Vegetarian Tikka Masala (Indian Cauliflower Masala)

This Vegetarian Tikka Masala is made with Cauliflower instead of chicken! This delicious Indian cauliflower recipe is perfect for vegetarians, but it’s also great for usual meat-eaters. The texture of the cauliflower masala (or Gobi Masala) is perfect, and the flavor of the homemade tikka masala sauce is absolutely delicious! Serve it on basmati rice with naan to complete the dish.

Vegetarian Tikka Masala recipe on a plate

Vegetarian Tikka Masala Recipe

Vegetarian Tikka Masala (cauliflower or gobi masala) is the perfect Indian dish for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. There’s so much flavor in this Indian cauliflower recipe!

Cauliflower Tikka Masala is such an amazing dish. It’s pieces of roasted cauliflower mixed into a tomato-based curry, served with basmati rice and naan bread.  YUM!

This Indian cauliflower recipe is a great meat replacement with all of the flavor and texture you would expect from chicken tikka masala. I made my own homemade tikka masala sauce with the perfect level of spice to cover the roasted cauliflower. And it is GOOD if I do say so myself. Indian food is such a fun thing to make (and to eat), and this dish makes for a tasty, healthy dinner.

Whether you eat meat or not, you have to try this vegetarian tikka masala recipe (aka Gobi Masala, aka Cauliflower Tikka Masala). Whatever you call it, it is absolutely delicious!

Vegetarian Tikka Masala made with cauliflower is a super rich and flavorful Indian dish you’re sure to love!

Cauliflower Tikka Masala in a skillet

Plates of cauliflower masala, basmati rice, and naan

Cauliflower Tikka Masala (Gobi Masala)

Chicken is the most well-known version of this dish, but it can be made with vegetables instead. Cauliflower is used in this vegetarian tikka masala recipe as a substitute for meat. Since there is no meat, a more accurate name would be cauliflower masala, or Gobi Masala as it would be called in India.

This Indian cauliflower recipe is cooked in a tomato-based curry sauce, and served with basmati rice and naan bread. It’s so flavorful and the texture of the cauliflower is just perfect. This cauliflower tikka masala is great for vegetarians, but it’s also just as good for usual meat-eaters. You won’t miss the chicken with this texture and taste!

Gobi Masala served with rice and naan bread

Vegetarian tikka masala made with cauliflower

How to Make Tikka Masala Sauce

Masala is a tomato-based curry sauce used in many Indian dishes, but it’s probably most known for being used in tikka masala here in the U.S. There isn’t a standard tikka masala sauce recipe, as it can vary drastically and still be considered masala. But I am very happy with the recipe I created for this vegetarian tikka masala. You could use this same sauce recipe to make with chicken instead.

What’s in Tikka Masala Sauce:

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Garam Masala
  • Cumin
  • Ginger Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Sugar
  • Heavy Whipping Cream

It’s a wonderfully spicy, flavorful sauce. I’m kind of obsessed with it! It tastes so good in this Indian cauliflower recipe (gobi masala).

Recommended Products to make this Indian cauliflower recipe

Cauliflower Gobi Masala with rice and naan

Cauliflower cooked in tomato curry sauce

What does tikka masala mean?

Tikka refers to pieces of meat, while masala refers to the curry sauce. More literally, masala just means a mixture of spices, but in this case it is referring to the sauce portion of the dish. So Chicken Tikka Masala is pieces of chicken in a curry sauce. However, in this recipe there is no meat, just pieces of cauliflower.

What spices are in Garam masala?

Garam masala is a mixture of spices intended to heat or warm the body. This spice blend varies depending on where you buy it, but you can expect it to include all or some of the following spices:

  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Bay leaf
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Peppercorns

Cauliflower Tikka Masala with homemade tikka masala sauce

This vegetarian cauliflower tikka masala is going to blow you away! The spicy curry sauce, roasted cauliflower, and basmati rice make one delicious dinner that everyone will love.

See the recipe card below for details on how to make Vegetarian Tikka Masala. Enjoy!


If you like this Indian cauliflower recipe, you’ll love these recipes too:


5 from 1 vote
This vegetarian tikka masala recipe is made with cauliflower (Gobi Masala), served with basmati rice & naan. Roasted cauliflower mixed with tomato-based curry & plenty of spices!
Cauliflower Tikka Masala
This Vegetarian Tikka Masala is made with Cauliflower instead of chicken! This delicious Indian cauliflower recipe is perfect for vegetarians, but it's also great for usual meat-eaters. The texture of the cauliflower masala (or Gobi Masala) is perfect, and the flavor of the homemade tikka masala sauce is absolutely delicious! Serve it on basmati rice with naan to complete the dish.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: cauliflower, tikka masala, vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 250 kcal
Author: Becky Hardin
For the Roasted Cauliflower:
  • 1 head cauliflower washed and cut into bite-size florets
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Tikka Masala Sauce:
  • 1 cup sweet yellow onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ 6-7 ounces can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
For Serving:
  • Basmati Rice
  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • Lemon wedges
For the Roasted Cauliflower:
  1. Heat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to combine.
  3. Pour the seasoned cauliflower onto the prepared baking sheet and place on the center rack of the oven.
  4. Roast 10-12 minutes or until cauliflower is golden and just tender.
  5. Transfer cauliflower to a cooling rack until ready to use.
For the Tikka Masala Sauce:
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the minced onions and cook until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring often.
  2. Add cumin, salt, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, Garam Masala and paprika and cook 1 minute, stirring often.
  3. Add tomato sauce, reduce heat to low and allow sauce to thicken 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add cream and sugar and bring sauce to a low boil. Cook another 8-10 minutes, over low heat, until sauce has thickened a bit.
  5. Add the roasted cauliflower to the sauce, mix well and serve.
For the Basmati Rice:
  1. Cook according to package directions. Keep warm until ready to serve.
To Serve:
  1. Spoon basmati rice down the center of a serving plate/platter and top with Roasted Cauliflower Tikka Masala. Serve with naan, a side of sour cream or Greek yogurt and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro and a lemon wedge.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Tikka Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 250 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 461mg 19%
Potassium 352mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 11.6%
Vitamin C 57.9%
Calcium 4.7%
Iron 6.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?

Use the tag #thecookierookie when posting a photo of your recipe, and make sure to follow The Cookie Rookie on Instagram!

Shop This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Rebecca Rodgers
I am already a member of your site love it! Can this be made low fat I could use less oils could I use no heavy cream but replace it with yogurt or almond low fat milk instead of or a combination of the two I have pancreatitis I have to eat low fat but I would love this i would also add chicken breast diced and cooked for my added protein I love all the warm seasonings my favorites!
    Becky Hardin
    These are absolutely wonderful substitutions, thanks for letting me know! So happy you're here :)
Maureen Irvine
Can I use coconut milk instead of cream for vegan meal?
Let's Work Together!

We would love to discuss collaborating for unique recipe development, professional food photography, brand ambassadorship, and so much more. Get in touch for stats and rates. Let’s chat!

FREE EBOOK + Never Miss a Post!

Join our mailing list for all the easiest and most delicious recipes! Claim your FREE EBOOK, Favorite Easy Chicken Dinners!

    find more delicious recipes:

Get your FREE ebook


favorite chicken recipes ebook free

and join our community of over 100,000 subscribers!

No, thanks!