Chicken Tikka Masala

4.98 from 48 votes
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Chicken Tikka Masala – Yogurt marinated chicken in a spiced curry sauce. Seriously the best!  Serve with rice and Naan bread for a restaurant experience at home!

I love Indian food and curry in general.  There are quite a few of those types of recipes already here on the blog.  Coconut Chicken Curry is ready in minutes, and uses ingredients you probably already have in your house, so it is one of my favorites.  But Tikka Masala has taken me a little longer to master.

When we go out for Indian food, chicken tikka masala is always something we order. So I know what it tastes like in a restaurant.  But getting those flavors at home, is not easy.  Well, I think I have finally mastered it.  After trying more recipes than I can count, combining a bunch of different ones, and adding in some of my own I have done it!  Trust me, this chicken tikka masala recipe is going to be a keeper!

A plate of Chicken and Masala


What is Tikka Masala

It is a dish that is made from chunks of chicken that are marinated in a yogurt and spice mixture for hours.  Then the chicken is either grilled or cooked quickly over a high heat.  Tikka masala sauce is made from onions, garlic, ginger and lots of spices.  Then it is simmered with tomato sauce and finished with cream.  It is a rich and delicious sauce.  You will want to make sure you have plenty of Naan bread to soak it all up.

I like the tikka masala sauce to be thin, so I use my immersion blender to puree everything. You can use a regular blender or food processor if that is what you have too.  And if you don’t mind the little pieces of onion and garlic in your sauce, then you can just leave it as is.  I have only ever had it smooth in restaurants, so that is how I like to make it at home.

A plate of Chicken and Masala


How to Make Chicken Tikka Masala

It really is rather easy to make, you just need to have lots of spices on hand.  I am able to find all of the spices at my regular grocery store, so hopefully you can to.  My goal was to come up with a recipe that you could make any night of the week.  Not something you had to make a special trip to one store, that is across town, and has limited hours.

I start by mixing together the yogurt with all the spices for the marinade.  Then mix in the chicken that is cut into chunks.  Cover and let it side in the fridge for at least an hour, but over night is even better.  The longer the chicken has the move flavor it gets, and the more tender it is.  When you are ready to cook I broil the chicken while I am making the sauce.  Again, it really is just dump a bunch of spices in and stir.  Simple, just some measuring involved!

Chicken masala on a plate with rice


If you like Indian food and curry, you are going to love this chicken tikka masala recipe.  It is way easier than you think it is to make, and it will remind you of your favorite restaurant!  You can adjust the heat level to what your family likes.  My family is a fan of heat, so I went heavy with the cayenne.  But you can go light and it will still have all those comforting spices.

Butter chicken is another classic Indian curry that my family loves. There is just something about all those spices together that is pure comfort food to me.  And this Basil Coconut Chicken Curry kind of has a Thai twist, but the chicken is so tender and over the top delicious.

chicken tikka masala on a plate

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close up of chicken tikka masala on a plate

A plate of Chicken and Tikka
4.98 from 48 votes

Chicken Tikka Masala

By Erin
Chicken Tikka Masala - Yogurt marinated chicken in a spiced curry sauce. Seriously the best!  Serve with rice and Naan bread for a restaurant experience at home!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 5


Chicken Marinade

  • 1 1/2 pound boneless chicken, breast or thighs, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masal
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Tikka Masala Sauce

  • 2 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 14 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (reduce if you want it mild)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  • In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt with all of the seasonings for the marinade.  Add chicken and mix until everything is well coated.  Cover and place in fridge for at least an hour, up to overnight. 
  • Preheat oven to Broil.  Place chicken pieces on a baking sheet.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes more.  Remove from oven.
  • In a large sauce pan heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft.  
  • Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.  
  • Add garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and coriander, and chili powder. Mix with onions, and cook for about 1 minute.    
  • Add tomato sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir until all the spices are well blended. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.  
  • Add the chicken and the juices to the sauce.  Stir in the cream and cook for about 10 minutes until the cause is bubbling and thick. 
  • Serve over white rice.  Garnish with cilantro if desired.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 541kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 1517mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5
Calories: 541
Keyword: chicken tikka masala
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. 5 stars
    This is one of my all-time favorite things to order at an Indian restaurants! I’ll have to try out this recipe so I can eat it all week long! 🙂

  2. Hi! Is there a place on your website where there is just a list of the recipes, e.g. chicken, without having to scroll through the phots & whole recipe? I’m sorry if I’ve missed that spot on your website. Thanks!

    1. There is a visual Recipe Index that has one thumbnail sized photo of the recipe, so you can see what it is instead of just the name. You can search by all sorts of different categories – Chicken, Air Fryer, Mexican, Asian, Ground Beef, Dinner, Breafast etc.