Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala


Chicken Tikka Masala doesn’t get any easier than this!  I created this recipe because so often people skip Chicken Tikka Masala in their dinner rotation recipes because it takes so much time and effort to prepare.  In my opinion this cooking method tastes just as good, if not better, than any of those tediously time consuming recipes.  The better comes because of the unbelievably tender chicken this recipe yields from long hours of slow, low cooking and also how much time it gives the spices to meld and develop in this incredible dish.  I’m quite certain this will now be my only method/recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala.  How could I go back to the long, laborious method now?

Never tried Indian food before?  Then now is definitely time!  I was thinking, how do you describe Indian food and it’s enticing, delectable flavors in two words?  Bold and exciting!  If you have never tried Indian food before, it’s likely you have tried the spices it contains in several alternate dishes but Indian food combines all those rich spices into one amazing dish.  So go on and excite your taste buds with this flavorful, spice packed Indian dish.


Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

5 from 4 votes

Yield: 6 servings


  • Ingredients:
  • 5 boneless , skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 3 lbs)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion , finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 Tbsp freshly , finely grated ginger
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato puree (I recommend Contadina Brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt , or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-3 tsp cayenne pepper*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Prepared Long Grain White Rice or Basmati Rice
  • Chopped cilantro , for serving


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine chopped onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, tomato puree, plain yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combine. Pour half of sauce mixture into a large slow cooker then add in diced chicken followed then cover chicken with remaining sauce. Add in 2 bay leaves. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch, pour mixture into slow cooker and gently stir. Allow mixture to cook 20 minutes while you prepare the rice. Remove bay leaves and serve warm over rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
  3. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Recipe Notes

*I put 1 -3 tsp because it is all depending on your heat preference. If you don't like spicy foods you could even omit this ingredient. I go for 3 tsp but I like my food really spicy.

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  • Violet: This is really good! I’ve had so much trouble trying to do Tikka Masala in the slow cooker, but this is the best by far. The only thing I didn’t like was the onions were still crunchy, so I might cook them first next time. September 4, 2018 at 6:55pm Reply

  • Michelle: My husbands favorite meal that I make is Sloppy Joe’s but he just said this one is now tied for first ! That says a lot !
    It tastes so much like the chicken tikka masala we get at our favorite Indian place in town. March 18, 2018 at 2:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it – thanks for your feedback! :) March 23, 2018 at 4:45pm Reply

  • Belinda: Great recipe Jaclyn!
    Thanks for sharing :) December 21, 2017 at 3:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Belinda! December 21, 2017 at 4:14pm Reply

  • Lucy: Just wanted to thank you for this recipe .I have made it on a number of occassions and always get rave reviews from family and friends . November 25, 2017 at 12:31am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome and thank you for the great review! November 27, 2017 at 12:37pm Reply

  • Mike: Jaclyn,
    First of all I want to thank you for this recipe!

    The first time I tried it I followed it to the letter and loved it. That being said, I decided to tweak it just a bit. I omitted the jalapenos, lemon juice and cilantro and because there was so much delicious sauce I “fortified” the dish by adding red potatoes. I cook it on low and add the potatoes (cut to the same size as the chicken) for the last hour.

    I also wanted the sauce to be a little thicker so I increased the amount of corn starch to 3 Tbs (I know that sounds like a lot but it works great…just be sure to thoroughly mix it with the cold cream before adding it).

    I have made this dish for quite a few friends and family members that have never tried, nor thought they would like, Indian food and, to the person, each have made this themselves. Some of them even went out and bought a slow cooker so they can make this recipe.

    I have to tell you that I must have made this dish 20 times now and each time it comes out fantastic. It is one of my favorite recipes and will remain in my dinner rotation for the foreseeable future.

    Reading up on Garam Masala I learned that there are many, many variations of the spice mix. I found a recipe to make my own batch with ingredients that were easily found in a decent sized grocery store. I’ve included it here for anyone that may be interested.

    Garam Masala
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg February 29, 2016 at 4:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great info Mike! March 1, 2016 at 11:04am Reply

  • Violet: This is excellent – thank you! My husband and I like hot spicy food but I don’t like super-hot. We use 2 tsp of cayenne and make it exactly as you say. For the second day, my husband adds cauliflower and chunky wedge-cut slices of onions. We had some Trader Joe’s herbed Naan and Major Grey spicy mango chutney with it. We still have 1-2 meals worth left over. We are trying freezing that for later this winter. January 25, 2016 at 9:15am Reply

  • Linda: Jaclyn, thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe! I made it today, and it was amazing!! It tasted exactly like the tikka masala that I used to enjoy in England. The only change I made was to leave out the lemon juice (but we spritzed it on the finished dish), and I used non-fat Greek yogurt instead of regular, because that’s all I had on hand. I served it over Basmati rice, and it was perfect! My boyfriend loved it too. The added bonus is that our house smelled heavenly while it cooked. This will definitely be on the menu for us in the future. Thanks again! :-) December 3, 2015 at 8:52pm Reply

  • Adrienne: The last package of chicken breasts I bought had half the number they usually do, because they were about twice the size as normal. Not sure what happened, but they were so big that the idea of cutting them up was daunting. I made this yesterday and threw in 3 of the huge chicken breasts with the sauce on low for 8 hours. The breasts were tender and easy to shred. Not exactly a traditional texture, but still delicious and even easier to make!

    I think the spices in this recipe are great, I love easy Indian food, and it’s going in my rotation. I think it’s missing just a little something though, either sweet, salty, or both. Next time I’ll try coconut oil and coconut milk and possibly a bit more salt. Thank you! September 21, 2015 at 11:56am Reply

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