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Chicken tikka masala in bowl with rice

Indian Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian Chicken Tikka masala is a creamy and hearty Indian curry. It's delicious, serve it with naan, rice, or cauliflower rice!
4.86 from 14 votes
Course: Entrees
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 489kcal


Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breast, uncooked (cut into small bite sized pieces)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili you can substitute regular chili powder too
  • teaspoon salt


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander you can substitute for ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri chili can substitute regular chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream you can substitute canned coconut milk to make paleo
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


  • In a large bowl or a gallon sized bag add in the yogurt and seasonings for the marinade. Mix together and then add chicken. Cover chicken in marinade completely. Chicken should sit in marinade for at least 15 minutes up to overnight.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook marinated chicken in small batches. You just want to sear the chicken for 2 minutes on each side, it’s okay if the chicken isn’t cooked all the way through, it will finish cooking in the sauce later. Repeat until all chicken is seared. Set chicken aside for now.
  • Add butter, minced garlic, onion, and ground ginger to saucepan. Fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Add in tomato sauce, spices, and sugar. Let simmer for 10 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in cream and chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Sauce should be thick and chicken should be cooked all the way through.
  • If sauce is too thick you can add a little bit of water or more cream to thin it out. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice (or cauliflower rice for a low carb alternative)


Sometimes I like to add extra vegetables to this (ex: diced bell pepper, diced tomatoes, etc.) though this is not traditional to chicken tikka masala. 
Make it Keto or Low-carb--swap the rice for cauliflower rice
Make it Paleo or Whole30--swap the yogurt in the marinade for coconut or almond yogurt or coconut cream. Swap the heavy cream for full fat canned coconut milk


Serving: 1g | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 25g
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