There's not an Indian restaurant anywhere near Madison County. That means that when a craving strikes for Indian food, I simply whip up a pot of this healthy Dump-and-Bake Chicken Tikka Masala at home with just 10 minutes of prep! It's even faster than carry-out!
There's no shortage of mountains, fresh air, or farmland here in Central Virginia.
And while we may have an abundance of cattle surrounding our fence lines in just about every direction, what we don't have is ethnic cuisine!
Beautiful pastoral landscapes? Yes! Easy Chicken Tikka Masala carry-out? Definitely not.
That's why I've become very good at perfecting my copy-cat versions of our favorite restaurant dishes. From General Tso Chicken to Chicken Tikka Masala, I've found a way to make them tastier and easier with my dump-and-bake method.
Curious? Here's how it goes:
Stir together all of your ingredients (except the coconut milk) in a large Dutch oven.
I diced the chicken and onion, measured out the spices, and 4-year-old Spencer did the rest. Our meal was ready to bake in about 10 minutes!
The Chicken Tikka Masala simmers (with a lid) in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
Just before serving, stir in a bit of canned coconut milk for a rich, creamy addition to the flavorful broth. I used lite coconut milk here, but the regular version works just as well.
You can stir in some frozen peas at the same time that you stir in the coconut milk, if you'd like to add more veggies to the dish. You don't even need to thaw the peas first, since they will heat through in seconds.
We love the Chicken Tikka Masala served over basmati rice (that I always cook in my rice cooker), over cauliflower rice for a lighter option, or with Naan bread for dipping.
It's a healthy and delicious meal that all 3 of my kiddos adore!
So while the Indian dish may seem "exotic" to those of us who don't have regular access to ethnic restaurants, the flavors are mild and incredibly kid-friendly (even for picky preschool palates).
I hope that you'll give it a try!
DUMP-AND-BAKE CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
Dump-and-Bake Chicken Tikka Masala
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (about 3 ½ cups total)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic I use a tube of pre-minced fresh garlic from the produce section for a shortcut
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger I use a tube of fresh ginger paste from the produce section for a shortcut
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1.5 -2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup canned coconut milk I used lite coconut milk, but regular also works well
- Optional garnish: cilantro
- Optional for serving: cooked rice, cauliflower rice, or Naan bread
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large Dutch oven, stir together tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, garam masala, brown sugar, cumin, and diced chicken.
- Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes. Stir, and check to make sure that the chicken is cooked through.
- Once chicken is done, stir in the coconut milk.
- Garnish with cilantro just before serving. Serve over rice, if desired.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.