This vegan slow cooker tikka masala is PERFECT for meal prep! It makes an easy freezer crockpot meal, and leftovers keep (and can be frozen) for healthy plant-based lunches.
Tofu. You either love it, or you hate it. One way you really can’t argue with tofu, is when it is smothered in a delicious, rich, creamy (VEGAN) tikka masala sauce!
I have a serious absence of tofu recipes on the blog and it’s something I’ve been correcting over the past year. I’ve baked it, stir-fried it, grilled it, and now it’s getting the slow cooker treatment.
What I LOVE about tofu is the fact that it is pretty shelf-stable, so on nights when I forget to thaw anything out, good old tofu has my back.
What I don’t love about tofu is it’s taste and texture. So my motto when it comes to tofu is to sauce it, spice it, bake it, or just plain disguise it. #honesty 🙂
We love this vegan slow cooker tikka masala because
- it makes an EASY freezer crock pot meal
- leftovers also make great meal prep lunches and can be frozen
- you can customize the veggies you add based on what’s in the fridge
How to make vegan tikka masala
Traditional tikka masala has a yogurt sauce, and instead of swapping with coconut milk, which makes it a bit more watery, I swapped it with coconut yogurt for this vegan tikka masala. Not only does the coconut yogurt add the same thick & creamy factor as regular yogurt, but I found out during my testing for this recipe that you can freeze/thaw coconut yogurt (unlike dairy yogurt, which breaks). Yay!
Here’s how to make vegan tikka masala:
- Combine the coconut yogurt, tomato sauce, spices and tofu in a slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- 2 hours before serving add the veggies: I used finely chopped cauliflower and frozen peas.
- Enjoy with rice or naan bread.
Can I really freeze the yogurt for this vegan tikka masala? If you use coconut yogurt- YES! It might look slightly scary when you dump it into the slow cooker, but it all comes back together as it cooks. The photos in this post are with freeze/thawed coconut yogurt. If you use regular yogurt- NO. It breaks and flakes and becomes all-round unappetizing. You can make this recipe with dairy yogurt, but I recommend adding it to the slow cooker fresh.
Do I need to press the tofu for this crockpot tikka masala? NOPE! Happy dances because I hate pressing the tofu. It’s not necessary for this recipe because you are not trying to get crispy tofu.
What other veggies can I use in this crockpot tikka masala recipe? How about frozen green beans, or broccoli, or even sweet potato cubes? If you do add sweet potato cubes, add them with the tofu as they need to cook awhile to soften.
How to make this Indian Tikka Masala ahead and freeze it
Crockpot freezer meals are a staple in my freezer and are an absolute lifesaver during busy weeks! Here’s how you can turn this vegan Indian Tikka Masala recipe into a crockpot freezer recipe:
- Assemble all ingredients in a reusable silicone bag
- Squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
So incredibly simple! When you’re ready to cook, you will need to thaw completely before placing everything in the slow cooker and cooking as directed.
Tips & equipment for vegan tikka masala
Vegan Slow Cooker Tikka Masala
- 14.5 oz tomato sauce (1 can)
- 1 cup coconut yogurt (dairy yogurt works but may not be frozen)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 block extra firm tofu (350 g/ 12.5 oz)
1 hour before serving
- 2 cups cauliflower (chopped into very small florets)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (chopped)
- In the base of a 6 quart slow cooker, stir together the tomato sauce, coconut yogurt, and all spices.
- Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, and stir into the sauce.
- Cook on low for 5 hours. Add in 2 cups of very small cauliflower florets and 1 cup frozen peas. Cook on low for 1 more hour.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and enjoy with naan bread or served over rice.
To assemble ahead and freeze
- Combine all ingredients except for vegetables, cilantro and lemon juice in a freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before cooking as directed above.
To cook ahead and use for meal prep
- Store cooked & cooled tikka masala with rice in 2 cup meal prep containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until steaming hot.
- Cool completely and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating. I like portioning mine out with rice for single-serve lunches.