This non-traditional chicken tikka masala recipe is rich, spicy, and full of flavor. Serve over rice and with cucumber raita sauce for a truly irresistibly delicious meal.
One-Pot Tikka Masala
Growing up, one of my favourite “treats” was when my mum and I would go to an afternoon movie followed by dinner out at our favourite Indian Restaurant. It was something I looked forward to every time my mum said we should have a “girls day”.
That meal was always a special occasion kind of treat. Don’t get me wrong – my parents are great cooks, but we were always the sort of family that had our staple meals and stuck to them.
I mean when you’re working fulltime and have two crazy kids (and probably picky!) running around – the last thing you’re going to do is try a new recipe every night!
When my husband decided to make this Tikka Masala for the first time, I was super excited. He knows I love rich dishes like this that are packed with flavour and he thought it would be a nice date night meal.
Well, it totally reminded me of all those times my mum and I would go and indulge in Tikka Masala and whatever else caught our eye from the menu.
And, we were surprised by just how easy this was to make. While it’s not a traditional tikka masala – it included all those bold rich flavors that I so crave.
Now it’s become a staple for us.
We make this so often, and it’s become one of our favourite meals to serve up to friends and loved ones because it’s always a hit. And, did I mention we always make plenty of it so we have leftovers for lunches? I don’t know about you but leftovers are a MUST.
Leftovers have become even more important since starting my new job. Now that I am back to working 8:00 – 4:30PM, I like to be able to meal prep on Sundays.
This meal has been great since it is easy to make in bulk and because it is actually something I LOVE to eat 5 times a week.
I’m SO happy that the season of comfort food is upon us!
I don’t know who I am anymore – I used to LOVE summer, but this year I couldn’t wait for it to be over and back to fall. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved summer – the patio days, picnics, hiking – but some days were just too hot to really enjoy. And on those days, I dreamed of fall.
I love fall though for so many reasons – of course, it’s beautiful. But, it’s also a cozy season. It looks and feels cozy. I love fall style and all the rich fall tones – burgundy, mustard, olive, and rust.
Mostly though, I love the comfort food. I have always really enjoyed cooking comfort meals. You know the ones – the warm, cozy, delicious meals (like today’s One-Pot Tikka Masala!!) that you make in big batches so that you have lots of leftovers for lunches.
What is Tikka Masala?
Typically, Tikka Masala is a rich and creamy tomato-based curry that is loaded up with herbs and spices. It has a vibrant orange-red colouring and typically packs a bit of heat – hello, spice! #YUM
Most often, Tikka Masala recipes are made with cream in order to get that super-rich and decadent texture.
If you’d like to make this vegan / or vegetarian, you can substitute the cream or milk in this recipe with coconut milk. This recipe also often includes chicken, but you can easily substitute the protein with extra veggies (like eggplant, zucchini or opo squash!) to make it suit your dietary needs.
What Makes this a “Non-Traditional” Tikka Masala?
This recipe is different from many Tikka Masala dishes in a lot of ways. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that it’s not as thick and creamy as traditional tikka masalas.
This is because rather than using cream in today’s recipe, we use milk, diced tomatoes (which add a lot of liquid into the dish), and about 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar.
Yes, you read that right: balsamic vinegar.
Now, if you’re thinking that sounds bizarre – don’t! It adds so much flavour to the dish and really helps balance it. Since the balsamic is both sweet and sour it really works just so well with the richer and spicier flavours in the dish.
What Ingredients are in this One-Pot Tikka Masala?
Chicken – Breast or thigh
Chili peppers (optional)
Tikka Masala paste (we also often use Korma Paste)
How to Make this Non-Traditional Tikka Masala?
When I say this Tikka Masala is EASY to make, I mean it is EASY peasy lemon squeezy.
You start by heating up a bit of oil in the pot. Typically, we use canola oil, but you can use whatever you prefer. Place the chicken, onion, cilantro and chili peppers into the pot and allow it to cook.
Then, put your Tikka Masala paste into the pot. Mix the paste into the chicken and onion mixture until they are fully coated. Next, pour in your milk or milk substitute. Simmer for a few minutes.
Next, you’ll want to add in the zucchini. Mix the zucchini into the pot, and then add in the balsamic vinegar.
As that is simmering, cut up your large tomatoes and then add them into the curry. Allow all the ingredients to simmer together.
Then, we always serve up our tikka masala over rice, with a healthy dollop of homemade raita yogurt, and a slice or two of warm naan.
How many weight watchers points are in this recipe?
Only 2pts per serving!
Using their app, I found out that this recipe is only 2pts per serving.
Now, that doesn’t include the rice, and it’s with the lower calorie options (like using 2% milk over cream). If you want to serve this with rice, you’ll want to add that into your daily WW tracker.
- 5 Whole On-the-Vine Tomatoes
- 1.5 lb Chicken thighs
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 Zucchini
- 2 Red Thai Chillis
- 1.5 Cups Milk
- 1 Tbsp Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Tikka Masala paste
- 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 small bunch of cilantro
- Cut your chicken breast or thigh into cubes (think bite-size pieces) and season with salt and pepper.
- Put olive oil into a large pot and turn on the heat (medium to high heat) and add in your onion, garlic, and chiles. Depending on the heat you like and the type of paste you use (some are much spicier than others) you’ll want to add in peppers. We typically use chilis, jalapenos or serranos, but you can use anything you have. Chop them finely and then add them into the pot.
- Next, place chicken cubes into the heated pot and brown for a few minutes.
- While that is all cooking together, cut up your zucchini. Again, you’ll want to chop these into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- Then add in 2 heaping tablespoons of the Tikka Masala paste, or any curry paste that you prefer, into the pot. Stir the paste around so that your onions and chicken are lightly coated.
- Then, immediately after, add in 1/2 cup of cream or milk and stir again
- Now, add in your zucchini and stir into the curry mixture.
- Next, you’ll want to add in the balsamic vinegar. Add the 1/2 cup into the curry and then mix it in.
- Allow this all to simmer together while you chop up your tomatoes. Once they are chopped into cubes, add them into the curry. Again, let simmer.
- Add in the remaining amount of milk/cream.
- Allow the curry to simmer while you cook the rice.
Cook Some Rice
- While your curry mixture is cooking, put on your rice. We recently purchased some Saffron so we’ve been adding that into our rice lately. But, if you don’t have it – don’t worry!
- After 10 minutes, take your curry off the element. Serve it over rice, with a slice or two of naan, with a dollop of Raita Yogurt overtop, and some cilantro.
I typically only make about 1 cup of rice which we divide up into four meals – two for our dinner, and two for our lunches. While this curry dish actually makes 6-8 servings, I like to make the rice fresh as we go throughout the week and just serve it over top. So, I only make as much rice as we need for that night and for work the next day.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 115mg Sodium: 210mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 4g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 23g