Quick Chicken Tikka Masala

Quick Chicken Tikka Masala

31 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2010

One of the most popular Indian dishes in the U.S. and the U.K., chicken tikka masala usually involves several steps including marinating and grilling the chicken before simmering in a curried tomato cream sauce. We've simplified it to a one-skillet dish and lightened it by increasing the vegetables, omitting the butter and using less cream. Serve with brown basmati rice and, for dessert, dates.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 4 teaspoons garam masala (see Note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained
  • ⅓ cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Stir together garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour.)
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in cream. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
  • Garam masala, a blend of spices used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin and coriander. It is available in the spice section of most supermarkets.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 318 calories; 14 g fat(5 g sat); 4 g fiber; 21 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 56 mcg folate; 85 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,029 IU vitamin A; 29 mg vitamin C; 109 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 585 mg sodium; 682 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (48% daily value), Vitamin A (21% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat

Reviews 31

January 10, 2019
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By: Jamie
I followed the recipe almost exactly - the only difference was I sliced chicken breast instead of using tenders. It was way too thick. The sauce was definitely “gloopy” as another reviewer mentioned, and that was before I put the chicken back in. As soon as the chicken entered the sauce all of the flour cooked onto it came right off and thickened the sauce even further. I had to keep adding water to even make it stir-able. The final result was an over thick paste tasting of tomato and flour- bland to say the least. I love Indian food and cook some of it frequently, so I was very disappointed. In the end I added a can of stewed tomatoes, a bunch of standard yellow curry powder, and some water to make it decent. To be fair, the chicken cook times in this recipe were dead-on, as the chicken came out perfectly tender. I would definitely suggest using milk in place of cream for this recipe both for the fat content and for the sauce thickness concerns, if you decide to make this. I would also at least double the seasonings, onions, garlic and ginger. Aaaand I would use only stewed tomatoes in place of whole plum if I were to make this again. So... basically a different recipe altogether.
August 26, 2018
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By: Hayley Shaver
Love this recipe. I will make this again and again. We used more chicken than it called for and no rice because my rice does not turn out good. We substituted milk for cream and it turned out just great.
November 24, 2017
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By: Katherine
I replaced the cream with light coconut milk, it tastes nice but I found the recipe advised a bit too much flour which made it a bit gloopy.
November 04, 2017
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By: Andy Dowdle
This was absolutely fantastic! We also substituted skim milk for the cream and it turned out great. Will definitely make again!!
September 27, 2017
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By: Nicole
AMAZING ! Soo good served with brown rice. Chicken was super tender!
August 25, 2017
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By: Cranky Frankie
I just LOOOOOOOVED it!!! Substitute cream with light milk and rice with a salad (lettuce, bean sprouts and celery) to freshen up the dish a little bit.
July 17, 2017
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By: Liz Gentile McKay
Delicious and easy way to enjoy some Tikka masala with less fat and sugar. I cut thin chicken breast into bite size pieces which worked better for the kids. Great directions and fun cooking with Indian spices.
January 14, 2017
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By: ollieall
Wow! So yummy. I did have to mix more of the spice mixture because I used more seasoning on the chicken than the recipe called for. I put the seasoning on the chicken and put it in fridge to sit for the day until dinner time. I also added 2 extra cloves of garlic. Turned out awesome and the kids loved it too. Definitely will be making regularly.
October 25, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Terrific and Easy and Pleases Guests I've made this dish three times already and preparing to make it again tonight. I made it the actual way, and then doubled and tripled it and each time had to add much more gran masala than the recipe called for. Also added some more cumin, which gave it a fuller flavor. Served with chutney, it was wonderful. Pros: Easy Meal for a dinner party, Great Leftovers, Delicious Cons: Recipe is light on the seasonings
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