Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala

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Chicken Tikka Masala made with tender chunks of boneless chicken breast cooked in an aromatic creamy tomato sauce.

Tender chunks of boneless chicken breast cooked in an aromatic creamy tomato sauce. Chicken tikka masala, probably the most popular dish on the menu of any Indian restaurant here in the states, but ironically this dish is claimed to be originally from Britain and is actually Britain's national dish.Chicken Tikka Masala

Probably the most popular dish on the menu of any Indian restaurant in the states is the chicken tikka masala. But ironically this dish is claimed to be originally from Britain and is actually Britain’s national dish.

I’ve attempted a skinny version of this dish many times without all the cream and ghee (clarified butter) yet never felt quite satisfied with the results. I almost gave up figuring this is probably just one of those dishes that does not lighten up well. After all, it’s also known as Butter Chicken!

There is no standard recipe for chicken tikka masala; a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was the chicken so I am sure we all have different ideas of what it should taste like. This week I stumbled on this recipe from a throw down with Bobby Flay from the restaurant Saffron on the Hudson. I gave it another shot using fat free yogurt and low fat milk in place of the cream and we felt for a lightened up version it was pretty darn good and not too complicated, my kind of recipe! I served this over a basmati medley but this would also be wonderful with naan.

Tender chunks of boneless chicken breast cooked in an aromatic creamy tomato sauce. Chicken tikka masala, probably the most popular dish on the menu of any Indian restaurant here in the states, but ironically this dish is claimed to be originally from Britain and is actually Britain's national dish.
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4.60 from 42 votes
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Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala

190.5 Cals 24.5 Protein 13 Carbs 4.5 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Indian
Tender chunks of boneless chicken breast cooked in an aromatic creamy tomato sauce. Chicken tikka masala, probably the most popular dish on the menu of any Indian restaurant here in the states, but ironically this dish is claimed to be originally from Britain and is actually Britain's national dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp canola oil or you could use butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 4 oz fat free yogurt, I used Chobani
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric, optional
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 16 oz 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 tbsp fresh cilantro, or to taste

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden.
  • Add the crushed ginger, stir for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cumin, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt; mix well until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes, yogurt and milk. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Add chicken and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro and serve with Bamati Rice or Naan.

Nutrition

Serving: 3oz chicken & sauce, Calories: 190.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 24.5g, Fat: 4.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 99.5mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g
WW Points Plus: 5
Keywords: Chicken Tikka Masala, indian chicken recipes, tikka masala

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316 comments

  1. FYI.,:the restaurant link to Saffron on Hudson links to a porn site. Someone may want to fix that. 

    This is one of my go-to recipes. It’s so full of flavor & so easy. I usually coat my chicken in the spice mixture then brown, remove from pan, build sauce, then return chicken & simmer until sauce thickens & chicken is tender. I also use breast instead of thighs. 

  2. First, let me say that pretty much the first site I look at when trying to find a recipie is this one- so I really enjoy most of what I find here and usually get positive feedback from others who partake of my cooking. Normally a big fan of skinnytaste recipies but this one was a miss for me. I thought the flavors were good but somehow the gravy was grainy and the texture ended up less than appetizing. I may also have done better with chicken thighs (though the breast meat is leaner and “skinnier”) as the chicken ended up a bit drier than I would like by the time the gravy was thickened to the consistency I would prefer. However, I could have thickened the gravy more prior to adding the chicken so maybe that is on me. Regardless, I will likely not be making this particular recipe again. But I will be back for some of the other ones I have found here and will keep trying new ones for sure.

  3. This recipe from your cookbook is alot more delicious as it includes additional spices that are a MUST – cayenne, coriander, cardamon (a must). It also recommends chicken thighs and full fat coconut milk (I use full fat yoghurt). Finally, as an Indian, I do not agree that Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken are the same thing. They are completely different recipes (trust me – look on the internet!). With the cardamon, this is a perfectly light and delicious chicken tikka masala – definitely not a butter chicken.

  4. Honestly, I made it as-is and it was really not good. Chalky, and absolutely none of the creaminess or subtle sweetness of real Tikka masala. I doctored it with fat free half and half and some Splenda to taste, along with some additional crushed tomatoes and got it to where I ate it and didn’t throw it out. I see a lot of people commenting with changes to the recipe, I think that’s because the recipe as-is doesn’t taste very good

  5. Can I sub blitzed cottage cheese or sour cream for the yoghurt?

  6. Would you be able to create personal points for this dish 

  7. Made this and LOVED it. Feels luxurious, has depth of flavor, and is simple! But, the perfectionist in me is confused about the serving size: does “3oz chicken & sauce” mean: 1) 3 oz of chicken, plus 3 oz sauce? 2) 3 oz chicken and sauce combined? Or 3) 3 oz chicken and some unknown amount of sauce? I ask as 3 oz cooked chicken breast is somewhere around 100 calories depending on the site used, so this allows for about 90 calories of sauce/serving? Thank you!

  8. We made this with chick peas and cauliflower for a vegetarian night. It was really good. We did add some chili flakes to spice it up a bit. 

  9. Delicious. We make this frequently.

  10. This is how I made it today. Turned out great!
    [ ] 1 tsp coconut oil and 2 tsp butter
    – [ ] 1 small onion, minced
    – [ ] 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
    – [ ] 3 cloves garlic, crushed
    – [ ] 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes (or 1 14.5oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, crushed)
    – [ ] 1 cup coconut milk (half a can)
    – [ ] 1 tbsp cumin
    – [ ] 1 tbsp garam masala
    – [ ] 1 tsp turmeric, optional
    – [ ] 1/2 tbsp chili powder
    – [ ] 1/2 tbsp Thai curry paste
    – [ ] 1/2 tsp salt
    – [ ] 16 oz 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    – [ ] 4 tbsp fresh cilantro (half a bunch), or to taste

    1. Heat coconut oil and butter  in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the minced onions and cook until golden.
    2. Add the crushed ginger (I use a zester for ease), stir for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cumin, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder,  and salt; mix well until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
    3. Stir in tomatoes, coconut milk, and thai curry paste. Add can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained). 
    4. Remove 1 cup of soup and add to blender until smooth. Add blended soup back to skillet. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro.
    5. In separate skillet, cook chicken about 5-8 min. Remove from skillet, chop in bite sized pieces and add to curry.
    6. **Alternatively, Add chicken and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until cooked through.
    7. Simmer 5-10 min and serve with middle eastern or white  rice.

  11. Skinny? This is not what skinny tastes like, this is decadence which through some sort of miracle is actually quite healthy. I am extremely impressed and will be making this again!

  12. 5/5!!! I followed this recipe exactly and it turned out as good as what I would get in a restaurant! Now I know what to make if I’m craving a more healthy alternative.

  13. Made this for dinner tonight. Followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious!

  14. I made this and loved it!! Substituted milk for almond milk. My husband loved it too.

  15. Another delicious meal! I made this with skim milk and without the tomatoes. Crowd pleaser. Will make it again.