Vegan Tikka Masala is so easy to make and best served with vegan naan. Featuring “chicken-style” tofu and a perfectly spiced, creamy sauce, this popular dish just got the best vegan makeover!

looking down on a bowl of tikka masala in turquoise bowl with white rice

I used the same method here for baking tofu “chicken style” as I did for Vegan Butter Chicken, one of my most popular recipes! I love this method of cooking tofu; it has a unique texture and delicious flavor. When paired with a spicy, creamy masala sauce it is simply incredible.

Consider making a batch of Easy Vegan Naan to soak up the flavor-packed sauce!

large pan full of vegan tikka masala

How to make Vegan Tikka Masala

Here are the main steps, in photos, to making this tasty dish. The recipe is written in full at the bottom of this post if you’d rather skip the photos.

  • Press your tofu, then slice it into 6 pieces. Tear the tofu into bite sized pieces, place in a large ziplock bag along with the olive oil, cornstarch and salt, and shake until coated. (1)
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes until golden and a bit crispy. There is no need to flip it halfway, which I love! (2)

collage of before and after baking tofu that is ripped like chicken

  • While the tofu bakes, make the sauce. Saute an onion in olive oil for a few minutes, then add the ginger and garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the spices and salt. (3)
  • Add the tomato sauce. (4)
  • Stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for about 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add the additional 1/4 cup water. (5)
  • Once the tofu is done baking, simply add it to the sauce. (6)

collage of how to make tofu tikka masala sauce

Serve with rice and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Want more Vegan Indian inspired recipes?

2 bowls of tikka masala with white rice

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looking down on a bowl of tikka masala in turquoise bowl with white rice
4.99 stars (53 ratings)

Vegan Tikka Masala

Vegan Tikka Masala is so easy to make and best serve with vegan naan. Featuring "chicken-style" tofu and a perfectly spiced, creamy sauce, this popular dish just got the best vegan makeover!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Tofu pressing time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings


For the tofu

  • 2 (16-ounce) blocks extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the masala sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water, as needed to thin the sauce

For serving

  • 4 cups cooked rice, white or brown
  • chopped cilantro


  • Press the tofu: Wrap the blocks of tofu in paper towels. Place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, and put a couple of heavy books on top of that. Let the tofu press for 20 minutes. (You can skip this step if you get the super firm variety)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the tofu into about 6 slices (see photos in post above for reference). Now, rip each slice into medium-large pieces. You can also simply cut them into cubes, if you prefer, but ripping gives the tofu a great "chicken-style" texture for this dish.
  • Add the tofu pieces to a large ziplock bag, along with the olive oil, cornstarch and salt. Close the bag, and shake gently to coat. Arrange the tofu evenly on the prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  • While the tofu bakes, prepare the sauce: Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the spices, salt, tomato sauce and coconut milk. Stir until smooth and combined, then simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • If the sauce is too thick, add the 1/4 cup of water to thin. When the tofu is done baking, add it to the sauce and stir to coat the pieces.
  • Serve hot with rice and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.


  1. Nutritional information is an estimate only and includes rice. 
  2. For a tofu-less option, try using 2 cans of drained/rinsed chickpeas instead. OR substitute soy curls or vegan chicken pieces. Roasted cauliflower would also be a great choice!
  3. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This dish freezes well.
  4. To make this recipe easier and faster: buy super firm tofu that doesn't need pressing, and use pre-grated ginger and chopped garlic from a jar. You can even buy pre-cooked frozen rice!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 938mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 223mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Indian
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. This recipe looks great! I just started eating Indian food and would like to try making it at home. I am not a big fan of tofu, but you mentioned that I could substitute it for soy curls. How much of that wouId I use in place of the tofu?

    1. I would say use an 8 ounce bag of soy curls. Rehydrate them in warm water or broth first, squeeze excess liquid out, then you could fry them up a bit before adding to the sauce, or just add them straight in. You could also use some other store bought vegan chicken, or homemade seitan, if you like. Or even a mix of cauliflower and chickpeas. Just for other ideas.

    1. You can reheat it either in a pan on the stovetop (perhaps after thawing in the refrigerator overnight) or simply in the microwave until hot. Glad you love it!

  2. This is one of my family’s favorite vegan recipes. I have picky young children and picky young adult children ( the young adults are not vegans) but everyone of them love, love this recipe. In fact, I have to double the recipe because we all want leftovers. This one is a keeper!

    1. A recipe that everyone loves is a winner for sure! I am thrilled that everyone loves this one! Thanks for your fabulous review and feedback!

  3. This is regularly on rotation in my household and is frequently requested by my non-vegan friends. Someone who is allergic to corn has asked that I make it – have you tried baking the tofu with arrowroot instead of cornstarch?

    1. Yes, I have used arrowroot and it works quite well. Maybe the tofu doesn’t get quite the same crisp, but it works well. I’m so glad you (and your friends!) are enjoying the tikka masala.

  4. I just made this, doubling the recipe. Instead of tofu, though, I sauted in a separate pan some seitan, 2 containers of mushrooms, and a can of chickpeas. I had the sauce and the pan mixture over brown rice. REALLY tasty. It wasn’t thick, so I made a slurry with some of the sauce and some corn starch and added it back to the pan of sauce. I imagine it will thicken up in the fridge. I love your recipes, which is why I trusted you enough to double the amount even though this was the first time I made it. Thank you!

    1. You are welcome, Susan! It’s great that you loved the recipe! Your ideas sound delicious! Thanks for sharing your fabulous feedback and review!

  5. This sauce is amazing! It’s a family favorite 😀 we sub tofu for oyster mushrooms and it works so well. Thanks for another great recipe!!

    1. Hi Dana. Glad you love the recipe! You could add a bit more cayenne pepper, or your favorite hot sauce. Thanks for your wonderful review!

    1. Any kind of cream would do, like cashew cream or I suppose heavy cream if you eat dairy. I’ve even used dairy free plain yogurt for a lighter option and it worked well.

  6. This recipe is delicious, even my non-vegan boyfriend loves it! My sauce was way too thin, so I thickened it with a cornstarch slurry, and next time I plan to add more tofu and maybe hot sauce. Will definitely make again, thank you Nora! These recipes are my go-to!

    1. You are welcome, Kylee! I’m thrilled you are loving my recipes! Thank you for sharing your awesome feedback and review!

    2. Incredible! Loved this recipe, thank you! Added giant chickpeas as well as the tofu plus lots of spinach at the end. Yum! Served over brown rice with fresh coriander and some fresh red chillies along with wholewheat chapatis. Delicious!

  7. My family really enjoyed this recipe. I used mindful chick’n plant-based strips along with tofu. My kids prefer the strips to tofu due to their consistency. Closer to the real meat. I did not use the oil in the pan since there is plenty of fat from the coconut milk; I used a little bit of vegetable broth for the onions. I used just one teaspoon of cumin instead of one and a half since I find cumin usually overpowering the other spices, and probably 2-3 cups of vegetable broth. We had it with naan bread and rice. I was told that we should do it again. Thank you, Nora for this wonderful recipe.

    1. You are welcome, Violet. I’m glad you customized the recipe to your family’s liking! Thank you for sharing your great feedback and review! Happy cooking!

    1. Yes, chopped tomatoes will also work! Feel free to blend them ahead of time for a smoother consistency or make sure they cook until the tomatoes are beginning to break down. Hope this helps!

  8. Hi!

    I make this alllll the time now. Do you think I could freeze the sauce to heat up and use over time with new batches of tofu, or would it not do well frozen?

    1. You are welcome, Brittany! I’m so glad you love the recipe! It is one of my favorites! Thank you for sharing your fantastic feedback!

  9. This was an excellent adaptation! I even added a little poultry seasoning to the tofu/cornstarch mixture for a bolder chicken flavor. It didn’t compete with the Indian flavors at all. 

  10. I only made the sauce, but it was amazing!  I made a few minor changes to the recipe based on what was in my house:
    — – ginger
    — + okra (precooked), red, yellow and jalapeño peppers and julienned carrots (added just a few minutes before serving)
    —used curry powder instead of coriander (I didn’t have any coriander, and my curry powder had coriander in it)

    I used Prego Garden Chunky Combo tomato sauce and Aroy-D coconut milk.

    I served it with riced cauliflower.  I will definitely make it again.

    1. I’m so glad you loved the sauce, Kerrie! Thanks for sharing about the changes you made and for your wonderful feedback!

  11. Made this tonight, and it was such a hit in our house! Cooking the tofu this way was a game-changer–it really gave it a “chicken-like” texture. And the tikka masala sauce itself was wonderful and so easy to make! I did add some cornstarch to the sauce to thicken it slightly. We made this with your truly amazing naan–sooo delicious! Thank you so much, Nora, for your wonderful recipes! I will be adding this one and your naan to our rotation for sure!

    1. Hi Kim. You are welcome! I’m so glad your family loved the recipe and will be adding it to your meal rotation! I also love it with the naan! Thank you for sharing your fantastic feedback and fun experience! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!

    1. It could except I would still bake the tofu in the oven, then add it at the end. Otherwise it won’t be crispy/chewy, just soft.

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