This one-pot Vegan Tikka Masala is a perfectly spiced sauce tomato based curry the entire family will love. Quick and so easy to make, chickpeas and vegetables are simmered in a creamy sauce which is packed full of flavor. It's vegan, gluten free and dairy free too.
Making this Indian Inspired Vegan Tikka Masala from scratch is super simple. It can be prepared in 15 minutes and cooked in less than an hour, making this an ideal mid week dinner dish.
My Vegetable Tikka Masala is packed full of flavor and I show you just how straight-forward it is to cook curry at home.
The spices in this dish can be easily adapted too and you can make it as mild or as spicy as you like.
Indian cuisine is so popular, making your own vegetable curry from scratch can seem a bit daunting at first. But not only does it taste great, this vegan version is also so much healthier than your local restaurant curry sauce.
Why You Should Make This Vegan Tikka Masala
- Packed full of veggies this curry is a health boost in a bowl.
- This is a great simple way to add a meat free meal into your weekly diet.
- Everything is cooked in one pot so you retain all of the flavor, with the added bonus of less dishes.
- Homemade tikka masala means you have total control over ingredients and this dish has far less oil than your local takeaway restaurant. Plus no refined sugar and less salt too.
- This popular Indian dish is great to serve to young children or anyone who loves a curry without too much heat. Alternatively you can spice it up for anyone who likes hotter food.
- For family friendly vegetable based one-pot dishes try my Chickpea & Spinach Curry or my Smoky Eggplant Vegan Chili.
Is Traditional Tikka Masala Vegan?
This quick curry is obviously not super authentic. A traditional Tikka Masala sauce is made with cream and not coconut milk, as I have used here.
However, this is a quick and delicious version which is easy to get on the table and made with vegan ingredients.
For a more authentic meat and dairy based Tikka Masala, try my Curry in a Hurry recipe.
Vegetable Tikka Masala Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
Spices & Aromatics - Although the list of ingredients looks long, this recipe does use familiar spices that most of us will have in our kitchen.
The mix of onion, garlic and fresh ginger forms the flavor base of most curries but when blended with the spices, these flavors work in perfect harmony.
If there is a spice you really don't like, leave it out. Likewise, if you don't like too much heat, use a mild curry powder and cut down on the chili powder. Or leave it out altogether.
Vegetables - I add butternut squash and bell peppers to the onions in this curry. For ease and speed I tend to use ready peeled and chopped squash. This recipe is highly adaptable and you can swap in the veggies that you and your family like to eat.
Chickpeas- For convenience I have used drained canned chickpeas here (or garbanzo beans in the USA). If you prefer it's fine to soak and cook dried chickpeas.
Coconut Milk - I use full-fat coconut milk as it adds great flavor and texture. You can substitute with light Coconut Milk, but it will result in a thinner curry sauce.
How to Make Vegan Tikka Masala
Find the full printable recipe below.
In a large pan, soften the onion in coconut oil then add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
Add the spices and tomato paste then cook for a further minute or two until the spices are fragrant.
Add the vegetables including the chickpeas and canned tomatoes along with ½ cup vegetable stock then the coconut milk and maple syrup.
Bring everything to a boil then turn the heat down and simmer until all the vegetables have cooked through - around 25 minutes.
Check and adjust the seasoning if needed then serve with rice, naan, chutney, red chilis and fresh chopped herbs.
Can I make Slow Cooker Vegan Tikka Masala?
Yes absolutely. This vegan chickpea curry is easily adapted for the slow cooker.
Start by softening the onion in a pan, then add the spices so they become fragrant. Place into the slow cooker along with the remaining veggies and chickpeas.
Pour over the vegetable stock and give everything a good stir to combine. [Up to Stage 5 in the Recipe Card below.]
Set the slow cooker to low and cook the curry for 5 ½ hours.
Now add the coconut milk and the maple syrup and cook the curry for a further 30 minutes.
Don't be tempted to add the coconut milk any earlier as coconut milk will split when cooked in the slow cooker too long.
Variations of Vegan Tikka Masala
If you don't have chickpeas, any other drained canned white beans work here, like navy beans or cannellini. You could also add lentils.
The veggies in this curry can be adapted to suit what you enjoy eating and happen to have in the fridge. Here are some suggestions of veggies that would work in this curry: cauliflower tikka masala; potato; sweet potato; zucchini; eggplant.
To get my greens in, I often serve this with spinach, which gets partially cooked if you stir it in with the curry sauce on your plate. You could also substitute spinach with kale or chard.
Tips For Making Vegetable Curry
- This dish freezes well, so is great for batch cooking. I like to make double the quantity, eat half and freeze the other half for a quick meal at a later date.
- Adding one teaspoon of chili powder will give you a mild flavored curry. However, you can adapt the chili heat up or down depending on your taste.
- A great way to 'refresh' reheated or frozen curry is to add fresh herbs. So remember to add some fresh cilantro to the curry when you re-heat it.
- If you're in a real hurry it's fine to use ready chopped onion and ready minced garlic and ginger (either fresh or frozen) to cut down even more on prep time.
How To Serve Vegan Tikka Masala
This vegetable and chickpea tikka masala is delicious served with some fluffy naan bread and some steamed jasmine rice. Or how about trying my Coconut Rice with Lime.
If you're trying to keep it lighter and lower carb, this curry is honestly delicious served on its own in a bowl like a soup (use a generous helping of the sauce.) Or serve alongside cauliflower rice.
This is also great reheated the next day as a baked potato or sweet potato topping.
How To Reheat Vegetable Curry
Vegan tikka masala is a great make ahead dish. Prepare it the day before and leave to cool before storing in the fridge.
In fact curry always tastes better the second day as the flavors intensify when left to sit overnight. When ready to eat, just put the curry back on the stove and warm up gently until piping hot.
How to Freeze Curry
As with most curries, this homemade curry can be easily frozen. Cook the curry then allow it to cool completely before placing in an airtight container with a tight fitting lid.
It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost thoroughly before heating gently until hot all the way through.
Pin This Vegan Tikka Masala Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
I'd love to know what you think about this recipe! I'd be so grateful if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a star rating and comment.
More Easy Dinner Recipe Ideas
Vegan Tikka Masala
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil - or other vegetable oil of choice
- 1 large Onion - diced
- 3 cloves Garlic - minced
- 2 inch Fresh Ginger - minced
- 2 tbsp Curry Powder
- 2 tbsp Tomato Purée
- 1½ tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Chili Powder - optional
- 1 Red Bell Pepper - diced
- 4 cups Butternut Squash - 1lb - cut into 1 inch pieces (I use ready peel and chopped for convenience)
- 15 oz Chickpeas - cooked or canned
- 1 tsp Maple Syrup - or sugar - optional
- 15 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes - drained
- 1 cup Vegetable Stock
- 14 oz Coconut Milk
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Optional to Serve
- Basmati Rice
- Naan - Gluten free is required
- Mango Chutney
- Fresh Cilantro (Coriander)
- Quick Pickled Red Jalapeño Peppers - or sliced fresh red chilis
- Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy bottomed pan (use one with a lid).
- Sauté the diced onion on a medium low heat until soft - around 10 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir, cooking for a further minute.
- Add the curry powder, tomato paste, turmeric and chili powder (if using) and stir. Cook for another minute, until the spices are fragrant.
- Add the diced red bell pepper, butternut squash cubes, drained chickpeas, canned tomatoes and ½ cup vegetable stock (add more if needed later depending on the thickness of the sauce.)
- Add the can of coconut milk and maple syrup (if using), stirring everything well to incorporate.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally (and adding the other half cup of stock if necessary) until the curry is starting to thicken slightly and the squash is tender, around 25 minutes.
- Taste and season with sea salt and pepper if required.
- Serve with cooked basmati rice, naan, mango chutney and fresh chopped cilantro. Add quick pickled red jalapeño peppers or sliced fresh red chilis for some extra heat if you choose.
This post was shared with the #cookblogshare community, which this week was kindly hosted by Kate at Gluten Free Alchemist.