Quick and Easy Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Quick and Easy Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Who doesn’t love an Indian takeaway, or treating yourself to an evening out at one of your favourite Indian restaurants? But as a vegan, it can be a little bit tricky. An ingredients list might seem like it’s all veggies, but perhaps it isn’t: it’s possible ghee butter was used, or maybe the dish’s creamy sauce actually contains dairy, and it’s just assumed you know that. If you’re dining out and there’s a friendly waiter nearby, all your questions can be answered. But when you’re comfortably sitting in your own home and reading from a menu, it’s not always so simple to determine if you can eat what you want. Well, that’s why we’ve decided to start making our own Indian cuisine right at home, and we’ve begun with Katherine’s favorite which is a vegan version of a popular Indian dish: a quick and easy vegan chicken tikka masala recipe.

So firstly we’ve made sure that we’ve stayed true to the most authentic flavours and ingredients that you should find in this curry. Our vegan tikka masala recipe includes fresh coriander, a creamy tomato sauce that’s infused with spices such as turmeric and garam masala. We’ve made sure to include those amazing aromatics as well, using minced garlic and ginger, sauteed with the dry ingredients before simmering everything in the sauce. We encourage you to grab a fresh lemon too so you can squeeze on some lemon juice when you finally serve up this delicious dish as well. 

What makes our amazing vegan tikka masala recipe vegan then? Starting with the protein, after recipes might use tofu cubes in place of diced chicken. We are more than happy to grab a couple of packs of our favorite plant-based chicken breasts. To make a creamy tikka masala sauce, you are going to need some cream, and it should be a heavy cream.

We’ve used a coconut cream, a whipping one specifically. It is the perfect thick, yet stir-able consistency, think double cream, not clotted. You can use a soy cream instead, just make sure it’s a heavy one to avoid ending up with a watery sauce. You could use a can of coconut milk too, we haven’t tried this yet but if we were going to we’d leave it in the fridge until it separated and throw out half the water, then mix the cream and tensing water back together and you’d have a pretty thick consistency. This could end up with a stronger coconut flavour to the dish than you might typically have if just the chicken was fried in coconut oil for example (as a lot of Indian recipes are, this or mustard oil).

For the original chicken version of this dish, you would use chicken stock to simmer all these tasty ingredients in, but instead, we’re of course going to go for vegetable stock. You can choose to use your favourite vegetable broth cubes or a base from a jar, or a stock pot. You just need a half cup for our recipe.

As you can see from our recipe card, there isn’t a huge list of ingredients that you need to make, which is always a good thing. Also, we’ve kept the meal prep minimal and the cooking simple. This is why we think this is the best vegan tikka masala recipe we’ve made. And who does love to hear this phrase: “One Pot Recipe”? We probably should have included it in the recipe title. But you only need one pot to cook this meal, you just need one large non-stick saucepan.

We did use the words ‘quick’ and ‘easy’ in this tikka masala recipes title. So it’s a good thing that the cooking time is only 20 minutes, making this a tasty, fast to make, and easier on the wallet replacement for an Indian takeaway.

As for the ‘easy’ part of this recipe, other than this being a one-pot meal, we have opted to use simple ready ingredients that you can keep in your fridge or kitchen cupboards. We’ve suggested canned chopped tomatoes because you could use fresh tomatoes, but this saves on prep time and honestly still tastes great. You can also purchase pre-minced jars of garlic and ginger, and pre-cooked basmati rice from a bag that takes just a couple of minutes to make while you’re focused on that delicious creamy masala sauce.

If you’re looking for more quick dish ideas, this recipe is not our only under 20 minute meal. If you fancy a vegan take on a classic Italian-American dish then try our easy vegan mac and cheese recipe. Or if you want to stick with the Friday night take-away meal style dishes we have a oriental inspired vegan chicken and egg fried rice dish that you can cook in 15 minutes too.

Easy Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala Ingredients

1 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil (canola oil or coconut oil)

360 g of Plant Chicken Breast

Ground salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 of a large onion (recommended sweet onion, can use yellow)

1 1/2 Tbsp tomato puree

1 1/2 tsp from a jar of minced garlic

1/2 tsp from a jar of minced ginger

3/4 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chili powder

3/4 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 can of chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup of vegetable stock

1/4 heavy coconut cream

100 g of microwave basmati rice

1 Tbsp chopped coriander

1/2 a whole lemon

How to Make an Easy Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala

For the meal prep begin by dicing all of your chicken breast into 1-inch pieces. We’re asking you to buy 360 g of plant-based chicken because in most cases this works out to be 2 chicken breasts each and makes for a perfect serving size.

Next you should peel and chop up the onion into petals. What we mean by petals is to take your whole peeled onion, and cut it in half from top to bottom, then again so you have a quarter section. You’ll use all of this quarter’s section. Chop it from top to bottom once more, then chop both of these pieces across their width and what you should end up with is a handful of petal-sized onion pieces.

The last piece of meal prep is to take several sprigs of fresh coriander, pull the leaves from the stalks, and chop them into small pieces to garnish your finished dish. 

Set a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil (canola oil) or coconut oil. We do not recommend using a strongly flavored oil like olive oil. When the oil is hot add the diced vegan chicken, onion petals, and a pinch of salt and pepper (or more to taste). Cook the onion and protein together, stirring often,  until the breast pieces start to turn golden brown. This should be no longer than 5 minutes. 

Turn your stove down to a low heat and add the tomato puree (also called tomato paste), all the spices, and the minced ginger and garlic (you can use fresh ginger and garlic, we’ve suggested from a jar just to keep the prep time and food wastage down). Stir these into the chicken and onion constantly for 1 minute.

Pour into the pot, 1/2 a can of chopped tomatoes and 1/2 a cup of vegetable stock (pre-mixed by yourself with stock cubes or bouillon, and hot water). Bring the heat back up to medium-high heat, until the sauce is boiling. Then turn it back down to simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly as well. During this time you should take the bag of microwave basmati rice and cook it according to the instructions, ready to serve with your tikka masala.

Finally pour into the pot a 1/4 cup of cream and stir until it’s blended well and warm through and you have made one amazing vegan tikka masala.

Serve with the basmati rice, a squeeze of lemon juice, then garnish with freshly chopped coriander.

A plate of vegan chicken tikka masala garnished with lemon jusice and coriander, served with basmati rice.

Quick and Easy Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Our quick and easy vegan chicken tikka masala recipe is a one-pot recipe using a few flavourful Indian spices and enticing aromatics in a creamy tomato sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Indian
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • 1 Large Saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 360 g of Plant Chicken Breast
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 of a large onion recommended sweet onion, can use yellow
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp from a jar of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp from a jar of minced ginger
  • 3/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 heavy coconut cream
  • 100 g microwave basmati rice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander to garnish
  • 1/2 a whole lemon to serve

Instructions
 

  • Begin by dicing all of your chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces.
  • Next, you should peel and chop up the 1/4 of a large sweet (or yellow) onion into petals.
  • Now take several sprigs of fresh coriander, pull the leaves from the stalks, and chop finely to garnish.
  • Set a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil (canola oil) or coconut oil. When the oil is hot add the diced vegan chicken, onion petals, and a pinch of salt and pepper (or more to taste).
  • Cook the onion and protein together, stirring often, until the breast pieces start to turn golden brown. This should be no longer than 5 minutes.
  • Turn your stove down to low heat and add the tomato puree, all the spices, minced ginger, and garlic. Stir these into the chicken and onion constantly for 1 minute.
  • Pour into the pot, 1/2 a can of chopped tomatoes and 1/2 a cup of vegetable stock. Bring the heat back up to medium heat, until the sauce is boiling. Then turn it back down to simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly as well.
  • Towards the end of these 10 minutes, you should take the bag of microwave basmati rice and cook it according to the instructions, ready to serve with your tikka masala.
  • Finally, pour into the pot a 1/4 cup of cream and stir until it’s blended well and warm through.
Keyword curry, plant-based chicken, tikka masala

Frequently Asked Questions About Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala

Can I use regular tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes in the sauce?

Absolutely! You can use fresh tomatoes, but make sure to peel and deseed them before blending. Canned tomatoes are convenient and provide a consistent flavor, but fresh tomatoes can work well too.

How can I make the Tikka Masala sauce less spicy?

Adjust the amount of chili powder or omit it entirely if you prefer a milder flavor. You can also add a bit of coconut sugar or maple syrup to balance the heat.

What vegetables can I add to enhance the nutritional value?

Consider adding bell peppers, spinach, peas, or cauliflower. These vegetables not only boost nutrition but also add color and texture to the dish.


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1 thought on “Quick and Easy Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe”

  • 5 stars
    The flavors in this vegan tikka masala are so delicious! I love how saucy it is. We love serving it with naan to soak up all that yummy goodness!

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