This creamy, flavorful Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala is the perfect way to break out of a chicken dinner rut and add in a ton of spice and flavor!
You guys. I have a new one for you that I'm super excited about. This Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala is so good. Like so good I may have eaten the leftovers for breakfast the next day, kind of good. We were in kind of a chicken rut and I was starting to get bored with our regular go-to's: Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Tacos (we make this probably once a week), Mediterranean Grilled Chicken, and Garlic Honey Chicken Thighs. And then my brother and future sister-in-law were visiting and they told us about an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet that they go to in Minneapolis and I realized my life had been devoid of delicious Indian flavors for way too long. Enter this Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala!
This dish has soooo much flavor!
- Chicken - We prefer breast meat for this recipe but you could also use boneless skinless thighs.
- Whole Yogurt - Plain, because of course you don't want any other flavor imparted in your dish. BTW, did you know you can make your own?!
- Crushed tomatoes - These are the best because it's a mixture of tomatoes, sauce, and paste.
- Garlic and Ginger - Fresh is what we prefer for this recipe, but you can also of course use ground and just add it to your spice pack. See recipe notes for conversion.
- Heavy Whipping Cream - This heavy cream is what adds the richest flavor, but of course, you could also use half and half or whole milk.
- Spice Mixture: turmeric, cayenne, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, gram masala
- Cilantro - To finish with, but if cilantro is not your thing, no problem, just omit it!
- Olive oil - To toast your spices and cook your chicken.
The key to this recipe is allowing the chicken to marinate with the yogurt, salt, and half of the spices for at least 20 minutes. The yogurt will tenderize the chicken while the spices start doing their thing.
After it has marinated then it's just a matter of heating butter in a large saucepan, add the spices, garlic, and ginger giving them just a quick cook until your kitchen smells incredible. Then add the tomatoes, and cook until it thickens.
In a separate pan, you'll cook your chicken, pulling the chicken out of the yogurt marinade. Don't just dump the whole bowl in the pan, you don't want all of the yogurt, just whatever's stuck on your chicken.
Add that cream and cilantro to your sauce, let it cook another few minutes until it's nice and creamy and then stir in your chicken!
And you're done!
Serve it on top of some white rice or with naan and with a crisp, dry white wine and the chicken rut be gone!
Seriously. SO flavorful with just the right amount of kick and spice! If you like a milder flavor- add just a touch more heavy cream, it'll cut that spice down a little bit. M loved it just the way it was!
Enjoy, friends! As always, if you make any of these recipes, be sure to let me know on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest; I love hearing from you!
Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala
- 3 chicken breasts about 2 lbs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 cup whole yogurt
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoon gram masala
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped + some for garnish
- Prep your spices and tomatoes. Mix all of the spices (except salt) in a small bowl and set aside. Open the can of tomatoes and set aside.
- Cut chicken into 2 inch chunks and season with salt. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the yogurt with half of the spice mixture. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and let marinate for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Toast your spices by adding1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large sauce pan and add the rest of the spice mix stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add ginger, and garlic and stir for another 30 seconds and then immediately add the tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir often and let thicken, 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken, shaking off excess marinade. Cook the chicken until it is fully cooked through at least 165 degrees, for about 7- 10 minutes.
- Add the cream and chopped cilantro to the tomato sauce and let simmer until thickened. About another 5 minutes.
- Add chicken to saucepan with sauce and stir to coat and mix well.
- Serve over rice or with naan and garnish with more fresh cilantro.
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