This chickpea vegan Tikka Masala is better than take out! Plus, it’s ready in about 20 minutes and made in just one pot. It’s naturally gluten free and perfect over some fresh white rice.
My favorite kind of dinner is the kind that’s reallllly easy to make, makes enough to last a few days, is full of flavor, and comes together in just 20 minutes. This Vegan Tikka Masala is exactly that.
Creamy from coconut milk, spiced to perfection and makes enough to feed your whole family or enough to just feed yourself for a few days!
If you’re not familiar with tikka masala, it’s an Indian dish that usually features chunks of marinated chicken with a creamy yogurt and tomato sauce with lots of traditional Indian spices.
Traditional tikka masala does usually have dairy, but we will be using coconut milk instead of the yogurt or cream to keep it completely dairy free and vegan.
It’s served over rice and usually some cilantro and fresh gluten free naan. It tastes similar to curry, but there’s not actually any curry powder or paste in this recipe, but a few other spices like turmeric, cumin and garam masala.
Roughly dice the onion, mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Add to a large pot or dutch oven with the oil. I used olive oil, but coconut or vegetable oil will also work well.
Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion looks translucent. Add in all of the spices, salt and sugar. Saute an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add in all remaining ingredients aside from the chickpeas and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Use an immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender and process until smooth. Start the blender on the lowest speed and slowly turn it up, keep the lid slightly ajar so heat can escape.
Transfer back to the pot. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the pot.
Stir to combine. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the chickpeas to absorb the flavor. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
It will seem pretty saucy, which is expected with tikka masala, but if you want to thicken it up a bit, stir in 1-2 tbsp of rice or all purpose flour and simmer to let it thicken.
Keep it mind it will also thicken naturally as it sits, so if you’re prepping this ahead of time, I don’t recommend adding any flour.
Serve over steamed rice and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
Can I add tofu?
Yes! You can easily sub one of the cans of chickpeas for half a block of tofu or even some cauliflower if you’d like.
If you choose to add tofu, you’ll want to press it for about 20 minutes, then drizzle it with olive oil and salt and bake it for 25 or so minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
After it bakes, just add it to the final dish and stir to coat it in the sauce, then serve over rice as usual.
Frequently asked questions
Does it keep? This vegan Tikka Masala stores really well in the fridge! Just let it cool completely, then transfer to an air tight container. It should keep for up to 5 days. I like to reheat it on the stove with a splash of oil, but the microwave also works.
Is it spicy? As written, this recipe has some spice, but I would not say it is very spicy. To increase the spice, just add more red pepper flakes or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Can I freeze it? This recipe can be frozen for up to 2 months. The texture will change slightly after thawing, but it will still be delicious! Let cool, freeze in a freezer safe container and let thaw in the fridge before reheating.
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Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala
by: claire cary
- 3, 15 ounce cans chickpeas
- 2, 15 ounce cans diced or chopped tomatoes
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large white or yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger can sub for 1 tsp ground, but I suggest fresh if you can!
- 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- 3 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes more if you like spice, or omit for less spice
- Optional: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or more to taste
- Roughly dice the onion, mince the garlic and grate the ginger.
- Add to a large pot or dutch oven with the oil.
- Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion looks translucent.
- Add in all of the spices, salt and sugar. Saute an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add in all remaining ingredients aside from the chickpeas.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender and process until smooth. Start the blender on the lowest speed and slowly turn it up, keep the lid slightly ajar so heat can escape.
- Transfer back to the pot. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the pot.
- Stir to combine. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the chickpeas to absorb the flavor. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- It will seem pretty saucy, which is expected with tikka masala, but if you want to thicken it up a bit, stir in 1-2 tbsp of rice or all purpose flour and simmer to let it thicken. Keep it mind it will also thicken naturally as it sits, so if you're prepping this ahead of time, I don't recommend adding any flour.
- Serve over steamed rice and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.
I was so impressed with this recipe. Very easy to make and super delicious. It’ll be a staple in my house. My 10 year old son even loved it.
Claire Cary says
Perfect! Love a kid approved recipe 🙂
This tiki masala by @eatwithclarity is incredible! I’ve eaten it three days in a row of that says anything. It has a depth of flavor that most dishes have after cooking on the stove for hours. This dish pulls together in a snap and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry. You have to make it…go now!
Claire Cary says
Thank you for the kind review, Candice! So happy you enjoyed it.
Yummm! This is an easy, quick, and scrumptious Tika Masala! I used 2 cans of chickpeas instead of 3 and added a bucket of chopped, fresh spinach. I could eat it everyday.
Claire Cary says
Perfect! Thanks Sarah!