This chicken tikka masala recipe is restaurant quality, made from scratch, and easy to make. The chicken is tender and flavorful, simmered in a generous tikka masala sauce that's creamy, thick, and decadent. It's also low carb, keto, and gluten free.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (Note 1)
- 7-ounce container plain greek yogurt (Note 2)
- 1 tablespoon
garam masala(Note 3)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon
- Marinate Chicken: Stir together all marinade ingredients except chicken in large bowl until well-mixed; set aside. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, and cut into bite-sized chunks, 1/2 to 1 inch in size. Stir chicken chunks into marinade until well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Sear Chicken: Heat nonstick pan (Note 6) over high heat, no oil needed. Add 1/2 of chicken chunks (along with any marinade sticking to them; Note 7) to pan and spread them out. Cook until golden brown and a bit charred, a few minutes, while stirring and flipping chicken to sear all sides. As they finish searing, transfer to large plate. Repeat with remaining chicken (Note 8).
- Simmer Sauce: Reduce to medium heat. Add all sauce ingredients to now-empty pan, stirring for a minute until mixed. Add seared chicken chunks (without drippings) to pan and submerge in sauce; no need to stir. Bring sauce to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and decreasing heat as needed to maintain light simmer. Chicken should be cooked through and sauce should be slightly thickened and orange. Turn off heat. Serve (Note 9).
|Makes 4 Servings|
|Amount Per Serving:|
|Calories 510 (62% from fat)|
|Total Fat 35g||54%|
|Saturated Fat 21g||107%|
|Net Carb 10g|
|Total Carb 14.5g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 4.5g||17%|
It irritates me so much when people make adjustments to the recipe and then have the nerve to leave a low rating. This recipe is so delicious. My brother brought some home from an indian restaurant but it was ridiculously expensive. This was better than the restaurant’s tikka masala! I enjoy the fact that there is extra sauce to dip bread in or cover my rice or use on top of veggies. So good! Thank you for this recipe!
I consider myself an Indian food connoisseur, and this recipe is completely on point…WHEN you follow the directions and use the ingredients listed. Outstanding work here, Julia! I served this over brown rice, with cucumber raita and garlic butter naan. I doubled the cayenne as suggested for more spice, and it was perfect. Absolutely wonderful, thank you for sharing with us!
I have made this recipe 15 or so times at this point and we love it so much. I do substitute chicken breast with tenderloin instead because it’s not as tough and I prefer the texture. Also easier to cut since they’re basically the perfect thickness/width. I also try my hardest to wait for the marinating but half the time I’m cooking it within 15 minutes or so and it’s still delicious…just a note for those as anxious and unorganized as me lol.
Maybe just once you can wait overnight for it to marinate to see the difference in the depth of flavor the chicken takes on.
This base recipe is THE BOMB! Thank you so much! Tomato sauce is what I was doing wrong. I kept using crushed tomatoes, which are still too bright.
I love this recipe! As someone who is particular and well versed in Indian food, this is the best tikka masala recipe I’ve found. I use 5% Fage cause I love the texture it produces, and a generous serving of cayenne. I’ll make this 2-4 times a month, and it’s good for meal prep, too!
(oh and other recipes waste a lot of the marinade, this one uses it all)
I made this exactly like the recipe with the exception of the heavy whipping cream. I used coconut cream instead. Ah mazing!!!
EXCELLENT….N I USED SOURCREAM 😬
This came out tasting great. But no matter what, mine is always pink. Tomato sauce is red and the heavy cream makes it pink. My garam masala is a brown color. And I don’t see turmeric or curry in the recipe so nothing to really make it orange.
That’s strange. Are you missing the paprika by any chance? I haven’t had mine turn pink at all and I make this a few times a month.
Mine was pink too so I added turmeric.
I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to say that mine has always been pink too (and always tasted amazing!) tonight I accidentally let it get a little too hot and boil for a bit before I turned it down to simmer, and surprise… ORANGE! haha. no idea why, but just wanted to pass that along.
Substitutes: plain whole milk yogurt was substituted in place of Greek, and whole VitD milk was substituted in place or heavy whipping cream. Still turned out and tasted great. Thanks for the great recipe 👍
I just love this recipe so much. Over time Ive added my own stuff. I add tumeric, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of sugar, a dash of ground ginger, a of onion powder and garlic powder. this has taken it to the next level. THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE! A small town girl with no indian restaurant in site this makes my husband and I so happy to have this.
also, sometimes i marinate the chicken the night before AND make the sauce the night before in a bowl with lid and stick it in the fridge. this makes it insanely easy the next day to prep…. well there is no prep, just cook it while you have naan in the oven and walla!
Let me tell you what! This is such a really good recipe! I only marinated for 4 hours because I was craving this for dinner!! Followed the recipe, it was so easy!! I was worried that it wasn’t going to taste right because I only had just a little less Garam Masala than what the recipe called for. I used 5% Fage yogurt and cut the cayenne in half (just in case the Grand was eating here). Served with Afghan rice, Garlic Naan and extra chopped cilantro for garnish. My Husband said this was a 6 out of 5! Will be making this again, soon!
I’ve been using this recipe for a year or so now. We love it! I noticed you changed the recipe and now say to “sear the chicken”. I have so much liquid from the marinade that I don’t know how to get a great sear. Thoughts?
– Make sure your chicken chunks are dry. Pat them with paper towels.
– The marinade should not be liquid-y. It should be thick. Verify that you’re using Greek yogurt. Cut down on the lemon juice, if needed.
– The pan should be very hot before searing. Don’t add the marinated chicken until it’s fully heated.
– Add only one-quarter of the marinated chicken to the hot pan at a time, sear, then repeat.
Usually a poor sear is the result of the pan cooling too much, which can happen when you add too much marinated chicken at a time. Hope that helps!
I was skeptical about this recipe at first. I’ve tried many different chicken tikka masala recipes and this is hands down the best batch I’ve ever made. This recipe is a winner! I did adjust some spices like adding turmeric, cinnamon, ground coriander, and fenugreek but everything else was the same. Thank you for the awesome recipe!!
How much did you add? (Measurements)
About a 1/4 tsp. Turmeric, 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. Ground Coriander, and about a tablespoon of crushed fenugreek leaves.
By tomato sauce, are you referring to a jar of pasta sauce like Rao’s, Ragu and Prego?
No, I’m not referring to pasta sauce. I’m referring to tomato sauce that comes in canned form. It’s in the supermarket aisle with canned vegetables. Look for canned diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, etc. and canned tomato sauce should be there.
All I have is smoked paprika. Will that change the flavor too much?
Smoked paprika works great for this recipe. Let me know if you have any other questions.
For anyone wondering, I made this dairy free with cashew yogurt and coconut milk. As it turns out, I don’t particularly love the flavors of either and so I added a whole bunch more of the dry seasonings (including the addition of garlic powder, cause I was so done with cutting garlic).
Anyway, as someone that’s only had this from Trader Joe’s (but that may have been Butter Chicken) I was happy! Indian food is not something I’m well-versed in, nor making things dairy free, but for some reason I made this and it was a delicious dinner!
I’ve made many variations of tikka masala in search of a taste I enjoyed in Bangalor. This recipe is a good one and I think using tomato sauce is the secret (not fresh tomatoes). I made a couple minor changes to meet my taste… I fried a tejpata (Indian bay leaf) in the pan with oil until it got dark before adding the sauce, added a little fresh shredded ginger, and cut back on the cream by a third. Delicious!
Can you freeze the leftovers? It was amazing and I would love to take to my daughters when we visit
My husband is Indian and he only ever orders this dish at Indian restaurants, he LOVED this recipe. So so good!! But his mom is vegetarian so I’m wondering, do you have any vegetarian suggestions instead of chicken??
Yes, I think cauliflower, potato, or chickpeas would work well. Here’s a similar version I made using roasted cauliflower: https://www.savorytooth.com/cauliflower-curry/
As with all of Savory Tooth’s recipes, this was delicious. I added turmeric (the IP recipe has turmeric but this one doesn’t?) and a little onion powder at the end after tasting the sauce. I also ended up taking out the chicken and reducing the sauce a bit more because I like it really thick. Didn’t want to over cook the chicken. There is so much sauce and I LOOOOVE THAT!
I left out the cayenne and I’m glad I did because my garam masala had a serious kick to it. I used smoked paprika instead of reg because it’s so good.
Served it over roasted cauli rice. Would be TO DIE FOR over basmati!!! Thanks again for all of your gorgeous recipes. Your directions are always really clear.
Oh how we love this recipe. We’ve been making it for a few years now in my household. Every time I ask what to make for dinner for the week, my son, husband, or step daughters request it. This recipe cant be matched (I have tried others.) This one is just perfect.. every time.
Now if you’ll excuse me… it is dinner time!
Followed the directions and my tikka masala is brown and bland. Very sad and disappointed.
My husband loved this dish. It was my first time making Tikka Masala from scratch and it is worth the effort. The marinated chicken elevates the dish. I served it with cauliflower rice and it was the perfect accompaniment. We will definitely make it again!
This was delicious! I made it with chicken thighs and served with keto Naan. Wonderful low-carb supper!
I’ve made this recipe several times now and we love it. Here are the changes I make:
I use a package of chicken thighs- usually a bit over a pound. I also basically double all the dried spices. Not for the marinade, but for the sauce for sure. I also use two jalepeños with all the seeds I can save. And lastly, I’ve recently been adding in a bit fenugreek to get it to taste closer to a restaurant style. My dudes. Fenugreek is amazing. We made a broccoli & spinach scramble this morning using only fenugreek, some cayennes and salt & pepper and it was so so good. Anyway, thanks for this recipe! It’s a once a week staple for us now!!
Yum! Thanks for sharing, Sarah.
How much fenigreek you used. thank you