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A top-down shot of tofu tikka masala.

Tofu Tikka Masala

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: erin wysocarski
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 big servings
  • Diet: Vegan


This tofu tikka masala offers the perfect balance of tangy tomato, warm fragrant spices and creamy coconut. In this recipe, pressed, marinated, baked then smashed tofu cubes are simmered in a lush tomato gravy. This dish offers heavenly aromas and a big bowl of delicious comfort food!


for the tofu tikka

  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk*
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TB canola or grapeseed oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder (increase up to 1 tsp if you like spice)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 14-oz. block of tofu, pressed, then cut into 1X1-inch cubes

for the masala

  • 2 TB canola or coconut oil
  • 2 TB vegan butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ to 1 tsp red chili powder (depending on your heat preference)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 14 oz. can of chopped fire-roasted tomatoes 
  • 2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk, plus more if a creamer end result is desired*
  • 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste

to serve

  • cooked basmati rice, for serving
  • chopped cilantro, for serving
  • vegan naan
  • flaky sea salt if desired
  • a few extra pinches of garam masala
  • sambal (to add more heat if you’d like)


for the tofu tikka

  1. Place all of the tofu tikka ingredients except for the tofu into a nutribullet or other small blender. Blend until smooth. Taste, and add more salt or spice if you’d like.
  2. Place the tofu into a plastic container or bag and scrape the marinade over it. Stir or massage the bag to coat the tofu, taking care not to break it. Place it into the refrigerator overnight to marinate.
  3. To bake the tofu, preheat your oven to 425.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the tofu cubes onto it in an even layer, spaced apart.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Flip the tofu over and slightly mash it with a fork to create irregular shapes. You can alternatively leave it whole. Bake 10 minutes more or until the edges are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

for the masala

  1. Heat the oil and vegan butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, stir and sauté until they develop some color, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger, stir and sauté a bit more, until the ginger is soft.
  2. In a small bowl, add the coriander powder, paprika, garam masala, red chili powder and turmeric. Stir to combine. Add to the pot and stir until well combined.
  3. Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add in the canned tomatoes and stir. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add in 1 cup of the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  5. Add in the baked tofu and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for a few minutes more. Add more coconut milk (½ cup to a full cup), depending on how creamy you like it. Just taste as you go, and add even more coconut milk if you’d like.
  6. Add the salt. Taste, and add more salt if desired. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes more.
  7. Transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with a little garam masala and salt if desired. Add some sambal on the side if you want some heat. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro.

Serve with basmati rice and vegan naan.


* You’ll use a little less than 2 cans of coconut milk in this recipe. Before using it, whisk it in a big bowl so the texture is even.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes