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Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Instant Pot Tikka Masala Sauce. Flavorful Weekday Dinner. Freezer Friendly. Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree option

Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Instant Pot Tikka Masala Sauce. Flavorful Weekday Dinner. #Veganricha #vegan #recipe #Glutenfree #Soyfree #Nutfree option

The Tikka Masala Sauce that we made in the earlier post goes amazingly with almost anything. Most veggies, tofu, tempeh, seitan, vegan chikin, chickpeas, lentils, soycurls or just use as a dressing over a bowl. Easy, luscious, so flavorful!

The sauce is made in the Instant Pot before adding anything else to it, so that just the sauce can be cooked for a longer time. This helps roast the ingredients under pressure for that deep flavor profile. If you add veggies, they will become overcook in the time needed for the sauce. You can pressure cook other ingredients such as tempeh, seitan, soy curls or chickpeas with the uncooked sauce ingredients. Just add them to the sauce before closing the lid,  With Cauliflower I prefer to bake it and then simmer in the cooked sauce for a few mins for best results. To cook it in the instant pot, pressure cook for just 1 minute at low pressure with the already cooked sauce or just Simmer with cooked sauce on the stove top/IP for 10-12 mins or until cauliflower is cooked to preference.

Try it both ways to decide which you prefer, Add some chickpeas in for added protein. Lets make this!

Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Instant Pot Tikka Masala Sauce. Flavorful Weekday Dinner. #Veganricha #vegan #recipe #Glutenfree #Soyfree #Nutfree option

Tips and substitute options

Like with all my Indian Recipes, I try to keep the flavors as authentic as possible while making it simpler. You can change up other things based on availability and preference (non dairy yogurt can easily be subbed with non dairy cream or milk). It doesn’t affect the amazing flavor, the sauce if flavorful enough and some changes here and there dont affect the deliciousness. It might affect the traditional flavor profile, which may or may not be detectable :).

Use other veggies such as roasted pumpkin/sweet potato/butternut squash, fresh broccoli or zucchini for variations. Add some beans or lentils for a hearty meal.

If you make this Tikka Masala, do let me know how it worked out!

Step Photos

Spiced Cauliflower Florets in a white baking dish for our Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala
Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Instant Pot Tikka Masala Sauce. Flavorful Weekday Dinner. #Veganricha #vegan #recipe #Glutenfree #Soyfree #Nutfree option
Baked Cauliflower Florets mixed into Tikka Masala Sauce in the Instant pot for our Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala

More Instant Pot options

Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala in a speckled bowl

Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala

5 from 34 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Indian, Vegan
Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Instant Pot Tikka Masala Sauce. Flavorful Weekday Dinner. Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree option Vegetable Tikka Masala
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  • 1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp or more salt
  • 1 Recipe my Tikka masala sauce, , use 2/3 of the sauce recipe if using a small head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup non dairy cream, such as cashew ( (blend 1/4 cup cashews with 1/4 cup water until smooth), soy, coconut (optional)


  • If you havent yet, make  my Tikka Masala Sauce. To a large bowl, Add the chopped cauliflower florets, drizzle oil and lemon juice and toss well to coat. In a small bowl mix all the spices and salt. Sprinkle the spices all over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread the florets on a parchment lined baking sheet or baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 C) for 25 mins.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat or instant pot on saute mode, combine the tikka masala sauce and baked cauliflower. Add 1/4 cup of non dairy cream if needed. Mix well. Bring to a boil. At this point you can also add in a cup or more chickpeas for added protein. Cook for about 3-4 mins. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. 
  • Garnish with fenugreek leaves or cilantro. Sprinkle some smoked paprika or cayenne (really important for a smoky flavor). Take off heat. Then let the mixture sit for another few mins before serving. Serve with Naan, flatbreads or rice. 



No Bake option: You can cook the Cauliflower in the Instant Pot instead of baking. Add to the sauce and pressure cook at low pressure for 1 minute. Quick release.
Skillet: just simmer covered in a skillet for 10 mins or until cooked through.
Variations: Add other veggies such as potato (baked), pumpkin(baked), fresh broccoli, zucchini etc
Nutrition is for 1 serve. 


Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Sodium: 523mg, Potassium: 532mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 80IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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5 from 34 votes

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  1. Alicia Allison says:

    5 stars
    I already made this twice this month. It’s my new favorite. I make a double batch of sauce and add diced potatoes.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      That’s great!

  2. bec says:

    I don’t eat oil in my diet can I still make it in the instant pot without the oil?

    1. Richa says:

      Yes, use broth to sauté

  3. Sarah A says:

    I want to try this with frozen cauliflower florets. How many cups of frozen cauliflower florets should I add to replace 1 medium head of cauliflower?

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      3-4 cups of frozen is equal to about 1 medium head of cauliflower. Enjoy!

  4. Diane Barber says:

    5 stars
    I have been making this recipe for years . There is just two of us so , I make the sauce and freeze half for another day . To the other half I add a can of small red beans . I then cook up some Linguini and serve the Tikka Masala over it . For the Cauliflower , I make up a jar of the spice mixture to have on hand when I need it . I roast the Cauliflower with the spices and serve it on the side of the pasta . I finish the Cauliflower with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice . Thank you for a delicious recipe ! 😋

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      perfect to have it on hand =)

  5. James Cheseldine says:

    5 stars
    Superb recipe. I love the versatility and the roasted cauliflower was just perfect here. Thank-you!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      yay James

  6. J345 says:

    5 stars
    It’s great! Even without the fenugreek which I just didn’t have. Also, that is the best, tastiest, and easiest tikka masala ever. Thank you!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      wow! thank you so very much

  7. Sue millin says:

    Love Richa,s recipes, could you tell me which of her books this recipe is in, as I can not find it in the two of her books, That I own of hers, thank you

    1. Richa says:

      The tikka masala sauce is in both books. First book has tempeh tikka masala. You can replace the tempeh witb baked cauliflower. In the second book tikka masala sauce is a Variation under makhani sauce. Add veggies chickpeas tofu whatever to the sauce

  8. Somya Tirath says:

    5 stars
    YUM!! One of the best recipes I’ve made in a long time. I loved it! Highly recommend.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says: