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Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British, Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
marinade: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 549kcal
Chicken quickly marinated  in a spiced yogurt mixture, so it's tender and juicy. Then, it's smothered in a creamy, comforting, flavor-packed curry sauce. Make this Easy Chicken Tikka Masala a weeknight staple!
Print Recipe


For the Chicken:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Indian spice
  • 1-2 teaspoons white sugar – to taste
  • ¼ cup Greek-style Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Sauce:

  • 1 sweet yellow onion finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce (we like thick and zesty)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


For the chicken:

  • Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and sprinkle with salt, pepper, curry, Garam Masala and sugar. Place it in a bowl or Ziploc bag.
    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon Garam Masala Indian spice, 1-2 teaspoons white sugar – to taste
    how to make chicken tikka masala
  • Pour the yogurt over the chicken making sure to cover each piece. Set the chicken aside until ready to cook. If cooking within 10 minutes, it is fine to leave on the counter. If letting it rest more than 10 minutes, refrigerate until ready to cook.
    ¼ cup Greek-style Yogurt
    how to make chicken tikka masala
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken.
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Cook until the chicken is lightly seared and not quite cooked through - still a soft pink in the center. Stir often. Turn off the heat when the chicken is still slightly pink inside.
    how to make chicken tikka masala

For the Sauce:

  • Heat butter and oil in a different large skillet over medium heat.
    2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Once the oil and butter are hot, add the diced onions. Cook until translucent then add the minced garlic. Cook one minute or until garlic becomes fragrant.
    1 sweet yellow onion, 4 cloves garlic
    how to make chicken tikka masala
  • Add cumin, salt, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, Garam Masala and paprika. Cook 1-2 minutes.
    4 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon Garam Masala, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    how to make chicken tikka masala
  • Add tomato sauce, reduce heat to low and let the sauce thicken 10-15 minutes, stirring often.
    15 ounces tomato sauce
    how to make chicken tikka masala
  • Add the cream and sugar and bring the sauce to a low boil. Add the cooked chicken.
    1 cup heavy whipping cream, 4 teaspoons white sugar
    how to make chicken tikka masala
  • Keep the heat on low and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is fully cooked - 15-30 minutes more.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with basmati or jasmine rice and Naan bread. Serve and enjoy.
    Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish



  • To Freeze: If planning on freezing Chicken Tikka Masala, make double sauce and freeze half. Freeze it separately without the chicken. When ready to serve, prepare the chicken as directed, then add it to the thawed sauce to simmer for 15-20 minutes or serve with rotisserie chicken.
  • Shortcut: If in a hurry, rotisserie chicken can be substituted for skillet cooked chicken.


Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 1563mg | Potassium: 802mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1906IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 4mg