Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

4.4 from 81 votes

This slow cooker chicken tikka masala utilizes lean chicken breasts that are slowly cooked in a flavorful sauce. A lightened up version of the Indian dish.

Chicken Tikka Masala with pita bread

Why is Indian food so delicious? They say it is because of the lack of overlapping flavors. It has a mix of spices that is loved all over the globe.

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Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

I've found a way to boost up the flavor with low calorie, high impact ingredients such as fresh ginger, garam masala (an Indian spice blend) and light coconut milk.

Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce

While chicken tikka masala is often made with chicken thighs, I find that slow cooking the lean chicken breasts makes them completely juicy and tender.

Pouring Sauce Over Chicken

Plain yogurt is added for added tenderization and tanginess (plus a hefty boost of protein and calcium!)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can this be made dairy free?

If you're not able to eat yogurt that's not a problem. You can just use the coconut milk no need to add anything or substitute yogurt with soy yogurt.

What type of coconut milk should be used?

I like to use Thai style light coconut milk in a can. You can also use full-fat Thai style coconut milk. Just be sure you're using Thai style coconut milk not the processed coconut milk in the vegan milk section.

Can this be made on the stovetop instead?

Yes absolutely! The entire dish should cook in about 45-60 minutes.

Is this dish more of a tomato-based masala or creamy based dish?

It's more tomato-based than creamy

Cucumber Raita Recipe Indian


To serve, be sure to whip up a quick batch of Cucumber Yogurt Raita, a cool and delicious cucumber yogurt sauce that helps balance the richness of the dish.

Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Fun Fact: if you used the full amount of cayenne to make the dish a bit spicy, the yogurt sauce in the cucumber raita will help combat the heat, unlike water which only exacerbates the burn.

Liz Eating Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Of course, if cilantro isn't your thing, simply leave it out at the end but I am 100% team cilantro so there is never enough garnish on my dish.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Your fork is waiting.

📖 Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

4.4 from 81 votes
This slow cooker chicken tikka masala utilizes lean chicken breasts that are slowly cooked in a flavorful sauce. A lightened up version of the Indian dish. 
PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 8 hrs
TOTAL: 8 hrs 10 mins
REVIEW PRINT
Servings: 4

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken breasts - cubed)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 15 ounces coconut milk (Thai Style - light)
  • 1 cup low fat plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro (optional garnish)
  • cucumber raita and brown rice (to serve yogurt sauce)

Instructions
 

  • Place cubed chicken breasts and diced onion in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, yogurt, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, garam masala, cornstarch, salt and cayenne. Pour mixture over the chicken and onion and stir well.
  • Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours. Serve with brown rice and cucumber raita on the side.

Notes

To lower sodium content, simply cut the salt amount in half.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 16.8gProtein: 25.9gFat: 9.2gSaturated Fat: 5.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3.6gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 880mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 7.8g
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE? Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

Find more healthy slow cooker recipes on my Pinterest board!

147 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala”

  1. Good morning - I made this recipe and came home to find that the sauce curdled during the 8 hour cooking process. Any words of advice to avoid this from happening again? I used full fat coconut milk (all I had in the pantry) but the other ingredients were unchanged. Thanks for your help & am looking forward to trying the recipe again!

      1. Made your slowcooker tikka masala tonight and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I did add some additional tomato paste and coconut milk as we like extra sauce. It was nice and spicy and it went perfect over rice.

      2. I know this wouldn't technically be chicken tikka masala, but do you think I could use half cauliflower like you do in your slow cooker indian butter chicken recipe? I plan on doubling the recipe but only have a lb of chicken and am on kind of a strict budget! Would you recommend a different veg/filler like potatoes? This recipe looks amazing!! Thanks so much for your time and energy :) I love your site!

      3. Really good! Inspired by mini Naan on sale at Costco :) I searched for slow cooker Indian recipes and was so happy to find this healthy, simple one! Used thighs (since that's what I had) and soy yogurt (due to son's dairy sensitivity), and it turned out very good. Served with cucumber raita and rice as suggested, will make again!

      4. I just made this tonight and it was so yummy. I added baby spinach to it 20 min before it was done for some added nutrition. Even my 3 year old ate it! Thank you for such an EASY recipe.

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