Damn Delicious

Chicken Tikka Masala Meal Prep

Everyone’s FAVORITE chicken tikka masala bowls made from scratch in just 30 min! And you can prep for the entire week!!!

Chicken Tikka Masala Meal Prep - Everyone's FAVORITE chicken tikka masala bowls made from scratch in just 30 min! And you can prep for the entire week!!!

So it’s been quite a week.

I ended up in the ER Sunday night, which turned out to be appendicitis.

I personally thought it was bad gas.

Then, they took out my appendix at 7AM, Monday morning.

Now, I’ve been on a clear liquid diet since then, but all I can think about are these chicken tikka masala bowls.

I mean, it’s just torture.

But the minute I get discharged, I’m making this for the entire week.

With extra naan. And extra garlic naan.

After all, I have some lost time to make up for with all the hospital jello and ice cream.

Chicken Tikka Masala Meal Prep

Everyone’s FAVORITE chicken tikka masala bowls made from scratch in just 30 min! And you can prep for the entire week!!!

15 minutes15 minutes


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4-5 minutes; set aside.
  4. Stir in tomato paste, ginger, garlic, garam masala, chili powder and turmeric until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Stir in diced tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in heavy cream, lemon juice and chicken until heated through, about 1 minute.
  7. Place rice and chicken mixture into meal prep containers, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    My husband and I like strong flavors, so I doubled the spices and I’m excited to see how it tastes after sitting overnight. It was easy to make and we liked it. I’ll probably try your other recipe with the tomato sauce instead of the diced tomatoes to see how they compare.

  2. Made this tonight and it was so yum!!! A few tweaks, only did 1 tsp of chili powder and upped the tomato paste and cream slightly because I have little kids so I didn’t want too much spice for them/made it slightly more mellow.  I also didn’t add the full can of diced tomatoes, about 3/4 so not too watery.  Thoroughly enjoyed and I think the leftovers will taste even better!

  3. I was wondering what is the triangle bread things with the meals in the picture are and i hope u get well soon!

  4. This recipe is not very flavourful. It’s okay for those who want a lightly flavoured Indian dish.

  5. Did you use ground ginger or grate fresh ginger? 

  6. Hi Chunga I see you mention unsalted butter to be one of the ingredients. How is this different from the regular butters we use at home? Is there any difference if I don’t use this exact one?

  7. I hope you are feeling better now.

    I’m just wondering what could be a good vegetable to go with this.

  8. Hope you have recovered well.

    Do you have suggestions as to how to make it less tomato-y? I LOVE tikka masala and the batch I made doesn’t taste like the version I get from my favorite Indian restaurant (taste and spiciness). It’s too tangy and tastes more like chunky tomato soup. Thank you for your help!

  9. Making this for dinner tonight and my kitchen smells amazing!! Doubled the recipe but put only half the chili powder and it’s still pretty spicy, but then again I guess it all depends on what kind of chili powder you’re using. Should have started very small. Subbed yogurt for the heavy cream and may still add a little half and half to tone down the spice. 

    Great recipe though. I’ll definitely make this again. 

    Thanks Chunga!  Hope you’re feeling better. 

  10. I was wondering why on your slow-cooker chicken tikka masala version you use different spices such as cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne pepper where this version has turmeric and chili powder? Does the cinnamon version taste more like butter chicken? Thanks!

  11. Hi there! Hope your recovery is going well! Love your recipes and also your cookbook is one of my faves! 

    My questions on this recipe is after cooking the chicken, it says “set aside”.   At this point, do you make the sauce in the same pan used for the chicken or a different pan? Also, when does the cooked chicken go back into the sauce? Thanks!!

  12. Just found your site. Looks lovely as do you! Been a nurse 44+yrs, sorry about the abdominal apply but young people recover quickly most times and who needs an appendix anyway?! Never have had Tikka Masada but been wanting to try it. Can it be served with wild rice as carbs are a big problem for me. Also is this really spicy? Or hot spicy? Can I decrease spices without ruining flavor? Thanks! So glad I found you. Am trying sweet chili chicken tonite!

  13. Aww Chungah! I hope you have a speedy recovery! That’s crazy how fast that can creep up. I can see how hard it’s going to be to resist these dreamy bowls of chicken tikka. They look great 🙂

  14. Chicken tikka is one of my favorite dishes, I love chicken tikka very much. Thanks for sharing the recipe of my favorite dish, I hope my favorite dish will become more tasty after following this recipe.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Hope you feel better soon! Just wondering.. is there a dairy free alternative to use instead of the heavy cream?? Thanks!!!

    • Awwwwwww, thanks! But unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

  16. I just had this dish at an Indian restaurant a couple of weeks ago and swooned. I had forgotten how
    special the sauce is. I vowed I would try to fix it at home. But using this platform as a confessional, I didn’t do it.
    I kept forgetting. So finding this in my inbox was a boost by the Universe. Sooooooo I printed the recipe so
    that it’s literally in my hands. Lol. Thank you!

  17. Hope you’re recouping well. Silly question (maybe I missed it), after cooking the chicken, the recipe says to set it aside. At what point is it put back in the sauce?

  18. Chungah, I am so sorry to hear you had to go through that! I hope you feel better soon! Is it possible to add the nutrition facts to this recipe? Or can you direct me to where I can find out? I am on a calorie counting spree but these look too good to pass up! Thanks in advance 🙂 

    • Awwwww, thanks Lily!

      I try my very best to provide nutritional information for my recipes. However, if they are not available, it is best that you use free online resources at your discretion (you can gooogle “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

  19. I hope you doing better. Please rest up.

  20. Another mind blowing recipe as usual! It looks so yummy! I am gonna make this! Thanks, Chungah!

  21. Feel better my sweet! Dinner will wait! 

  22. Where do you find garam masala? Is it a powder or a paste?

  23. Good heavens, hope you’re back to your old self & eating all the good stuff in no time! This recipe looks fabulous. I just took the chicken out of the freezer for tomorrow. Will make it with coconut milk because I have no cream on hand & don’t fancy making a grocery store run for just one item. Someone asked about freezing it: I make a lot of curries & they freeze wonderfully, with or without the rice. Be aware though that they become hotter (spicier) with freezing for some reason. If you like spicy food that’s great, but if you don’t like a lot of heat, cut back a tiny bit on the chilis if you’re planning on freezing it. They also gain more depth of flavour (although not heat) as they sit in the fridge for a couple of days & the spices blend. Mmmm. I can hardly wait! Get well!

  24. Very nice!! Can’t argue with curry meal prep (:

  25. Hope you’re feeling better the same thing happened to my sister she seemed to heal quickly hope the same for you!!

    Can I substitute whole milk instead of heavy cream?

  26. So sorry to hear about your surgery, but so glad to hear you’re on the mend…enjoy the Jello  Looking forward to making this delicious recipe soon.

  27. Hi there I love your recipes sorry about the appendix nasty thing but good that it s out get well fri Gillian

  28. Dang!!! That’s an excellent idea! I typically make salads for the week during the summertime but crave something hardier in the fall/winter months. I have this recipe marked so I can try it! Great Job!

  29. Wishing you a speedy recovery 

  30. Hope you’re feeling terrific by now! When I had my gall bladder out, I made everybody else to all the work!
    When you’re ready to be out and about, treat yourself to something wonderful 😉
    All my very very best wishes!!

  31. Hope you feel better soon! Just wondering.. is there a dairy free alternative to use instead of the heavy cream?? Thanks!

  32. I hope they did it laparascopically thru just a little poke hole in your abdomen .
    If so, you will be fine fairly quickly.
    I love chicken tikka masala but being pretty severly lactose intolerant I don’t order it out.  However, with your recipe I can substitute Lactose Free Half and Half for the heavy cream and the dish will work just fine.  I can make it at home.
    Just a question…..do you really put in chili powder like the kind you use for making real chili?
    I’m a retired MD.  Not a surgeon.   It always blew me away when I would put a patient into the hospital with a diagnosed acute appendicitis attack, they would go to laparoscopic surgery right away and then go home right afterward in a few hours.  

    • They tried and hoped for a laparoscopic surgery but once they got inside, they found it was wrapped with some of my intestines so they had to open me up unfortunately.

      But all good! I have a lifetime supply of jello now.

      To answer your question, yes! You can put in the chili powder you use for making chili. 🙂

  33. Love your recipes:) Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  34. This is a great recipe! To make it into a one-pot meal I add extra liquid (chicken broth) and cook the rice right in the pan!

  35. When you cite chili powder do you mean ground chilis as in cayenn or the kind of powder you put in chili con carne?

  36. I hope you feel better soon. Do you think coconut milk would work? I am not allowed any dairy at this time. It sounds so delicious I can’t wait to try it.

  37. Oh my goodness! Wishing you a speedy recovery!
    And thanks for this great looking recipe!

  38. This looks delish! Thanks for sharing!! Any substitutions for masala?  (We’ll just pretend it’s not part of the name.)  Hope you feel better! 

    • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

  39. Get well soon Chungah!

  40. Yum!!! Feel better soon.

  41. I hope you feel better soon and are out of the hospital.Tikka is my favourite meal!

  42. I hope you fell better soon.This is my favourite meal.

  43. I am so sorry to hear about your appendicitis! OMG!! I hope you’re doing as well as could be expected after having surgery. Major hugs and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery!

  44. I’m so sorry to hear about your bout with appendicitis! I had abdominal surgery on my esophagus 6 weeks ago, and still having issues with digestion. But I feel your pain! Liquid diets get old very quickly. I hope you are back to regular foods by now! Love you recipes!! Keep them coming!

  45. Perhaps a dumb question, but, can you freeze this meal as pictured (minus the garnishes)?

    • Not a dumb question at all!

      But unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself. Please use your best judgment for freezing and reheating.

    • Hi Karen,

      I freeze curries & chilli etc. Even freeze cooked basmati rice. They all freeze really well. I thaw out the curry over the day and re heat in a pan on the hob. I microwave the rice and hey presto, a freshly cooked rice & curry for dinner.

    • Yes , you can freeze it  ..

  46. Heal quickly!