Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

Published February 23, 2012. Updated January 12, 2024

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Once you make this fast and easy Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala, you’ll want it every week! The chicken is tender and delicious from hours of slow cooking, while the warm Indian spices have plenty of time to blend together for the perfect comforting sauce. Serve with fluffy rice and soft naan for the most satisfying dinner ever! 

Chicken Tikka Masala doesn’t get any easier than this! I created this recipe because people often skip Chicken Tikka Masala in their dinner rotation recipes due to how 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” part 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?

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Never tried Indian food before?  Then now is the time!  How do you describe Indian food and its enticing, delectable flavors in two words?  Bold and exciting! It’s nothing to be intimidated by—you’re going to love it.

If you have never tried Indian food before, you have likely tried the spices it contains in several alternate dishes. 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.

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

How to Serve Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

I love to make this dish on very busy winter weeknights. It’s fast to prep in the morning before things get too crazy, and then when it’s dinner time you’ll have a post of perfectly cooked chicken in alluring spiced Tikka Masala sauce. This is a great recipe for busy families, since everyone can scoop up their dinner whenever they can (in between basketball practice and study groups, perhaps). The warm, cozy smell of Tikka Masala will have everyone’s mouths watering.

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5 from 10 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Deliciously flavorful, easy to make Chicken Tikka Masala cooked in the slow cooker.
Servings: 6
Prep20 minutes
Cook6 hours
Ready in: 6 hours 20 minutes



  • 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 5 to 6 hours (or high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours).
  • 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.


*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.

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • Mike

    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

  • 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.

  • 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! :-)

  • 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!