Chicken Tikka Masala

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Chicken Tikka Masala recipe

This Indian favorite calls for a traditional mix of spices, but you can substitute 3 tbsp garam masala (a ready-made spice mixture) for them. If you have time, sauté the onion, garlic and spices in 2 tbsp coconut oil before combining them with all the other ingredients in the freezer bag – it will make the flavors deeper and more complex. Serve with brown basmati rice.

Got Coconut Milk?

Don’t fear the fat content of this tikka masala as it’s mainly comprised of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), the healthy fatty acids found in coconut milk. Studies have shown that MCTs actually help your body burn fat and keep you feeling satisfied. Coconut milk also contains electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium, which play a role in muscle tissue repair during post-workout recovery.

  • Duration
  • Prep Time
  • 4 to 6Servings


  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, cumin, coriander and cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp each ground cloves and nutmeg
  • 1 14-oz BPA-free can puréed tomatoes (aka passata)
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1–2 13.5-oz BPA-free cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt, optional


1. In a large bowl, stir together onion, jalapeño, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg. Stir in tomatoes and pour into a large zip-top freezer bag or freezer-safe glass container. Add chicken; seal and shake to mix well. Open bag, press out as much air as possible, seal and freeze for up to 2 months.

2. To cook tikka masala, remove bag from freezer and let stand in the refrigerator for 24 hours, until fully thawed. Transfer to a slow cooker and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 8 hours.

3. About 10 minutes before cook time is done, stir enough coconut milk into slow cooker to thin sauce to desired consistency. Cover and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Serve over brown basmati rice, and top with with cilantro and yogurt (if using).

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 319
  • Carbohydrate Content: 14 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 107 mg
  • Fat Content: 19 g
  • Fiber Content: 4 g
  • Protein Content: 26 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 13 g
  • Sodium Content: 622 mg
  • Sugar Content: 5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content: 2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 1 g
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