Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

4.40 stars average

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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.

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.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

4.40 stars average
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 minutes
COOK: 8 hours
TOTAL: 8 hours 10 minutes
Pin
Servings4

Equipment

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.

Last Step:

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Comment

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
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Find more healthy slow cooker recipes on my Pinterest board!


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147 responses to “Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala”

  1. Melissa Avatar
    Melissa

    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. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Did you whisk the coconut milk in the beginning?

      1. Melissa Avatar
        Melissa

        Yes!

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          I hope you love it!

  2. Christa Kedar Avatar
    Christa Kedar

    Hello! Any thoughts on what I can use instead of the yogurt? I’m dairy free. =)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Coconut milk!

  3. donna Avatar
    donna

    can fat free yogurt be used?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yes for sure!

  4. Roseabell Avatar
    Roseabell

    Hey, quick question! I’m allergic to coconut milk and was wondering if any other type of milk will work! Thank you!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Hmmm…. I would do plain yogurt if I was you!

  5. Sophie Avatar
    Sophie

    Is there a way to adapt this to fit an 11 hour cooking time? I work full time!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I would try thighs instead of breasts OR just add more of the liquid!

  6. Jennifer Avatar
    Jennifer

    Does this dish freeze well? Also, do you think I could use sour cream instead of yogurt? Love your site!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yes it does and yes you can!! Thank you so much Jennifer!

  7. Nancy Avatar
    Nancy

    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.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Nancy!

  8. Amy Avatar
    Amy

    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!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yes absolutely!! Great idea!! I think I might make that this week too! :)

  9. K Smith Avatar
    K Smith

    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!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh so smart! So glad you found it!!

  10. Kbee36 Avatar
    Kbee36

    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.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So glad you enjoyed it!!!