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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Your fork is waiting.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
- 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)
- 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.
Find more healthy slow cooker recipes on my Pinterest board!
147 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala”
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!
Did you whisk the coconut milk in the beginning?
I hope you love it!
Hello! Any thoughts on what I can use instead of the yogurt? I’m dairy free. =)
can fat free yogurt be used?
Yes for sure!
Hey, quick question! I’m allergic to coconut milk and was wondering if any other type of milk will work! Thank you!
Hmmm…. I would do plain yogurt if I was you!
Is there a way to adapt this to fit an 11 hour cooking time? I work full time!
I would try thighs instead of breasts OR just add more of the liquid!
Does this dish freeze well? Also, do you think I could use sour cream instead of yogurt? Love your site!
Yes it does and yes you can!! Thank you so much Jennifer!
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.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Nancy!
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!
Yes absolutely!! Great idea!! I think I might make that this week too! :)
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!
Oh so smart! So glad you found it!!
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.
So glad you enjoyed it!!!