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I love chicken tikka masala and I love macaroni and cheese, so Chicken Tikka Masala Mac and Cheese—amazing! It’s such a fun and flavorful twist on this classic Indian curry dish and classic American dish! It’s creamy, cheesy, and has tons of flavor!
How long do I actually need to marinate the chicken?
The chicken really only needs to marinade for about 15 minutes, but it can always marinade for longer! I like to mix the marinade and chicken up the night before and have it ready to go so my dinner comes together super quick!
What if I can’t find some of these spices listed?
- Ginger, cumin, tumeric, coriander, can all be easily found in the spice aisle at your grocery store!
- Kashmiri chili—I love the flavor that kashmiri chili adds to this mix. But if you can’t find it, don’t sweat it, you can always substitute regular chili powder. But if you want to try out the kashmiri chili powder check at your local Asian or Indian market.
- Garam masala—This spice is becoming much more common in regular grocery stores grocery stores! If you don’t see it in the spice section, check in the ethnic or Asian food section. Or your local Asian or Indian market.
And I’ll just say, if you haven’t checked out your local Asian markets before, please do! They are so fun and have all sorts of fun unique items you don’t usually see in the U.S. Nothing inspires me to cook more than browsing my local Asian market.
Can I substitute the cream?
Absolutely! My personal favorite for substituting cream in this chicken tikka masala mac and cheese recipe is canned coconut milk. I love the hint of coconut it adds to the dish. But, you can also substitute milk and butter for cream in a pinch.
Substituting milk and butter for cream
Typically when you’re substituting milk and butter for cream you’ll want to do ¾ cup milk and ¼ cup melted butter.
This recipe calls for 1 ¼ cups of cream, use 5 tablespoons of butter and ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons milk.
How much cheese do I add to the sauce?
Well, this depends, do you want it a little more saucy or super cheesy?! I like mine a little saucier, but my husband prefers alllll the cheese! If you want it saucier, start by adding 1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella. You can always add more if you decide it needs it.
If you like it cheesier, you can add up to 3 cups of cheese.
Serve it straight from the pot or bake it!
Once you’ve added the pasta into your sauce and mixed it all up your chicken tikka masala mac and cheese is almost done! You can either serve your mac and cheese immediately, straight from the pot or pour it into a 9x13 baking dish to bake it!
If you’re serving it straight from the pot don’t forget to top it off with a little extra mozzarella and chopped cilantro.
If you’re planning on baking it, pour it into a 9x13, top it off with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella (or go crazy, do more!) and bake it at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Then top it off with some chopped cilantro and serve!
You Might Also Enjoy these other Indian and Asian Inspired Dishes!
- Authentic Chicken TIkka Masala
- Indian Butter Chicken
- Thai Panang Curry
- Thai Peanut Sauce
- Thai Lettuce Wraps
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Chicken & Marinade
- 1 pound chicken breasts, uncooked and thinly sliced
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon tumeric
- ½ teaspoon kashmiri chili
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cheesy TIkka Masala Mac & Cheese
- 1 pound elbow macaroni pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander, can substitute fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili, can substitute normal chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1- 14 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 ¼ cups cream or canned coconut milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3-4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided (some for sauce, some for topping)
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- Mix together the plain Greek yogurt and seasonings listed under the marinade. Thinly slice chicken and cover in the yogurt marinade. I like to place mine in a bag or Tupperware container. Let the chicken marinade for a minimum of 15 minutes to overnight.
- After chicken has marinated, heat a skillet over medium-high, place a tablespoon of oil in the skillet and cook the marinated chicken until fully cooked. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Before you start on your sauce, get your water boiling for your pasta. Take a large pot, fill it with about a gallon of water, and salt it generously. Place the pot on the stove on high and bring to a boil. You can continue onto your sauce while you wait for your water to boil, then follow these instructions. Place pasta into pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally,and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain pasta water and set aside.
- Melt your butter in the skillet, add your diced onion and minced garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add in your tomato sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garam masala,, cumin, coriander, kashmiri chili, and salt. Let simmer for 3 minutes.
- While it’s simmering take your egg and mix it with your cream or coconut milk. Then add the mixture to your sauce on the stove, Once thoroughly incorporated, let simmer for two minutes and add 2-3 cups of cheese. This really depends on how cheesy thick you want the sauce. If you like your mac a little more saucy, start with 1 ½ cups, if you like it really cheesy add 3!
- Stir your pasta and sauce together. Now at this point you have two options, you can either just serve it straight from the pot and top each portion with some mozzarella cheese and chopped cilantro.
- OR, if you’re like me I loveee baked mac and cheese. So if you want to bake it follow these instructions. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large 9x13 baking dish. Pour pasta and sauce mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly throughout the pan. Top with an additional 1 cup of shredded mozzarella (or more!) and bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top the dish with chopped cilantro and Serve immediately.
If you don’t have cream or coconut milk you can substitute 5 tablespoons of butter and ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons milk.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 657Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 1209mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 43g
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