This Cauliflower Tikka Masala is a vegan version of the popular Indian dish. It is made with cauliflower, cinnamon, turmeric, and other spices. The result will be a flavorful and fragrant dish that is sure to please vegans and meat-eaters alike.

The best part is it’s not that hard to cook! You don’t need any special cooking skills or special ingredients to make this dish. The Cauliflower Tikka Masala is simple yet incredibly flavorful, so give it a try today!

If you are a fan of Indian food then you must have heard of Tikka Masala. Tikka Masala is a very popular dish in India and it is made with chicken or lamb. But what if we told you that you could make a delicious vegan version of this dish with cauliflower? Yes, you read that right! The ingredients used in this recipe are so versatile that they can make any dish taste amazing.

Also check out, Tofu Tikka Masala and Aloo Palak.

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What Is Cauliflower Tikka Masala?

As you can tell by the name, cauliflower tikka masala is a vegan version of the classic Indian dish, tikka masala. The main ingredient in this dish is, of course, cauliflower. Cauliflower is a type of vegetable that belongs to the brassica family, which also includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It is often considered a healthy alternative to starchy foods like potatoes and rice.

This particular dish is made by marinating cauliflower florets in a mixture of spices and then cooking them in a tomato-based sauce. The result is a flavorful, hearty, and healthy meal that will give your tastebuds a new experience. If you’re looking for a tasty vegan dish that is packed with nutrients but low in calories, cauliflower tikka masala is a perfect choice!

Why Would You Enjoy Cauliflower Tikka Masala?

There are so many reasons why you will love this cauliflower tikka masala recipe, here are some of the main ones

  1. It is easy to cook: Even if you are a beginner cook or don’t have too much experience in the kitchen, this dish is simple and quick to make. With just a few ingredients and minimal cooking skills, you can have a tasty and healthy meal ready in no time!
  2. It’s a great option for vegans: As we mentioned before, cauliflower tikka masala is a 100% vegan food that contains no meat or animal products. This makes it a great choice for vegans and vegetarians who are looking to enjoy a hearty meal without compromising their dietary choices.
  3. It’s packed with nutrients: Cauliflower is known for being low in calories but high in nutrients, and this dish is no exception. With ingredients like cauliflower, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon, it is loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and calcium that help keep your body healthy.
  4. It tastes great: Of course, the most important reason why you should try this recipe is that it simply tastes amazing! Whether you are cooking for yourself or a crowd of people, cauliflower tikka masala is sure to be a hit. It has spiciness, sweetness, and savoriness all in one dish, making it a truly delectable experience. So why wait? Try this recipe today!
  5. You can experiment with different ingredients: Cauliflower is known for its versatility! This means that you can experiment with different ingredients to create your unique version of cauliflower tikka masala. Try adding different spices or even incorporating other vegetables into the dish, the possibilities are endless!
  6. Authentic Indian flavors: One of the best things about this dish is that it captures the authentic flavors of India. If you have never tried Indian food before, this recipe is a great introduction to the cuisine. It has all of the classic spices and flavors that you would expect from an Indian dish, but with a vegan twist.
  7. Your kids will love it: If you are trying to get your kids to eat more vegetables and vegan foods, cauliflower tikka masala may be the answer! Unlike other veggies, cauliflower is mild in taste, which makes it a great option for picky eaters. It also has a fun crunchy texture that even the most finicky eater can enjoy.
Cauliflower tikka masala ingredients

How To Prepare Cauliflower Tikka Masala?

So now that we know one or two things about cauliflower tikka masala, let’s get down to business and learn how to make it! The great thing about this recipe is that it is straightforward to follow.

Ingredients

Cauliflower

  • Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Avocado oil
  • Salt 

Tikka Masala Sauce

  • Coconut oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Turmeric
  • Tomato sauce
  • Coconut milk
  • Water
  •  Cayenne pepper
  •  Salt 
  • Cilantro

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Now toss the cauliflower florets with oil and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Spread cauliflower florets on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the tikka masala sauce
  4. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan, add onion, and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric, and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add tomato sauce, coconut milk, water, cayenne, and salt to taste.
  6. Stir in the roasted cauliflower florets
  7. Garnish with cilantro and serve and that’s it, your very own cauliflower tikka masala is ready to be devoured!
Cauliflower tikka masala in a saucepan cooking

Nutritional value

  • Calories: 292kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 22.5g 
  • Protein: 6.5g 
  • Fat: 22.7g 
  • Cholesterol: 35mg 
  • Fiber: 7.8g 
  • Sugar: 8g 
  • Vitamin C: 111mg 
  • Calcium: 94mg 
  • Iron: 3.2mg

Extra tips

  • If you want a bit more of a crunch in your tikka masala, feel free to add some chopped nuts or seeds of your choice.
  • This recipe is also great with tofu or tempeh! Just substitute the cauliflower for either one of these protein-packed options.
  • If you want a bit more heat, simply add more cayenne pepper to the dish.
  • This recipe can be easily made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour or bread crumbs.
  • To make this recipe even easier, you can substitute the tikka masala sauce for a store-bought variety. Just be sure to check the ingredients and look for one that is vegan and does not contain any added preservatives or chemicals.
  • Cauliflower tikka masala can be served over rice or quinoa. It is also delicious on its own or with a side of bread.
  • Leftover tikka masala can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Variations of Cauliflower Tikka Masala

As we mentioned cauliflowers are very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some other variations of Cauliflower Tikka Masala that you might enjoy:

  1. Spicy Cauliflower Tikka Masala: If you like your food with a bit of a kick, then this variation is for you! Simply add more cayenne pepper to the dish or use a hotter chili pepper to place it. You can add green chilies or chili flakes to make it even hotter.
  2. Creamy Cauliflower Tikka Masala: For a richer and creamier dish, you can add some cashew cream or coconut milk to the recipe. This will also make the dish more filling and satisfying. You can also use full-fat yogurt if you are not vegan.
  3. Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Nuts: Another great way to add some texture and flavor to the dish is by adding nuts. You can use any type of nuts that you like such as almonds, pistachios, or even peanuts. Simply add them at the end and mix them into the sauce for a nice crunch!
  4. Broccoli Tikka Masala: If you want to change things up a bit, you can also use broccoli instead of cauliflower. Broccoli has a slightly different texture but it will still taste delicious in this dish! It will add more crunchiness to the dish and give you a nice dose of nutrients and vitamins.
  5. Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Chickpeas: If you are trying to increase your protein intake, then this variation is a great one to try. Simply add some cooked chickpeas in at the same time as the cauliflower florets and cook everything together. You can also use canned chickpeas in a pinch! The result will be a hearty and nutritious meal that is packed with protein.

How To Store The Leftovers?

Leftover cauliflower tikka masala can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To maintain freshness and prevent spoilage, be sure to store it at a cool temperature and keep it away from moisture and heat. When ready to eat the leftovers, simply reheat them on the stove over medium heat until heated throughout.

What Do I Serve With Cauliflower Tikka Masala?

Here are some of the side dishes you can serve with Cauliflower Tikka Masala

  1. Rice: This dish pairs well with white or brown rice, both of which are great sources of complex carbohydrates. Rice is also a good way to bulk up the meal and help you feel satisfied for hours. See, How To Cook Brown Rice. 
  2. Naan bread: Naan bread is an Indian flatbread that goes perfectly with any curry or tikka masala dish, it is soft and fluffy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. You can find Naan bread at most grocery stores or you can make it at home! Also, try my Gluten-Free Vegan Flatbread recipe.
  3. Quinoa: Quinoa is a protein-rich grain that can be cooked ahead of time and added to all sorts of dishes. It goes great with Cauliflower Tikka Masala and adds a nice crunchy texture. You can find quinoa in most grocery stores, or you can make it at home! How To Cook Quinoa?
  4. Couscous: Couscous is another type of grain that can be cooked ahead of time and added to all sorts of dishes. It goes great with Cauliflower Tikka Masala and has a slightly different texture than quinoa. You can find couscous in most grocery stores, or you can make it at home! You can also find Gluten-Free Cassava Couscous.

What Type Of Cauliflower Should I Use?

We highly recommend using fresh and organic cauliflower for this recipe. Cauliflower is a very delicate vegetable and it tends to absorb whatever flavors it is cooked with. This is why we believe that using fresh and organic cauliflower will give you the best flavor and results. You can find fresh and organic cauliflower at most grocery stores or you can grow it yourself!

Are Cauliflowers Good For Your health?

Yes, cauliflowers are very good for your health. They are low in calories but high in crucial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This makes them a great choice if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet. Additionally, some studies have found that cauliflower may help prevent cancer due to its high content of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Also, see Cauliflower Benefits And Nutrition.

Are Cauliflowers Easy To Cook?

Cauliflowers can be a little tricky to cook, as they tend to get mushy quickly. However, with some care and attention, you should be able to cook them just right! We recommend cooking them over low heat for about 20 minutes, or just until the florets are fork-tender but not overly soft. Roasted cauliflower is the best way of preventing cauliflower from turning mushy.

Other Cauliflower Recipes To Try

Here are some of the other cauliflower recipes you can try

cauliflower tikka masala in a black bowl on a grey background

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Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 292 kcal / 1221 kJ
  • Fat: 22.7 g
  • Protein: 6.5 g
  • Carbs: 22.5 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 35 min
  • Ready in: 45 min
  • For: 4 Servings

Ingredients

For The Roasted Cauliflower

For The Vegan Tikka Masala Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Now toss the cauliflower florets with oil and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Spread cauliflower florets on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the tikka masala sauce
  4. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan, add onion, and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric, and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add tomato sauce, coconut milk, water, cayenne, and salt to taste.
  6. Stir in the roasted cauliflower florets
  7. Garnish with cilantro and serve and that's it, your very own cauliflower tikka masala is ready to be devoured!
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.