This yummy chicken tikka masala is made with courgettes and chicken breast for a filling, lower-calorie version of the beloved Indian takeout dish. The sauce includes a yogurt base, tomato sauce, and seasoning, so you aren’t sacrificing any flavour with this recipe! For a satisfying meal, serve it with brown, white, or basmati rice.
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This chicken tikka masala has fewer calories and fat than the restaurant version. Even though it’s healthier, it still tastes just as delicious. You’re also cutting down on calories by serving it with rice instead of naan.
You can also save a few dollars by making healthy Indian chicken recipes (like this healthy tikka masala) at home. A restaurant will charge anywhere from £10 – £25 for a serving or two. This version is only £1.40 per serving!
Unlike restaurant chicken tikka masala, which has a high fat and calorie content, this healthy chicken tikka masala is relatively low in fat and calories.
I’ve made some swaps, such as using yogurt and single cream (instead of butter and heavy cream) to help cut down on the calories and fat in this healthy chicken tikka masala recipe. I’ve also included courgettes in this healthy tikka masala dish for additional nutrients.
I love using chicken breasts for this chicken tikka masala, as it helps keep the calories lower. However, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They have a higher calorie and fat content than breast.
Charred courgettes are great for adding nutrients to this recipe. You can swap them out for veggies of your choosing.
Using yogurt as the base for the chicken marinade helps create juicy, tender chicken pieces. Plain Greek yogurt will also work if you don’t have plain yogurt. Aim for a yogurt which is unflavoured and unsweetened.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
Turn this chicken tikka masala into a vegetarian-friendly recipe by replacing the chicken with chickpeas or tofu. Swap out the chicken stock for a vegetarian broth. Take it a step further and make this dish vegan by using non-dairy yogurt and cream instead of regular yogurt and single cream.
Luckily, you won’t need to make any swaps to make this low-calorie chicken tikka masala gluten-free, as the ingredients do not naturally have gluten. Always double-check the chicken stock to ensure it does not contain gluten, as some brands add in whea
Preheat your grill to 220° C
3. Now start to sear the courgette chunks (same size as chicken pieces) on a griddle pan.Start turning the courgette chunks once char lines appear. No need to fully cook the courgette here as they will be thrown into the sauce later (Image 3).
4. Meanwhile, add the marinated chicken onto a baking tray and place under the grill for 15 minutes. Once the chicken has a charred, has a crispy exterior and is fully cooked through, remove from grill (Image 4).
5. Then add the oil to a large saucepan with the diced onion, coriander stalks and remaining ginger (Image 5).
6. Season with salt and gently fry together for around 5 minutes until the onions have softened. Add the garlic to fry for the last few minutes. Then, add the spices to bloom (Image 6).
7. Meanwhile, cook the rinsed brown rice according to the packet instructions (Image 7).
8. Then add the tomato puree and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the passata & water into the pan. Reduce to a low simmer and set a timer to 20 minutes (Image 8).
9. If you want a smoother curry/takeaway lookalike, add the curry sauce to a blender to blend until smooth. Then transfer back into the pot and add the grilled chicken, charred courgette (Image 9).
10. Add the yogurt and lime juice. Taste to see if it needs any salt. Serve with a portion of rice and a sprinkle fresh coriander (Image 10).
Serve with a portion of rice and a sprinkle fresh coriander
Don’t marinate the chicken for more than 24 hours
Since this chicken tikka masala marinade includes yogurt and lime juice (or lemon juice), leaving the protein to marinade for over 24 hours is not ideal. Yogurt and citrus are acidic, which helps tenderize chicken.
However, leaving the marinade on raw chicken for too long can break down the meat too much, leaving you with mushy protein. The sweet spot for marinating this Indian chicken tikka masala is between 1-24 hours.
Stir well when adding the spices
For this recipe, you’ll want to stir well as you add spices to avoid them sticking to the pan. If they stick to the pan, the sauce won’t have as much flavour.
Add more veg for additional nutrients
If you wish to boost the nutrients of this dish further, you can add other veg like broccoli, green beans, asparagus, or mushrooms.
Increase the heat with chili powder
While the recipe already notes chilli flakes for a fiery taste, you can increase the heat more with chili powder. Ensure you taste the sauce as you season it so that the spicy taste is not overwhelming.Need some more Indian-inspired recipes for the week?
Chicken tikka is different from chicken tikka masala. This dish is made by marinating chicken pieces in a yogurt and spice marinade. Then, the chicken bits are put on a skewer and baked in the oven.
If you’ve ordered chicken tikka masala from a restaurant before, you may wonder, “Is chicken tikka masala healthy?” In short, the restaurant version is quite high in calories. Traditional chicken tikka masala has heavy cream and ghee butter, which makes the calories quite high, especially when paired with rice.
My version of low-fat tikka masala uses single cream and yogurt instead of heavy cream and ghee, making it a lower-calorie version.
These two Indian dishes have approximately the same calories per serving when ordering from a restaurant. Butter chicken is about 438 calories per serving, while chicken tikka masala is 400-500 calories per serving.
Yes, you can make this healthier chicken tikka masala without grilling the chicken first. However, you’ll need to cook the healthy chicken tikka for longer to ensure the inside of the chicken is cooked through. Additionally, you’ll miss out on the flavour from the charred outside of the chicken pieces.
Try pairing one of these tasty desserts with tikka masala to satisfy sweet cravings: Chocolate Chip Microwave Cookies, Chocolate Tiffin, or The BEST Lemon Drizzle Cake.
If you tried this Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x