Loaded Veggie Tikka Masala

tikka masala on a marble background

Oh hey, welcome to one of my favorite recipe creations OF ALL TIME! Sometimes (a lot of the time) I exaggerate, but today is not one of those days :)

I didn’t grow up eating a lot of Indian food (and for the record, I’m totally not claiming this recipe to be an authentic Indian recipes) but I have definitely made up for that over the past few years. For a small southern city, Nashville holds its own when it comes to Indian restaurants and I most certainly have my favorites. My GO TO meal…..tikka masala! When I get to the point that I’ve eaten the same dish at the same restaurant more than about 5 times, that’s when I decide it’s past time I try the recipe for myself at home. Enter, THIS AMAZING LOADED VEGGIE TIKKA MASALA! (sorry for yelling….I’m just really in love with this recipe).

tikka masala in a skillet

Out of all the recipes on my blog (and there’s something like 300 of them!), this is definitely the recipe that I have tested the longest and the most amount of times. Actually, I first started making tikka masala recipes from cookbooks that I have and from some of my favorite bloggers. I took the elements that I loved most from each of those recipes and made it into my own veggie packed recipe.

The factors that I was most looking for: 1) LOTS of veggies. It took me a while to get the veggie proportions correct but I found a delicious happy medium. 2) The sauce. The first few times I tested my own recipe, there just wasn’t enough sauce. Or, I think there was just way too many veggies. Either way, I personally like a really saucy tikka masala. So, that’s what my recipe is. 3) I really wanted to create a fully plant based recipe. This was pretty easy actually. I simply subbed the yogurt for coconut yogurt and the cream for coconut cream. Everything else was already plant based and vegan.

can of coconut cream and a container of coconut yogurt

Many tikka masala recipes start out with a curry paste that gets rubbed all over the meat and left to marinate. Since we’re not marinating anything, we get to skip that part (yay!!).

Instead, we make a simple onion, garlic, and cilantro sauce that adds SO much mind blowing flavor to the dish.

Loaded Veggie Tikka Masala- this vegan tikka masala is easy to make, FULLY vegan, and loaded with delicious vegetables and chickpeas!

Next, we saute the onions with LOTS of spices. I’ve had a lot of fun lately experimenting with different spices and this recipe was no exception.

Loaded Veggie Tikka Masala- this vegan tikka masala is easy to make, FULLY vegan, and loaded with delicious vegetables and chickpeas!

As with most of my recipes, the salt is totally optional.

Once the spices become aromatic and the onions are translucent, the tomatoes, sauce, coconut yogurt, half of the coconut cream AND the blitzed onion and cilantro mixture is added in. Then the cauliflower and carrots go in.

cauliflower and carrots in tikka masala sauce

Once the veggies are tender and *just* about done, the chickpeas and peas are added in. NOW, if adding only half of a can of chickpeas into this dish is super annoying to you then go ahead and add in the whole can. I tried it this way at first and it works just great. I only add in half because it’s just a large dish already. You can also put in slightly less cauliflower or carrots to account for the extra chickpeas.

2 bowls of tikka masala and white rice on a marble background

And on that note, don’t feel restricted to these veggies. I felt like peas + cauliflower + carrots + chickpeas was a perfect balance but honestly, a lot of other things would work in this dish! If you try other things, please let me know what and how you liked it!!

Alright, well that’s it for this gloomy Wednesday morning. I seriously can’t tell you how much I love this recipe and I hope that you love it as much as I do!

ps- it makes AMAZING leftovers. Like, it’s maybe even better on day 2 than the first time you eat it. So, I highly recommend making this with the intention of multiple leftover lunches. GAH, I wish I still had some leftover in the fridge now.

tikka masala in a bowl on a marble background

See How to Make the Tikka Masala:


Loaded Veggie Tikka Masala

  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 large servings 1x


  • Large yellow onion (1/2 goes in sauce in blitzed sauce, 1/2 is finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled
  • 10 sprigs of fresh cilantro (plus more for serving)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 400 g of canned plum tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 small container of vegan yogurt**, roughly 5 ounces (I typically use So Delicious or Kite Hill unsweetened yogurt)
  • 1 15 oz can of full fat coconut cream or milk**
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • Optional for serving: chopped cilantro, extra yogurt, basmati rice cooked


  1. In a food processor, combine half of the onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro stalks, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Blitz until fully combined about 1 minute. (see photo above) Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and spices, stir to combine and cook gently for 10 minutes.
  3. Into the skillet, add the plum tomatoes (with the liquid from the can), tomato sauce, yogurt, HALF of the can of coconut milk and the blitzed onion and cilantro sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Add in the cauliflower and carrots and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Once the veggies are tender, add in chickpeas, frozen peas and the remaining coconut milk. Stir to combine and let cook for 5 more minutes or until peas are fully heated through.
  6. Serve with rice and (optional) a bit more cilantro leaves and yogurt.
  7. ENJOY!!


**To see photos of the kind of coconut cream and yogurt that I use, see photo above!**

  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: indian, vegetarian dinner, healthy dinner

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60 comments on “Loaded Veggie Tikka Masala”

  1. What a beautiful and tantalizing dish! I love Indian food, but it can be tricky to know which dishes to avoid, since I’m lactose intolerant. I love that you’ve made this tikka masala dairy-free!

    • yes!! Some indian places use hardly any dairy but others do. SO I agree it can definitely be tricky! You don’t even notice the coconut flavor in this recipe at all which I like :)

  2. Are your plum tomatoes canned? Diced? Whole? I can’t tell from the pictures or recipe. Wanna make next week- adding to grocery list now :)

  3. Would just regular yogurt and cream work in place of the coconut?
    Sounds delish, can’t wait to try it!

    • Yes it would! It’s traditionally made with regular yogurt and cream. I’ve tried it before with greek yogurt and with 2% milk and it works great. *ever* so slightly changes the flavor but it’s still SO GOOD!

  4. Looks delicious. Have you ever added potatoes?

    • I have not ever added potatoes but someone else asked me that once! Definietly plan to try it soon! If you do, please let me know how you like it!!


  5. This looks like the recipe closest to the one my Indian neighbor taught me to make (no measurements, of course, just “oh, some of this and lots of that”). Some of our favorite veggies she’d put in were cauliflower, carrots, potatoes (diced small), bell peppers, and mushrooms. Wow, the mushrooms are like the best part because they just soak up all that flavor!! Soooo good. She also put cashews in, and that’s amazing, too. But never peas. Haha.

    • Thanks for this!! I make this recipe all the time and make it a bit different each time. DEFINITELY going to try it soon with mushrooms…LOVE that recommendation! I’ve also been meaning to try it with potatoes. YUM!

  6. This was SO GOOD! Just as good as it looks in the photos. My whole family (including the 6 and 4 year old) licked their bowls clean. I’m a cilantro hating person so I left that out and rather then food processing I used an immersion blender after the tomatoes went in. I also skipped the chickpeas and added firm tofu for protein instead. Thanks! Will definitely make again!

  7. Hello: is this recipe good to freeze?
    Thank you

  8. Are the canned plum tomatoes whole tomatoes? Would canned crushed plum tomatoes also work?

  9. Also, where I live you can only get 28 oz (800 g) plum tomatoes (either whole or crushed). Would the recipe still work if I used 800 g plum tomatoes and skipped the tomato sauce? Thanks a lot! Looks delicious.

    • SO sorry for the delayed response! YES you could just use the whole tin of plum tomatoes and omit the tomato sauce. I think I’ve done something similar to this once 9 I make this dish A LOT!). You might consider adding in a little extra water if the sauce is thicker than you’d like

  10. I made this and it was amazing! My only changes were I left out the olive oil and used ginger powder instead of fresh.

    • YAY! So glad that you liked it! It is by far my favorite recipe on the blog and always happy to see other people enjoying it as well :D

  11. Wow. It looks delicious. I love veggie tikka masala very much . So, I will try to make it very soon. Your recipe will help me. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  12. Do you think that this recipe would work without the yogurt? Our grocery stores don’t have an unsweetened vegan yogurt

    • I definitely think it’ll still work okay! It’s great with the yogurt as it adds a nice creamy element but you’ll still get that from the coconut milk. I like a lot of sauce with mine so you might want to add in a little extra milk (almond milk or whatever you have).

  13. Hi! Thanks for sharing. Would this be good with Jasmine rice?

  14. Nice recipe. I like the fact that it has plenty of sauce and does not need scraping and stirring constantly while cooking. Here are a few adjustments I made that I liked. Many Indian recipes will have you sautee the spices in oil before adding other ingredients. So I used whole cumin seeds and sauteed them before adding the onions and other spices. Ghee or coconut oil are better suited in flavor for indian cooking than olive oil, and one is vegan. Also, for a little more kick I added one fresh cayenne pepper and one fresh jalapeno pepper to the blitzed ingredients. That provides a spicy but tolerable level of such. Thanks!

  15. This was delicious! It tastes just like the recipe from my favorite Indian restaurant. Thank you so much! You made my day!

  16. I’ve been looking for vegetarian recipes as my husband and I are trying to cut down on meat. This recipe is incredibly tasty!! Thank you! I will definitely be making this often :)

  17. Great recipe! I just made it for today’s lunch. I put half portion of tomatoes (chopped, canned) and only used coconut milk. The only thing that in my opinion was missing was chili pepper :)

  18. I tried the recipe and it comes out great, although I did take some extra time on Step 2 based on watching my Indian foodie friend cooking similar dish. One comment however: the picture of the final dish is shows thick sliced carrots but the recipe calls for finely chopped one.  Different dish?

  19. It was really good. I used one small tomato because I didn’t have the diced in a can. I used plain Greek yogurt and coconut milk. It took longer than it said to cook the cauliflower, so I cooked it longer and I used black beans instead of garbanzo. I added some mushrooms as well.

    • So glad that you liked it and thanks for coming back to let me know! I always love hearing about the different ways that people modify my recipes. Love the idea of adding mushrooms!

  20. Wow.  This looks amazing. Thank you. I’m having this tomorrow night.  😀😀😀😀

  21. I made this twice back to back! It’s super delicious, easy to make and so much fun to eat. I added mushrooms, sweet bell peppers, kale and sweet potato and left out the chickpeas.
    This is will be added to my family’s weekly meals for now on. Thank you!

  22. Easy great tasting vegan curry

  23. The flavor was great, and I really think the vegetables tasted better than the chicken I am use to having in Tikka masala. (Not vegetarian myself but my brother is so I cook vegetarian meals frequently. I often discover that the vegetarian versions of meals are as good or better, just different.) Next time I am going to increase the amount of spices however, it was a little tame with these proportions.  

  24. This was delicious. Definitely restaurant quality. I was not looking specifically for a vegetarian recipe as I had a pound of boneless chicken breasts to use, but I always like the idea of adding vegetables into my recipes. I sautéed the chicken (in 1” cubes) first, removed it from the pan and then followed your directions exactly. I added the chicken back in when I put the veggies into the sauce. Used spinach, yellow pepper and carrots for veggies (add fresh spinach when adding the garbanzo beans at the end). Will make again for sure. Note to all, although pictures show carrots in slices, they took forever to soften. Suggest cutting them about half the size as shown in Brita’s photoshop you will be simmering for quite a while.

  25. This was so wonderful! I am happy to have a good vegan Tikka Masala recipe! Thank you.

  26. This is so good!!! I made this for my vegan in-laws and they loved it. Even the meat eaters loved it. So much flavor and delicious and creamy. Thank you! 

  27. Wonderful recipe! Added potatoes, mushrooms, Heavy on the garlic & cilantro & small chopped a large jalapeño.  Also omitted the garbanzos but served over basmati with cubed and browned tofu on the side.  My love said yummy about 10 times eating last night and made me promise that we could make it again soon!  It’s going in my favorite recipe folder!  It was simpler and faster than I anticipated it to come together!  Thanks for the recipe!

    • omg yay! So glad that you liked it and thanks for coming back to tell me the alterations that you made. I love hearing those! I’ve actually never tried this with tofu but really want to!

  28. The recipe itself is just fine. But can you please remove half of the ads, there are too many and makes this recipe hard to read.

  29. The best tikka masala we’ve had! Better than in some restaurants. I came across to this recipe some time ago and honestly I was put away buy the “blending” part, for some reason it seemed so complicated but in fact blending onion, garlic, ginger and coriander made the preparation easier and faster!
    For the vegetables I used cauliflower, carrots and peas – as suggested but also threw in some potatoes, bell peppers and mushrooms (a sort of “clean your fridge” recipe ;-) ).
    I didn’t add slat while cooking but I suppose that potatoes require some salt so we added some salt directly to the bowl. 
    The final effect: AMAZING, the sauce is addictive and the best part: we are still having the leftovers!!!!
    The only thing missing was naan bread to wipe up the bowl. 

    • YES! Isn’t it SO good! We had this Saturday night for dinner. Usually when I make it, I do the same thing- throw in a bunch of random stuff leftover in the fridge. And the leftovers are even better!! Thanks for coming back to comment!

  30. I never leave reviews, but this one deserves it. It was soooo delicious and my boyfriend agrees! It’s only my boyfriend and I, but I made the whole batch and froze the rest for nights where I don’t want to cook. I left out the peas, subbed 8 oz pack of mushrooms, and added a small zucchini I had sitting in the fridge. I’m going to add some bell pepper to it next time. I also added about 1/4 tsp of cayenne because it is quite sweet without it. So happy I came across this recipe, it is soooo good. This landed in my recipe rotation. Thank you!

  31. Looks amazing! But with just two of us in the house would this freeze well?

  32. This is delicious!  Even our friends’ picky son had a spoonful more out of the pan before he left!  The only thing I will do different next time is to grate the carrots.  They took about double the time allotted to get tender.

  33. Looks complicated, but actually very easy. Flavors are wonderful, and it tastes like what we get in our local Indian restaurant!! Excellent recipe, I will make this again. Note that it is a huge recipe, so have some clean mason jars on hand for Lunchbox treats!!

  34. I make Chicken Tikka masala all the time and have never made veggie version. This certainly looks very appealing especially with the coconut flavor twist. Can’t wait to try it! Also, would you be kind enough to share your countertop name? We are in the process of choosing and love the marble look yours have😊 thanks!

    • I hope you like it if you give it a try! These countertops are actually a marble slab that I got from Williams Sonoma so it’s not something you can buy for a whole countertop. Sorry about that :)

  35. Very delicious. Everybody loved it especially my husband. Thanks Brita😊

  36. So delicious. I’m newer to vegan and this recipe is such a crowd-pleaser. Everyone loves it! I’ve made it at least three times and will be cooking it for my omnivore family tonight.

  37. What else can you use instead of chickpeas and no tofu either? Thanks!