Chicken Tikka Masala Bake is the easiest recipe ever! Simply prepare the sauce, pour over chicken thighs, and bake in the oven for Tikka Masala in 1 hour!
Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most popular Indian Recipes both on this site and in Indian restaurants all over the world. This easy version is perfect for busy weeknights whenever a craving hits!
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA BAKE
This recipe is one of the easiest ways to make Chicken Tikka Masala ever! No marinating chicken, no fancy spices, and only an hour of your time are needed to make this tasty Indian dish. A simple flavorful sauce poured over chicken then baked for an easy main dish finished hands off while you prepare your favorite sides.
Baked Chicken Tikka Masala is made with bone in, skin on chicken thighs instead of the traditional boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The dark meat of chicken thighs plus the skin trap moisture, so you don’t have to worry about it drying out with the longer baking time. This also means you can skip the yogurt spiced marinade and still get juicy chicken!
This Chicken Tikka Masala Bake has all the rich flavors that you love in traditional Tikka Masala, but without any special purchases. Instead of garam masala spice blend, this recipe uses pantry spices you probably have on hand like paprika, coriander, and turmeric. If you are expanding your spice cabinet, you should definitely look into getting some garam masala, it adds depth and warmth to any curry, bean, or soup dish.
Tikka Masala is usually served with basmati rice, which can be a little trickier for home cooks to master. This dinner is all about ease so serve Chicken Tikka Masala Bake with Steamed White Rice, Roasted Red Potatoes, or Easy Mashed Potatoes. For veggies, serve a side of Sautéed Green Beans. Don’t forget Dinner Rolls or naan for the extra sauce.
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VARIATIONS ON CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA BAKE
- Chicken: Chicken Tikka Masala Bake is best with bone in chicken like chicken legs or chicken quarters. If you use boneless chicken, reduce the cooking time and marinate the chicken to keep it from drying out.
- Marinade: Marinate chicken for up to 24 hours in the same spice blend as the recipe. Double all spices (except ginger) and season chicken with half, reserving the rest for the sauce. Place chicken in a bag with 1 cup greek yogurt and ¼ cup lemon juice. Mix around and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- Coconut Milk: Instead of heavy cream, you can use a can of coconut milk. Add the coconut milk to the sauce after is has baked with the chicken, before serving.
- Veggies: Some traditional curry vegetables you can add to your bake are diced red or gold potatoes, frozen peas, or sliced carrots. Peel and dice the potatoes into ½ inch pieces to cook in the sauce with chicken like a casserole.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
- In a skillet, toast the spices in butter until very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the garlic cloves and ginger, cooking an extra 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
- Add the spice mixture and the remaining ingredients, except the heavy cream, to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cover with lid and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. Stir room temperature heavy cream into the sauce, cover and cook for 30 minutes longer.
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HOW STORE CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA BAKE
- Serve: Chicken Tikka Masala Bake can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it should be refrigerated.
- Store: Place cooled Chicken Tikka Masala Bake in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Cool Chicken Tikka Masala Bake completely before freezing in a sealed container or freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until hot, about 20 minutes.
- 6 chicken thighs , bone in, skin on
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoons paprika
- 3/4 tablespoons ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons ginger , minced
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (14 ounces)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
- 1/2 onion , chopped
- Preheat oven 375 degrees.
- Mix the cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt into a small bowl.
- In a large saucepan on medium high heat, add the butter and the spices, stirring well for 30 seconds until you can smell them well.
- Add in the garlic and ginger and stir an additional 30 seconds.
- Add in the crushed tomatoes and heavy cream, stir and let simmer on a low-medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
- Arrange chicken thighs in a 13x9 casserole dish.
- Stir the chickpeas and onions into the sauce and pour sauce over the chicken.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.