While I don't always eat plant based meals, I love having some simple recipes on hand for Meatless Mondays. This Cauliflower Tikka Masala recipe has become a new favorite of ours because it requires just a handful of ingredients and a single sheet pan to pull off. Bonus? It's gluten free and can easily be made vegan with one simple swap!
Table of Contents
- The Case for Simmer Sauces
- How to Make Cauliflower Tikka Masala
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Want some more easy recipe inspiration? Check out these other posts!
The Case for Simmer Sauces
Look, I'm all for making my meals entirely from scratch. Remember me making those pierogis? If that's not scratch cooking, I honestly don't know what qualifies! That said, I'm also a big fan of using store bought cheats that will get dinner on the table without any fuss.
One of my favorite store bought ingredients is the now nearly ubiquitous simmer sauce. They come in a wide variety of flavors and cuisines, and most importantly, they promise big flavor in no time. For those nights that you have no patience or time for cooking anything elaborate, simmer sauces are a dang godsend.
Even more impressive is that most of the simmer sauces on the market are also shelf stable and made in quantities fit for a dinner for four. I have tried a bunch, y'all. I can tell you in all honesty, there hasn't been a single one I haven't liked. And I always have at least 2-3 jars or bags on hand at any given time.
Kroger, Aldi, Trader Joe's and even Target carry their own versions. Seeds of Change, Frontera, Saffron Road and other brands have all been delicious too. Stock up when they're on sale! If you don't have access to a store that carries them, you can easily find a wide variety on Amazon.
Here are some of my favorites that are available online:
How to Make Cauliflower Tikka Masala
This sheet pan recipe is so simple, even a 10 year old could pull it off. All you need is a head of cauliflower (or a bag of the pre-cut stuff to make things even easier), a red onion, olive oil, a handful of spices, a jar of simmer sauce and some cream or coconut milk.
Preheat your oven to 450F. Trim your cauliflower into bite sized florets. Don't forget about the stalk, either! It's just as nutritious and delicious as the prettier pieces. Halve your onion and cut it into vertical slices. Dump all your veggies onto a sheet tray.
TIP: If you wanna make this dinner even easier, you can line your sheet tray with compostable parchment paper (or foil, though that's a little less environmentally friendly) for super simple clean up. That's right folks! Not only is this a one pan dinner. It's possible to have almost no dishes afterwards. You're welcome.
Drizzle the vegetables with a few glugs of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and spices. For this particular dish, I feel like garam masala, coriander, turmeric and chili powder really accentuate what the simmer sauce brings to the party. Because we're heat freaks, we also add some ghost chili to the mix.
TIP: Don't have those particular spices on hand, or that just seems like too much effort? Don't fret! Use a simpler mix of salt and curry powder. Or salt and garlic powder. Or just salt and pepper. Don't overthink it!
Spread the vegetables out in a single layer, giving plenty of room for air flow. Pop the sheet tray in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower and onions start to get some charred bits and are fork tender.
Pull the sheet tray out of the oven and shove the veggies to the perimeter. Set your oven to broil. Dump in your simmer sauce and drizzle in your cream or coconut milk. Stir everything together and pop back in the oven for 3-5 minutes, until sauce is thickened and warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I substitute a different vegetable for vegan tikka masala?
Heck yeah you can! Use whatever you have on hand. While cauliflower is our go-to, we've also made it with broccoli, potatoes and sweet potatoes. This also works beautifully with a couple of cans of drained chickpeas or firm tofu.
What about meat?
Craving meat? Go for it! We have made both chicken and fish tikka masala this same way. Just be sure to adjust your cooking times to ensure that the chicken and fish are cooked through.
What about with a different simmer sauce?
Y'all, the beauty of simmer sauces is that they carry most of the flavor you need for a completely delicious meal. If you happen to have a different flavor of sauce on hand, just adjust your spices on your roasting vegetables or meat to whatever you're making.
TIP: Not sure what spices will go with your simmer sauce? Check the ingredient label to see what you're working with. And if you don't have any of those extra ingredients on hand in the spice drawer, don't fret! Keep it simple with salt and pepper.
How should I serve the sheet pan meal?
Scoop it into bowls and dig in! That's the whole recipe.
If you want a little more substance, serve it over rice (or cauliflower rice if you're doing the low carb thing). I'm sure I don't even have to tell you about the beauty of precooked microwavable grains, right? Dollop with some yogurt and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Dinner has never been easier.
Want some more easy recipe inspiration? Check out these other posts!
- Sesame Peanut Noodles (Vegan, Gluten Free)
- Chicken Paillards
- Sausage Potato Tacos
- Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets
- BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Bowls
- Hibachi at Home
If you love easy dinner ideas, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest! And if you make this recipe, please rate and review it below so I know how it went for you.
Easy Cauliflower Tikka Masala
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line sheet pan with parchment (optional).
- Toss cauliflower and onion with oil, salt and spices. Roast for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are beginning to char and are fork tender. Remove from oven.
- Switch oven to broil.Push vegetables to periphery of pan. Add simmer sauce and coconut milk or cream. Stir to evenly coat vegetables. Return pan to oven for 2-5 minutes, until sauce is warmed and slightly thickened.
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice and garnish with yogurt and cilantro. Enjoy!
- Use parchment paper (or foil) for easy clean up
- Roast vegetables in a single layer for better air flow
- Garnish with plain yogurt and cilantro
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice
- Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days