Please make way in your tums and hearts for this terribly addicting, incredibly delicious chicken tikka bowl. Crispy chicken tenders brushed with your favorite tikka masala sauce and roasted to a perfect crisp, fresh cucumber crunch alongside a creamy slaw and some quick pickled onions, all piled on a bed of light, nutty quinoa with a fresh-made drinkable mint sauce that might make you CRY REAL HUMAN TEARS.
It’s here. It’s a go-to lunch/dinner/bedtime snack. It couldn’t be easier and we simply cannot stop eating it. It’s also absolutely flexible and super easy to throw together, so it is very ready to be your new best friend.
This isn’t chicken tikka in the traditional Indian cuisine sense where pieces of marinated chicken are grilled or baked on skewers in a tandoor oven. And it isn’t even full chicken tikka masala, which is a curried version where that chicken tikka then gets simmered in a creamy spiced tomato sauce and served over rice. Instead, we’re borrowing that delicious deeply spiced flavor using our favorite jarred version of masala sauce and giving some easy crispy chicken tenders a little brush and bake. It’s definitely a bit outside the norm, but we are absolutely here for it.
Ingredients You’ll Need To Make These Bowls Happen
The ingredient list is plentiful here, but it’s all bits to add to the flavor parade! And though we’re definitely mixing up that drool-worthy mint sauce from scratch, we’re relying on a lot of pre-made and store-bought for the rest and whoo-boy, you can too!
For the bowl-build:
crispy breaded chicken (store-bought)
tikka masala sauce (also store-bought)
sliced or diced cucumbers
pickled red onion
slaw (hi, you guessed it…store-bought mix!)
For the mint sauce:
fresh mint & cilantro
mayo or plain Greek yogurt
juice of a lime
There are definitely some homemade options for you on the crispy chicken front, the tikka masala sauce, or the slaw, but if you’re want to get at your lunch/dinner all fast and furious? Well then, grab those chicken tendies from the freezer, crack that sauce jar, rip open that bag of slaw mix, and let’s get to it, ya?
You could even buy a packet of pre-made quinoa and we wouldn’t be mad!
Let’s Make Chicken Tikka Bowls
We’re gonna keep this version, our favorite version, reeeeeaaaaaal easy. Some slicing and dicing to maximize your bowl chompiness, a quick sauce zip in the blender, but other than that, this is all pretty much a breeze.
Crispy Chicken. Cook according to package directions and then brush with the tikka masala sauce and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes.
Mint Sauce. Throw all the sauce ingredients in the blender/food processor and zip until smooth-ish.
Bowl Assembly. Layer your quinoa, crispy chicken, slaw, cucumbers, pickled red onions, and then don’t be shy with that mint sauce over the top!
It’s all going to be so beautiful and colorful when you get it together that for just a teeny tiny second you might want to just admire it for a bit but please, we urge you, do not waste any time staring. GET. AT. IT.
Just Can’t Stop Swooning Over These
Like we said, these bowls are super flexible, so if you don’t want to get on the crispy chicken tender train, that’s totally fine! But we can’t be friends. (Just kidding! Maybe.) Regular skillet-seared chicken breasts totally work, too! We’ve also made it with tofu and sweet potato which were also delicious, so you can swap what you love best. Those crispy little frozen chicken fingies tho…cannot recommend enough.
It’s also so wonderful how easy they can be. Lots of pre-made and store-bought options if you’re short on time and patience (us, always), and everything still feels so fresh and flavorful. But there are also ways to really take your time with it and make it your own. Bread and crisp your own chicken? Get at it. Wanna make your own tikka masala sauce? We’ve got a great one here. If you don’t already have some pickled red onions in your fridge, don’t worry. You can super quick toss them in a jar and get them pickling in no time. Then they’re just ready for the other hundred times you’ll inevitably make these bowls this week.
It’s just all our favorite food adjectives in one! It’s crispy, salty, spicy, briny, cool, and creamy. How could you go wrong?! You truly can’t.
Chicken Tikka Bowls: Frequently Asked Questions
I have extra time and would like to make my own of some of these ingredients rather than purchase store-bought items. How can I do that?
For the chicken, bread chicken breasts in flour and pan-fry them until they get a golden and crispy exterior.
For the slaw, toss a few cups of shredded cabbage and carrots with mayo, vinegar, and salt.
For the tikka masala sauce, check out this recipe for a homemade option.
How long will my mint sauce stay good for in the fridge?
If you make your mint sauce with yogurt, leftovers should be good for 3-4 days. If you make the sauce with mayo, leftovers should be good for about 1 week. Either way, store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container or jar.
Bringing you these addicting Chicken Tikka Bowls! Crispy bits of chicken tenders, crispy cucumbers, and briny pickled onions, all on a bed of fluffy quinoa with a swoop of cool mint sauce on top. You absolutely cannot go wrong with these bowls.