Instant Pot Butter Chickpea

A delicious and comforting Instant Pot butter chickpea. This vegetarian version of butter chicken is made in the Instant Pot for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. You’ll also find a stovetop option!

Instant Pot Butter Chickpea in a plate

I’m excited to share my first Instant Pot recipe after spending a few months trying to figure out how it works. Yes, a few months. It’s not like I used it every day, but the few times I did, I had no idea how to use it. I promise I read the instructions manual, but something just didn’t click. My visual brain needed videos from YouTube to figure this thing out. So here I am, a few months later, confident enough to share my very own Instant Pot recipe. And it’s a good one!

Don’t worry, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still make this recipe. I included a stovetop version just for you guys! I must say, the stovetop version is almost just as easy and I find it tastes a little better. There’s something about sauteing onions and garlic that brings out the flavors to a whole new level. Despite the little bit of extra flavor that comes from cooking it on the stovetop, I will forever prefer the Instant Pot version for its easiness. There’s just nothing like dumping a bunch of ingredients in a pot and forgetting about it for 30 minutes, while still getting a delicious and flavorful meal. It’s so convenient on a weeknight!

ingredients in an Instant Pot
butter chickpea in a saucepan
How to Make Instant Pot Butter Chickpea:

Dump all the ingredients in the Instant Pot, cover and turn on the soup setting for 20 minutes. It ends up taking closer to 30 minutes as it takes a few minutes for the steam to build up and for the time to then start. It doesn’t matter though, because there’s no stirring and no standing up next to the stove to check that it doesn’t stick or burn. It’s SO easy! When it’s over, turn off the Instant Pot and use the quick release to let out the steam. It takes a few minutes for all the steam to come out.

How to Make Butter Chickpea on the Stovetop:

If you’re making the butter chickpea on the stove, you start by cooking the onions, garlic and ginger in the butter. Add the spices and the remaining ingredients and cook covered for 20-25 minutes. With this method, you do need to stir occasionally, but trust me, it will be worth it. It’s similar to making soup.

Make it Vegan: Use plain vegan yogurt (such as a coconut-based yogurt) instead of Greek yogurt OR skip the yogurt and use full-fat coconut milk.

If it still feels like winter where you live (it does here), I hope this recipe brings you some comfort until the warm weather decides to finally come!

butter chickpea from the side
butter chickpea closeup in a plate

Instant Pot Butter Chickpea

Butter chicken made vegetarian using chickpeas. This easy recipe is made directly in the Instant Pot, which means it requires very little work. Simply dump all the ingredients in the Instant Pot, let it do its thing for about 30 minutes, then serve. You also have the option to make it on the stove top, which is almost equally easy. Choose which method works best for you and either way, you’ll end up with a flavorful butter chickpea that’s great served with rice and naan bread.
Course Main Course
Cuisine vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 19 oz can (540mL) chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 0% MF, but high-fat also works)
  • 1 14 oz can (400mL) low-fat coconut milk
  • 1 5.5 oz can (156mL) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons butter or soft margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

For serving

  • 1 cup brown rice (optional)
  • Naan bread or whole wheat pita bread
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lemon juice


  • If using the rice, cook according to package instruction. You can cook it in advance to save time.

For the Instant Pot

  • Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir it all together. Turn on the soup setting (20 minutes) and let cook. 
  • When it’s done cooking, release the steam using the quick release (it takes a few minutes). Serve with rice and naan bread and top with cilantro and a drizzle of lemon juice if desired.

For the Stove Top

  • Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook 5 minutes until onions are translucent and fragrant. Add garam masala, cumin, chili powder and salt and cook for another minute. 
  • Stir in the coconut milk, tomato paste, yogurt and chickpeas. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with rice and naan bread and top with cilantro and a drizzle of lemon juice if desired.

If you make this butter chickpea, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!


  • Paul Genua

    We tried this recipe last night, with a few additions, including cooking some chicken on the side and opting to let each person choose to add it or not.

    Following the stove top method, we added chopped carrots to step #2 with the onions, garlic and ginger. And then we added step #4… cooking up some cauliflower in a wok and then adding everything from the saucepan to the wok to incorporate together. Delicious!

  • Sarah

    I’ve been getting a ‘burn’ notice on the instant pot the two times I’ve cooked this! I don’t get it with other recipes. Any idea how to stop this?

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Oh that’s odd! I’ve never had that issue, so I’m not sure what the difference would be. Was is actually burnt? The only thing I can think of is to add more liquid (maybe a cup of broth?). The end result might not be as thick and creamy, but I don’t think the flavor should be too affected! Let me know if you try it again!

  • Tiffany Sonterre

    I absolutely love it! I keep almost all of these ingredients in the house at all times, so this will be a fantastic meal to whip out any time.

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Nourished by Caroline

I’m Caroline, a registered dietitian located in Kelowna, British Columbia. I focus on plant-based nutrition and intuitive eating. I believe in living a balanced life, while eating the food you love. Learn more about my practice here or book an appointment today!


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