And here’s more good news: there are plenty of cold-fighting ingredients involved (garlic, ginger, turmeric), making it a great recipe to make when you’re feeling under the weather.
Tikka Masala is a popular Indian dish made up of chicken in a curry-spiced tomato-based sauce that’s typically infused with heavy cream and/or butter. In this vegan tikka masala recipe, we’re swapping the chicken for tofu and using creamy coconut milk instead of any dairy!
Ingredients in this vegan tikka masala
Oh baby, this tofu tikka masala is packed with amazing flavor, veggies, and protein. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy and so delicious that you won’t be able to stop eating it. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Tofu: I like to use the extra-firm tofu in this recipe so that it doesn’t fall apart in the slow cooker. See below for tips on prepping the tofu! You could also add chickpeas for an additional boost of protein.
- Veggies: YESS. This recipe involves a hearty dose of veggies including carrots, potatoes (or sweet potatoes), cauliflower, red bell pepper, and onion. I also like to stir in peas! It’s good for ya so eat it up.
- For the sauce: the flavorful tikka masala sauce includes tomato sauce, coconut milk, fresh ginger, garlic, a touch of maple syrup, and spices.
- For the spices: The spices are a mixture of garam masala (a spice blend available at most grocery stores), cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper. I’m very into it.
Wrap your extra firm tofu block with a dish towel and place it on a plate
Place a wooden cutting board on top
Put something heavy on top of the cutting board like a pot of water, books, etc. so that the water begins to squeeze out into the towel. Press for at least 10 minutes. Then cube the tofu and use it as written in the recipe!
Alternatively, you can also use a tofu press specifically designed for squeezing out tofu!
How to make vegan tikka masala in the slow cooker
This slow cooker tofu tikka masala recipe couldn’t be easier to make. It’s literally three steps! Here’s how to make it:
Mix the sauce & veggies. Add all of your veggies, sauce ingredients, and spices to your slow cooker and give it all a stir.
Add the tofu. Carefully fold in the tofu chunks, then cook the tikka masala on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
Finish & serve. If you’d like stir in the frozen peas about 5-10 minutes before you’re ready to eat. Then serve the tikka masala with your fav sides!
Our fav ways to serve tikka masala
This tofu tikka masala is delicious on its own, but we love it on top of:
Storing & freezing tips
Store this vegan slow cooker tikka masala in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- To freeze: Let the tofu tikka masala cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. I would not recommend freezing the tikka masala with rice.
- To reheat: thaw the tikka masala in the refrigerator. While the curry is thawing, feel free to make rice, cauliflower rice or quinoa to serve with it. Reheat on the stovetop by bringing it to a simmer or in the microwave for 2 minutes until heated through.
Overall, this is a really delicious, easy plant-based recipe to get more veggies in. I suggest serving it on game days, at parties, or just prepping for your weekly lunches/dinners. Oh and don’t forget to serve this with a little naan on the side, because you know the saying — when I dip, you dip, we dip!
- 1 (16 ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 ½ cups diced gold potatoes* (from about 2-3 medium gold potatoes)
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) can lite coconut milk (can also use full fat coconut milk)
- ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more if you like things a little spicier
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnishing
- In a large slower, add garlic, diced onion, sliced carrots, cauliflower florets, diced potatoes, tomato sauce, coconut milk, maple syrup, fresh ginger, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Add in tofu cubes, and give a gentle stir. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
- Before you are ready to serve, stir in the frozen peas and allow to cook uncovered for 5-10 more minutes. Serve with as is with a side of naan bread, or with brown rice or quinoa. If you are not vegan, I suggest serving with yogurt! Garnish with cilantro before serving. Serves 4-6.