One Pan Chicken Tikka Masala {dairy-free, paleo}

Some nights, the last thing I want to do is make dinner. Back in the good days of living near Fillmore street, we would grab sushi, takeaway at the Whole Foods salad bar, or some Indian food down the street. These days if I don’t want to cook, I have to anyways. Healthy and affordable takeaway food is practically non-existent here in Switzerland. In some ways, I like that I have been forced to cook a bit more living here given that home cooking is almost always more healthy, but I do miss the ease of some good ‘ole takeaway every once in a while.  

Chicken Tikka Masala_2

To look on the bright side of this takeout food situation, I’ve ventured into making all different types of food that I would have never considered making on my own before. If I was ever craving Indian food in San Francisco, I had three Indian restaurants to choose from within a ten minute walk, or if I was really lazy, I could have it delivered to my door with a $25 minimum order. 

Chicken Tikka Masala_4

These days if I want Indian, I make it myself. 

Chicken Tikka Masala_Process

In reality, it’s for the best, because I can make it healthier and dairy-free. Plus, with how quick this dish is to make, it might be faster than picking up takeout. And with this one pan chicken tikka masala, you won’t be stuck with tons of dishes. 

Chicken Tikka Masala_3

Turns out being forced to cook is not so bad after all. 

One Pan Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4
One pan chicken tikka masala is quicker than takeout and a healthier too! Dairy-Free and Paleo.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 large clove of garlic (or 2 small), minced
  4. 1 tablespoon garam masala
  5. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  8. 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  9. 1 can of full fat coconut milk (16 ounces/500 mL)
  10. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  11. 1 can of crushed tomatoes (14 ounces/400 grams)
  12. 1 small can of peas, or one cup frozen peas
  13. Cilantro
  14. Juice of a lime
  15. salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan. Saute the onions in the oil over medium heat. After about 3 minutes, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more. Push the onions and garlic to the edge of the pan and add the uncooked chicken to the center. Cook for 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip the chicken over and cook 4-5 minutes longer. Once the chicken is almost cooked, add the spices and salt and stir all the ingredients together, cooking for about 1 minute. Pour in the coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato paste and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the peas (cook for a minute or two if they are frozen). Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro and lime juice, if desired.
Caitlin Ball

9 Responses

  1. I feel like we used to eat out ALL the time! But now that we’re not really eating gluten, sugar or dairy, it’s pretty hard. So unless I want to have just a plain ole green salad, we eat all our meals at home. Luckily I love to cook! I’ve been really into Indian food lately, especially coconut curry. I love this tikka masala! Trader Joe’s just started carrying garam masala, which I have never bought before. Can’t wait to make this!

  2. Might be the ticket for these cold winter days. I am trying to be healthy but living in NYC makes takeout just too easy. I even just bought coconut oil to pop my popcorn. Good idea for dinner tomorrow night.

  3. Oh man – I get that same sentiment! We don’t have much take-out near us where we live in the East Bay (well, not that’s healthy and affordable), so we’re forced to cook often too:) I love this healthier take on Indian food you’ve made – I’m definitely pinning this for a night I’m craving Chicken Tikka Masala!

  4. I found your site through foodgawker and the true smallness of this world has made me want to reach out! I live 3 block from fillmore and couldn’t relate more to the first paragraph of this post! I am semi new to the area and absolutely adore it, let me know if you have any tips/recommendations 🙂

    1. I love it! I miss fillmore dearly! The bar in the back of ten ichi was our go to sushi spot. Great chai lattes and pastries at Jane. La mediteranee for greek, dinos for pizza, elizas for chinese (a bit farther down towards laurel heights), and roam for burgers. And there is probably more now that im gone! Ahh this makes me long for some delicious food within walking distance. Enjoy your new ‘hood!!

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