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If you often find yourself heading to your favorite local Indian spot for curry, you need to try this Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s likely healthier, has incredible flavor, and can be made using only a handful of pantry staple ingredients…that you may even have on hand. My secret is to blend up a quick homemade yellow curry, which becomes the base flavor. I also add coconut milk to the chicken, which keeps the masala creamy. It adds a hint of coconut flavor, which I find to be really nice with Indian cuisine. AND…the flavors get even better the next day, meaning leftovers are especially delicious!

overhead photo of Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala with towel in photo

We’re less than one week out from the release of Half Baked Harvest Super Simple. And today I’m sharing a recipe straight from the pages of the new cookbook! Some of you might recall, but I asked everyone on Instagram which recipe they’d like to see this week and the Tikka Masala won. It was a very close call between the TIkka Masala and Beef Bourguignon, but Masala won fair and square!

To be 100% honest, I’m not sure I’m really ready for the release of this cookbook. You guys, I am SO NERVOUS. I think even more nervous than the first cookbook, I just really want you all to love this book!! It’s very scary and I’ve had a nervous pit in my stomach for days now. But don’t take that wrong, because I am so excited too! I cannot wait to share this book with you all. My hope is that it brings to you so many new recipes to fall in love with.

And today, a sneak peek at one of my personal favorite recipes, the chicken Tikka Masala!! With homemade naan…of course.

PS. Barnes & Noble is selling signed copies

photo of Half Baked Harvest Super Simple cookbook

The Details.

This recipe is well, Super Simple!

Start with the curry paste. I have a hard time finding a really good yellow curry paste locally, so I decided to make my own. It takes only minutes to put together and you probably already have everything you need in your pantry right now.

I toss an onion, shallots, garlic, plenty of ginger, and a couple of spices into a blender (or food processor). Then I process it all together until a paste forms. No chopping, no weird ingredients, nothing fancy. Just simple and delicious.

The cool thing about this curry paste is that it lasts for up to a month in the fridge. So if you love making curry I’d recommend doubling the recipe and keeping a batch in the fridge for incredibly fast weeknight curries. Perfect for cold and cozy fall/winter days.

overhead photo of Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala in skillet

Now, onto the chicken.

Since the curry paste adds all the flavor, the chicken just needs to be marinated for thirty minutes in the paste. Oh, and add in some Greek yogurt too. This tenderizes the chicken and makes for a creamy sauce. If you’re really short on time, you can skip marinating and just move right onto cooking.

Tip: Before you start the chicken, make a pot of rice. You can’t have Tikka Masala without rice.

Then simmer the chicken on the stove with coconut milk, and tomatoes paste. Minutes later your Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala will be done. And your kitchen will smell amazing, like deliciously slowly simmered Indian food.

Again, super simple.

side angled photo of Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala in bowl with rice

So how does it taste?

SO GOOD. I know that the recipe feels simple and the steps are easy, but I promise, this tastes like real deal Chicken Tikka Masala…but with the slightest hint of coconut. It’s rich, creamy, perfectly spiced, and is best served over steamed rice with warm naan for scooping up all that sauce.

I was so excited to have the chance to make this again that I even shot some new photos, fresh for the blog. I filmed a quick Instagram story video as well. That sauce is just so creamy and brightly colored that I had to capture it.

Also? Recreating this recipe from the cookbook was especially well-timed. My oldest brother is in town and this is one of his favorite Indian dishes.

My hope in sharing this book recipe today, is to get you all excited for the book’s upcoming release. And maybe, hopefully, to encourage you all to order it too!

If you’ve yet to preorder your copy, you can order a copy on Amazon, OR order a signed copy from Barnes & Noble. Also, if you order the book before December 20th enter your receipt information here, and immediately receive the bonus pack.

The book is out this Tuesday!! Are you all excited? Will you be making Tikka Masala tonight?!?

One final note, I just want to say thank you all so much for your outpouring of support. It’s the most wonderful thing. It means the world to me that you all are so excited to continue cooking with me daily. Your messages, comments, and emails are all read and heard. Just thank you SO MUCH!! I really can’t thank you enough!!

side angled close up photo of Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala with fork in bowl

If you make this coconut chicken tikka masala, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 993 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Curry Paste


  • 1. To make the curry paste. In a blender or food processor, combine the onion, shallot, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, salt, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. Pulse until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute.
    2. To make the chicken. In a gallon-size zip-top bag, combine 2 tablespoons of the curry paste, the chicken, and the yogurt. Seal the bag and massage the mixture into the chicken to cover completely. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate up to overnight.
    3. Heat a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup to 1/2 cup (use to your taste) of the curry paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken, coconut milk, and tomato paste. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes more.
    4. Stir in the cilantro and serve the chicken over rice.


Curry Paste: You can double the curry paste and store it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Alternately, you can use store-bought yellow curry paste. 
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overhead photo of Super Simple Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala in bowl with rice

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  1. 4 stars
    How do prevent the yogurt from breaking down while cooking? Mine didn’t have the smooth consistency I see in the pics or what I see from Indian restaurants.

    1. Hi Gracie! I would maybe let your yogurt come to room temp if you feel it’s not fully getting incorporated! xT

  2. 4 stars
    First time making curry from scratch, I usually use curry powder. I do think something is off with the photos or recipe. Turmeric and tomato paste would give it that orange/red color.. but there’s only 2 tsp turmeric! 3 tbs of Garam masala seems crazy, and it’s dark brown and usually added at the end of a recipe. I did follow it exactly, minus lemon zest (subbed 1 tsp lemon juice), it is absolutely mud brown. My family chose it as the favorite side by side with Trader Joe’s tikka masala sauce. I will make it again but up the turmeric and cut back the garam masala.

    1. Hi Kate,
      Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! Glad to hear your family enjoyed it:) xT

  3. Hi,
    I’d love to make this, but wondering how spicy it is? My kids are 5 & 7 and not sure how tolerant they are to spicy food, and want to ensure they will be able to eat it too. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    LOVED this recipe. We were craving Indian food and this recipe checked all of the boxes, while remaining clean ingredients wise. Can’t wait to make again!!

  5. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe! I make it all the time to impress guests and I make your homemade naan with it.
    Thank you!!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and substituted paneer for the chicken – it was fantastic! I’ve been cooking Indian food for many years but adding the lemon zest really cooked it up a notch. 👍🏼

    I halved the recipe because it’s just two of us but other than subbing the paneer made it exactly per instructions and it was amazing as usual.

  7. Hi there! how would you cook chicken thighs with the bone in? Is it ok to leave the chicken thigh whole instead of cubing it before you marinate the chicken? Thanks!

    1. Hi! I would recommend cubing the thighs for a more even cook and so the flavor gets incorporated into the chicken!

  8. 5 stars
    This is WILDY good. Definitely top 3 Indian-style curries I’ve made at home. Make your own curry paste! It’s so easy and intensely flavorful. I just made a few changes: Used coconut oil. Gave the chicken a sear as a first step to get some caramelized goodness. Then, I cooked the curry paste as directed. Lastly, I added the tomato paste and cooked it for 2-3 minutes for an even richer tomato flavor. My fiancé said I outdid myself with this one. Thank you as always!!

    1. Hey Alissa,
      Happy Wednesday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a lot for making it! xx

  9. I’ve made this recipe before and loved it! I’m cooking for a friend who’s dairy free so like that the recipe calls for coconut milk rather than cream, but is there a substitute you would suggest for the Greek yogurt? Thanks!

    1. Hi Anna,
      You bet, just use a dairy free yogurt:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

      1. I used about half the amount of the Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayo since that’s what I had on hand and because I’m dairy free, and it worked great!

  10. 4 stars
    I made this tonight and it was delicious! The curry paste recipe made triple what was needed for the meal (which I just froze in portions for next time I make it) I wonder if some of the people that didn’t like it used all of the curry paste. I found it a little confusing that the recipe made so much curry paste and that there was also a note on the recipe that you could double it and save more for later, when in fact the recipe actually made triple the amount needed for the meal, so I can see how people may have gotten confused. I loved it though and will make it again and am excited I won’t have to make the paste again because I have it frozen!

    1. Hey Emily,
      Wonderful!!🌴🍍 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, love to hear that it turned out well! xx

      1. 5 stars
        Great and flavorful recipe! Have made 2x already and it’s a hit! I use up almost all the curry paste (we love the added flavor)! I used the remaining curry paste with an additional can of coconut milk and tomato paste in a separate skillet to make veggies (head of cauliflower, 2 sweet potatoes, 2 carrots) by following the same instructions as the chicken. If you have an extra large skillet, you could just toss the veggies into the skillet to cook with the chicken.

        Two for two with the chicken tikka masala and chicken curry recipes, Tieghan! Thank you for making recipes I can eat since I can’t have all the added stuff in takeout!

        1. Hi Jaime,
          Happy Wednesday!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you making it! Thanks for your notes! xT

  11. 1 star
    This recipe was a complete failure and it is disheartening when you’ve purchased BEST of BEST products, spices including organic chicken.

    First up, the final dish was reminiscent of brown MUD and you’ve called for 3 tablespoons of Garam Masala when most curries will only utilize 1/2 tsp! I followed the recipe exactly as I love Indian curries and it was nothing like the photo posted.

    Hence, it was thrown out!

    So upsetting!

    1. Hi Millette,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback. So sorry to hear this was not enjoyed. This is actually a favorite recipe on the blog, so I really am not sure what went so wrong for you. Was there anything you may have adjusted? Please let me know how I can help! xx

    2. 4 stars
      I read through the recipe and had a feeling things were off. Sorry about the wasted food but I’m glad you warned me! Lol mud curry

    3. 5 stars
      I have to disagree. This is one of the best dishes I have made on this site. I am making it probably for my tenth time tonight with the herbed Nann. I think you may have missed a step in this recipe because it is literally perfect. Nothing about it looks like brown mud. I would give it another shot and read the directions carefully because this is amazing!

  12. 5 stars
    This was delicious and so flavorful–made exactly as instructed on stove top! Didn’t use all the curry paste and was still bursting with flavors and spices. We had a fair amount of leftover sauce so added chic peas to sauce after chicken had been eaten. Would definitely make again!

    1. Hey Ellie,
      Fantastic!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I’m thrilled to hear that it turned out well for you:)

  13. 3 stars
    my chicken burned so badly in the instant pot. I thought it was so dry just w the yogurt and tomatoes paste and tiny bit of water w all that chicken. So that was a bummer. Maybe my instant pot was too high heat? There’s only one high setting though. So burned I was bummed. Maybe add more water next time???

    1. Hi Kasey,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear you had some issues with the instant pot! Next time, I would chose a different cooking method, as I’ve never experienced the burn notice. I hope this helps! xx