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India meets Italy in this Tikka Masala Pasta, a spin on the classic Chicken Tikka Masala. Pasta cooked in a creamy and delicious tikka masala gravy. Use whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta for a slightly healthier alternative.

I come from a large family and we show our love with food. Most of us fall into one of two categories – we either love to cook, or we love to critique food. I fall into both categories.
Tikka Masala Pasta

Being the youngest of four, I got away with doing the least amount of work. 🙂 This is one of those rare occasions my siblings will actually agree with me. lol.
Tikka Masala Pasta

I had no shame in showing up to all their gatherings and enjoying their incredible dishes while they slaved off in the kitchen. Having said that, when I did host people, I was usually cooking for my close girlfriends in Jersey City. Cooking for a few women isn’t a big deal to me, but cooking for 13, now that’s work. Keep in mind, 13 people is still less than the number of people in my immediate family.

I’ve realized so many things while being far away from home. I have so much respect for my siblings who hosted more people than I could even imagine, but most of all, for my mom. Like most moms, my mom has the ability to whip up a meal for the 15 of us without measuring anything, and she’ll act as though it is no big deal. Clearly, my mom puts me to shame because cooking for 13 was a huge deal for me. Would I do it again? Absolutely! 🙂

The Pasta

This Tikka Masala Pasta (aka Vegetarian Indian Pasta) is one of my best creations if I say so myself. I devoured this dish before my party. It’s creamy and spicy with a medley of complex Indian flavors that impeccably come together. Please make this dish, it’s seriously that good. Be sure to mention me on Instagram, and I’ll share the love. ♥

tikka masala pasta is:

Indulgent
Creamy
Delicious
Flavorsome
Versatile – throw in grilled chicken
Vegetarian
Gluten-Free & Whole Wheat options (swap the pasta for a healthier alternative)
Tikka Masala Pasta

What other Pasta Shapes can I use?

For the best results – I recommend using medium shells as shown in this recipe. You can also use macaroni, penne, or rigatoni. These pasta shapes will trap the sauce which will help achieve the best results.

how to make tikka masala pasta step by step?

Begin by boiling a pot of water. Chop the onions, ginger and garlic. Set aside.

Using a coffee grinder, blend the spices – cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and peppercorns.

Now set aside the spices you blended above along with turmeric powder, chili powder, and coriander powder.

Start by heating up a large pan. Once hot, add olive oil, followed by a large black cardamom and bay leaf. Saute for 30 seconds or so.

Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes until translucent. Do NOT brown the onions.

Also add the ginger and garlic. Season with salt. Cook for 1 minute.

Add the spices along with a 1/4 cup of water. We’re adding the water so the spices don’t burn. Saute for 1 minute.

Now add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with salt. Stir well. Cover with a lid. Cook the tomatoes down for 8 minutes and reduce heat to low-medium.

While the tomatoes cook down, chop 1/2 a green bell pepper.

Add the pasta to salted boiling water. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box until al dente.

Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the green pepper and cook for 1 minute.

Add the heavy cream, garam masala, and dry fenugreek leaves. Stir. Let the sauce warm up for about 1-2 minutes.

Here’s your creamy tikka masala sauce. Once you see little bubbles reduce the heat to very low. Check for salt, add more if need be.

Using a spider strainer, add the cooked pasta to the tikka masala sauce. By adding the pasta this way, you are also adding starchy pasta water which helps bind the sauce to the pasta. If you choose to drain the pasta, make sure you add about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water to the sauce.

Mix the sauce and pasta well. Once heated through, turn off the stove.

Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Serve immediately. Don’t wait, it tastes best when hot.

4.97 from 61 votes

Tikka Masala Pasta

By: Nisha
India meets Italy in this Tikka Masala Pasta, a spin on the classic Chicken Tikka Masala. Pasta cooked in a creamy and delicious tikka masala gravy. Use whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta for a slightly healthier alternative.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

for the spice blend

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick

for the sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 black cardamom, (moti elachi)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp Indian red chili powder, (substitute option: cayenne pepper)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes, organic canned unsalted
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, organic canned unsalted
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream, organic
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves, (kasoori methi)
  • 1 pound medium shells pasta*, use whole wheat or gluten-free if you wish
  • 1/4 cup reserved starchy pasta water, see step #14
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
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Instructions 

  • Begin by boiling a pot of water. Chop the onions, ginger and garlic. Set aside.
  • Using a coffee grinder, blend the spices – cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and peppercorns.
  • Now set aside the spices you blended above along with turmeric powder, chili powder, and coriander powder.
  • Start by heating up a large pan. Once hot, add olive oil, followed by a large black cardamom and bay leaf. Saute for 30 seconds or so.
  • Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes until translucent. Do NOT brown the onions.
  • Also add the ginger and garlic. Season with salt. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the spices along with a 1/4 cup of water. We’re adding the water so the spices don’t burn. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Now add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with salt. Stir well. Cover with a lid. Cook the tomatoes down for 8 minutes and reduce heat to low-medium.
  • While the tomatoes cook down, chop 1/2 a green bell pepper.
  • Add the pasta to salted boiling water. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box until al dente.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the green pepper and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the heavy cream, garam masala, and dry fenugreek leaves. Stir.
  • Here’s your creamy tikka masala sauce. Check for salt, add more if need be.
  • Using a spider strainer, add the cooked pasta to the tikka masala sauce. By adding the pasta this way, you are also adding starchy pasta water which helps bind the sauce to the pasta. If you choose to drain the pasta, make sure you add about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water to the sauce.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Serve immediately. Don’t wait, it tastes best when hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 322mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1072IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian-Inspired, Italian Inspired
Tried this recipe?Mention @honeywhatscooking or tag #honeywhatscooking!

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Pasta Tikka Masala


Hi, I'm Nisha!

I'm a foodie who is passionate about healthy-ish living and mindful eating. You'll find a bit of everything here. I use mostly organic real ingredients and incorporate seasonal produce in my cooking. I believe food is medicine. Join me on this soul-searching journey as I share my love for good food, and I hope I inspire you to eat better somewhere along the way.


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Recipe Rating




79 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for a thanksgiving dinner and it was a hit! Loved all the flavors and it was not challenging to make at all

  2. 5 stars
    My fiancé’s new favorite food (and mine!). The tikka masala pasta was spicy, easy to put together and so delicious! I used whole wheat pasta and 1/4 cup of cream to make it lighter. This will be a popular repeat recipe for sure!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for thanksgiving dinner – it was absolutely delish! Everyone loved it so much! Planning to make it again soon ?

  4. 5 stars
    It’s so so delicious ?
    I’ve cooked this Tikka Masala pasta few times and every time I make it…uffff ? ?
    Hubby loves it too ?
    Thank you Mrs. Kapur ? for the yummy recipe

  5. 5 stars
    Tried the recipe and it turned out amazinggg! Added the chicken aswell. Thankyou for the inspiration Nisha! Also, it was such an easy recipe yet so flavorful.?

  6. 5 stars
    Perfect fusion of an Italian and Indian mix! Made this tonight and substituted heavy cream for equal parts of Greek yogurt and milk since I didn’t have any. Came out so flavorful and it was so easy to follow and make. Love all your recipes!

  7. 5 stars
    This pasta was amazing – the perfect blend of Indian and Italian. My whole family loved it. I didn’t have bay leaves at home, but it still turned out amazing. I can see why this would be a hit at parties, especially if there are vegetarians out there. I did add extra tomato sauce because I know that the pasta absorbs the sauce and gets thicker, and I just like extra sauce in my dishes. This will definitely be on rotation!

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for coming up with delicious fusion. Our company and ya loved it. Your recipes rocks. I made it with green Rotini pasta-very healthy version