use any other different brand of “textured soy protein”. Hope this helps! 🙂
I am very much looking forward to trying the masala recipe! I just want to point out that the link provided above is to a product that is made from GMO soy. However, the Butler Soy Curls are made from non-GMO soy and are also a whole soy product rather than an isolate, So much healthier when it is the whole product! We’ve used the Butler Soy Curls in many recipes and they are very good!
Hi Annie, which link do you mean? I linked the Butler Soy Curls twice, once in the post above and once in the ingredients. It’s the same product and it’s non-GMO. 🙂
Hi Ela, the link in your comments post above is for Hoosier Hill Farms Imitation Chicken. They do not guarantee their soy to be non-GMO. In the ingredients list for this recipe,however, as you said, the link is for Butler Foods Soy Curls. And they, thankfully, do commit to non-GMO soy.
Got it! Thanks for letting me know, Annie. 🙂