Chicken tikka masala is one of the most popular Indian dishes, and for good reason. How can anyone not love this explosion of spices, paired with the creamy texture of the sauce that the dish traditionally has. In this Easy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe the chicken is made extra tender and buttery with a hint of freshness from the coriander and lime.
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Chicken Tikka Masala
Easy Chicken Tikka Masala is the epitome of creamy and cozy. Chicken Tikka Masala has always been one of my favorite Indian recipes. If you love spice, tender chicken, creamy sauce, and EASY chicken recipes, this one is for you!
In the past, I’d often crave a good, creamy Chicken Tikka Masala. I had never tried making it though. It was one of those dishes where I only had at restaurants or for take-out. I was always under the assumption that it was too much of a hassle and way too complex.
Well…this assumption couldn’t be any further from the truth! This EASY Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe is actually not at all tricky. It’s easy and quite straightforward! Just how we like things around here.
Make Chicken Tikka Masala at home!
Ever since I begun making it, it has become a regular, because no take-out or restaurant can top a hearty homemade delicious creamy chicken at home. This tender chicken tikka masala is so warm and cozy, it’s the most perfect dish for these cold winter months. Afterall, homemade is best!
Ingredients for Chicken Tikka Masala
Don’t get overwhelmed by the marination process, it can honestly not get any easier!
It’s important to keep the authenticity of this dish intact, which is why the spices I used, are the traditional ones used in Indian Chicken Tikka Masala. I like to give it a twist however!
Most chicken tikka masala recipes marinate the chicken in yoghurt. I prefer to marinate it in buttermilk. This is my trick for making the chicken extra tender, buttery and oh so soft!!
Here are the ingredients for the Chicken Tikka Masala Marinade:
- garam masala (a spice traditionally used in Indian cooking)
- garlic flakes
- grated ginger
- red chilli powder
- olive oil
- chopped onion
- tomato sauce
- heavy cream
- lime juice
This list might look overwhelming but I promise it isn’t! All the spices are SO WORTH IT and you’ll be so happy with how the recipe tastes in the end.
How to make Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce
The process is very easy! You will basically pop the chicken into a bowl with all your spices and buttermilk, give them a good mix, cover with some cling film and let it chill for about an hour. That’s it!!
The chicken will soak up all the strong flavors of the spices making the dish just the right amount of spicy and so flavorful!!
Once your chicken has marinaded you will then cook it in some extra virgin olive oil. This will give it a nice browned texture and all the flavours from the marinade will be sealed in.
You will then prep your creamy sauce by adding the onions, tomato sauce and cream and finally let it all cook together so that the flavours combine! It’s real simple!
Suggestions for making it healthy
If you want to make a healthy version of the this Easy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe, I have a solution for you! Whenever I’m feeling a creamy tikka masala but don’t want to indulge as much, I always substitute some of the ingredients with healthier alternatives. The result is just as delicious and guess what? Totally guilt free!
You’ll see in the recipe card ideas for healthier substitutions such as subbing butter with coconut oil, the buttermilk with yoghurt and the heavy cream with coconut milk. Pretty cool huh?! SO SIMPLE and saves so many calories.
It always amazes me how the flavor of chicken, can be transformed so much depending on the type of spices you choose to use. Tender Chicken Tikka Masala is one of those dishes where the spices all work together to create this insanely strong, mouthwatering result! I cannot wait to hear how you love this recipe!
Tips and Notes
- Use Chicken Thighs or Breasts: Although this recipe is made with chicken breasts, it’s equally delicious with chicken thighs. It totally depends on what you like eating most.
- Marinate longer to make the chicken more tender: Keep in mind that the more you marinate your chicken, the more tender and full of flavour it will be! If you have a little extra time, marinate the chicken in the spices for an extra hour. It’s totally worth it!
- Make things as spicy as you’d like: If you are not a really big fan of spicy food, you can always choose to add a little less red chili powder.
- What to serve with Chicken Tikka Masala: The best way to have this tender chicken tikka masala is over some steamed rice. Having some naan on the side is always a good idea, so you can dip it in the sauce! That’s truly all you need!
So make this Easy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe today and I promise you you’ll love it! After all, who isn’t looking for an excuse to try a super creamy dish when it’s cold outside.
Chicken Tikka Masala is our favorite comfort food recipe! Consider yourself warned though..this delicious tender chicken tikka masala is one of those recipe that you’ll crave again and again.
Be sure to check out some other Easy Chicken Recipes we love:
- Easy Chicken Piccata
- Sheet Pan Chicken Caprese
- Garlic Lemon Roasted Chicken
- Southwest Chicken Bake
- Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
- 24 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, about 4 breasts
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon salted butter or coconut oil
- 15 ounces tomato sauce 1 can
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream or coconut milk
- Juice from 1 lime
- Fresh coriander to taste
- Cut the chicken breast into bite size pieces
- In a bowl add the chicken with the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, garlic flakes, ginger, red chili powder and buttermilk. Mix it, then cover with cling film and chill in fridge for 1 hour
- In a non-stick pan, add the extra virgin olive oil on high heat. Add each chicken piece and cook for 4 minutes on each side until slightly browned. Keep the remaining marinade sauce for later. The chicken will not be thoroughly cooked at this point
- Remove the chicken from pan and set aside
- In the same pan, add the butter and onions. Cook until soft and golden brown, for about 7 minutes on medium heat
- Add the tomato sauce, juice of lime and bring to simmer.
- Add the marinade sauce and cook for another 5 minutes
- Add the chicken in and let everything cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until chicken is thoroughly cooked
- Add the heavy cream stir everything together and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat
- Serve over steamed rice, add some fresh coriander to taste and enjoy!
- Some separating may occur when adding the buttermilk marinade to the sauce, but it won’t affect taste.