Always Pan Deal + 1 Pan Tikka Masala Recipe (Dairy Free)

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Always Pan in “Blue Salt” and “Steam” c/o
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As you guys can tell from our posts during quarantine, Nick and I love cooking as a way to de-stress. Having cookware that is functional AND gorgeous only makes it even more enjoyable! I initially received our Always Pan in “Steam” this spring, and wanted to test it out thoroughly before recommending it. Over the past few months it has truly become a pan we reach for on a daily basis, and it’s even earned my picky mom’s seal of approval. With her visiting this season cooking up a storm, I recently added their new “Blue Salt” color to our kitchen, though all the colors are beautiful and pair well with each other!

The Always Pan would truly make a wonderful holiday or housewarming gift, especially for those on your list who are hard to shop for like parents or in-laws. Pretty much everyone in our family who has seen or used this pan in our kitchen has dropped a subtle comment about not minding one for themselves!

dairy free chicken tikka masala recipe

I’m all about 1-pot meals for minimal cleanup, so love how we can cook multiple ways in the Always Pan such as steam, sauté, and braise. I then transfer it directly from stovetop to tabletop looking beautifully presented, with a slot for the included wooden spatula to sit neatly on for serving! The ceramic non-stick coating is a dream to cook on, and is non toxic, made without Teflon or other potentially harmful materials. It’s also easy to wash using the included sponge, and the pan is lighter weight than I expected which also helps with clean up.

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We’ve been using this for everything from eggs in the morning to pasta, fried rice, braised Asian dishes I’m learning from my mom, and even pan searing bread like this naan! I did want to note that the steaming insert sits very low in the pan so works best with items like veggies that are okay to touch the simmering water below – for items that require more steaming space like buns or dim sum, they just came out with a bamboo insert (for smaller items like dumplings, I have simply raised my steaming insert up using a shallow metal rack underneath).

Thank you to Our Place for partnering on this post.

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Recipe: Chicken or Veggie Tikka Masala (dairy free)

I also wanted to share a Tikka Masala recipe we’ve been making regularly – this one is very easy to make vegetarian or dairy free! It was inspired by a reader, Diane, who shared with me a similar sauce she served with this turkey meatball recipe. Chicken thighs and cauliflower is one of our favorite combos in this sauce, but we’ve also made it vegetarian (with chickpeas, cauliflower, peas, just to name a few ideas)! Just make sure to use good quality canned tomatoes since it’s such a key component of this dish.

Also, garam masala has a little kick to it, so if making for kids you can reduce that and sub with some curry powder. If you do not have garam masala on hand, I have also made this with just curry powder plus more of the other spices. It won’t be the same but is still tasty!

Print Recipe
4.86 from 14 votes

1-Pan Chicken Tikka Masala (w/ vegetarian & dairy free subs)

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs *see vegetarian subs below
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger minced
  • 1.25 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric optional
  • 1.25 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 can 14oz tomato sauce
  • 1.5 Tablespoon garam masala + more to taste
  • 1.5 Tablespoon brown sugar + more to taste
  • .5 can full fat coconut milk use half of a 13.5oz can, or 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • cilantro optional, for garnish


  • Sautee onions, garlic, and ginger in a little olive oil over low-medium heat until fragrant
  • Add cumin, cook for 2-3 minutes more
  • Add chicken, season with paprika and turmeric, and let brown for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour in tomato sauce, add garam masala and sugar
  • Let it come to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook for at least 20 minutes or until meat is done (longer cooking time on very low heat = more tender chicken)
  • When meat is almost done, stir in coconut milk and continue cooking on low for 5 - 10 more minutes, adding any more spices, salt and sugar to taste. Garnish with optional cilantro before serving with naan bread or steamed rice!


Vegetarian substitution ideas: cauliflower (we're using "caulini" here from the Asian grocery), firm tofu, paneer, or canned chickpeas. Wait until the sauce has simmered for 10 minutes or so to let all the spices meld before adding the veggies.
Optional prep step: If using chicken, you can marinade it in the spices and ~1/2 cup of plain unsweetened greek yogurt of dairy free plain unsweetened coconut based yogurt (we use SoDelicious brand). This will help tenderize the chicken and add another layer of flavor to the sauce.
When making with chicken, we also love adding steamed cauliflower and frozen green peas toward the end!

Our place always pan recipe dairy free vegetarian tikka masala

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