Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

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
Servings: 4



  • 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.


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


Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 16.8gProtein: 25.9gFat: 9.2gSaturated Fat: 5.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3.6gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 880mgFiber: 3.5gSugar: 7.8g

Find more healthy slow cooker recipes on my Pinterest board!

147 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala”

  1. My family loves this recipe! We served it to a large crowd at my daughter’s baptism and it was a hit. So many people asked to shared the recipe with them. Thanks again!

  2. Is this tikka masala quite creamy? We love tikka masala but prefer it to be more tomatoey than creamy! Cant wait to try it though!

  3. I tried this recipe. I’m Indian so I adjusted the recipe to try mimic the non crock pot one.I added 1 tsp Cumin powder and 1 tsp paprika for an extra kick!Oh and also a little extra garlic and ginger. Chicken was moist and came out amazing! Very close to the real stuff!

  4. Can I cook for two hours in the slow cooker on high and then finish it off in the oven for 30-45 mins? I was a bit late getting it into the slow cooker lol

  5. Remember that slow cookers do not cook at the same speed – some of the overcooking/undercooking, burnt comments can be related to using a slow cooker that is too large for the amount of ingredients or has a different cooking heat than another., is a different material, has a different venting system etc.

  6. Liz, I tried your recipe last night as I recently bought a slow cooker and wanted to try this out. As a Desi (someone from India), I have to say it was awesome! I have sent the link to your recipe to both my daughter and her mom (now I am sharing recipes with the women in my life!)

    I made a couple of small changes. Firstly, I used 2-3 Tbl spoons of ginger-garlic paste (we use these in a lot of Indian recipes and so had that around) instead of the fresh grated stuff and secondly, I added a few strands of Saforn after reading some of the comments just to make sure it was red/orange in color. Oh, and I doubled your suggested cayanne with 1 Tbl spoon of chilli powder. :-)

    Lastly, I used store bought garam masala. But next time I will try our home made garam masala (which consists of cloves, cardamom and cinnamon).

    1. Oh my goodness I am so truly honored that you enjoyed my Americanized version of a classic!! Love your tips and substitutions. I have used ginger/garlic paste before but can’t always find it. Sounds delicious!! Thank you so much!

  7. I’m so excited to try this tomorrow! I make tikka often for the fam but started working for a family in the evenings and don’t have time to cook and am relying on crock pot meals! I’m happy to be able to do one of our favorite dishes without it being time consuming!

  8. Do you think all the ingredients could be put into a freezer bag and frozen to be made at a later time? I’d love to make this and have on hand for those busy weeks.

    Plan on making this next week !

  9. Instead of using chicken can I use beef? We just had chicken curry today so I am trying to serve something different tomorrow but this recipe really looks good! Can I also use Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt?

  10. First time making an Indian dish at home that turned out. So easy. Delicious and my hubby whom I could never convince to even try Indian cuisine had seconds. Thanks!

  11. I’m making this for my wife, I think she’ll like it. Is the sauce suppose to be light? I made the mixture to the T and it’s not really red like in the picture? I put it in the fridge and I’m going to put it in the crockpot before work. Does it get darker as it cooks maybe?

  12. Hi! I’m thinking about making this recipe tonight. Do you think it will work well if I keep the chicken breasts whole? Your chicken wasn’t dry even though you cubed it?

  13. Was really looking forward to this dish but when I got home and looked in the slow cooker it was half burnt and the other half curdled, followed the recipe, disappointed :(

    1. Oh dear!! I’m so sorry to hear that KP!! We make this dish regularly and that has never happened. Did you happen to make any substitutions or changes to the recipe at all? I would love to help you figure out a way to make this work!! Thank you for letting me know either way and again, I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  14. I’m so happy I found this I have been following a diet that is similar to the paleo and I’m DYING for a curry! The only thing is that I can’t have cornstarch, would I be able to replace this with coconut flour or almond flour? Or could I leave it out?

  15. MMMMMM! Incredible!!! I was sooo happy to find this recipe!!!! I’ve got this love affair going on with Indian food, and have a local buffet that I’ve frequented way too often!!! This recipe is definitely going to help me break that habit. This is every bit as good as that restaurant’s!

    Question, though: Looking at the nutritional information, it says serving size is 2 cups, but that there are 4 servings. I know I used a little less than a full pound of chicken… but I only got a total of 4 cups. Is two cups really the serving size?

    Thank you so much! A friend told me just 2 weeks ago maybe about your blog – to date I’ve tried this and the Turkish Red Lentil Soup – keep these incredible recipes coming!!!!

    1. I’m so glad your friend told you about my site!! And I’m thrilled you’ve enjoyed the recipes so far!! :) And oh my goodness I’m so sorry – that should definitely be one cup!! I just updated the recipe. Please forgive my type-o!!

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