Instant Pot Chicken Curry and Rice is so simple to make and tastes just like takeout! Gluten free, dairy free and packed with nutrients from hidden veggies, it’s perfect for an easy lunch, dinner, or meal prep! This post contains affiliate links for products I’m obsessed with.
I’ve been making this Instant Pot Chicken Curry recipe weekly since all of this staying at home started. Not only do I always seem to have these ingredients on hand, my husband freaking loves it and I find him standing over the pot, scraping the inside of the Instant Pot until every bit of rice is gone.
He isn’t even typically a fan of Indian flavored food, or at least he doesn’t think he is, but because the flavor of this yellow curry is very mild and the addition of ginger makes it have more of a Thai flavor profile, similar to other dishes I make here like this 21 Day Fix Chicken Satay with Creamy Peanut Sauce, he just loves it. And he is a sucker for anything chicken and rice, so there’s also that.
Other reasons this Chicken Curry Recipe Rocks:
- It’s made with many of my go-to pantry ingredients like brown rice, coconut milk, broth, dried curry powder, and garlic
- Thanks to my Instant Pot, I can make this all in one pot without dirtying any other dishes! That’s a stay at home win! No Instant Pot? I will share stovetop directions for you. Still easy, just a few extra dishes.
- It has some hidden veggie power with frozen butternut squash. I only 2 cups on hand when I first tested it, but I bet you can add more if you wanted to. You can also skip it if you don’t have it.
Ingredients Needed for this Instant Pot Chicken Curry with Rice
Here’s what I use in my chicken curry recipe + substitutions
- avocado or coconut oil: for sautéing your garlic and ginger. Olive oil would also work great!
- fresh ginger: I always have fresh ginger in my fridge or freezer, but if you are in a pinch, you can also use dried. But I would start with 1/4-1/2 tsp because it is much stronger than fresh.
- fresh garlic: if you don’t have fresh garlic, you can sub garlic powder.
- yellow curry powder: this recipe calls for yellow curry powder, which gets it’s color from turmeric and happens to be our favorite. You can use whatever kind of curry powder you have on hand.
- brown rice: as I said, my husband is a sucker for anything chicken and rice, so this dish is right up his alley. We always use brown rice in our dishes, but you can sub white rice or whatever rice you have on hand. You will need to change up the timing, though. You can also leave the rice out, but you will need to cut the broth in half. This will also result in a soupier curry.
- chicken broth or stock: it’s ok to sub veggie broth. you can use water in a pinch, but the end result might have a little less flavor, so add some extra salt. I used half broth and half water last time and it was still delicious.
- frozen butternut squash: this adds creaminess to the dish and some hidden veggie power, and it’s ok to sub fresh or even leave it out if you don’t have any.
- boneless chicken tenders or chicken thighs, diced: you can use whatever kind of chicken you have on hand for this chicken curry recipe.
- canned coconut milk: this adds a little extra sweetness and creaminess, but doesn’t make your dish taste like coconut. And it keeps the dish dairy free! It’s also gluten-free!
Did you know you can freeze leftover coconut milk? It’s true! Check out this post for more foods you can freeze!
What can I serve with this Chicken Curry Recipe?
I like this dish with some simple steamed green beans, but you can serve it with any veggie side you have on hand! It would also be good with Cauliflower Rice with Lime and Cilantro or even over plain cauliflower rice as it would probably mix right in without anyone tasting it!
Looking for more hidden veggie recipes? Check out this post of Sneaky Veggie Recipes!
I don’t have an Instant Pot. Can I still make this Chicken Curry Recipe?
Yes! I’ve added directions for the stovetop, too! Just checkout the recipe card below!
Can I use frozen chicken?
Yes! If your chicken is just slightly frozen, use kitchen shears to dice it and follow the same cook time but be sure to do a full natural release.
If your chicken is a frozen solid block, you may need to add a few minutes if it is very thick. Thinner chicken or tenderloins, you should be good with the same cook time. After cooking, you will need to remove and cut or shred the chicken and then add it back in when you mix everything up.
Looking for more Easy Dairy and Gluten Free Instant Pot recipes? Check these out:
Instant Pot Chicken and Broccoli (21 Day Fix)
Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli (21 Day Fix)
Asian Chicken Meatballs [21 Day Fix | Gluten-free | Dairy-free]
Instant Pot Ramen Noodles | Gluten Free Ramen Noodles
Asian Chicken Meatballs [21 Day Fix | Gluten-free | Dairy-free]
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Curry and Rice
- 2 teaspoons avocado or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons ginger
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder or more to taste
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
- 2 cups frozen butternut squash
- 1 lb boneless chicken tenders or chicken thighs diced
- 1/3 cup Coconut milk
- Garnish with green onion + cilantro if you have them I didn’t!
- Set Instant Pot to saute and add in avocado oil, garlic, and ginger. Saute until fragrant. Season chicken with a sprinkle of salt and add to pot. Stir and add in curry powder.
- Stir in rice, butternut squash and chicken broth. Lock lid and set for 22 minutes. After cook time do a 10 minute natural release.
- After the natural release, remove the rest of the steam and stir in coconut milk. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with green onion or cilantro and serve with green beans.
- Cook rice according to the directions on the package, but using broth instead of water.
- During the last 5 minutes of cooktime, add in your butternut squash. Don't stir until rice is cooked.
- While the rice is cooking, add oil to a pan and saute garlic and ginger. Add in seasoned diced chicken and saute until cooked through. Add in curry powder. When rice is cooked, combine it with the chicken and stir in the coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Can I use ground ginger instead of fresh? I know fresh ginger is better and I almost always have it on hand…. I’m actually out of it (rare) and don’t feel like going to the store just for that.
Could you use yams or potato instead of the butternut squash?
Yes! Just be sure to dice them small or steam them a little first so they cook all the way through!
Are the gut protocol container counts the same?
Thanks for this recipe! Can I add frozen broccoli or frozen peas to this recipe? Or would I need to adjust the cooking time on the instant pot?
Good question – I’m worried that the veggies would be mush by the time cooking is finished. And it needs to cook as long as it does, for the rice to be cooked through. You can add frozen peas at the end and just place the lid back on top to steam them. This might work with broccoli too. It’s worth a shot- let us know if you try it!
Sarah Kate Hudson says
I have made this recipe multiple times and it always turns out delicious! My husband and I always fight over the leftovers lol. I would like to try making a double recipe and freezing for later. Do you think this would freeze well? Any recommendations on how to freeze it?
Yes! Souper cubes are amazing for this!
Just wondering how long would the cooking time be if I used Bone in chicken breast cut in half
Same cook time 🙂
Do you use unsweetened or sweetened coconut milk?
Robyn Kungl says
Can I use quinoa instead? Would the time change? I don’t have rice on hand today.
You can try it! Quinoa cooks in the IP in 1 minute so if you cut the chicken into very small pieces it should be ok! Definitely make sure you NPR though. Let us know how it goes!
This is comfort food at it’s best.
can we just use powdered Ginger for this instead of fresh? How much would you recommend?
Christina Devaney says
I plan on making this on the stovetop. And I can’t cook rice the normal way so I use a rice cooker. How would you suggest to cook the butternut squash in this case
Are you going to use frozen butternut squash? You can cook it according to the package directions- you want it nice and soft. Then put in a bowl and stir it with the rice once that’s cooked, then follow the stovetop directions from there!
Samantha Hill says
Wow this might be my fave recipe of all on your website! So good!!
That’s amazing, thank you!
Does the butternut squash need to be frozen?
Looking forward to this! Will cook time change if butternut squash is frozen? Thanks!
Great flavor! Even the kiddo said she loved the chicken!
Kailene Baker says
Could we use instant brown rice in this?
You could, but the cook time would be different depending on what rice you use!
can I make this with frozen chicken? and how would that work?
You can! Keep everything the same and go for it!
I made this with frozen chicken tenderloins and it turned out great! So yummy! The chicken was super tender and fell apart 🙂
YAY! That’s awesome! Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe- it means a lot!
Just made this and it was delicious and super easy!!! Even my 2-year-old loved it. I didn’t have butternut squash so I used frozen cauliflower and also served it with greek yogurt on top to get more red. Thank you for all of your hard work putting these recipes together!
That is wonderful Michelle – thank you so much for your comment!
What setting on the instapot do you cook this on? Do you keep it on saute for 22 min or switch it to poultry ?
I always use manual/pressure cook!
NICHOLE SULLIVAN says
I have cooked this several times – it reheats so well for lunches! My mom, sister, and I are obsessed! We added a little more garlic and a tablespoon of garam masala!
Thank you so much for our new go to staple in our home!
Amazing! We love it for lunch too- if there’s any leftover, that is!
Lori Sumner says
In this chicken Curry recipe do you use canned coconut milk or in the carton?
Mary Vanlandingham says
Trying this recipe tonight. If I double this recipe, do I need to increase any of the cooking times?
No – you will be fine to just double and cook for the same time!
Heather B says
Love all your recipes! I know it wouldn’t be Fix compliant, but if I used a cup of basmati rice instead of brown do you think the cook time would remain the same? Thanx
Hi! Yes – the time would change1. I would do six minutes plus a ten minute natural release!
Made this tonight on the stovetop, and it was delicious!! My daughter doesn’t like sauce, so I cooked the rice separately in chicken stock and omitted the butternut squash because we didn’t have any. My 2 year old and 4 year old asked for seconds. Will make this again for sure!
I can’t wait to try this! I love every recipe you post! Should there be a 1/2 a green heart at the top for the butternut squash? I noticed you count the 1/2 green in the container count after the recipe. I’m trying this tomorrow!
Ahhh – yes!!! Good call!! And thank you!!