5 from 30 votes

Easy 1-Pot Tikka Masala

Incredibly rich, flavorful, easy-to-make 1-pot tikka masala with chicken and chickpeas! BIG flavor, perfectly spiced, vegan optional!
Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 6 (Servings)
Category: Entree
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days



  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil (or sub ghee if not vegan)
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt (DIVIDED // plus more to taste)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (6 cloves yield ~3 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeds and stems removed, halved then sliced lengthwise
  • 1 ½ Tbsp minced green chili, stems and seeds removed (use serrano or jalapeño)
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed (organic, pasture-raised when possible // if omitting chicken, double quantity of chickpeas)
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flake (omit for less heat)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes (if unsalted, you’ll add more salt to the dish) BLEND ONE CAN FOR SMOOTHER TEXTURE
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, slightly drained (if omitting chicken, double quantity of chickpeas)
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala* (see notes for DIY blend)
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (sub light coconut milk for less fat)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh jalapeño (omit for less heat)


  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, cumin, and one-third of the salt (1/3 tsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Sauté for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Add garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and green chili and stir. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Next add chicken breast (or omit if not adding — you’ll double up on chickpeas later), ground coriander, chili flake, turmeric, and paprika and stir to coat. Add another one-third of the salt (1/3 tsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Next add diced tomatoes (optional: purée one of the cans of tomatoes in a small blender before adding for a creamier sauce). Then add chickpeas, garam masala, coconut sugar, and remaining salt (1/3 tsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).

  5. Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.

  6. Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Then taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste, chili flake (or a pinch of cayenne) for heat, coconut sugar for sweetness, cumin or paprika for smokiness, or garam masala for a more spiced / earthy flavor.

  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro and jalapeños for added heat (optional). Can be enjoyed as a stew, or with white or brown rice or cauliflower rice. Another favorite is serving over roasted sweet potatoes.

  8. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.


*DIY Garam Masala (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size): 2 small dried red chilies, 1 tsp black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper), 1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin), 1 tsp cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom), 1/2 tsp whole cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves), and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Add to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind/mix into a powder. 
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of coconut sugar and without optional ingredients.
*Loosely adapted from our Easy Chana Masala.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 6 servings)