My husband and toddler both love saucy and flavorful pastas, so I came up with an Indian style Paneer Tikka Pasta Recipe. Punjabi (North Indian) food can be a real labor of love sometimes, but this recipe is quick and easy. One day as I was revamping some jarred pasta sauce I realized that I could make a semi homemade tikka masala gravy with it. The end result was absolutely delicious and although it tasted great with naan I couldn’t help but pair it with pasta since it still had notes of Italian flavors. This fun fusion recipe is sure to please and excite adults and kids.
Keep in mind this is a semi homemade recipe so its quick and easy but it does not lack in flavor. I chose to pair this gravy with some rigatoni but it would taste equally as delicious with some spaghetti or penne. I used Rao’s marinara since that is a staple and favorite in our house but you can use your favorite marinara sauce. If you haven’t tried Rao’s yet I would highly recommend you do, it is truly delicious and made with clean ingredients.
- 1 box of Pasta boiled per package instructions
- 1 jar of Marinara Sauce (I used Rao's)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 large onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic sliced
- 1 tablespoon of ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons of tandoori masala
- 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 2 tablespoons of kesuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 Thai Chilis
- Crispy Paneer
- 1 package of Paneer
- 2 table spoons of yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of tandoori masala
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- Pinch of red food color
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- In a bowl mix yogurt, tandoori masala, oil, and red food color.
- Cut paneer into half inch pieces and add to yogurt mixture.
- Coat all the paneer pieces well.
- Place paneer on a baking sheet evenly and bake for 6 minutes, tossing every two minutes to make sure they evenly bake and brown.
Pasta and Sauce
- Place a large pot on medium heat melt butter.
- Add diced onions, sliced garlic, and ginger paste.
- Cook for 5 minutes until onions turn translucent and everything gets lightly golden not brown.
- Add tandoori masala, cumin, garam masala and roast for 30 seconds.
- Add jarred marinara sauce and cook until it begins to simmer.
- Add heavy whipping cream, kesuri methi, and honey.
- Stir well and let simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add Pasta, mix well and let simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in parmesan cheese and top with baked paneer and chopped thai chilis.
If you are in a real hurry you can skip the onions and garlic in this recipe since marinara sauce already has onions and garlic cooked into it.
You want your crispy paneer to have a little bit of char on it, it adds to the flavor.
If you don't have food color, just skip it. It won't make a difference on flavor.
Paneer Tikka Masala Pasta Recipe FAQs
What does paneer tikka mean?
Paneer is a semi-soft cheese made from cow's milk widely used in North Indian dishes in savory and sweet applications. Tikka is a preparation method for marinading proteins like paneer, chicken, or beef. Paneer tikka is a grilled North Indian dish used served mainly as an appetizer. It can be used in variations such as katti rolls, pasta topping like in this recipe, or served in a gravy alongside naan as an entree.
What sauce do you use to make paneer tikka pasta?
Classic paneer tikka masala uses tomatoes as a base, spiced with Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala. This semi-homemade paneer tikka pasta recipe, however, uses a jarred marinara sauce which already has layers of flavors from garlic, tomato, and onion. Using marinara sauce also cuts cooking time in half.