Vegetarian Tikka Masala – Two Peas & Their Pod

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 1/2 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

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.

  • 2
    olive oil
  • 1
    yellow onion diced
  • 1
    large carrot
  • 2
    tomato paste
  • 1
    freshly grated ginger
  • 4
    garlic minced
  • 2
    garam masala
  • 2
    ground turmeric
  • 1
    chili powder
  • 1/2
  • 1/2
  • 1/4
    cayenne pepper
  • 3
    cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/4
    vegetable broth
  • 1
    28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1
    15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2
    coconut milk
  • 1
    fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4
    chopped fresh cilantro leaves optional
  • Basmati rice and naan bread for serving
    optional, and serve
  1. In a large skillet or pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. 

  2. 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. 

  3. 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. 

Nutrition Facts

Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Amount Per Serving

Calories 133
Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 9g

Saturated Fat 4g

Sodium 368mg

Potassium 464mg

Total Carbohydrates 12g

Dietary Fiber 3g

Sugars 5g

Protein 2g

Vitamin A

Vitamin C



* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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