Chicken Tikki Masala (30 min)

Flavorful, hearty chicken Tikki Masala you can make in under 30 minutes with a simple and easy ingredient list. A favorite healthy comfort food that packs a punch of nutrition, flavor, and ease. Add it to your menu rotation!

To make this recipe vegan & vegetarian, substitute chickpeas for the chicken. Serve with dairy-free yogurt.

Chicken Tikki masala with rice.

Garam Masala packs warmth into this dish without alot of spice and heat. Garam Masala translates literally to “warm spices” and brings depth and warmth to any recipe. But, it also refers to the fact the spice needs to be toasted to bring out its flavor.

Don’t skip this step! Toasting the spices together is necessary to get the full effect of flavor.

Tip: If you don’t have garam masala you can substitute curry powder. It isn’t the same but will still bring a good flavor to the dish.

Most Chicken Tikki Masala recipes call for the chicken to be marinated in yogurt and spices and then roasted. We skip that step instead cooking the chicken just until done, removing it from the heat (so it doesn’t dry out), toasting the spices, and then combining them together.

Tip: Remove the chicken from the pan while you are making the rest of this recipe or you will find yourself with overdry chicken. Add it back in at the very end.

Can I use thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Yes! In fact, I recommend it. Most families prefer chicken breast to thighs which is why I’ve chosen to use that in this recipe. But if you are familiar with cooking with thighs and your family is on board…this will be even better!

Can you smell those warm spices? YUM!! The house smells amazing when I’m making up this dish!

Coconut Milk and diced tomatoes are heated, the chicken and spice added back in, a dash of acid is stirred in, and the whole thing served over rice with fresh cilantro and yogurt.

Tip: If you prefer a smoother masala, use crushed tomatoes instead of diced.

Sooo good, easy, and adaptable to your family’s tastes.

Chicken Tikki masala with rice.
Chicken Tikki masala with rice.

30 Minute Chicken Tikki Masala

| 6 servings
Prep Time | 10 minutes
Cook Time | 20 minutes
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Flavorful, hearty chicken Tikki Masala you can make in under 30 minutes. A favorite comfort food that packs a punch of nutrition, flavor, and ease. Add it to your menu rotation!


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb chicken breast, chunked
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons garam masala if your family handles spice well use 5 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoons ground ginger if your family loves spice, use 1.5 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice red wine vinegar also works well.
Check out our Kitchen Reference Guide for help with unfamiliar terms.


  • In a dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the chicken breast when the oil is hot.
  • Saute the chicken breast just until cooked through. Don't overcook. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, keeping it at medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the diced onions.
  • Saute the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garam masala, salt, ground ginger, and garlic to the onions.
  • Saute the mixture about 1 minute, until fragrant, at medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan with the spices, stir to coat the chicken with the spices. Once again, remove the chicken from the pan taking the spices and onion with it.
  • In the same pan (still on medium-high heat), add the canned tomatoes and coconut milk.
  • Bring the tomatoes and coconut milk to a low boil. Add the chicken mixture and heat through. Add the lemon juice and give a stir.
  • If desired, add the fresh cilantro to the whole pot. Not everyone in our family likes cilantro so we serve it as a garnish rather than adding it to the pot.
  • Serve with rice, naan, yogurt, and fresh cilantro.


Calories: 157kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 17gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 865mgPotassium: 336mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 113IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

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1 thought on “Chicken Tikki Masala (30 min)”

  1. 5 stars
    This is a super easy and budget friendly meal! Full of flavor and made a little healthier . I know I’ll be making it again.

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