Vegan Tikka Masala Recipe

If you've ever tried tikka masala, then odds are that there was chicken in it. Chicken tikka masala is one of the most popular types of curry out there, and with its abundance of warm, savory flavors and the perfect hint of spice, it's easy to understand the popularity. If there's one downfall to chicken tikka masala, it's that vegetarians and vegans aren't able to enjoy it — until now, that is! Recipe developer Catherine Brookes has crafted a vegan tikka masala recipe, and it's so good that you won't miss the chicken one bit. 

"I love how a meatless curry can still be totally delicious, with plenty of flavor and texture," Brookes says. And don't worry — there's still plenty of protein in this dish thanks to the addition of tofu. Brookes describes the flavor of this curry as "spicy, sweet, and sour," and notes that the garlic and ginger help amp up the flavor as well. Trust us when we say that the combination of tomato sauce, Indian spices, and tofu will make this one of the most satisfying dishes you could ask for. Enough talking, let's get into this vegan recipe!

Gather the ingredients for vegan tikka masala

To make this vegan meal, you'll need olive oil, a block of firm tofu, cornstarch, a white onion, garlic, grated ginger, a can of chopped tomatoes, and a can of coconut milk. As for spices, you'll need garam masala, cumin, turmeric, chili powder mix, and salt and pepper, to taste. 

Cook the tofu until it's crispy

Make sure that your tofu has been pressed and that there is no excess moisture before you work with it. "If you have a tofu press, you can use it to squeeze the moisture out of the tofu," Brookes suggests. "This, however, isn't essential — I usually just squeeze it in [a] kitchen towel." Once the tofu is done pressing, cut it into cubes.

Now, put the tofu cubes in a bowl along with the cornstarch, and toss the tofu to coat. Grab a large frying pan and put it on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the tofu cubes and fry. Be sure to turn the cubes so each side has a chance to cook — you'll know they're done when each piece is golden brown, and the process should take 7-10 minutes. Once cooked, remove the tofu from the pan and set aside. 

Begin building the aromatic curry

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the diced white onion, allowing it to cook until softened. Be sure to stir frequently. Next, add the crushed garlic and grated ginger, cooking for another minute, stirring constantly. Finally, add in your blend of spices, stir, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Finish making the tikka masala

Now, it's time to add the canned tomatoes and coconut milk. Stir everything together, then bring the mixture to a boil before reducing it to a simmer and letting it cook for 10 minutes. By this point your kitchen should be smelling pretty good, so go ahead and add the tofu back into the pan, and add a little salt and pepper, to taste. Let the curry simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve your vegan tikka masala

Finally, you're ready to serve and savor in this vegan tikka masala. Serve this dish with rice, lime wedges, and some fresh chopped cilantro, if desired. Or, you could pair it with some of Brookes' suggestions: "It would go well with poppadoms and chutneys, naan bread, or other Indian side dishes such as bombay aloo."

As for leftovers, they'll keep for two days in the fridge, so you could meal prep this dish and enjoy it for lunch during the week. Instead of ordering chicken tikka masala from your favorite Indian restaurant, save some money and make this easy (and healthy!) vegan tikka masala at home. 

Vegan Tikka Masala Recipe
4.9 from 12 ratings
Vegans and vegetarians deserve to enjoy the rich flavors of popular Indian dishes. Now, thanks to this healthy vegan tikka masala recipe, it's possible!
Prep Time
Cook Time
tikka masala with rice
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 10-ounce block of firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder mix
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • cooked rice
  • lime wedges
  1. Sprinkle the tofu with the cornstarch and toss to coat.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the tofu and fry, stirring frequently until it's golden on all sides (about 7-10 minutes). Remove the tofu from the pan and set it aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. Add the onion and fry until softened, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the spices, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the canned tomatoes and coconut milk and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the tofu back into the pan, along with some seasoning, to taste. Stir well and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice, lime wedges, and fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.
Calories per Serving 557
Total Fat 46.2 g
Saturated Fat 27.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 25.7 g
Dietary Fiber 6.6 g
Total Sugars 5.6 g
Sodium 1,005.8 mg
Protein 19.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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