This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market with special support from Simply Organic. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support 40 Aprons!
This chicken tikka masala chili is the stuff your dreams are made of. This Whole30 chili has a rich and creamy tomato sauce, with beautiful caramelized onions, garlic, and chiles, loaded with tender ground chicken and veggies. Inspired by my beloved chicken tikka masala recipe, this chicken tikka masala chili is a must make for fall! It’ll surely become your favorite Whole30 chili, too. Will you vote for it as the coolest chili ever in the Simply Organic #ChooseMyChili challenge?
If it were up to me, everything would be chicken tikka masala-inspired.
What’s for breakfast? Chicken tikka masala-inspired scrambled eggs for you, Cheryl.
I’d open up my lunch for the day: chicken tikka masala chicken salad. (OK, but… that’s kind of a great idea, right?).
Our dinner plans are, of course, my very favorite restaurant-style chicken tikka masala, with a side of chicken tikka masala. I’ll settle for chicken tikka masala-inspired brownies for dessert and, wait… OK, even I agree that that’s too far.
But really, that beloved dish? With its rich and creamy tomato sauce and tender chicken, I can’t get enough. I’m infamously and inconveniently unenthused by leftovers as a general rule, and one by which I’ve abided since I was a kid. But chicken tikka masala leftovers, those are entirely outside of the realm of application, leftovers that barely ever made it past the morning post the initial consumption, scooped out of a styrofoam container with a stiff piece of cold peshawari naan forced into a U-shaped shovel.
So when I was thinking of other ways to enjoy my favorite dish lately, a chicken tikka masala chili seemed like a no-brainer. This jolt of inspiration just so happened to coincide with an exciting contest I’m in! And you know what that means… you’re on #TeamCheryl.
Two of my favorite brands, Simply Organic and Sprouts Farmers Market, have teamed up to select the coolest chili ever. And don’t you think chicken tikka masala is the coolest chili ever?! Except, yeah, it’s kinda spicy…
That good hurt, though. ??
I considered a few different meats before settling on a ground chicken, thinking about possibly lamb, but ultimately opting for an easy-to-find, family-favorite for some high fidelity chicken tikka masala inspiration. And I just couldn’t bring myself to use beef in an Indian dish!
And bonus? I’m obsessed with the chicken from Sprouts. Sprouts Butcher Shop only sells Grade A chickens that are hatched, raised and harvested in the U.S. The Sprouts butchers hand-trim and package a variety of cuts fresh, in-store every day, and they often do this whilst answering a laundry list of weird questions from random paleo bloggers who live down the street (like, for example…). Sprouts’ chicken is always fresh and never frozen, and it contains no enhancers, solutions, chemicals or artificial ingredients.
On top of that, it’s super affordable, making healthier choices easier for my family (and yours, unless you’re like, Elon Musk. And if you are… Hi! I’ll take a Model X in white.)
Simply Organic’s spices are so fresh and high-quality, their garam masala and ancho chili powder are perfect in this chicken tikka masala chili. I’m always amazed by their selection and the quality of their products, so picking up a couple bottles of the stuff is a must!
The rest is simple: I used my reader-favorite restaurant-style chicken tikka masala recipe as the base and added in veggies for bulk and that chili feeling. What results is a rich and spiced sauce with plenty of tender, ground chicken, bell peppers, and mushrooms, that’s just perfect for cooler weather and even, you know what?
I’d really love it if you voted for my chicken tikka masala chili in the Simply Organic #ChooseMyChili challenge! Click here and let everyone know that you, too, think everything should be chicken tikka masala-inspired!
Chicken Tikka Masala Chili
- 2 pounds chicken ground
- 5 tablespoons refined coconut oil or ghee
- 2 medium white onion diced
- 3 serrano chiles stemmed and minced, seeds removed if you prefer a milder chili
- 7 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons Garam Masala Simply Organic
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder Simply Organic
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon paprika Simply Organic
- 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 green bell pepper stemmed, deseeded, halved width-wise and sliced into strips
- 1 red bell pepper stemmed, deseeded, halved width-wise and sliced into strips
- 16 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 4 dried fenugreek leaves optional but recommended
- 1 lemon juiced
- plenty of sea salt to taste
- 2 (14-ounce) cans coconut cream
- basmati or cauliflower rice for serving, optional
- naan for serving, optional
- fresh chopped cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
- Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a large pot over medium heat, then add ground chicken. Brown ground chicken, breaking up with a wooden spoon or spatula, until completely cooked through. Transfer ground chicken to a bowl and set aside.
- Return pot to stove and heat remaining 4 tablespoons ghee. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add serrano chiles, garlic, ginger, and reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture turns a nice toffee color, about 20 minutes, adding a few drops of water here and there if mixture is drying out and sticking to the pot. This step is extremely important, so don’t skip it! It should look like the photo before you move on to the next step.
- Add garam masala, paprika, ancho chili powder, and stir well. Cook until fragrant, a few minutes, adding a couple tablespoons of water if necessary to reduce sticking.
- Add tomato sauce to pot then transfer mixture to blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return sauce to pot, then add sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, fenugreek leaves, cinnamon stick, and plenty of sea salt.
- Simmer gently for 30 minutes on medium-low heat or until thick and more like a paste than sauce. The mixture will start like paste then become more sauce-like and liquid as the veggies cook down. It's ready when the texture becomes like paste again. Add the cans of coconut cream and stir until very smooth, then add lemon juice and cooked ground chicken. Taste and add more salt to taste. Serve over basmati or cauliflower rice and naan, if desired, and garnish with plenty of fresh chopped cilantro leaves.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.