Low Carb Vegan Tikka Masala

Low Carb Vegan Tikka Masala

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I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely adore spicy foods. A good amount of seasoning really just makes a dish for me. It’s pretty easy to find pre-made vegan foods in all flavor profiles, but they’re basically all 99% carbs. Seriously, rice and beans is pretty ubiquitous culturally, but doesn’t really work for those of us eating a low carb or keto diet. So, as with so many other things, I decided that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, and got to work making a low carb vegan tikka masala for my own dinner enjoyment.

Straight off, I should note that if you don’t do soy, you totally don’t have to use the tofu in this recipe. You can easily sub in jackfruit, or something like Beyond Meat’s “chicken” strips no problem. It will be just as delicious. Soy aside, this recipe is not only vegan, but is also nut free, gluten free and grain free. We did it, guys! When made with the jackfruit, it’s even paleo, if that’s your thing.

Low Carb Vegan Tikka Masala | Meat Free Keto - This low carb vegan tikka masala is gluten free, grain free, dairy free and nut free, while providing lots of protein and MCTs. A tasty & spicy keto dinner!

Notes on Making Low Carb Vegan Tikka Masala

  • Is this totally traditional? Sure isn’t, but it’s definitely in the spirit of a traditional tikka masala, and it tastes darn good!
  • Typically, tikka misala has quite a bit more tomato puree added, but since that’s pretty high in carbs, I went with a modest amount. If you really aren’t too carb-conscious, you can definitely add in a whole cup, or even 14 ounce can.
  • I cook the cauliflower rice right in the sauce, because I don’t love cleaning a million pans, or spending half my life standing in front of a stove, but you can definitely cook it separately and serve the sauce over top.
  • This recipe calls for a bunch of spices and a bit of garam masala spice blend, but if you don’t have an overstocked spice cabinet, you can easily just use about 4 tbsp of a tikka masala spice blend.
  • To add 10g of protein, some omega-3 fatty acids, and 5g of fiber to this with no additional net carbs, sprinkle on 3 tbsp hemp hearts! This is my favorite way to boost the nutritional profile of my meals.
  • The sugars in this mostly come from the coconut milk and tomato puree. If you really want to cut down on the carbs, you can omit the tomato puree, but the sauce will be thicker and less tangy!

Low Carb Vegan Tikka Masala | Meat Free Keto - This low carb vegan tikka masala is gluten free, grain free, dairy free and nut free, while providing lots of protein and MCTs. A tasty & spicy keto dinner!

Low Carb Vegan Tikka Masala | Meat Free Keto - This low carb vegan tikka masala is gluten free, grain free, dairy free and nut free, while providing lots of protein and MCTs. A tasty & spicy keto dinner!

18 thoughts on “Low Carb Vegan Tikka Masala”

    • Hi there, Brooke! Thanks for commenting! I did actually include the spices when I put this into Cronometer to get the nutrition label beneath the recipe!

      Of course, different brands of spices and blends have different carb counts, due to additives that may be present and overall composition. Similarly, we might have used different brands of coconut milk, tofu and cauliflower rice, which also can vary in nutrition info!

      I’ll start mentioning the specific brands I use in the notes, so it’s more transparent where the carb counts are coming from. 🙂

  • I used it the cup of tomato purée mentioned in the notes since I care more about the carb source than the actual count. It came out so tasty. I kicked it up a notch with the cayenne since I like things on the hotter side. It came out great!

    This is perfect for meal prepping since it’s a large batch and it’s super easy to prepare. If you’ve been slowly building up a spice collection it’s super cost effective too.

    The only spice I didn’t have on hand was coriander and I just used more cumin to avoid a trip to the store.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Kicking up the cayenne is a great modification, and seriously – making your own spice blend can save so much cash compared to always buying a packet!

  • Thank you SO MUCH for appreciating the problem with eating rice/grains + beans being so high in carbs! I’m Type 1 diabetic AND vegan, and it’s almost impossible some days to find anything other than a salad to eat, but this is fantastic! I really do get tired of just opening a can of vegetables and eating it to just get lunch over with.

    • My pleasure, Erin! I totally understand that frustration of eating the same thing over and over again and just wanting a little bit of variety. I’m so glad you’re excited about this, and I’ll keep on posting so we can all enjoy a variety of vegan foods while keeping blood sugar steady!

    • Hi Kamilah! You can definitely use a crock pot for this. I’d recommend between 3-3.5 hours on high (depending on how fast your crockpot cooks things – mine’s pretty slow, so take that into account!). 🙂

  • Hi,
    This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try.
    I’m trying to find recipes that I can cook on the weekend and reheat for school, what are your thoughts on how well this’ll hold up?

    • Hi Dara! This is a great recipe for meal prep. It will definitely stand the test of time for being packed for lunches. I often actually make a big batch of this just for that reason! 🙂

    • Hi Jessica! You can buy cauliflower rice in most grocery stores, but it’s also super easy to make. Just chop up some raw cauliflower in your food processor until it’s in pieces that are about the size of a grain of rice. 🙂

  • I made this recipe tonight and the garam masala was extremely overpowering. The meal came out with so much spice I had to throw it out. I think the spice blend should have called for 1 tablespoon in my opinion.

  • I’ve just tried this out today for the first time. It tastes great as I knew it would. I used half caulirice, and half konjac rice I bought from a health food shop. Still came out delicious. Thanks for a lovely recipe.