Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Main Dishes, Recipes, slow cooker

Easy Indian Food: Slow cooker chicken tikka masala


We love the complex flavors of Indian food, but it has a mostly well-deserved reputation for being fairly difficult to do at home for the average home chef.  We did a spicy slow cooker Chicken Vindaloo, which was excellent, but definitely couldn’t be defined as “easy”.  We have also done cheater versions of curry dishes and chicken tikka masala using jarred simmer sauces from Trader Joe’s, which were actually quite good, but not particularly brag-worthy.

Colleen recently found a slow cooker version of Chicken Tikka Masala from Cooking Classy that really didn’t require a lot of unusual ingredients (other than garam masala, which you can find in many specialty markets) and fairly easy prep, especially if you cheat with pre-minced garlic and jarred fresh ginger.  This past week, we made a few changes (mostly just halving the recipe) and gave it a try, and it was great!  I think I still prefer the Chicken Vindaloo, but this was quite a bit less work, and definitely do-able on a work morning.  We served it with basmati rice, but in the future will be sure to pick up some Naan (Indian flat bread) as well, to soak up the wondrous sauce.  We had also intended to serve it with a simple cucumber and tomato salad, but a sudden cucumber shortage in our refrigerator (the one we bought went bad) made that impossible…

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Raw materials for Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Mixing pretty much everything but the chicken and the cream.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Bite-sized chicken on half the sauce in the crock pot.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Remaining sauce poured over chicken with a bay leaf thrown in for luck (or taste. Whatever...).
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Similarly unappealing picture adding the cream/starch mixture.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Now that looks edible!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Like most Indian food, it smells and tastes way better than it looks!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Weight Watchers Info (Masala only): 8 PointsPlus if divided into 6 servings, 12 PointsPlus if divided into 4 servings. Rice and naan are extra.
Recipe type: Enree
Serves: 4-6
  • 24 oz boneless, skinless thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and halved
  • 1 15 oz can tomato puree
  • ¾ cups plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala (available in specialty food markets)
  • ½ Tbsp cumin
  • ¼ Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • ½ Tsp cinnamon
  • ½ Tsp or less black pepper
  • 1½ Tsp cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ Tsp corn starch
  • Cilantro (optional for garnish)
  • Basmati or other rice
  • Naan (optional)
  1. Mix onions, garlic, ginger, jalapeno halves, tomato puree, plain yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper, and cayenne in a bowl until combined.
  2. Pour half of mixture into slow cooker (I used a 4 qt mixer).
  3. Add chicken and cover with remaining sauce and add bay leaf.
  4. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  5. minutes before serving, start rice and whisk together cream and corn starch.
  6. Pour cream and starch mixture into slow cooker and gently mix in.
  7. Allow to cook 20 minutes or so to blend and thicken the sauce.
  8. Remove bay leaf and serve over rice.
  9. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Swapping low-fat or fat-free yogurt wasn't really worth it; there is only a 1 point difference (total recipe) between fat-free and whole milk plain yogurt. You might try swapping fat-free half and half for the heavy cream, but we opted to stay with heavy cream for a richer sauce.


  1. Wow….just had to comment….I’m not sure how authentic this is, but this recipe is INCREDIBLE….the flavor is fantastic….I always thought tikka masala was a milder curry, but this has just enough pep to please me (I’m a vindaloo guy, and am now in the middle of preparing your chicken vindaloo recipe)…

    Thanks for this one….it’s a definite keeper!!!!

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