I may be more than slightly obsessed with tahini. It’s just so delicious.
Especially when used as a creamy balance to a spicy tomato sauce like in this simple chicken dish.
And while I adore this chicken version, it’s equally amazing with salmon or other fish, chickpeas or eggplant.
Chilli Chicken with Tahini Sauce
- 2 chicken breast fillets
- 1 cup tomato passata / puree
- 1/2 teaspoon hot chilli powder
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 50 g roast almonds 2 handfuls
- 1 bag bag baby spinach 120g / 5oz
Slice chicken into bite sized strips. Bring the tomato passata / puree, chilli powder and 1 cup water to the boil in a medium frying pan. Add chicken and reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
While the chicken is cooking mix tahini with 4 tablespoons water and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. You want a smooth creamy sauce, Add a little more water if it's very thick.
When the chicken is cooked, stir in 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to make the sauce a little richer and more balanced. Taste and season the sauce with a little salt and / or more chilli.
Divide baby spinach between 2 shallow bowls. Top with chicken and sauce. Drizzle over tahini sauce. And scatter over the almonds.
NET CARBS: 12g / serve
Variations & Substitutions Chilli Chicken Tahini
no tahini? – use almond butter or Greek yoghurt or sour cream (no need to add water to the yoghurt or sour cream).
Keto / ultra low carb – halve the tomato and increase the water.
vegetarian – chicken = chickpeas, black beans, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, roast veg, grilled veg, lovely lentils or poached eggs.
nightshade-free – skip the chilli and tomato and pan fry the chicken until golden on both sides. Serve on a bed of hummus, or almond hummus with tahini sauce drizzled over.
more substantial (carb lovers) – warm pita or steamed rice.
more substantial (low carb) – avocado, extra almonds, boiled eggs, almond hummus.
Low FODMAP – halve the tomato, halve the tahini and water, replace almonds with macadamias.
no chilli, family-friendly – skip the chilli or serve it on the side.
different vegetables – add any cooked veg to the sauce. Soften an onion, celery and carrot in a little oil before adding tomato.
different protein – salmon, other fish, sausages, chicken thigh fillets, eggs (simmer in the sauce), lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, tempeh.
different chilli – use any fresh or dried chilli peppers or a few tablespoons chipotle chilli in adobo sauce. Or serve with your favourite hot sauce.
different spice – lovely with 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Or your favourite curry powder.
Waste Avoidance Strategy Chilli Chicken Tahini
chicken breast fillets – freeze it.
tomato passata / puree / chilli powder / almonds – keep them in the pantry.
tahini – I keep mine in the pantry but will keep longer in the fridge if open.
baby spinach – either freeze or wilt down in a pan with a little oil and then keep in the fridge for weeks.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – more salt! More chilli or a splash of hot sauce. Next time use less water or simmer the sauce longer to concentrate the flavours.
too dry – overcooked chicken. Next time simmer more gently or check earlier. Or if the sauce is too thick, just add more water.
too hot – next time of course use less chilli. For now serving with yoghurt or extra tahini sauce can help balance the heat.
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the tahini sauce, almonds and salad separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, bring chicken and sauce back to a simmer and serve as per recipe.
More Recipes Using Chilli Chicken Tahini
- 8 Delicious Healthy Ways to Use Tahini
- Roast Cauli with Meatballs & Tahini Sauce
- Salted Kale with Green Tahini
- Lemon Basil Roast Chicken
- Amrita’s Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Salsa
Have fun in the kitchen!