One-Pan Indian Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe [VIDEO]

Digging into a serving of Indian one-pan chicken tikka masala.

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Need a quick gluten-free recipe for a busy weeknight dinner? This better-than-take-out, one-pan chicken tikka masala takes only 30 minutes from start to finish. It pairs beautifully with rice, and its full flavor is guaranteed to be a hit with the entire family.

 

P I N  NOW TO SAVE FOR LATER!

Flavorful Indian one pot tikka masala with chicken.

 

Creamy, fragrant, and a little spicy, Indian chicken tikka masala dish will surely awaken your taste-buds! If you are just starting to explore Indian dishes or looking to add a new recipe to your weekly menu, this simple tikka masala is one to keep.

 

I can’t believe I waited this long to make it. I’m happy to share this simple recipe with you, thanks to Dr. Meda (my dentist and a loyal reader) who suggested I make it. It’s so delectable, no wonder it’s his favorite national dish and it will be yours too! 

  

Here’s why this chicken tikka masala works:

 

  • Besides being a super easy and quick meal to make, you’ll only end up dirtying one pan. That is always a plus in my book of easy recipes!
  • You will get addicted to the flavor of these chunks of chicken marinated in an intoxicatingly delicious sauce. 
  • The sauce is tomato-based, elevated with aromatic Indian spices, and finished with cream, giving it the traditional orange-colored look.
  • Think tikka masala is solely an Indian dish? Think again! Although you are sure to find it in any Indian restaurant, England considers chicken tikka masala their national dish, and rumor has it that even its origins are British, concocted by Indian migrants in the 1950’s.
  • This Indian chicken stew will satisfy even with the pickiest eater. 

 

Indian chicken stew in creamy tomato sauce over rice.

 

What does tikka masala mean? 

 

Tikka means small pieces or chunks of meat, while masala is the spice blend typically used in Indian dishes.

 

What’s in this one-pan Indian dish?

 

PROTEIN: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs

VEGETABLES: Onion and garlic

AROMATICS: Tomato sauce and tomato paste

LIQUID: Chicken stock

FAT: Vegetable or canola oil

SEASONINGS: Salt and pepper

SPICES: Ginger, garam masala, chili, turmeric, cumin, coriander

HERBS: Cilantro (optional)

DAIRY: Heavy cream

 

Ingredients for one-pan chicken tikka masala recipe.

 

How do I make tikka masala?

 

For the sake of simplicity and making this recipe quick and easy to make at home, we made some shortcuts to the authentic Chicken Tikka Masala.

 

We would typically marinate the chicken with yogurt and spices, and then put them on skewers and grill. Feel free to use this method for the chicken before marrying it with the sauce (if you have the time and sunshine where you live). 😊

 

*Keep scrolling to get the full (printable) recipe and ingredient amounts.

 

1. Season cubed chicken thighs with salt, pepper, turmeric, and ginger.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet; add chicken and onion, and sauté until the chicken is no longer pink.

3. Add spices: garlic, garam masala, chili, cumin, coriander, and tomato paste. Stir to combine.

4. Pour in the tomato sauce and chicken stock and let simmer.

5. Stir in the heavy cream; cook until the sauce thickens.

 

Step by step photos for making Indian-style easy masala.

 

People also asked:

 

1. WHAT IS GARAM MASALA AND WHERE DO I FIND IT? 

Garam masala is a mix of Indian spices and usually found in the spices aisle or the international section of the grocery store.

 

2. I CAN’T FIND GARAM MASALA IN MY STORE!

No worries! Use a teaspoon each of cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, and cumin to make your home-made version.

 

3. CAN I USE CHICKEN BREAST INSTEAD OF THIGHS?

Yes, you can. However, I highly recommend the chicken thighs. They are juicier and give more flavorful results.

 

4. SHOULD I USE A SAUCEPAN OR A SKILLET?

You can use whatever you have on hand if it’s large enough. I prefer cast-iron skillet. I used an enameled one here, but a Dutch oven would work fine too.

 

I wouldn’t suggest a non-stick pan, because you want the meat to get charred. We will deglaze the brown bits with stock and tomato sauce, and chicken will absorb all those delicious flavors.

 

Simple one-pan Indian chicken masala is sure to put your favorite take-out joint out of business. #tikkamasala #dinner #indian #chicken #glutenfreeClick to Tweet

 

Chicken masala dish in a white bowl and the pan, hands around the plate.

 

5. CAN I MAKE IT IN THE INSTANT/CROCKPOT?

Although this dish is super quick, I also understand that sometimes you just don’t want to babysit your dinner.

 

Slow Cooker:

This dish is easily adaptable to either, but to ensure you get that rich flavor, sear the chicken and sauté the onions before adding to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Low and slow is the best with dairy products.

 

Instant Pot:

If using the Instant pot, use the sauté function for your chicken and onions, add all other ingredients (except for cream), and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Add cream once the pressure is released.

 

Close up of the bowl of rice with tikka masala and a fork.

 

6. HOW DO I STORE CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA LEFTOVERS?

 

Storing Leftovers

 

  • Refrigerating:   Refrigerate tikka masala in an airtight container for up to three days.
  • Freezing: Dairy-based dishes don’t always reheat well after being frozen as the dairy tends to separate slightly. You can still freeze it; just know that the consistency won’t be quite the same.

 

7. CAN THIS DISH BE REHEATED?

 

Absolutely! Reheat it on the stovetop over low heat, just until warm. You can also reheat individual bowls in the microwave.

 

Indian chicken stew with rice, sprinkled with chopped cilantro leaves.

 

Recipe variations:

 

  • Serve on top of Naan bread for a quick and easy lunch the next day.
  • Like it spicy? Swap out the chili powder for cayenne pepper.
  • Add some veggies to your sauce. Cauliflower and peas go well with curry.

 

 What to serve with Indian tikka masala?

 

  • Follow the tradition and serve tikka masala over rice, such as basmati, jasmine, or any flavorful rice of your choice.
  • If you’re like my mom and don’t like rice (say whaaat?), you will love this masala over mashed potatoes or noodles.
  • We also love using garlic naan bread as a vessel to sop up all the yummy juices.

 

NOTE: For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

 

ESSENTIALS

for Indian Chicken Tikka Masala


 

Orange-colored chicken tikka masala with rice in a white plate with white wooden background

 

MAKING THIS RECIPE OR OTHERS?

Don’t forget to post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #ALLTHATSJAS.

 

I can’t wait to see your spin on it! Scrolling through the photos of recipes you tried is my favorite!

 

Other easy chicken recipe to try:

 

INDIAN GINGER GARLIC CHICKEN

ONE-POT BOSNIAN CHICKEN RICE DINNER

FRENCH ONION CHICKEN

GARLIC LEMON CHICKEN

CHICKEN IN BEER SAUCE

 

WATCH HOW WE MAKE ONE-PAN CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA RIGHT HERE:

 


Digging into a serving of Indian one-pan chicken tikka masala.
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Print Recipe

Simple One-Pan Indian Chicken Tikka Masala

This quick one-pan Indian chicken masala is sure to put your favorite take-out joint out of business.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Jas

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 small onion sliced into half-moons
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves optional

DIRECTIONS:

  • Over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven.
  • Season the 1 1/2 lbs of cubed chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste, 1 ½ tsp turmeric, and 1/2 tbsp ground ginger. Add the seasoned chicken and 1 sliced onion to the stockpot and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 ½ tsp garam masala, 1 ½ tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, and 1 tbsp tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in 15 oz tomato sauce and 1 cup chicken stock. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream and simmer until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes longer.
  • Serve immediately with rice, or side of choice, and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

RECIPE NOTES:

  • Use freshly grated ginger for intensified flavor.
  • Replace cilantro with fresh parsley.
  • Add more chili powder if you like your food spicier (this already has a nice kick).
  • For the best results, read all my other tips in the post above.
  • Substitute heavy cream with coconut cream or milk. 

RECIPE VIDEO

Tried this recipe?Snap a photo and mention @all_thats_jas or tag #allthatsjas on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

NUTRITIONS:

Nutrition Facts
Simple One-Pan Indian Chicken Tikka Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 439 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Cholesterol 150mg50%
Sodium 229mg10%
Potassium 845mg24%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 41g82%
Vitamin A 734IU15%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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10 Comment

  1. Reply
    Sadia Malik
    February 27, 2020 at 12:24 am

    5 stars
    This looks so tasty. I don’t like chicken thighs for some reason but my sister likes them for exactly the same reasons you said

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 29, 2020 at 8:03 pm

      You can always make it with chicken breast, I won’t tell anyone. 😉

  2. Reply
    Cathleen
    February 26, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    5 stars
    Only dirtying one pan?? There is no way. This looks too good! Bookmarked to make this weekend 🙂

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 29, 2020 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks, hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did, Cathleen! 😀

  3. Reply
    Katie
    February 26, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    5 stars
    Made this for the family and it was a hit!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 29, 2020 at 8:02 pm

      Glad everyone liked it! Thanks for stopping in!

  4. Reply
    Marie-Charlotte Chatelain
    February 26, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    5 stars
    This looks JUST like the restaurant version! LOVE the shots and I am really really craving Indian food right now!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 29, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      Aww, thank you for your lovely feedback! xx

  5. Reply
    Anjali
    February 26, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe was so, so flavorful and was super easy to make!!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 29, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Anjali! Thanks for stopping in! 🙂

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