Tofu Tikka Masala
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Tofu Tikka Masala is a flavorful, vegan version of the classic and very popular Indian tikka masala recipe. With aromatic Indian spices, tofu, tomato sauce and coconut milk, it has become one of my favorite easy vegetarian meals to enjoy. It’s creamy, delicious, and the perfect cozy dish to serve during the cold winter season!
This tofu tikka masala recipe is based off of my loaded veggie tikka masala, one of my favorite recipe creations OF ALL TIME! That recipe is one of the most popular recipes on my blog and the one that I’ve made more times than any other recipe. It’s also vegan and loaded with veggies (hence the name!). It’s made with chickpeas as the protein source and is otherwise very similar to this recipe in terms of spices and sauce.
Because I love the veggie tikka masala so much, I wanted to create a dish with the same flavors, but a more classic tikka masala recipe that uses tofu instead of chicken. We definitely have a winner! Since testing and retesting this recipe to get it just right, it’s been a go-to weeknight meal that the whole family loves. Not only is this tofu tikka masala super delicious, it’s so easy and pretty quick to whip up. It also works great to make in advance and serve it though the week for ready-to-go lunches and dinners.
I know there are quite a few vegan tikka masala recipes out there, but this one is over-the-top delicious. Give it a try – I know you’ll agree!
What is Tikka Masala?
Tikka Masala is a popular Indian recipe that is usually made with chunks of chicken or lamb in a flavorful, creamy tomato sauce with a variety of spices. It’s super tasty and one of my favorite Indian dishes!
Making Vegan Tikka Masala
To make a plant-based tikka masala recipe that’s completely vegan, we’re using tofu instead of chicken. We’re also using vegan yogurt and coconut cream instead of regular heavy cream. I think you’ll find this lightened up, vegan version just as delicious as traditional tikka masala and so easy too! I love to serve it over over rice to soak up all the saucy goodness!
The ingredients for this dish are all basic and easy-to-find. The list may seem a bit long, but it’s made up of many classic Indian spices. I highly suggest investing in them because you’ll want to make this dish on repeat! Tikka masala recipes do vary some, but here’s what you’ll need to make my tofu tikka masala:
- Tofu. Protein-rich, low in calories, and budget-friendly; tofu is a great plant-based substitute for chicken in this recipe. A firm or extra firm tofu is best here!
- Onion + garlic. Adds delicious aromatic flavor to the tikka masala recipe.
- Ginger + cilantro. Both add complex flavors to the dish. If you really don’t like cilantro, feel free to leave it out.
- Garam masala. A spice blend that is used in many Indian recipes and is made up of cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, coriander, cumin, and cardamom to name a few. Don’t skip it! You can find it in the spice aisle at most grocery stores and online.
- Other spices. This recipe uses traditional Indian spices that blend together to create the bold, deep, and complex flavor you’d expect from tikka masala sauce.
- Tomato sauce. Use any favorite tomato sauce to make the base of the tikka masala sauce.
- Yogurt + coconut cream. To keep this recipe vegan, use a dairy free yogurt variety. The combination of the yogurt and coconut cream, thicken the sauce and make it deliciously rich and creamy.
- Peas. For added color!
How to Make Tofu Tikka Masala:
Although the ingredient list seems a little long, tofu tikka masala is not a complicated dish to make. Let’s get started:
- First, combine half of the onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro stalks, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Blitz until fully combined, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Next, sauté the tofu over medium heat until it’s lightly browned and crispy on all sides. Meanwhile, you can get your chopped onion and spices cooking in olive oil in a separate skillet.
- Once the onion and spices have cooked down, add in the tomato sauce, yogurt, coconut milk and the blitzed onion and cilantro sauce. After about 5 minutes of cooking, add in the tofu and frozen peas. Stir to combine and let this cook for about 5 minutes or until peas are fully heated through.
- Serve with rice and garnish with a bit more cilantro leaves and yogurt. Enjoy!
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips
- Make-ahead. Tofu tikka masala is the perfect recipe to meal prep for daily lunches or make in advance for dinner. I think it tastes even better the next day!
- Leftovers. Tikka masala stores beautifully! Place any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will keep fresh for about 5 days.
- To reheat. Rewarm in a pot or skillet on the stovetop or pop it in the microwave to reheat.
- Freezing. You can freeze tikka masala in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to Serve With Tofu Tikka Masala
- Rice. The creamy tomato based sauce makes tikka masala perfect for serving over rice. The combination of the sauce and the rice makes this dish very satisfying and I love how the rice soaks up all of that delicious flavor of the sauce. Try my perfect instant pot basmati rice recipe. You could even use cauliflower rice.
- Naan. Naan bread is a flatbread that is commonly served with Indian meals. It’s very similar to pita bread, but a bit more tender. Like rice, it’s also great for soaking up the tasty sauce. You could also serve tikka masala with pita bread.
- Vegetables. I love loading my plate up with veggies on the side to mingle in the delicious tikka masala sauce. Adding extra vegetable goodness is a great way to make this meal nourishing and balanced.
More tofu recipes you’ll love:
As usual, PLEASE let me know if you make this recipe and how you like it! You can come back here and leave a comment and/or tag me on instagram (@foodwithfeeling).
See how to make the Tofu Tikka Masala:Print
Tofu Tikka Masala is a flavorful, vegan version of the classic and very popular Indian recipe. With aromatic Indian spices, tofu, tomato sauce and coconut milk, it has become one of my favorite easy vegetarian meals to enjoy. It’s creamy, delicious, and the perfect cozy dish to serve during the cold winter season!
- 2 (14-ounce) blocks of firm or extra firm tofu, pressed* and cubed
- Large yellow onion, divided (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
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of garam masala
- 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 small container of vegan yogurt*
- 7.5 oz can of full fat coconut cream or milk** (about half of an average sized can)
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- Optional for serving: chopped cilantro, extra yogurt, basmati rice cooked
- 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. Set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet, saute the tofu over medium heat until it’s lightly browned and crispy on all sides. This will take roughly 15 minutes. Your tofu will likely not all fit into the pan so you can either do this in batches or in 2 separate skillets. Once done, set aside.
- Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and spices, stir to combine and cook gently for 8 minutes, stirring often.
- Into the skillet, add the tomato sauce, yogurt, coconut milk and the blitzed onion and cilantro sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add in the tofu and frozen peas. Stir to combine and let cook for 5 more minutes or until peas are fully heated through.
- Serve with rice and (optional) a bit more cilantro leaves and yogurt.
Tofu: See my guide on pressing tofu HERE
Tofu blocks all seem to be different sizes ranging from 10-16 ounces. Aim for ~28 ounces but don’t worry if your blocks are a bit smaller or larger. The recipe will still turn out great!
Coconut Milk: I usually use a 15 ounce can and simply sace half of the can for a different recipe or to be used in a smoothie.
Yogurt: make sure that you find a PLAIN yogurt. Plain dairy free yogurt can be hard to find at some stores so if you absolutely can’t find it, you could use the whole can of coconut milk or try some vegan sour cream.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: dinner
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: vegan tikka masala, tofu tikka masala, vegetarian tikka masala
[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”bMfgkRnz” upload-date=”2021-01-09T00:30:29.000Z” name=”Tofu Tikka Masala” description=”Tofu Tikka Masala” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]