Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 11 reviews

Chicken Recipes Slow Cooker

Cook time Cook time: 4 minutes

Last updated on April 15th, 2022 at 04:15 pm

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is incredibly easy to make at home, by adding all the ingredients to your slow cooker and let it cook to perfection.

Crockpot recipes are a great time saver, especially during busy weeknights. You should also try my famous Garlic Sesame Chicken, or if you are looking for soups, check my Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup. They are easy to make and very delicious.

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is such a flavorful and easy dish to make in your crockpot. This Indian-inspired dish is among our favorite of all time. It is rich, flavorful, and creamy.

Thanks to all the spices, this is such a flavorful and aromatic dish. Incredibly easy to make in your slow cooker, this restaurant-style meal can now be enjoyed on busy weeknights.

Chicken Tikka Masala has been on a rotation menu here. The tangy tomato sauce, the sweet cream, the soft and tender meat, work together to create a luxurious and amazing meal! You can serve it over rice with some buttery garlic naan on the side.

What spices do you need to make Tikka Masala sauce?

What is the difference between Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala?

Both dishes are very similar, the only main difference lies in the way they are cooked and in the ingredients used. Butter Chicken uses a lot of butter,  whereas Tikka Masala uses more masala or spices.

How to make Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala?

For exact ingredients and steps, see the recipe card below. But the general steps are as follows:

  1. Combine the spices together: In a bowl, whisk to combine the species together. 
  2. Season the poultry: Then, add the cubed chicken to the spice mix and coat it. 
  3. Add the ingredients to the slow cooker: Add the season chicken pieces to the slow cooker together with chopped onion, fresh ginger, diced tomato, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Then, stir well.
  4. Cook: Cover the crockpot and cook for 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW. 
  5. Add the cream: At the end, add the heavy cream and stir gently. 
  6. Serve: Garnish with some parsley or cilantro, and serve over some white rice

Can you make this vegetarian?

Yes. You will have to substitute the chicken for firm tofu. Also, the tofu will have to be added towards the end of the cooking.

How to make Chicken Tikka Masala in the Pressure Cooker?

This delicious, Indian-inspired dish, can be also easily made in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Check my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala.

Can you freeze Chicken Tikka Masala?

Absolutely! To do so, you will have to let the chicken mixture and rice cool to room temperature, then seal in separate large zip-top plastic freezer bags. Label with the date, and freeze for up to 3-4 months, or longer if you use a deep freezer.

How do you thaw Chicken Tikka Masala?

  • First, transfer the frozen dish to your refrigerator the night before you wish to use it to allow it to thaw. Then. add the sauce to a saucepan and reheat it to at least 165 F before you consume it.
  • Microwave the chicken or heat it up in the saucepan, you can also put it in a hot oven until it warms up.

Recipe Tips:

  • This recipe uses quite a few spices which is why it is so delicious and flavorful. You can also use more spice mix for a more complex flavor. Also, to make it extra smoky, add some smoked paprika. 
  • We love to use chicken breasts when making this recipe. However, feel free to substitute the breasts with thighs. They are also flavorful and are perfect to cook in the Slow Cooker. 
  • This dish is best served over basmati rice. 
  • If you have leftovers, simply store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. 
Image of slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipe.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is incredibly easy to make at home, by adding all the ingredients to your slow cooker and let it cook to perfection.
5 from 11 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 6 serv
Calories: 555kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cubed into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 large tomato (diced)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  • Fresh cilantro (chopped)


  • Combine garlic powder, onion powder, ground turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, ground ginger root and salt in a small bowl, whisk to combine.
  • Add cubed chicken to the spice bowl and mix well to coat the meat.
  • Add the season chicken pieces to the slow cooker. Add the chopped onion, fresh ginger, diced tomato, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or for 8 hours on low.
  • Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for 1 minute on high, and stir into the chicken tikka masala. Taste and add more salt and paprika (for spiciness) if needed.
  • Serve over rice garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro.
  • If you want to freeze the chicken tikka masala, do so before stirring in the heavy cream. The cream can be mixed after thawing, while heating the chicken tikka masala in a sauce pan over medium heat. Chicken tikka masala can be frozen to up to 3 months.


Chicken thighs can also be used in this recipe, I used chicken breast as we always buy it in bulk and I usually have some on hand all the time.
The chicken can be seasoned and after that mixed with 1 cup of full fat unflavored greek yogurt and marinated for 4-6 hours. This is not a mandatory step, while it can add extra softness and flavor to the chicken, I find it that the slow cooker creates a perfect dish even if I skip this step.


Serving: 0g | Calories: 555kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 1460mg | Potassium: 902mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1880IU | Vitamin C: 9.4mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2.3mg
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The best! The flavors are so good and really love how hands off this is!


Stacy Anzick

I’ve been making your tikka masala recipe in my instant pot for almost 2 years. It’s a family favorite! I saw this and decided to try it. Still so yummy but this version had more of a spice kick that’s not in the other one. I can’t figure out the difference. This one is also more red while the other is more yellow. Thoughts on what is different?


Ron Ridley

Really nice dish as it was easy and great tasting. The only thing I would add as a tip would be to sauté the onions for a couple minutes as some of mine were still slightly firm after 8 hours on low in an instant pot in slow cooker mode (It may have cooked fine in my older traditional slow cooker). Despite that it still tasted great and ended up making more than what I expected for six servings, so we have at least an extra serving left over, which is great.


Very happy that you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for the feedback!



Could I cut the fat by adding half-and-half instead of heavy cream? Will it turn out?


Hi Paige, yes, it will work well.



I thought it was more red than yellow too. I wonder what’s different!


Agnes Simon

Can you use a slow cooker if you use previous made sauce. (I brought some sauce for this recipe.) All I would have to do is add the chicken. I would like to do it in my slow cooker. Any ideas or suggestions?


Yes, that will work well and save you some prep time!



Hi! Wondering if subbing coconut milk for the heavy cream will work for a nondairy option?


Hi Erika, yes it will work well.


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