This low-carb chicken tikka masala recipe contains succulent pieces of chicken in a rich, creamy sauce. The sauce is colored to a rich red color with a touch of tomato paste and lots of spices.
While we have skipped the traditional marinating step and we do not roast the chicken in a Tandoori oven, the final product still tastes like the tikka masala you would get at a fine Indian restaurant.
Best of all, since our recipe doesn’t require a lot of steps, it whips up in about half an hour. This dish is low-carb and grain-free!
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Chicken tikka masala is a favorite of my family. Every time we eat out at an Indian restaurant, we make it easy on the waiter, because everyone orders the same thing–chicken tikka masala!
Sometimes I try to be different and order something else. While the other dish is usually good too, I find myself eyeing the chicken tikka masala that the rest of the family ordered. My spoon gravitates toward their copper serving bowls and I find myself scooping some onto my plate. I swear, I’m addicted to the stuff!
The chicken tikka masala at a restaurant may or may not be low carb and/or grain-free. It depends on the specific recipe.
We can be sure that the rice it is served with is definitely not low-carb or grain free! When eating this dish at a restaurant, I usually eat it without the rice.
When I make it at home, I can keep the whole meal low-carb and grain-free by serving the chicken with a riced cauliflower dish. I love it with steamed riced cauliflower with some butter, salt, slivered almonds, cilantro and cumin seeds mixed in. If you prefer, plain riced cauliflower would work as well.
If you’re looking for a low-carb naan recipe, this recipe for keto naan from Sugar Free Londener or this nut-free Keto Naan Bread from Real balanced would be amazing with this recipe.
Low-Carb Chicken Tikka Masala
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 chicken breasts about 1 pound total, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 yellow onion peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
In a small bowl, whisk together the coriander, cumin, paprika, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add chicken pieces. Be sure they do not touch. Cook in batches if necessary.
Brown chicken, then cook until opaque. Remove from pan to a plate. Set aside.
If needed, add more oil to pan. Add onions and cook them until they just start browning on the edges.
Stir in the mixture of spices. Cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly, to toast spices.
Add fresh ginger, tomato paste and cream to the skillet, stirring to mix thoroughly. Add the chicken into the sauce. Increase heat to medium to bring the mixture to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens to desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
The serving size for this dish is fairly small. If you want larger Americanized portions, you will need to account for this.
Fat: 21 grams
Carbs: 4.8 grams
Fiber: 1.4 grams
Protein: 24.8 grams
Net carbs: 3.4 grams
Here‘s another chicken recipe you may want to checkout!
This looks like a simple enough meal to make for my family. Something new to try.
I was pinning this recipe and had to come check It out. New fan here! Looks just delicious – love chicken tiki masala!! Amazing recipe and your pictures are just stunning!
Thank you so much! This blog is our baby and it’s great to get feedback.
You food photography is so beautiful!!!
Lovely pics.. and love the recipe too.. Looks very delicious. Time to try it out. Thanks Harper and Annissa Slusher
This looks delicious!
I can’t wait to make this! Indian food is so hard to make healthily, so I so appreciate your recipe.
Gorgeous pictures and layout. I have made this once and everyone really liked it. Can’t wait to try your version!
This looks so good! I’m drooling reading this blogpost.Thank you for sharing 🙂
It looks delicious!
Thank you, Dave!
Looks so good! Also, beautiful photos 🙂
Chicken tikka is one of my faves too and what you have here looks delicious! Um, can I come over for dinner please?!?!?
Danielle | http://www.FollowMyGut.com <3
I always love chicken Tikka recipes. Just added this to my favorites. I just couldn’t wait to try this one.
Me too! I love this recipe because it’s a fast and easy version but still tastes so good!
This Tikka Masala was incredible and might be one of my favorite low carb meals of all time! The flavor was amazing. I will double this next time for my hungry husband (who loved this dish too) and for leftovers. I’d highly recommend the way Annissa makes her cauliflower rice that’s above in the blog post.
Thanks so much for your feedback!I always make a double recipe with this recipe. It’s everyone’s favorite and disappears really fast. I’ll try to write up the cauliflower rice recipe soon. I also love this recipe with our low-carb tortilla recipe. I brush some on some garlic butter and sprinkle it with cilantro and use it like garlic naan.
Oh, I like the idea of serving it with a low-carb tortilla! Thanks for the idea.
You’re welcome! I’m making this for Harper’s birthday tomorrow, since it’s her favorite meal, and serving it with the tortilla recipe with some garlic butter and cilantro.
I teach a cooking class at my church, and I’ve been concentrating on lower carb options. This will be our opening meal in September when class starts back up after summer break. They will LOVE this. I believe we will have it with a cauliflower mash as a side dish.
Good for you! I’m glad you’re focusing on low-carb options! I hope everyone loves it!
Has anyone tried this with coconut milk/cream instead of dairy cream?
I haven’t tried it with coconut milk or cream, but I think the flavors would go nicely and it should thicken just fine. Use the thick stuff out of the can, not the thin stuff in a carton. If you use coconut cream, you may need to thin a bit with some water at the end.
The canned coconut milk is almost as high-calorie as the heavy cream. Can you recommend a low-fat version, that doesn’t have corn starch?
I’m not well-versed in making low-fat substitutions, but maybe another one of my followers will have an idea.
I’m going to cut the onion way down, or even just use onion powder to bring the carbs down even more. Another site said she couldn’t tell the difference…and her recipe had too many ingredients and was too many steps. This one looks much more my style these days!
I like the idea of replacing some of the onion with onion powder to cut down on carbs. I find this recipe is so much easier if I measure out all of the spices first. It’s nice to have it all ready to go when it’s time to add them. The thing that always takes me the longest with this recipe is finding all of the spices in my cabinet!
Such a good recipe. Will absolutely make it again! Thanks 🙂
It’s one of my favorites!
Made this tonight, doing keto, and it was fabulous! My husband and I scarfed it down over a big bowl of buttered cauli rice as a one dish meal. I reduced the sauce for 10-15 min at end. I doubled it using 4 LG chicken breasts and it would serve 8 or 6 lg one dish meals w cauli rice. Will make again, soooo good! Thank you
This dish is one of our family favorites! It’s the meal both of my kids request the most. I’m so glad you like it too!
Tried this recipe tonight. Fiancee loved it. I am not a huge fan of onion, so I think I will at least cut that in half next time. How did you get your calorie count? I put all of the ingredients into my fitness pal and came out around 178 instead of 302 per 1/6th recipe. Overall flavor just what I was looking for. Thanks!
I just made this last night too! Harper wanted it for her going away meal before she heads off on her mission trip today. This recipe is one of her favorites.
My Fitness Pal can be a bit fickle. One reason is that certain brands have different nutritional values. I just plugged everything back in and got 285 for the number of calories. While I put in nutritional information, it can vary a bit depending on the brands people use. This is why I recommend that people calculate it themselves as well, using the brands of food they used for the most accurate information.
One issue I find with MFP is that occasionally some of the values are wrong. I always look through them to make sure the values make sense and if I’m not sure, check them elsewhere to compare.
Another thing that can go wrong with MFP is that it can pull up an entirely wrong food. For example, for the ingredient, pepper, it might pull up pepper flavored potato chips!
You need to do a low Carb Butter Chicken recipe. I like Tikka Masala but Butter Chicken is by far my favorite. I am definitely going to try your recipe.
I don’t think I’ve ever had butter chicken, but I’ll have to try it sometime. I’m always looking for new ideas for recipes!
This was delicious. I served it over buttered zuchini noodles. The sauce was velvety. My family really enjoyed it.
Glad you enjoyed it! I love the idea of putting it over zucchini noodles!
Made this tonight, and it was delicious! Just for all of the spices, I subbed 2 tablespoons Garam Masala & added more to taste. Thanks for the recipe. Definitely will make this again!
It’s one of my family’s favorites!
Just made this and it’s honestly amazing! Make sure to salt to your liking. Can’t wait to make it again! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
You’re welcome! It’s one of my favorites!
This is the BEST EVER recipe for tikka malasa. So simple yes hits the spot. My fussy eating family love it and knocks spots off take aways. If you’ve not tried it you’ve really missed out. The only thing different I do is to cook the chicken separately so that I can puree the sauce so my son can’t detect the onion (don’t ask!)
Thank you so much for posting it. I shall now browse the rest of the recipes.
Thanks so much! The things we do as parents to get the kids to eat veggies!
While I didn’t have all the spices, it sure was a hit here at home! We ate every single droplet of it and it was almost as good as the one at the local indian restaurant.
I got a question, though. English isn’t my first language, and I am in Europe, so I wasn’t sure what “cream” actually was and assued it was heavy whipping cream. It tasted pretty good, but it was a little bit runny and not as thick and creamy I had hoped, even when I let it simmer for a while. Did I misunderstand something or didn’t I just not give it enough time? 😛
Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, I meant heavy whipping cream. It sounds like maybe you didn’t give it enough time to thicken. Also, not using all of the spices may have caused it to be a bit thinner as they seem to help thicken it up a bit as well.
Made it last night & YUMMO! The flavour is amazing.
Glad you loved it!
Looks delicious. It’s kinda funny there’s a disclaimer for wanting larger Americanized portions. I mean I get it, Americans like to eat. lol. But is it really Americanized if its just larger. Maybe you just have more people to feed.
Yes, we do like to eat!
OH MY GOSH! i just made this keto friendly recipe! i replaced rice with broccoli. definitely going to be making this again. amazing recipe! thanks so much for sharing. keep it up.
You’re welcome! This is my favorite version of Tikka Masala–keto or not!
Not really a food lover… but your article, the way you described with the great images added spice to already spicy food. Making me hungry now.. thank you for the great article
Glad it did that for you! Now go make yourself some Tikka Masala!
I made this dish. Very tasty. We loved it.
Thanks so much! Glad it it the spot.
OMG! This dish is delicious and Keto safe! I served it over cauliflower rice too! My husband and I have been eating Keto for two months now and were growing weary of chicken, cheese and bacon recipes. I used Garam Masala and added the additional spices so I’m not sure the quantities were exactly the same, but I don’t think it mattered much. I’m just happy that he liked it because he’s not too fond of Indian food. Thank you, thank you!
I made this tonight & it was incredible! My bf’s from India so very picky but he loved it. We did add another 2 tsp of cayenne & paprika for added spice 😉 Thank you!
I love chicken tikka masala! This looks amazing!
I am new to Indian recipes, but I so love new chicken recipes! Your recipe sounds delicious! I am gonna make it tonight!
I love finding recipes like this one! I love that my whole family will eat it and it’s quick and easy for me to make! A match made in heaven!!
I’m skipping the takeout when I can make this chicken tikka masala right at home in my own kitchen!
I know this will be a huge hit in our house. We all love curries and I am in love with the fact that this is a low-carb recipe!
This looks great! I love chicken tikka Masala and I’m happy this is a low cal option! Thanks for sharing!
This is one of my favorite things to order in an Indian restaurant. It is even better made at home isnt’ it
Looks like a great family dinner recipe. I can’t wait to try it!
Looks absolutely fantastic! I am a fan of Tikka masala and am so happy that this is low carb.
I have tried making SO MANY Tikka Masala recipes over the last 20 years, trying to find that one that actually tastes like what I’ve eaten in any Indian restaurant I’ve loved, and this one is “THE BEST”, HANDS DOWN!!! Not only is it easy, it’s keto friendly and super delicious! I’ve made this recipe 3 times now over the last 2 months, and my husband and I can’t get enough. We eat ours with cauliflower rice. YUM!
NOW, I just need to find a good KORMA recipe (any suggestions?)…wish me luck! Thank you SO MUCH Annissa Slusher! You’ve made my year (food wise).
Thanks so much! You just made my year (comment wise) I’ll have to work on the korma.
Made this tonight for supper. I followed the recipe exactly. Rave reviews all around! Delicious and so easy. Thank you!
I have been craving tikka masala From my favorite restaurant for weeks and was thrilled to find this recipe. Made it tonight and hubby and I both LOVED it!! will definitely be in our regular meal rotation from now on!
Chicken tikka is my favorite dish to eat due to the high level of protein and nutrition in it. Those who exercise daily or want to reduce their weight can make a habit of eating it in the afternoon. Your presentation and recipe are perfect to use. Great Work!
I tried it and after tasting it I added a little bit of sugar substitute (xylitol) and it was great on cauliflower rice.
This was delicious! Probably the best low carb dish I have ever made 🙂 thank you so much for this recipe!
That’s some high praise! Thanks so much!
This is one of my all time favorite low-carb mains. It is so tasty and satisfying! Thanks so much for your great easy to make recipes.
Thanks so much!
the chicken tastes very blend, it’s not the restaurant-style sweet and creamy chicken tikka masala. had to make a few adjustment to it.
I wonder if maybe your spices are getting older. They can lose potency as they age.
It’s a dish we certainly will like!
Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.
We loved this! It is rare that I can find something that all of the kids will eat and this was a huge hit!! Thank you for sharing this!
Thanks for proving such a wonderful content. Thank you so much for the post it is very helpful, Keep posting such type of articles.
A surprise major hit with 3 fussy kids. Used mild chilli powder instead of cayenne to minimize complaints. Whizzed sauce in blender before adding chicken back also to avoid complaints.
Glad it’s fussy-kid approved!
Honestly, this is better than I have ever purchased at a take away! Flavors are on point and it takes care of any cravings you might have while on keto or other low carb life styles.
This is my go to everytime I go out for Indian food. I am so happy I found your recipe so I can try it at home.
I love this recipe so much that I’m often a little disappointed when I get it at a restaurant now.It just never seems as good and the version I make with this recipe.