Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Vegetable Tikka Masala with cilantro in a gray and white bowl on wood board.

This vegetarian TIkka Masala dish is full of vegetables and spices that make it taste amazing. Not only is it delicious, but it is healthy for you too.

I just love slow cooker meals that I can prep in 30 minutes or less and forget until dinner time. And, there is nothing better than the fantastic aromas that waft through the house while it is cooking.

This recipe can easily be made vegan as well.

What You’ll Need:

This recipe uses lots of very healing and fragrant spices that aid digestion and have anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also balanced with healthy fats from the coconut milk, fiber and nutrients from the vegetables and plant-based protein from the garbanzo beans for a well rounded meal.

Making the Recipe:

You need to do very little prep with this recipe beyond cutting a few vegetables, rinsing the beans and adding in the tomatoes, broth and spices.

Wash and cut your vegetables first. Mince the garlic and ginger and dice the onion. Cut the cauliflower and carrots into bite sized pieces.

Put all of the vegetables in your slow cooker followed by the beans, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, ghee, lemon juice and vegetable broth. Add in your spices and stir well.

Turn the slow cooker on high and set it to cook for 4 hours.

After the sauce has cooked for 4 hours, add in the coconut milk, stir well and cook another 15 minutes at low heat.

While the sauce is finishing up, make a grain to go with the Tikka Masala sauce. Quinoa or basmati rice are great options that will cook in about 15-20 minutes, while the sauce finishes. You can also use brown rice, but you’ll need to start cooking that before adding the coconut milk to the sauce (see your package for cooking time).

Once the sauce is ready, check it for consistency. If it needs to be a little thicker, mix some arrowroot starch with some warm water and add it to the slow cooker. Stir it well and let it cook another 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens.

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Vegetable Tikka Masala with cilantro in a gray and white bowl on wood board.

Vegetarian Tikka Masala

  • Author: Cheryl Englebretson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This vegetarian TIkka Masala dish is full of vegetables and spices that make it taste amazing. Not only is it delicious, but it is healthy for you too.


  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch coins
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 Tbsp. ghee
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa or rice (about 3 to 3.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 14-oz. can coconut milk, unsweetened and full fat
  • cilantro to garnish
  • 12 Tbsp. arrowroot starch (optional, if needed to thicken the sauce)


  1. Add all of the ingredients but the coconut milk, cilantro and quinoa/rice to the slower cooker. Stir well.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours
  3. Once done cooking, add the coconut milk (shake the can well before opening  it). Stir the coconut milk into the rest of the sauce until it is well incorporated. Turn the heat to low and cook another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the quinoa/rice to serve with the Tikka Masala. The slower cooker can stay on warm or be turned off until the quinoa/rice is finished cooking. If the grain you choose to cook takes longer than 20 minutes to prepare, you’ll want to start this before you add the coconut milk to the sauce.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.


If you like a bit more spice, add an additional 1 Tbsp. of garam masala or 1 tsp. of chili powder.

If the sauce is not thick enough, you can add some arrowroot starch to the sauce at the end of the cooking process. Mix 1 Tbsp. of starch with 1 Tbsp. warm water in a small bowl and mix well. Add the starch to the mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add more starch, if needed.

Cubed chicken can be added to this recipe, if you are not eating vegetarian or vegan.

Keywords: gluten free, vegan option, nut free

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