Try this Instant Pot tofu tikka masala recipe for a comforting, flavourful one-pot meal that can be made with minimal effort and ingredients.

Bowl of tofu tikka masala topped with fresh cilantro.

Features

  • Tofu in a spiced coconut tomato sauce inspired by the classic Indian dish, tikka masala.
  • Quick and easy, 30-minute Instant Pot recipe.
  • Made with just 12 simple, everyday ingredients.
  • Wonderfully rich and creamy – perfect for dipping soft, warm naan bread!
  • Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free (contains coconut), sugar-free.
  • Even better the next day after the flavours further develop.

Ingredient Notes

Visual list of ingredients needed for making a tofu tikka masala recipe.

Complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.

  • Oil: Saute with olive, coconut or avocado oil or use water or broth for an oil-free recipe.
  • Onion, Garlic and Ginger: Best with all 3 for the flavour base. If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, you can substituted 1 tsp ground ginger (fresh is best here though!).
  • Tofu: Use firm or extra-firm tofu. Pressing is optional.
  • Crusted Tomatoes: I’d recommend crushed tomatoes for a smooth sauce.
  • Spices: You’ll need cumin, turmeric, coriander and garam masala.
  • Coconut Milk: The recipe is made with full-fat canned coconut milk but you can use canned light coconut milk if you prefer.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Step 1. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil for about 5 minutes.
  • Step 3. Add the tofu and cook for another minute.
  • Step 3. Add everything else, seal and cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.
  • Step 4. Release pressure, remove lid and use the saute function to cook for another 7-8 minutes to thicken.

Serve on its own, with soft, warm naan bread for dipping or over rice or quinoa to soak up all the delicious sauce.

Dipped a piece of naan bread into a bowl of tofu tikka masala.

Notes & Tips

  • Tofu can be swapped for cauliflower or chickpeas for a variation on this recipe. Use 2 cups cauliflower florets for cauliflower tikka masala or 2 cups chickpeas for chickpea tikka masala. The method is the same.
  • Oil-Free Option: Use 1-2 tablespoons water or broth instead of oil. Add more as needed 1-2 tbsp at at time if the Instant Pot dries out while cooking the onion, ginger, garlic and tofu.
  • Coconut milk can be substituted with cashew cream if you prefer. Soak 1/2 cup cashews in water for 4-12 hours. Blend with 3/4 cup water or plant-based milk until very smooth and cream. Use that instead of the can of coconut milk.

Stovetop Instructions

Here’s how to make this recipe on the stovetop:

  1. Saute the onion, ginger and garlic for 5 minutes over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan.
  2. Add the tofu and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer lightly over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
Close up of tofu in a creamy tikka masala sauce in a bowl.

Storing

  • Even better the next day so feel free to make in advance and store in the fridge.
  • Let cool before storing.
  • Fridge: Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Store in a freezer-safe container in one batch or single-serving portions for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat as needed on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated to your preference.

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Print
Bowl of tofu tikka masala topped with fresh cilantro.

Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan
Tofu cooked in a thick and creamy tikka masala sauce spiced with ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin. This easy, nourishing and comforting dish makes a great weeknight meal when you don’t feel like turning on the stovetop!

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil (15 mL)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups, 300 g)
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped (25 g)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped (20 g)
  • 14 oz. package extra firm tofu, cubed (400 g)
  • 1 can (19 oz.) crushed tomatoes (2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) full-fat coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Finely chopped onion, garlic and ginger and cut the tofu into approximately 1-inch cubes.
  2. Add the oil, onion, garlic and ginger in the Instant Pot and set to sauté function. Cook for about 1 minutes until fragrant, stirring often.
  3. Add tofu cubes and cook for another minute. 
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, spices and coconut milk and stir to combine.
  5. Close the lid, make sure the valve is turned to sealing and set high pressure for 5 minutes. It will take some time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, then the 5-minute time will start.
  6. Once the timer goes off, release the pressure manually by carefully moving the valve to venting. Press the sauté. Let the sauce simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve over rice or quinoa or with naan bread for dipping.

Notes

Storing: Let cool then store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Can be frozen up to 2 months and thawed overnight in the fridge. Reheated as needed on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Keywords: tofu tikka masala, instant pot tofu