A Zippy Start to School-Year Dinners

Cooking with a large number of spices can seem intimidating, but when you split the work up between a few people, this meal is a snap. Put someone in charge of chopping veggies, someone in charge of measuring spices, and someone in charge of watching the stove, and quick as a wink, you’ll have this hearty meal on the table.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

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This modification of a favorite Indian dish uses tangy yogurt in place of cream and butter for a lighter dinner. The recipe will feed a good-sized crowd and freezes very nicely, making it a perfect option for splitting up to freeze. Serve up half for a night or two of dinners, then freeze the rest for a night when you need a quick meal.

Servings: 12 (342 g )

Prep Time: 35 min.

Cook Time: 45 min.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 serrano chiles, minced
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • ¾ tsp. ground red pepper
  • ½ cup unsalted chicken stock
  • ¾ cup plain, fat-free yogurt
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups brown rice, cooked
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat half of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, half of salt, cumin and cinnamon. Cook until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  2. Add remaining oil, onion, garlic, ginger, and serrano to pan; sauté 1 minute. Reduce heat to low; cook until softened, stirring frequently. Add garam masala and red pepper; cook 1 minute.
  3. Add remaining salt, stock, yogurt, and tomatoes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; stir in chicken. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot over rice and sprinkle with cilantro.

To Freeze: Cool masala and rice to room temperature. Seal in separate freezer bags. Lay bags flat in freezer, making sure to not place anything on top of the bags until they’re completely frozen. Freeze up to 2 months.