Crispy Chicken Tikka Bowls with Mint Sauce Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Crispy Chicken Tikka Bowls with Mint Sauce

40 reviews / 4.9 average

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.

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)
  • cooked quinoa
  • 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
  • salt
  • juice of a lime
  • garlic
  • jalapeño

There are definitely some homemade options for you on the crispy chicken front, the tikka masala sauce, or the slaw, but if you 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!

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White hand holding a bowl of chicken tikka masala bowls with mint sauce on top

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.

  1. Crispy Chicken. Cook according to package directions and then brush with the tikka masala sauce and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Mint Sauce. Throw all the sauce ingredients in the blender/food processor and zip until smooth-ish.
  3. 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.

Crispy chicken, quinoa, cucumbers, and pickled onions in a bowl with mint sauce and a fork

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?

Yay! Awesome!

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 do I pickle red onions?

Instructions can be found in the recipe card here! Besides these Chicken Tikka Bowls, other delicious uses for pickled red onions can be on Brussels Sprouts Tacos, Chipotle Quinoa Burgers, or an Arugula Salad with Grapes and Black Pepper Vinaigrette.

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.

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Chicken tikka bowls with a fork in the bowl square image

Crispy Chicken Tikka Bowls with Mint Sauce


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 bowls 1x

Description

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. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Crispy Chicken Tikka Bowls

Slaw

  • 2 cups shredded coleslaw
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Mint Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup mayo or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 hunk of jalapeño
  • water to thin the sauce as needed

Instructions

  1. Cook the chicken according to package directions. Brush with sauce and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, prep all your other elements (mix your slaw together, slice your cucumbers, etc.).
  3. For the mint sauce, blend or pulse the ingredients through a food processor to make a smooth-ish sauce.
  4. Serve bowls with quinoa, slaw, cucumbers, pickled red onions, and sauce over the top. It's crispy, salty, spicy, briney, cool, and creamy. DROOL.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Bowl
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Indian-Inspired

Keywords: chicken tikka bowls, chicken tikka, easy chicken tikka recipe

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79 Comments

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is the first time in life I’ve ever heard of a food source called “mint sauce.” I must admit that the crispy chicken bowl with sliced cucumber, grated cheese, sliced red onions, what looks like parsley, and mint sauce looks absolutely delicious. 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I LOVE this mint sauce!! It was a perfect complement to the tikka sauce. I had no quinoa in the pantry, so served it over brown rice and it was scrumptious. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was so easy and delicious! I made a couple minor subs, I used half Greek yogurt and half mayo in the sauce. Then I mixed some of the sauce into a bag of broccoli slaw instead of using cole slaw. I kept everything else the same. Highly recommend! Fresh, filling, and all the crunch – my fav!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    How much is a “hunk” of jalapeño? I’m sure you’d say it varies according to taste…but I don’t even know where to start for a lower-spice tolerant palette!

    Also, is there a saved video for this anywhere? I think I saw it on stories, but can’t find it now.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      We’d try a half of a jalapeno pepper with the ribs cut out and the seeds removed! We have a Reel video of this posted on Instagram. Here it is!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was SO GOOD! And so easy, I used a rotisserie chicken for a super easy swap. Thanks for a great new go-to meal!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Delicious and quick enough for a weeknight if you use the shortcuts. I used popcorn chicken and Maia Kaimal tikka masala simmer sauce. Will make this a lot, I’m sure!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Delicious and quick enough for a weeknight if you use the shortcuts. I used popcorn chicken and Maia Kaimal tikka masala simmer sauce. Will make this a lot, I’m sure! Forgot to rate it in my previous comment so adding 5 starts.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This meal was incredible! We used jasmine rice instead of quinoa because it’s what we had and paired really well with this. Both my husband and I went back for seconds. The combination of flavors is unique and amazing. And the mint sauce totally elevates it. Will definitely be making again!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      This was delicious! Used rice instead of quinoa. Made the Tikka masala sauce from your website and added some dried fenugreek leaves – so good!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yum!! I’ve made this twice now and it’s definitely going to be on regular weeknight rotation. A quick and easy meal with lots of flavour and leftovers make a great lunch the next day!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    We made this for supper last night and it was very tasty. I think the chicken lost a little of its crispness after brushing the sauce on but it was still yummy. Loved the mint sauce! Thank you!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      So delicious and so easy. The mint sauce totally makes it. Definitely adding to the rotation. I didn’t have pickled onions ready so I am definitely looking forward to adding them in next time. Gonna use that leftover mint sauce on something tomorrow (if I don’t lick the bowl clean) because it is divine!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love the recipe! This is a great meal prep recipe. I prepped the ingredients and then put all the ingredients together each day for a quick meal.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Great idea making this a meal prep recipe! Thanks so much for the comment, Kathryn!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this tonight, it was amazing! Any suggestions for other dishes to use the mint sauce with? So good!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    This. Was. So. Good. So good that my oven literally self destructed cooking the chicken. It obviously couldn’t handle the intense flavor, amazing texture, and overall AMAZING meal that this is. If you are like me and went back and forth on whether or not to make this recipe, do yourself a favor and make this life changing bowl! You deserve it! Thanks, POY, you did it again!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love this meal! I skipped the slaw and used chicken breast as it was what I had on hand. Simple ingredients, fresh flavors, and quick to make. Keeps well in the fridge too. Perfect for meal prep lunches!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was so yummy and worked well for my two young kids!! But, if you can’t/don’t use the pre-made options for the chicken, tikka masala sauce, and coleslaw, it is not a quick meal! I definitely plan to repeat it, but I’ll likely prep quite a bit the day before so that it’s a bit more streamlined the day of.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I cannot even begin to describe how good this meal is! The different flavors and textures will satisfy just about every craving. I highly recommend the shortcuts.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    this was so good, it surpassed my expectations. I used cousous instead of quinoa and for the mint sauce I used half Greek yogurt and half mayo, delicious!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    We made this using beyond chicken tenders and it was delicious! my husband isn’t a fan of quinoa so we also substituted cilantro lime rice. we used trader joe’s masala sauce and the mint sauce complimented it perfectly. definitely will make again and again!

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Man this looks delicious so delicious! I have a home made Tikka Masada recipe which is my go to when I have friends over so I’ll have to try this.

    I had a look at your homemade Masala paste recipe which looks yum too. I like to put corriander powder in mine, and kashmiri chili too for a nice red color.

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was so good we ate it 3 times in a week. I am not a fan of the mint a little too much for me but otherwise it’s delicious. I used bone in the it thighs browned 10min in the paste then added the liquid, lowered heat and cooked maybe 15 min.