This Vegan Tikka Masala has the right hint of spice in a creamy tomato sauce and chock full of protein and nutrients. Plus, you can get it on the dinner table in about 30 minutes – what’s not to love?
This tikka masala has all the flavors you could want in a satisfying meal. It’s got spice, sweetness, tang, and creaminess all wrapped up in one meal. Plus, it’s so filling thanks to being chock full of fiber and protein. Leftovers get even better by allowing the flavors to marry together longer.
You can get the meal together in just about 30 minutes, and 20-25 of those minutes are hands-off. So really getting to eat this meal from about 5-10 minutes of work is like being on top of the world.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Light-colored oil: I use a light tasting olive oil, but you could use avocado oil to sauté the vegetables.
- Onions and garlic: These are the foundation flavors of so many recipes, and this recipe is no different.
- Ginger: Ginger gives the dish a nice sweet spice flavor to it. I prefer fresh, but you could use ground ginger. If you use ground ginger, decrease the amount to 1 tsp. instead of 1 tbsp.
- Tomato Paste: Tomato paste is known for giving a rich umami flavor, especially when you sauté it a little before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Garam masala: Garam masala is an Indian spice blend that actually is different from region-to-region in India. Mine contained coriander, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon. I used the McCormick brand.
- Cumin: Cumin adds a robustly smoky flavor to the tikka masala.
- Turmeric: This yellow, anti-inflammatory spice adds a bittersweet taste to the dish.
- Tomato sauce: I used a large can of the sauce, but if you want a little more texture, you could use diced tomatoes with their juices.
- Coconut milk: Coconut milk is responsible for the creamy texture and naturally adds a bit of sweetness.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas are chock full of fiber and protein, which makes this dish so filling and satisfying.
- Cilantro: The cilantro adds a burst of freshness.
- Cooked basmati rice: You can use either white or brown, whichever your preference. Brown will add a little extra fiber compared to the white.
How to Make Vegan Tikka Masala
Like I mentioned above, the work of this recipe is contained in a brief 5 minutes. The rest is to set it and forget it. For the actual “work” part, you’ll need to saute the onion for a few minutes and then add the ginger, tomato paste, and the spices. You’ll let that saute for just minute or two. The spices should be really fragrant, and the tomato paste will have changed to a darker color.
You’ll add in the canned ingredients next: the tomato sauce, coconut milk, and chickpeas. You’ll let it all simmer for about 25 minutes. Serve it over a big pile of rice and fresh cilantro on top. Done and done.
How to Serve
I consider myself an omnivore – meaning I eat just about everything. I do enjoy going meatless at least 1-2 times per week. This meal makes a great addition to a Meatless Monday and for meal prep for the week. Like I mentioned above, I feel this Vegan Tikka Masala gets better for leftovers. If you wanted to bulk up the recipe with more nutrients and fiber, you could easily add in some broccoli, cauliflower, or peppers to go along with the rice.Print
Vegan Tikka Masala with Chickpeas
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- Category: Indian
- Cuisine: Indian
- 1 tbsp. light-colored oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- 1 ½ tsp. cumin
- 1 ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cans (15.5 oz. each) of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- Cooked basmati rice, for serving
- Cook basmati rice according to package directions.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add in garlic, ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, cumin, and turmeric and sauté for additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add in tomato sauce, coconut milk, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Serve with cilantro on top and with steamed basmati rice.
Keywords: Indian, tikka masala