Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala | The Perfect Indian Dish for Your Whole30

Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala | The Perfect Indian Dish for Your Whole30

I love Chicken Tikka Masala and so does the entire family! So, how about some Indian food today? 

Chicken Tikka Masala is the Indian dish for people who say they don’t like Indian food (but have probably never had any).  If you do not trust yourself and have been wanting to try your local Indian restaurant, but do not know what to order, you can go there and order this (obviously it will not be Whole 30, Paleo, blah, blah, blah) – it will be a winner.  If you are in for a restaurant experience then you might as well get it over rice and don’t forget Naan.  Garlic butter naan…little pieces of chewy grilled carb heaven. 

I believe I may have gotten off track.

If, however, you are looking for a healthy way to spice things up in the kitchen or revisit an awesome dish, here is our first stop. This Chicken Tikka Masala is full of nutrition and great for a healthy diet looking to punch up the flavor experience. Serve it over cauliflower rice instead of the usual to make it Whole30 compliant.

It is not the fastest recipe but a lot of that is because of measuring out spices. So, if you meal plan just mix up your spice blend in advance and that will save you some time in the kitchen when it is time to cook. Likewise, the onions, garlic, and ginger can be chopped, diced, and minced in advance. If you are really short on time just sub them for powdered versions. We are not food snobs, we are practical and busy too!

This is also an excellent opportunity to cook some extra chicken breasts for lunches and other meals!  Just sayin’… it is as easy to cook four chicken breasts as it is to cook eight.

Alright, let’s get in the kitchen and make a meal!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Course: DinnerCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Total time



Chicken Tikka Masala is the Indian dish for people who say they don’t like Indian food (but have probably never had any). It is a great intro to the cuisine and a total people pleaser!


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • 1 ½ c. full fat coconut milk, divided

  • 1 or 2—14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

  • 1 small to medium white onion, diced

  • ½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ tsp. coriander

  • ½ tsp. cumin

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • White Rice or Cauliflower Rice

  • Tikka Masala Seasoning Mix:
  • 1 tsp. coriander

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 tsp. cardamom

  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds or substitute with ½ tsp. caraway or ½ tsp. anise

  • ¼ tsp. cayenne

  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves

  • Supplies
  • Saucepan - heavy-bottomed, high sides

  • Immersion Blender OR Standing Blender


  • Preheat the broiler.
  • If serving with grain rice, begin making it now according to the package instructions. When finished cooking, set aside until ready to serve.
  • Mix Tikka Masala seasonings together and set aside.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander. Coat each side with a ½ cup of coconut milk.
  • Place under the broiler, on a metal rack, and cook for 10 minutes per side, or until the edges begin to slightly blacken.  Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is cool enough to handle.  Then cut into 1-inch pieces.  Set aside.
  • While the chicken cooks: place a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat - the pan should be large enough not to crowd the onions while they brown.  Heat the olive oil then add the onion and sauté until they begin to brown and become translucent.  You may cook these to taste but be careful not to let them burn.  Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute or until they become fragrant.
  • Add the Tikka Masala seasoning mix and stir to incorporate, cook for 1 more minute.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes. Adjust seasonings as needed.  Bring the content to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender or transfer your sauce to a standing blender and process until you achieve the desired consistency.  This is a good opportunity to taste it and adjust the spices to your liking.  Also, if you like more tomato you can easily add up to another full can of diced tomatoes.
  • Once your sauce is the consistency of your dreams, return to the pan (if necessary) stir in the pieces of chicken, a cup of coconut milk, and cilantro (reserve a few pinches for garnish).  Let simmer for 5 more minutes or until heated through.
  • If you are serving with cauliflower rice heat it through now.
  • Serve hot.  Eat by as a stand-alone meal or over (cauliflower) rice. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe is perfect for adding flavor to your Whole30 or just a nutritious, healthful alternative to the heavy original version.

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