Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

by tinareale on October 11, 2012

Morning, my friends! I’m so glad you all have enjoyed the couple of guest posts I have featured recently. I have another goodie for you this morning, with another recipe you will surely drool over. I’m far from a cook, so thank you Melissa for putting together something fabulous for the Best Body Fitness kitchen! And, here’s Melissa!

I’ve been on a long, slow weight loss journey for the past couple of years, so far shedding 72 pounds. One thing I’ve learned is how to prepare healthy recipes by replacing typical ingredients like butter, milk, and cream with healthier ones.

My favorite Indian dish is Chicken Tikka Masala, and from studying various recipes, a large part of the sauce in this dish consists of heavy whipping cream. Just FYI, ONE tablespoon of heavy whipping cream has 50 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, and 20 milligrams of cholesterol. It’s very important to be vigilant of your saturated fat and cholesterol intake – but keep eating those healthy fats! You need them for energy, healthy cell production, and for essential fatty acid delivery. With that said, I’ve put together a recipe that is just as flavorful and satisfying as a typical version like this:

See all the shiny fat?

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients for Marinade (& Chicken):

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed  

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 32 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt  


1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the first seven ingredients for the marinade.

2. Thread the pieces of chicken onto bamboo skewers, and brush the marinade onto the chicken. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Grill the kabobs for about 3 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked. If you cannot get to a grill for the kabobs, simply cook the marinated chicken in a Dutch oven pot until cooked. This generally takes 10-15 minutes.

  4. In a large pot, add the tomato sauce, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, and the salt from the sauce ingredients list.

5. Allow this to simmer for roughly 10-15 minutes so the spices mix thoroughly. Stir in the yogurt and allow it to simmer until thickened.

6. Add the grilled chicken to the sauce mixture and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes.

8. Pour the chicken and sauce over basmati rice (or your choice of rice).

**Just to compare the nutritional differences in JUST substituting two cups of plain Greek yogurt in the sauce for to 2 cups of heavy whipping cream: You save a total 88 grams of saturated fat, 328 milligrams of cholesterol, and 628 calories</ strong> in this dish (for the whole pot).

Thanks, again, Tina, and I hope some of you give this recipe a try and love it! If you would like to see any of my other recipes, I have them posted here.  

Recipes aren’t all Melissa writes about over at Live, Love, & Run – she’s a runner, a mom of two (girls), and is currently working to obtain her personal training certifications through NASM (Nov. 2012) and ACE (Dec. 2013) as well as her NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist certification (Feb. 2013). Connect with Melissa on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, & Instagram.


1 Miz October 11, 2012 at 6:34 am

I already loved me some Melissa.
who knew I covered her masala, too.

2 Lee October 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

Looks delicious. I don’t eat chicken, but I think this sounds great with shrimp or fish (or even tofu).

3 Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run October 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

DEFINITELY try it with tofu…a lot of Indian dishes do substitute tofu for the chicken and lamb they use! :) I have also done this dish with potatoes. :)

4 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 11, 2012 at 8:49 am

This looks so good, and healthy! I’ll have to give it a try!

5 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots October 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

definitely making this for dinner next week!

6 [email protected] October 11, 2012 at 9:49 am

I love Chicken Tikka Massala. On my ‘to cook’ list. Awesome recipe.

7 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) October 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

I loooooove all Indian food, including a good tikka masala :)

8 Lisa October 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

Yum! Chicken Tikka Masala is my favorite indian food.

9 Jentry Nielsen October 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm

This sounds so delicious, and so healthy too!!! I love that I’ve been introduced to greek yogurt in cooking, I’ve been able to alternate it with so many recipes for creaminess without all the calories! Gotta love it! ha Can’t wait to try this one out!

10 Amy October 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

What a killer take on Chicken Tikka Masala. Shoot, now we’re majorly craving this! Looks like we’ll be in the kitchen this weekend. :)


11 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes October 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Mmm. Loooove Tikka Masala and love to see how others make it.

12 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn October 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm

GIRL YOU BE KILLLIN ME. I liveeeee for Indian-inspired food. Forreals. I grew up on that stuff. Time for me to get creative in the kitch!

13 Mike January 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm


Do you use whole or low fat yogurt?



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