By Mandy Froelich, Life in Bloom

Mmmm, chicken tikka masala is one of my favorite dishes to make for family night. Flavors from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh come alive in this one-pot meal. Traditionally served with naan, I’ll sometimes switch it up and serve it over brown rice noodles. One thing’s for sure: this meal is delicious, satisfying, and quite easy to whip up.

You’ll need:

Chicken: ½ lbs of chicken breast or chicken thighs. They’ll be cut into 1-inch pieces so when they cook down, they’ll be bite-sized.

Vegetables: I’d recommend using a mixture of 2 shallots, 4 garlic cloves, and a 2-inch piece of ginger to make an aromatic paste

Gravy: you’ll need a can of crushed tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato paste, and a ½ cup of coconut cream to make the base for this dish.

Spices: you’ll use garam masala, kosher salt, turmeric, black pepper, and cayenne to flavor the dish. Cayenne can be adjusted depending on your preference.

Tips for Making this Recipe:

  1. If your sauce seems too thick, add an additional ¼ cup of water. If it’s too thin, allow it to simmer for an extra 5 minutes or add 1 tsp of corn starch to thicken it.
  2. A Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot is ideal for cooking recipes like this one. They cook evenly and keep a consistent temperature for the times they need to simmer for several minutes.
  3. You can store this recipe in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes well and can be saved in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  4. If you don’t care about eating dairy-free, you can substitute heavy cream for coconut cream. Coconut milk will not work for this recipe as it is too thin.



Quick & Easy Chicken Tikka Masala [Dairy-Free]

  • Author: Mandy
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Healthy
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • optional for topping – chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Blend the shallots, ginger, garlic, and 1/4 cup water together in a blender or food processor to create a thick paste. If it’s not coming together, add up to another 1/4 cup of water.
  2. Toss the chicken with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 2 teaspoons garam masala.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned. Remove and set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in the same pot and add the shallot mixture. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the remaining teaspoon of salt, remaining teaspoon garam masala, turmeric, black pepper, and cayenne, and let cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.
  5. Add the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/4 cup water to the pot and stir to combine. Add the chicken back to the pot and bring to a low simmer. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut cream.
  7. Serve topped with cilantro and alongside brown rice noodles or naan.

Keywords: healthy entrees, chicken tikka masala, dairy-free, healthy dinners,

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @lifeinbloom7 on Instagram and hashtag it #LifeinBloomNutrition!