Chicken Tikka Pizzas - 20-Minute Meal

I love Indian flavors a lot, a lot, and this twist on pizza with the simplified flavors of chicken tikka warms my soul. We’ve eaten this probably three or four times over the last couple months and it’s a success each and every time (totally one of those meals, like this one and this one I’ve waxed poetic about, that I just cannot get sick of ever). No lie, I’ve started keeping flatbread and cooked chicken in my freezer just for this meal. Everything else I usually have on hand and it’s quick enough to even throw together for lunch (and I’m usually a strict no-cook lunch girl).

Speaking of flatbread and cooked chicken, I feel it’s only fair if I’m declaring something a 20-minute meal to forewarn you that there are some components that either need to be bought or prepared ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than going to make a “20-minute” recipe only to find that it requires you to still get out there and milk the cow, if you know what I mean.

Chicken Tikka Pizzas - 20-Minute Meal

For once, this pizza is less about the cheese and more about the simplified chicken tikka flavors. There’s a light sprinkling of cheese, thinly sliced red onion and cilantro to pull everything together and the combination is absolutely wonderful.

I’m a simple girl with simple wants and I can’t resist loving a recipe that tastes amazing and makes my life easier.

What To ServeRoasted Cauliflower
Fresh Fruit

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Two Years Ago: DIY Homemade Yogurt
Three Years Ago: Homemade Taco Seasoning

Chicken Tikka Pizzas: Another 20-Minute Meal

Yield: 4-5 individual pizzas

Chicken Tikka Pizzas: Another 20-Minute Meal

So here are a few quick substitutions, you can use a 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes in place of the diced tomatoes (which are blended in the recipe). The sauce will be slightly thicker and the tomato flavor will be a bit stronger. Also, you can omit the curry and cumin and use 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala. I've made it both ways and slightly prefer the curry/cumin mixture probably because I'm super dedicated and loyal to the Penzey's brand of sweet curry powder.

I generally use this homemade Greek flatbread (ones I've baked and frozen in advance) or the oblong-shaped naan breads from Costco for this recipe but any type of flatbread you enjoy will work.


  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained (see note above)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (more or less to taste, depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk (the milk will make the sauce a bit thinner)
  • 2-3 cups cooked, diced chicken (a rotisserie chicken works great here)
  • 4-5 6-inch pita or naan breads (see note)
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less, depending on how cheesy you want the pizzas)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat broiler to high and place an oven rack about 4-6 inches away from broiler.
  2. Blend the diced tomatoes (in a blender or food processor or with an immersion blender) until fairly smooth.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a 2-quart or so saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, red pepper, garlic, curry powder, and cumin. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and salt and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cream and add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Stir in the chicken and heat through.
  4. Top each pita or naan bread with 1/2 cup or so of the sauce/chicken mixture (the exact amount will depend on the size of your bread), thin slices of red onion and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.
  5. Broil until the cheese is melted and starting to brown lightly in spots, 2-3 minutes. Don't let them burn (they'll cook quickly!).
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe sent to me by Sheriece M (by way of MyRecipes)

42 Responses to Chicken Tikka Pizzas: Another 20-Minute Meal

  1. Jennifer Sandholtz says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. Loved the flavors! Delicious sauce! I will definitely make this again. I love your recipes! You really are an amazing cook!

  2. Mamalala says:

    We had this for dinner tonight. It was really good. I think I will drain the tomatoes and then pulse them so I can get a thicker sauce. We also topped our pizzas off with diced alphonso mangoes to give the dish more depth. Those are my favorite mangoes of all time. I can’t wait to eat this again!!!

  3. Helen says:

    This looks delicious. I’m trying to broaden my son’s tastebuds and he loves pizza so I might give this a try. Thanks

  4. Alison says:

    I made tonight and we enjoyed it. I will make it again! I sautéed some onion and red pepper before adding spices because I needed to use them up. Question though–do you broil on a cookie sheet, a pizza stone, or just on the oven rack? I did it on a cookie sheet. I would have liked it a little more crisp on the bottom and am wondering if this would happen if I cooked it on a different surface. Perhaps the addition of the onion/pepper made the sauce too heavy. Any thoughts? Thanks for the fun recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Alison – I just use a cookie sheet but I think if you wanted the bottoms of the bread crispier, a pizza stone (or maybe even just a preheated baking sheet) would work great.

  5. Carrie says:

    We had this tonight for dinner and it was a hit with everyone. I used the naan bread from Costco and we all loved it. We do Indian fairly often (your chicken curry and butter chicken) so the taste was familiar to them. Quick and easy, thanks!

  6. Jane says:

    Made this tonight and hubby said it was a keeper! I used a whole wheat flat bread that I broiled for a minute or two before topping to make it semi-crisp.

  7. Alicia says:

    I made this recipe and it was great! I didn’t have any naan or flatbread, so I made it as a regular pizza – still fantastic. I even had some left overs and ate it over rice. Still great! I have wanted to try Indian food before but haven’t had the courage. This was an easy stepping stone for me. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. mangomama says:

    Made this tonight and did add some garam masala (maybe 1/2 teaspoon?) …we thought topping them with Craisins– at the table– added that just a little something extra 🙂 maybe raisins would be good too — at any rate, they were good!

  9. Emma says:

    I made this tonight, and we loved it! I didn’t add much of the ground red pepper because I was worried the kids wouldn’t eat it. Next time I’ll add more. This was wonderful. Thank-you!

  10. Trisha says:

    These were awesome! Thank you! My 4 year old even ate them and liked them – he didn’t even complain about the chicken (he hates chicken). I think the new curry/ginger/spicy flavor distracted him from the chicken. 🙂 He drank lots of milk, since it was a little on the spicy side (I forgot to add the cream/milk – oops! That probably makes a difference). This meal was delicious! Thank you.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I made these last night for my family. They were a huge hit! thanks!

  12. Lynn Rose says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious! I bought a large jar of garam masala, the only size I could find, and I am so happy because now I can make this many more times. Thank you for the recipe.

  13. jen says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. I used the oven since the broiler and I never got along. It was delicious! My husband and picky son loved it.

  14. Gigi says:

    I couldn’t stop thinking about this since I saw it Wednesday.. I HAD to make this last night and I am amazed by how phenomenal it turned out. Seriously, I’m already thinking about making this again next weekend using your traditional pizza dough recipe. It is going to long week .

  15. Mirlandra @ Mirlandra's Kitchen says:

    Yum! I love this idea. What a great twist on chicken tikka (of which I’m a big fan). I got introduced to chicken tikka at my book club and they would love this too. I will have to share it! Thanks so much.

  16. Cammee says:

    Oh I know I’m going to love this!!

  17. Emily @ says:

    genius!! I’ve got naan in the freezer I need to use up. What is in your curry powder? There are so many different varieties. Also, does the sauce taste like tikka masala sauce? Or does it just resemble it somewhat? Also want to suggest buying a rotisserie chicken at Costco and the tikka masala sauce they sell for anyone who wants a 5 minute meal. The sauce is not as good as restaurants I’ve eaten at but for this pizza recipe it would probably work. Thanks for a great idea!

    • Mel says:

      The sauce has Indian flavors and probably resembles tikka masala sauce if using garam masala more than the curry (although every recipe I try for tikka masala tastes different). I’m not sure what’s in the sweet curry powder from penzeys, I haven’t looked up the ingredients before but they are probably available on their website.

  18. Meghan says:

    I love that you try all the recipes several times before posting. Thank you. I love indian food

  19. Carol at Wild Goose Tea says:

    20 min meal recipes HAVE TO be wildly popular. That’s about the max I want to spend on fixing myself dinner on a weekday. For another reason that I won’t bore you with—well actually too lazy to type it out—–I am really into pizza. So I like this post and recipe

  20. Scratch is Better says:

    Looks delicious – will be giving this a try soon as I have leftover naans in the freezer!

  21. Mary says:

    Just made this for dinner…LOVED IT!! We used 1 T garam masala and cooked 2 boneless chicken breast, which we cubed. Followed the rest of the recipe to the letter…great flavors.

  22. EmilyF says:

    Mel, Do you buy your spices from Penzey’s online? If so, what else do you buy? I’m going to order some sweet curry powder on your recommendation, but I need to get to $30 for free shipping! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I almost hate to confess what I buy from them. Let’s see: oregano, chili powder, cinnamon (vietnamese and china are both great), whole nutmeg, ground nutmeg, smoked paprika, sweet curry, dutch-process cocoa. Most of them, I buy in the 4 ounce bags and refill my own bottles since it’s more cost effective.

  23. KB says:

    Thanks for reminding me about the Thai Chicken Crunch Wraps! How could I have forgotten? I ate them for weeks last time you posted them and just had one for dinner.
    One addition: fresh mint leaves. Try it, you’ll love it.

  24. sarita says:

    I just changed tonight’s menu because this looks to irresistible to wait! Thanks, Mel!

  25. Ramona @ The Merchant Baker says:

    I love a 20 minute meal that’s not run of the mill…this looks wonderful!

  26. Ellen says:

    This looks yummy. I’m wondering, what is the quantity of fresh tomatoes that can be used in place of canned?
    Thanks for this recipe!

    • Ellen says:

      Mel, I realized that I misunderstood the recipe, and that either crushed or diced tomatoes can be used.
      No need to answer original question.
      Will be making this soon!

  27. Mel says:

    Hey everyone, sorry about omitting the chicken! Just added it in!

  28. Lisa S says:

    This looks absolutely delish! Can’t wait to try it this weekend but I think you left the chicken out of the list of ingredients.

  29. Kat says:

    Can’t wait to make this, please include the chicken in the ingredients. Thanks

  30. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says:

    I have a bunch of naan in the freezer so I made pizza with them last week.
    Looks like I now have a new recipe to try. Thanx!

  31. Jade says:

    So excited for this recipe! I was just trying to figure out how to make an indian pizza without buying a jar of sauce and using it… fabulous timing, Mel! 🙂

  32. heather says:

    If I were to substitute ginger powder for fresh grated ginger, how much powder would be needed?

  33. Nicole H says:

    We love chicken tika very much, too, in our family. Eating it on a pizza sounds delicious! I just made your flatbread two days ago and have them in our freezer, so maybe we’ll have this for dinner tonight. How much chicken do you need for this recipe?

  34. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! Did you use rotisserie chicken in this recipe? I am not very familiar with Indian cuisine, but I’m going to make this pizza!

  35. Patricia Mahoney says:

    Hi – I don’t see chicken in the ingredients – how much did you use? Thanks!

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