A vegan tikka masala made with tender cauliflower, hearty chickpeas and sweet and creamy coconut milk! This cozy recipe uses mostly pantry items that you likely have on hand. It is a ridiculously easy and flavorful meal that comes together quickly.
This dairy-free and healthier tikka masala dish is my new weeknight dinner bestie. When time is short and I want a cozy, filling and nutritious meal quickly, I go for recipes that use mostly pantry ingredients, require little chopping/hands on time and don't take long to cook.
This Instant Pot vegan tikka masala hits all that criteria and more! It also happens to be infused with big flavor from the spice blend and loaded with plant-based protein and veggies. Plus, it is gluten-free and nut-free making it allergy-friendly and something that most everyone can enjoy.
This dish is sweet, spicy, savory, cozy and super filling. It really has it all going on. Plus, it is impressive on any table and very nutritious.
Most tikka masala recipes contain meat and dairy. This vegan version is still filling with the addition of chickpeas and cauliflower.
It gets its creaminess from full fat coconut-milk instead of heavy cream and whole milk yogurt. And I promise you won't miss it at all! Coconut milk is one of those miracle foods for all us dairy-free folks. I always have a couple cans in my pantry.
Here is all you need to make it:
- olive oil
- canned or jarred crushed tomatoes
- coconut milk
- lots of yummy spices!
- garbanzo beans (canned or cooked from dried)
Most of these items are pantry staples so all you will really need to shop for is fresh cauliflower.
Close lid and make sure the vent is on sealing. Press the rice function and cook for 12 minutes. Let naturally release for 5 minutes. Press 'OFF' and release any remaining pressure. Open lid and fluff with a fork. Remove the coconut rice from the Instant Pot and set aside in a bowl. Clean and dry the Instant Pot for the tikka masala.
Now let's make the tikka masala sauce! Hit the "saute" button and add olive oil or coconut oil. Once hot, add in onion, garlic and all of the spices. Stir for 2 minutes until the onions begin to soften and the spices are very fragrant.
Add in crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, water, garbanzo beans and chopped cauliflower florets and stir.
Press the "off/cancel/keep warm" button. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes, then manually release the pressure.Hit "cancel/keep warm" and let it sit until ready to serve.
Serve over coconut rice with cilantro and lime wedges for garnish.
Ooooomigosh. I'm beyond obsessed with my favorite easy side dish for this recipe - my creamy coconut rice!
I typically make a double batch to have on hand for meals like this. It completely transforms boring white rice into the most creamy, sweet and fluffy magical rice you will ever taste. I don't know that I will ever cook rice another way! Seriously. I could eat this stuff plain by the spoonful.
It couldn't be easier to make too. The only ingredients you need are:
- full fat coconut milk
- white basmati rice
Everything goes directly into the Instant Pot and out comes the most incredible rice to ever touch your lips. Dramatic? Yes. True? Also, yes.
I discovered this coconut rice recipe from my friend Laney (thank you, Laney!) from Life is but a Dish. If you are looking for stovetop directions you can find that in her blog post. I included the Instant Pot coconut rice recipe below.
So while this coconut rice part of the tikka masala recipe is certainly not required, I highly recommend making it. It is the perfect bed to sop up all the flavors and juices from your tikka masala. You will definitely not regret it. And it makes the dish even more filling. It also makes the dish more creamy and sweet to offset the strong spices in the tikka masala.
What are the health benefits of cauliflower?
Cauliflower is a powerhouse vegetable that is low in calories while offering dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. This recipe is a delicious way to get more cauliflower into your diet without it feeling like a chore. Here, I used a head of white cauliflower but you could swap it for orange cauliflower, purple cauliflower or even romanesco.
Want more Instant Pot recipes in your life?
Try these vegan and gluten-free pressure cooker recipes (both savory and sweet):
For more savory instant pot recipes, you have to try my mushroom risotto recipe - it comes together so easily and is packed with flavor. Just like my Instant Pot chickpea bolognese and whipped sweet potatoes, super easy recipes that are perfect for your Instant Pot!
If it's more of a sweet offering that you are looking for, I love using my Instant Pot to make sweet and healthy treats! My easy sweet potato breakfast bowls are always a hit and you can always whip up a batch of my homemade pumpkin puree or sugar-free apple butter in your Instant Pot too!
I've been making this recipe weekly and no one seems to be complaining in our household. It is cozy, comforting and full of so much amazing flavor. I cannot wait for you give this vegan tikka masala a try!
I hope you make it and tag me on Instagram so I can see your mouthwatering plate of tikka masala. You can also leave a review below to help anyone else who may want to try this recipe!
Finally, sign up for my newsletter to receive easy, delicious, and nutritious plant-based recipes right to your inbox. Enjoy!Print
A vegan spin on tikka masala made with tender cauliflower, hearty chickpeas and sweet and creamy coconut milk! This cozy recipe uses mostly pantry items that you likely have on hand. It is a ridiculously easy and flavorful meal that comes together quickly.
For the Coconut Rice
- 1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed well
- 1, 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk, room temperature, shaken well
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
For the Cauliflower Chickpea Tikka Masala
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1, 18 oz jar (or can) crushed tomatoes
- 1, 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup water
- 1, 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed) or 1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans
- 1 head cauliflower, stem and leaves removed and cut into florets, then chopped
- fresh cilantro (large stems removed)
- Lime wedges
For the coconut rice (make in advance if possible):
- Add the rice, coconut milk and salt to the bottom of the Instant Pot and stir.
- Close lid and make sure the vent is on sealing. Press the rice function and cook for 12 minutes. Let naturally release for 5 minutes. Press 'OFF' and release any remaining pressure. Open lid and fluff with a fork. Remove the coconut rice from the Instant Pot and set aside in a bowl. Clean and dry the Instant Pot for the tikka masala.
For the tikka masala:
- Hit the "saute" button and add olive oil or coconut oil. Once hot, add in onion, garlic and all of the spices. Stir for 2 minutes until the onions begin to soften and the spices are very fragrant.
- Add in crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, water, garbanzo beans and chopped cauliflower florets and stir.
- Press the "off/cancel/keep warm" button. Lock the lid and turn the vent to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes, then manually release the pressure.
- Hit "cancel/keep warm" and let it sit until ready to serve. Serve over coconut rice with cilantro and lime wedges for garnish.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 45
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Indian
The tikka masala recipe is inspired by and adapted from my friend, Mary of Mary's Whole Life. You can check out her original recipe with chicken here. Her recipe is Whole30 compliant.