Tikka Masala is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s packed with flavor and oh-so warm and comforting. My Crockpot Whole30 rendition of Tikka Masala is one of the most popular recipes on my blog, and with good reason! It’s easy, healthy and delicious! Oh, not to mention it is a recipe my kids request often!
It’s nearly summer time and while I am *more than okay* with hot soups and bowls of comforting foods like Tikka Masala, it’s completely unacceptable to my husband to eat these things. He immediately freaks out and says something like, “What the hell? It’s like 90 degrees outside?!?” Okay, Clayton. While you are correct I just can’t live without soups and comfort food!
So, yeah, where there is a will there is a way, y’all. And gosh if I wasn’t craving Tikka Masala on a dang 85 degree weather day. These Chicken Tikka Tacos allow me to totally cheat the summer “no heavy comfort food” system. I lighten Tikka Masala up by turning it into a simple chicken taco mixture that still has a lot of the same flavor, yet not *so dang heavy*. It’s also served in a taco–so that’s summer-y enough, right? Oh, and I serve it with a cold beer. That helps, too! (A cold topo-chico works). And bam. Clayton can’t complain. In fact, he didn’t complain one bit. He gobbled them up and went for seconds. WINNING!
Spicy Chicken Tikka Tacos
For the Chicken Tikka Taco Meat:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced small (or 1/2 medium onion)
- 2 lbs ground chicken breast
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/4 tsp. for mild, and omit if you don't like spice)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 [13.5-ounce] can unsweetened coconut milk
- 8-10 flour tortillas I like Siete Foods grain-free Cassava Tortillas (*see notes for Whole30 ideas)
- 1 cup english cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 small serrano pepper, very thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Make the Chicken Tikka Meat Mixture:
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, ground chicken, salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger and cook, breaking up the meat with the edge of a wooden spoon or spatula, until cooked through (or no longer pink), 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add in the spices (curry powder, cayenne, paprika, cumin, and turmeric) and continue to cook, stirring, and toast the spices until just fragrant, about 2 more minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined into the meat mixture. Pour in the coconut milk and stir until well combined and bring to a simmer.
- Cook, simmering and stirring occasionally, until the flavors combine and the sauce thickens a bit, 3 to 4 more minutes.
- Taste the meat mixture and add more salt, pepper, or cayenne, to taste if desired!
Serve the Tacos:
- Serve the tikka mixture in warm tortillas with a little arugula, sliced cucumbers, cilantro, sliced serranos (if using) and a wedge of lime. Enjoy!