Vegetarian Tikka Masala

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Vegetarian Tikka Masala that is made with cauliflower, chickpeas, and a rich creamy tomato sauce. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread for a delicious Indian dinner at home.

Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Vegetarian Tikka Masala

We recently shared our Chicken Tikka Masala recipe and you guys are loving it! Yay! We did get a few emails and comments asking for a vegetarian version so we whipped one up in our kitchen and it is my new favorite dinner.

You guys, this Vegetarian Tikka Masala is basically my dream meal, I could eat it every single day. We used cauliflower and chickpeas and I guarantee you won’t miss the chicken, even Josh gives this version two thumbs up and he LOVES our chicken tikka masala. Even meat eaters will enjoy this vegetarian tikka masala. It has all of the same great spices and flavors and is super hearty and filling thanks to the veggies and chickpeas.

Tips for Making Vegetarian Tikka Masala

This tikka masala recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and OH SO DELICIOUS! My mouth is watering just thinking about this Indian dish, I want it NOW! Good thing we put some in our freezer, I am going to bust it out for lunch today. Yes, this vegetarian tikka masala freezes well, another reason to love it.

Ok, let’s get down to business, here are my tips for making the best vegetarian tikka masala.

  • Use a large skillet, pot, or Dutch oven.
  • Use fresh ginger and garlic to maximize the flavor. You can’t beat fresh. I always keep fresh ginger in the freezer. It is easier to grate when it is frozen.
  • Before you get started, have all of your spices ready! The spices that give this tikka masala LOTS of flavor are: garam marsala, ground turmeric, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and a little cayenne pepper. You can find all of these spices at any grocery store.
  • You will need 3 cups cauliflower florets, one small head of cauliflower will do it.
  • When you get the veggies, tomato paste, tomatoes, spices, and broth all in the pan, simmer for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Don’t over cook the cauliflower, you don’t want it to be mushy.
  • Stir in the chickpeas, coconut milk, and lemon juice and heat for about 5 minutes.
  • I used canned full fat coconut milk, make sure you shake it well before opening. It will be thick. I add ½ cup but if you want a richer, saucier tikka masala, you can add up to 1 cup. If you don’t need the recipe to be vegan, you can use heavy cream.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice and naan bread, if desired. I highly recommend it:)

Easy Vegetarian Tikka Masala Recipe

Can you Make Tikka Masala in the Slow Cooker?

Yes! You can make this vegetarian tikka masala in the slow cooker. Add all of the ingredients, except the coconut milk, lemon juice, and cilantro, to your slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. When the tikka masala is done cooking, stir in the coconut milk, lemon juice, and cilantro.

Favorite Vegetarian Meal

This vegetarian and vegan tikka masala is one of my all-time favorite meals. I love making it for dinner because it is easy to make, once you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go, and it is SO delicious. The flavors will WOW you and that creamy tomato curry sauce will have you coming back for more. This vegetarian recipe is very filling, I promise you won’t miss the meat! (If you do want a chicken version, check out our chicken tikka masala recipe.)

The leftovers are great the next day. Reheat in the microwave and enjoy! And like I mentioned earlier, this tikka masala freezes beautifully! This really is a dinner winner! Forget Indian takeout and make this healthy vegetarian tikka masala at home!

More Vegetarian Recipes:

Skillet Vegetarian Tikka Masala

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Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Vegetarian Tikka Masala That Is Made With Cauliflower, Chickpeas, And A Rich Creamy Tomato Sauce. Serve With Basmati Rice And Naan Bread For A Delicious Indian Dinner At Home.
4.36 from 37 votes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves optional
  • Basmati rice and naan bread for serving optional, and serve


  • In a large skillet or pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in the tomato paste, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper and cook until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower florets, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the cauliflower is tender and sauce has thickened. 
  • Stir in the chickpeas, coconut milk and lemon juice and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm with rice and naan, if desired.


If you want a richer sauce, you can add up to 1 cup of coconut milk. If you don't need the recipe to be vegan, you can substitute heavy cream. 


Calories: 133kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 368mg, Potassium: 464mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2225IU, Vitamin C: 35.7mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 2.2mg
Keywords tikka masala, vegetarian tikka masala

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. 5 stars
    Hi MARIA & JOSH,
    It looks yummy and healthy. And will be a perfect meal for lunch or dinner. Going to take the taste soon.
    Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  2. 4 stars
    Easy, hearty vegetarian dinner. Served with jasmine rice. Mine had a bit more liquid than I liked so I’ll probably reduce the broth next time. Also doubled the lemon juice for my taste. I used light coconut milk so that may be why mine was less creamy than the picture. A good solid recipe to keep in my meatless rotation. 

  3. My husband and I loves indian food. I will definitely try this and will you know. Tnx for posting

  4. 5 stars
    This is delicious!  I took the advice of a previous reviewer and decreased the broth, and I’m glad I did.  Also, I added a little salt and topped the dish with cashews.  Finally, for all those  lazy cooks out there like me, a 12 oz. bag of frozen cauliflower works great in this recipe.  

    Thanks for a vegetarian recipe my family loved!

  5. 3 stars
    Made this today and even decreased the broth and the tomatoes and it was very liquidy. It doesn’t taste like the authentic recipe I’ve been waiting for but it still has a lot of flavor.

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious and easy for the win! I know Tikka Masala is usually creamier but I like more heat so a chopped jalapeno or a few green chili peppers sauteed with the onion and carrot added a nice buzz. Can’t wait to give the chicken version a try. Thanks!

  7. there is a good flavor to it! It is not like the usual Tikka masala I am use to. I should have read reviews and would have also reduced the broth. It was very soupy. Maybe drain tomatoes and less veg broth. Overall it was great. I added green and red bell peppers for more veggies.

  8. I just made this and it turned out amazing!! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I’ve been craving some good Indian food and you nailed it

  9. Love this recipe! I tweak the spices to suit my taste and use different veggies depending on what’s in the fridge. I always receive lots of compliments when I make this.

  10. 5 stars
    This was easy and very delicious! I did not have any issues with liquidity as some commented (maybe because I had a big head of cauliflower) and I used light coconut milk. Served with brown basmati rice. Will make this again!

  11. 4 stars
    The flavors were fantastic, added a bit more cayenne for kick. It was a little soupy, so next time I will use less broth, and think I may blend the tomatoes to make the base a bit creamier.

  12. 4 stars
    Did not have that size can of diced tomatoes, so i subbed crushed tomatoes and it turned out really tasty! No issue with liquid or soupiness. Unfortunately, i think I’m getting a lot of tininess from my tomatoes. Would love to make again with fresh tomatoes!

  13. Great flavor, but it was not creamy. I did not drain the can of diced tomatoes though – next time i will do that and use less broth.

  14. 3 stars
    I did not love it, and it is not like other tikka masala dishes I have had. Chili powder seems a strange add. I wished I could take it back.

  15. 1 star
    Not much flavor, very bland and was made according to the recipe. Too much diced tomatoes, they drown out all the spices. Would not make it again.

  16. Hi Maria, By the way, I have used your cookbook to the point that the binding is loose and I have taped pages back in place! I have a question rather than a comment. May I put vegetarian tikka masala together successfully a day or two ahead of serving. I would be thrilled to have a response! In all honesty, I have NEVER had one of your recipes “flop”! A faithful fan in Colorado

    1. Hi Cathy, I am so glad you are enjoying our cookbook and recipes. Yes, you can make this one in advance and reheat! I hope you love it!

  17. My coconut milk splits every time we get to step three. Should I be reducing the temperature before putting in the coconut milk?

    Love the recipe! We use it every other week

  18. please could you use metric measurements alongside the imperial measurement. the oz and ‘cups’ are like reading Greek to many of your readers. thanks.