Vegan Tikka Masala Sauce

This vegan Indian sauce is great to eat with vegetables, paneer, tofu, or any kind of protein! I also love drizzling it over quinoa for a tasty, healthy-ish protein packed dinner. The creaminess in tikka masala sauce is usually developed with the addition of cream or blended cashews, but I’ve used a roasted red pepper in this recipe to make a vegan and nut-free version! The roasted pepper also adds a bit more smokiness and depth to the sauce. 


Vegan Tikka Masala Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people


  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes diced (roughly 570 grams)
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic paste or diced
  • ½ tbsp ginger paste or diced
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp red chili powder adjust according to your spice preference
  • salt to taste


Roasting the red pepper

  • Start your oven on the broil setting on high.
  • Slice the red bell pepper in half and remove the stem and seeds.
  • Rub the bell pepper with a little bit of olive oil on both sides and place with the skin side up on a baking tray.
  • Place the bell pepper into the oven and let it roast for 15 minutes, or until the skin is blackened.
  • Remove the bell pepper from the oven, put it in a bowl and cover the bowl to let them peppers steam through. This will make it easier to remove the skin.
  • Once the red bell pepper is cool, remove the blackened skin with a large knife and set the pepper aside.

Making the sauce

  • Heat oil in a pot to make the tikka masala sauce.
  • Once the oil is hot, add in the cumin seeds and ginger, and let them fry for a few seconds (very very few seconds, you don’t want the ginger to burn!).
  • Add in the garlic, onion, and bay leaf and sauté.
  • Add in garam masala powder, red chili powder, and a sprinkle of salt and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent.
  • Once the onions are cooked, add in the tomatoes and continuously stir for 10 minutes.
  • Add in salt for the tomatoes once most of the juice from the tomatoes has evaporated and continue to stir for a few more minutes. Once they are thoroughly cooked, set the tikka masala sauce aside to cool. Make sure to remove the bay leaf!
  • Add the roasted red bell pepper and the cooled tikka masala into a blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Serve over cooked veggies, protein, or grains!
Keyword Nut-Free, Tikka Masala, Vegan

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