Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

By Rena Awada | Updated On April 27, 2022

This easy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is full of authentic flavors, filling, and easy to make. A great homemade Indian-inspired dish that your family can enjoy and it only takes 30 minutes to make. A family favorite all year round.

top view of chicken tikka with a side of rice on a white plate with cilantro garnish

Simple stovetop chicken tikka masala that’s bold, rich, creamy, and loaded with authentic flavors. Tender chunks of chicken cooked in a creamy coconut milk authentic sauce, and then served with a side of white rice. An easy way to enjoy authentic Indian cuisine right at home and it’s not spicy at all so the kids could enjoy it as well. Serve this Indian chicken tikka masala with any rice of choice or with cauliflower rice and naan bread. A simple comforting meal that’s hassle-free, easy, and absolutely delicious.

Why you will love this chicken tikka masala

  • Family friendly: This is a simple chicken dinner recipe that the whole family will love.
  • Simple, easy, and quick: You won’t have to work too hard to make this chicken tikka masala. It is so simple, takes about 30 minutes on your stove-top, and so easy.
  • So flavorful: If you love an authentic Indian cuisine, then you will love this chicken tikka masala. Bring your favorite restaurant dish right that home. It is homemade and tastes just as good.
top view of chicken tikka in a blue pot

Ingredients and substitues for the homemade tikka masala

  • Chicken breasts: cut into bite-sized cubes. If you would like to use boneless chicken thighs thats fine, trim fat off. For vegetarian option, use tofu.
  • Greek yogurt: If you don’t like Greek yogurt, use plain whole milk. For a dairy-free option, you may use almond or coconut milk.
  • Fresh lemon juice: Do not use botteled lemon juice unless you have no other choice.
  • Garlic and ginger: use fresh, not powder.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder or paprika, ground cumin, garam masala, salt, ground coriander, an tumeric powder.
  • Olive oil: or any other neutral tasting oil.
  • Yellow Onion: use yellow cooking onion or white sweet onion.
  • Tomato Sauce: use canned tomato sauce unless you would like to make your own. There are great organic options in stores.
  • Coconut milk: We are using the ones in the cans. The thicker ones that are similar to heavy cream. Not the coconut milk you drink.
  • Cilantro: This is used to garnish and gives the dish an overall kick in flavor. If you do not like cilantro, you may skip or use parsley.
  • Lemon wedges: used to granish or for some extra zest. But if you don’t care for it you may skip.
ingredients laid out on a board for chicken tikka masala

How to make this authentic tikka masala

  1. In a medium bowl prepare the marination by combining the chicken, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, chili powder, ground cumin, garam masala, and salt. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight). 
marinated chicken chunks in a white bowl
  1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add oil. Once the oil is heated add the chicken pieces and cook for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a plate and set them aside. 
browned and cooked chicken chunks cooked in a pot
  1. To the same skillet add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and garlic, saute for 3-5 minutes until the onions turn translucent. 
  1. Add in the spices; paprika, coriander, garam masala, salt, and turmeric powder. Saute for a minute. 
  1. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for a couple of minutes. When the sauce is thickened add the coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes. 
chicken poured into the pot of creamy tikka sauce
  1. Once the tikka masala starts bubbling add the chicken back to the pot and allow the masala to simmer for 10 minutes on a low flame. 
  1. After the chicken is cooked through add in the chopped cilantro and turn off the heat. 
  1. Serve the creamy chicken tikka masala with a bowl of rice to enjoy! 
spoon full of chicken tikka in pot

Recipe notes and tips

  • Keep it a vegetarian meal by using tofu instead of chicken
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze: place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • If you do not like coconut milk, you may use heavy cream if you arent counting calories.
  • For lactose-free option, do use dairy-free yogurt and the coconut milk.
  • Use all fresh ingredients if possible. So fresh garlic, fresh lemon, and fresh lemons.
  • Best served with white rice, or to keep it a low carb meal, use cauliflower rice.
side shot of chicken tikka masala with a side of white rice on a white plate

frequently asked questons

What is tikka masala spice made of?

Tikka masala spice is made of a combination of authentic flavorful spices that include ground cumin, chili or paprika powder, whole coriander seeds (or ground), whole black cardamoms, whole green cardamoms, turmeric powder, cinnamon, cloves, and Kashmiri red chili powder. We have tweaked the seasonings on this chicken tikka masala recipe to the perfect flavor combination.

What is the tikka in tikka Masala?

Tikka is the chicken tikka– chicken tikka is the boneless chicken chunks that are marinated in spices and yogurt, and then either pan-fried or baked before getting added into the seasoned tomato sauce.

What is the difference between tikka and tikka masala?

The difference is that tikka masala has added a combination of spices not found in just tikka. Most would have garam masala spices added in.

What does masala mean in Indian food?

Masala means that the dish has a combination of spices that are mostly used in Indian foods and cuisines that have been ground up into a paste or powder. It gives the dish an authentic burst in flavors found in Indian dishes.

top view of chicken masala in a creamy masala sauce in a pot

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top view tikka masala in a pot

Creamy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken chunks seared creamy tomato sauce with authentic tikka masala seasoning. This authentic chicken tikka masala is full of flavor and easy to make.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Hindu
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 209kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1 ½ lb chicken breasts cut into bite-sized cubes
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the tikka masala

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 8 oz tomato sauce one can
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
  • Lemon wedges to garnish

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl prepare the marination by combining the chicken, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, chili powder, ground cumin, garam masala, and salt. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight).
  • Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add oil. Once the oil is heated add the chicken pieces and cook for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a plate and set them aside.
  • To the same skillet add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and garlic, saute for 3-5 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add in the spices; paprika, coriander, garam masala, salt, and turmeric powder. Saute for a minute.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for a couple of minutes. Once the sauce is thickened add the coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once the tikka masala starts bubbling add the chicken back to the pot and allow the masala to simmer for 10 minutes on a low flame.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through add in the chopped cilantro and turn off the heat.
  • Serve the creamy chicken tikka masala with a bowl of rice to enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • For a vegetarian option use tofu.
  • Greek yogurt can be substituted with a dairy-free option or plain yogurt.
  • If you don’t have coconut milk, you may use heavy cream which isn’t an ideal substation. Calorie count will vary.
  • You may use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast.
  • Any oil of choice works.
  • Serve with rice or for a low carb option serve with cauliflower rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1365mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 805IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Raven says

    5 stars
    Turned out delicious! I used extra firm tofu and ended up putting the greek yogurt marinated into the sauce to add more protein. Worked out great!

  2. Lilian says

    5 stars
    I just tried this recipe. It was really great , my husband was shocked that it turned out this delicious and healthy , thank you so much

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