Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Let your crockpot do the work for you with this easy dinner recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala! Vegetarian? No problem! Read on for a vegan option.

slow cooker chicken tikka masala 1

I know many of you are huge slow cooker fans, so I thought another easy weeknight crockpot dinner recipe was in order. (Psst: here are a few of my other crockpot faves: Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Stew and Slow Cooker Stewed Lamb with Veggies.)

slow cooker chicken tikka masala 7

Matt and I enjoyed this for dinner last night, and not only is it incredibly delicious, it’s also crazy easy – the only thing you have to chop is the onion! It’s easy to throw everything into the crockpot in the morning before leaving for work, or on the weekend when you have a few minutes to spare, and then when you get home it’s ready and waiting. Isn’t that the best?!

slow cooker chicken tikka masala 8

Traditional Chicken Tikka Masala uses yogurt to add creaminess and richness, but this recipe features coconut milk instead to avoid curdling with the long cooking time.

In terms of the protein, chicken thighs hold up well when cooked in the slow cooker (rather than getting stringy like breasts sometimes do), but if you already have chicken breasts on hand that would definitely work instead. To make this vegan, simply use 2 cans (drained/rinsed) of chickpeas in place of the chicken (and obviously omit the optional yogurt topping)! A can of chickpeas would also be a fun addition even if you leave the chicken in – I always love chickpeas in dishes like this.

One more tip: if you prefer a spicier stew, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the mix! :)

slow cooker chicken tikka masala ingredients 1

So – to make this, simply toss everything in the slow cooker (<—the one I have), stir, and set on low for 6 to 7 hours. Easy! It will also work on high for 3 to 4 hours, if you’re making this later in the day.

slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipe

Serve with the carb of your choice (I recommend 90 second brown rice and/or pita bread or naan) and microwave-wilted spinach (put a huge handful of spinach in an empty bowl, microwave 45 seconds). Optional toppings: plain yogurt and fresh cilantro – and of course hot sauce!

slow cooker chicken tikka masala 6

Serves SERVES6     adjust servings

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep Time 5 MINUTES Prep Time
Cook Time 6-7 HOURS Cook Time
Total Time 5 mins Total Time


  • 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (optional - if omitted, add 2 cans of chickpeas, drained/rinsed)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 cloves grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 15-oz can coconut milk
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Instant brown rice, cilantro, yogurt, and wilted spinach for serving (optional)


  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir gently to incorporate. Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
  2. Serve over brown rice and spinach, topped with cilantro and yogurt (if desired).



Love easy meal ideas? Check out my 7 easiest dinner recipes post for more inspiration!

What sort of other slow cooker meal ideas/recipes would you like to see? I’m happy to take requests!


  1. 1

    This looks delicious, Anne! I haven’t had a curry in years!

  2. 3

    I love how easy this looks. Plus the leftovers look like they’d be easy to take to school with me the next day for a lunch.

  3. 5

    I can’t wait to make this!

  4. 6

    the pic looks rather like an Indian dish, right? I love Indian food. My kids love chicken. So this dish sounds perfect for my family

  5. 8

    I am not good at cooking but I really want to taste the dish when I look at the pic. I will ask my mom to make this for me. Thanks!

  6. 10

    This looks so good – tikka masala is my favourite!

  7. 11

    Holy crap I am making this ASAP! Most Tikka Masala slow cooker recipes I see have like 5644636 steps :/

  8. 14

    This looks so good! I went out for Indian food yesterday for the first time in a while and it was SO good. This looks like a great and easy way to recreate it at home, thanks!

  9. 15

    Sounds like a lovely recipe! We love a curry and you can’t go wrong by using a slow cooker. Greatest invention EVER! Well maybe not ever but I love it, haha!

  10. 16

    This looks amazing! I think I’m going to give it a try in my instant pot. My whole family loves curries.

  11. 17

    I made this today and it is SO good! I’ve tried several versions of crockpot tikka masala and this is my favorite. I would love some more crockpot recipes :)

  12. 19

    Hi Anne! I have this cooking in my crockpot right now! We’re in the middle of a snowstorm here in New Jersey, so this is perfect snow day food!

    I noticed that you have paprika in the photograph of all of the ingredients, but it’s not listed in the recipe ingredients. I threw in about two teaspoons of paprika into mine, but I think it will be delicious with or without it.

    • 20

      Oh whoops, thank you for noting that – yes, it should have been two teaspoons of paprika, so that was perfect! :) I hope you enjoy it – definitely perfect snow day food!

  13. 21

    This was delicious! I used 4 bone-in chicken thighs and about 2 cups cooked chickpeas, and cooked on low for six hours. I only had half a can of rich coconut milk, but the sauce was still fragrant and rich. I served on white rice and spinach, with lemon juice, cilantro, and whole milk yogurt for extra creaminess. Even my toddlers ate several bites. Thanks for the recipe, Anne … I will be making this again soon!

  14. 22
    Hillary Gras says

    Should we wait to put the coconut milk in until the end? Usually when i see coconut milk, its a late addition

  15. 24

    I have made this countless times and it is a staple in our house! I’ve made it in my slow cooker and now switched to my instant pot and it turns out great! I put in frozen chicken breast and all ingredients except the coconut milk, manual for 12 minutes, add coconut milk in and done!


  1. […] Friday night, Matt and I had a cozy night in – we had leftover Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and got a good night’s sleep so we’d be ready for our long run date on […]

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