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A bowl of chicken tikka masala with rice and naan

Chicken Tikka Masala

This simple stove top Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is rich and creamy with huge flavor. The tender marinated bits of chicken are charred, juicy, and delicious.

Blue: 12   Green: 12   Purple: 12   Freestyle: 8
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 344 kcal


For the Chicken and Marinade

  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, cut into bite size cubes
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

For the Chicken and Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato puree/tomato sauce
  • cups water
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish


For the Chicken and Marinade

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine chicken pieces with yogurt, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, sweet paprika, coriander, salt, chili powder, and ground ginger; mix until well combined.

  2. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge.

For the Chicken and Sauce

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Add half of the marinated chicken pieces to the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes per side; remove from skillet and continue to cook the remaining chicken. Add more oil, if needed.

  3. Remove chicken pieces from skillet; set aside and keep covered.

  4. Wipe down the skillet and set it over medium-high heat.

  5. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet; when butter is melted, stir in the onions, salt, and ginger.

  6. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until onions are soft.

  7. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds.

  8. Stir in sweet paprika, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, ground ginger, and ¼ teaspoon salt; continue to cook for 20 seconds or until fragrant.

  9. Stir in tomato sauce, then water.

  10. Bring mixture to a simmer; cover and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  11. Remove cover.

  12. This part is optional, but recommended: using a hand blender, blend the sauce until creamy. If you don’t have a hand blender, use a normal blender, but blend the sauce in several batches. SKIP THIS PART IF you don’t have a blender.

  13. Keeping the sauce set over medium heat, whisk heavy cream into the prepared sauce; whisk continually until thoroughly combined.

  14. Whisk in the sugar and butter. Stir until butter is melted.

  15. Add chicken back to the skillet; simmer for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened and bubbling.

  16. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Recipe Notes


Nutrition Facts
Chicken Tikka Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 344 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 1472mg61%
Potassium 830mg24%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 1557IU31%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.