Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a classic Indian dish made with tender pieces of chicken in a creamy tomato-based sauce. It is super easy to make and tastes 1000 x better than takeout. The spices and aromatics make it extremely flavorful and make your house smell sooo good while you’re making it! 

Chicken Tikka Masala

How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala:

Chicken Tikka Masala is made with bite-sized chicken pieces that have been marinated in a yogurt sauce and then tossed with a creamy tomato-based sauce. 

For the chicken marinade: Mix together the plain yogurt and sour cream with the spices and lemon juice. Add the chicken and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight if time allows.

To cook the chicken:  Chicken thighs are preferred for this recipe, they are juicier and more tender than chicken breasts. For the best flavor and texture, skewer the chicken and grill over medium-high heat, about 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through. Don’t have a grill or short on time? The chicken can be sautéd in the pan with the sauce for an extra easy one-pot meal!

Make the sauce: Tikka Masala sauce is made with chopped onion and garlic sautéd in melted butter over medium heat. Then tomato sauce is added along with plenty of spices and heavy cream. The spices used in this recipe are cumin, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Adjust the amount of seasoning to your taste preference. Toss the cooked chicken with the sauce and serve warm. 

What to Serve with Chicken Tikka Masala:

This dish is typically served with basmati rice and toasted naan bread. The naan is great for soaking up all the leftover sauce, which you definitely don’t want to go to waste! I like to heat it on the grill for a few minutes and sprinkle with garlic salt, which makes it really tasty. 

Chicken Tikka Masala
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5 from 1 vote

Chicken Tikka Masala

Tender marinated chicken thighs tossed with a creamy and flavorful sauce
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chicken Tikka Masala, curry, Indian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 275kcal
Cost: $10


  • 1 lb. trimmed boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces

For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder

For the Tikki Masala sauce:

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp. garam marsala
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream


For the chicken:

  • Combine all of the marinade ingredients and coat with the pieces of chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and thread onto a skewer. Grill over medium heat for 3 minutes per side. *

Make the Tikki Masala sauce:

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add chopped onion to sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and sauté an additional minute.
  • Add the tomato sauce and all of the spices and stir to combine.
  • Boil and simmer the sauce for a few minutes. Add the heavy cream and simmer on low until the chicken is finished cooking.
  • Add the cooked chicken and coat thoroughly with the sauce. Serve over basmati rice with a side of naan bread.


* Cook the chicken in the pan with the sauce if you don't have a grill or are short on time. Add the chicken to the pan at the same time as the chopped onion. 


Calories: 275kcal



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