In this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, pieces of chicken thigh meat marinates in a spiced yogurt combination and cooked in a garam masala spiced, tomato and coconut milk sauce. Serve with rice and naan.


Why hello, gorgeous plate of food. Chicken tikka masala is one of my favorite Indian dishes, next to Butter Chicken, of course. What can I say? I’m a total sucker for chicken in thick, vibrant sauces. Have you seen a more colorful dish in your life?

Tikka Masala has always been something I eat while Pat’s up north hunting or when he’s on a summer golf trip. I was thinking he wouldn’t be down with all the spices and flavors going on, so I’d save it for the times when I could curl into the nook of our couch, pj’s on and remote in hand and chow down. I finally got around to making it so I could post it and boy was I wrong to wait. In fact, my WHOLE FAMILY loves it. Even Malloree. The girl loves the pungently spiced and rich tikka masala but wont go near rice. Riddle me that? Either way, my jaw = dropped.

I serve it next to a mound of coconut rice and either naan or pita bread, to sop up all that thick orange gravy. It’s heavenly.


Whether you’re feeding your family or flying solo, there’s no need to go out when you can satisfy your craving for tikka masala in the comfort of your home… pajamas, wine and Netflix are totally optional. Forks required.


There’s a few ways I make this. Summer months I will grill the marinated chicken on our outdoor grill. But during the chillier months, I cook it all in one pan. It was drizzling the day I made this so I opted for the one-pan chicken tikka masala bit.


Place 2 pounds chicken thighs (that have been cut into 1-inch pieces) into a large bowl with 1 cup of whole milk plain yogurt, juice of half a lemon, 1 heaping tablespoon ginger, 2 teaspoons of both ground cumin and chili powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons annatto (which will give it that glorious color, but optional), 1 teaspoon both cinnamon and kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to combine and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.


After the chicken marinates, add two tablespoons of butter to a large 12-inch skillet and heat over medium/medium-high. Once hot, add garlic, 2 teaspoons garam marsala and coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin and paprika. Stir it all around and cook for 1 minute.

Next, add in the marinated chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, then add in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt and coconut milk. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce has thickened.


Serve next to coconut rice with pita (or naan) and brace yourself for the best food coma of your life.

The sauce is SO FLAVORFUL! Sorry for the shoutty capitols but the flavor is out of this world. A wonderful homemade version of a classic.


My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Chicken Tikka Masala
Yield: about 4 to 6 servings

Chicken Tikka Masala

In this Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe, pieces of chicken thigh meat marinates in a spiced yogurt combination and cooked in a garam masala spiced, tomato and coconut milk sauce. Serve with rice and naan.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes



  • 2 to 2-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
  • juice from 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons annatto powder (optional - for color)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • marinated chicken
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree (not tomato sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (heavy cream may be substituted)


  • coconut rice
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • flat bread, pita or naan bread


In a large bowl combine the chicken, yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, 2 teaspoons cumin, chili powder, annatto (for color), cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to combine, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add butter, garlic, 2 of both teaspoons garam masala and coriander, 1 teaspoon of both cumin and paprika. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add in the marinated chicken and cook for 10-12 minutes or until fully cooked. Next, add in the tomato sauce and sugar and season with kosher salt (it was a 1/2 teaspoon for me). Cook for 5 to 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and stir in coconut milk. Cook until sauce has thickened a bit.

Serve with rice, naan or pita bread and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

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