Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Published:
5 from 9 reviews

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.

Picture of slow cooker chicken tikka masala over rice.

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.

Photo of slow cooker chicken tikka masala.

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.

Image of slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipe.

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.

Picture of chicken tikka masala.

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.

Image of crock pot chicken tikka masala.

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. 
Save Recipe
5 from 9 reviews
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 serv
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 4 minutes Total time: 19 mins

Ingredients

  • 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 

Garnish:

  •  Fresh cilantro  (chopped)

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Add cubed chicken to the spice bowl and mix well to coat the meat.
  3. Add the season chicken pieces to the slow cooker. Add the chopped onion, fresh ginger, diced tomato, tomato paste and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or for 8 hours on low.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve over rice garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro.
  7. 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.

Notes:

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.

0 Calories: 555 Carbohydrates: 25 Protein: 36 Fat: 34 Saturated Fat: 19 Cholesterol: 205 Sodium: 1460 Potassium: 902 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 2 Vitamin A: 1880 Vitamin C: 9.4 Calcium: 88 Iron: 2.3
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Comments

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Cathy

This is one of my favorites! Can't wait to try it at home!

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Sara Welch

What a robust recipe! I know what I will be making for dinner tonight; this looks amazing!

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Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

Whoa, this is a must make meal!

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Beth

Yum! This looks out of this world delicious! My husband is going to be so excited to try this!

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Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

This Chicken Tikka Masala is looks incredibly delicious!

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Sara Welch

This is everything a gourmet meal should be, and then some! Adding this to my dinner line up for the week; looks too good to pass up!

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Toni

This was really a great meal! My family loved it!

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katerina @ diethood.com

Such a fantastic meal!! Can't wait to try it!

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Beti | easyweeknightrecipes

One of my favorite dishes!! Looks incredibly delicious!

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Suzy

The best! The flavors are so good and really love how hands off this is!

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