Chickpea Tikka Masala (Vegan)

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

This Chickpea Tikka Masala is an incredibly easy & absolutely divine vegan version of the popular classic dish! It tastes deliciously indulgent while remaining healthy and makes large portions that are perfect for meal prep! 

Chickpea tikka masala in a plate with rice and naan bread.

It’s safe to say that this Chickpea Tikka Masala will be a HIT on the blog. I’m calling it from now, for a few reasons.

One, wow, you guys have asked for Chickpea Tikka Masala for YEARS now. Two, it’s loosely based on my #1 recipe, Coconut Chickpea Curry. We all love Coconut Chickpea Curry, right?! The main differences are that this version was made to reflect the classic dish so the seasoning portions are a bit different and there’s a lot more emphasis on tomato here.

Three, I made this (obvi) and let me tell you – it’s a smashing hit. It’s a you gotta make this hit. It’s a “How does this taste exactly like our favourite takeout?!” – Gav, hit.

Tikka Masala vs Butter Cauliflower/Tofu

This Chickpea Tikka Masala has been a favourite in our house since the very first time I made it. The funny thing is, even though it was based on my Coconut Chickpea Curry, the flavours are SO different. The flavours are also so different from my Indian Butter Cauliflower and my Butter Tofu Chicken.

In the Chickpea Curry, the flavours are more garam-masala-y. In the ‘butter’ dishes, they lend to a more creamy indulgent side and are slightly sweet. In this Chickpea Tikka Masala, tomato and texture is king.

I challenge you to make all four variations and pick a favourite. You’ll love them all, and have incredible leftovers everyday! So, win win (win, and win), am I right?

Tikka masala in a pot surrounded by naan, parsley, rice, a plate with more tikka masala and a wooden spatula on a marble background with parsley sprinkled all over.

How to Make Chickpea Tikka Masala

So here’s the run down. The key to making an incredible vegan version of Tikka Masala is to focus on the core flavours in the original. In this delicious vegan version, chickpeas replace chicken. Of course no one is trying to make chickpeas taste like chicken, but it yields an absolutely phenomenal tasting dish nonetheless. Chickpeas ensure you still get great protein in this dish, and they truly soak up the flavour in the sauce.

This Chickpea Tikka Masala is SO flavourful. I didn’t want any overwhelming seasonings, but instead wanted everything to enhance and complement the tomato flavour that’s so prevalent in Tikka Masala. I found that the fresh ginger, the tomato paste and a bit more curry than I usually use really did the trick.

Then, of course, the cream, which gives Tikka Masala that signature colour. I used coconut milk because it’s affordable, easy to find and doesn’t give the dish a coconut-y flavour. However, you could substitute a pourable cashew cream which would also be a great heavy cream substitute. 

Yikka masala in a plate with rice and naan bread at an angle.

All in all this yields a dish that will perfume your entire kitchen and home with scents reminiscent of your favourite Indian takeout restaurant. Best of all, this dish makes such large portions that you’ll have plenty of leftovers.

You can even switch up how you enjoy it. Some nights I have it with naan, other with basmati rice, sometimes even in a roti wrap! Sometimes alone. No matter which way you serve it, I know you’ll love it. Eat up and enjoy friends!

Enjoy friends! If you make this Chickpea Tikka Masala, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much! P.S. – do you know that we have an entire blog dedicated to low carb recipes named Low Carb Vegan Recipes?! Be sure to check it out!

Spicy vegan tikka masala with rice and naan.

Easy Chickpea Tikka Masala

Chickpea Tikka Masala is an incredibly easy and absolutely divine vegan version of the classic Indian dish! It tastes deliciously indulgent, yet it's still healthy. Plus, vegan tikka masala makes large portions that are perfect for meal prep! 
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or any oil
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 ounces jarred or canned or fresh tomato sauce
  • 32 ounces/454g cans of chickpeas drained (2 cans)
  • 1 cup thick creamy coconut milk the thick part separate from the coconut water
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar optional - to balance out the acidity (or any sugar)
  • juice of 1 lime about 1 tablespoon


  • In a deep pot over medium high heat, add the coconut oil.
  • Add in the onion, garlic, and ginger. Reduce to medium heat. Grind some sea salt and ground black pepper over the mixture and stir together. Saute until the onions are translucent and the ginger and garlic are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the garam masala, curry powder, cumin and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  • Add in the tomato sauce, the chickpeas and the (optional) coconut sugar. Stir to combine. Bring the curry to a boil, and then reduce to medium-low so that the mixture continues to simmer for 8 to 10 more minutes. Cover slightly with lid but not completely to allow the steam and excess water to escape.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for about 3 more minutes. Taste the curry and season with salt and pepper if you desire. Remove the curry from the heat and squeeze the lime over the top of the curry, stirring to combine. Don't skip this step!!
  • Allow to cool slightly and then serve. Enjoy!


This recipe is vegan and gluten free.
*Many readers have asked and yes you can definitely used reduced fat coconut milk! You can even used boxed coconut milk if those calories suit you better.
HOW TO STORE: You can store this curry in an air-tight tupperware container in the fridge for up a week. It’s an excellent candidate for freezing and can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
1. This curry lasts for at least a week in the fridge as leftovers.
2. You can serve with whole wheat naan bread, basmati rice, or even crispy tortilla chips.


Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 614mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 491IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 4mg
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating


  1. Rebecca says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was so easy to throw together using ingredients I already had at home. It tasted fantastic, and the whole family enjoyed it. I served it with rice, and some roasted vegetables on the side.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thats amazing we’re so happy to hear this!


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