Easy Chicken Tikka Masala


This full-flavored, deeply spiced chicken tikka masala comes together in just 30 minutes. You'll want to add it to your weeknight dinner rotation ASAP.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 servings
Nutrition Profile:

How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala

This popular Indian dish is seasoned with garlic, ginger and garam masala. Traditionally, the chicken pieces are marinated and grilled, but this simplified version will save you time. Everything is made in one pot, making it an easy weeknight meal. Here are tips on how to make it:

Use Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are high in protein and a more flavorful alternative to chicken breasts. They are reliably tender, less likely to overcook and less expensive when you prep them yourself.

Use Fresh Ginger

When buying fresh ginger, it should feel firm to the touch with smooth skin. Our favorite way to peel ginger is with a spoon. For grating ginger, we recommend using a Microplane zester, which releases the flavorful juices as well. You can store peeled ginger in an airtight bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Use Garam Masala

Garam masala is a ground spice blend originating from India that typically includes black pepper, white pepper, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, mace, cardamom, cumin, fennel, red chili powder and coriander. You can find garam masala in the spice section of most grocery stores or online.

Can You Freeze Chicken Tikka Masala?

Yes, chicken tikka masala is easy to freeze. After it's cooled completely, portion it out in freezer-safe containers. Label, date and freeze for up to 2 months.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium onion)

  • 5 medium garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons canned no-salt-added tomato paste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added tomato puree

  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice


  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over high. Add chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add onion, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, turmeric, garam masala and cayenne; cook, stirring constantly, until spices are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato puree, stock, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro; serve over rice.


Large pot

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

514 Calories
19g Fat
45g Carbs
41g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1 1/4 cups masala, 1/2 cup rice
Calories 514
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 41g 82%
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Sodium 600mg 26%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Potassium 1195mg 25%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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