An image capturing the rich aroma of Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala: tender chicken bathed in a vibrant, creamy tomato sauce, infused with aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

You love flavorful and comforting meals but don’t always have the time to spend hours in the kitchen. That’s where your trusty slow cooker comes in. With tender chicken, fragrant spices, and a creamy tomato sauce, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household.

So grab your slow cooker and get ready to enjoy a mouthwatering homemade Indian feast. Follow these simple steps to make an aromatic slow cooker chicken tikka masala.

First, marinate the chicken in a mixture of yogurt and spices for at least 30 minutes.

Next, sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a pan before adding it to the slow cooker with the chicken and tomato sauce.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours and enjoy!


Tracing back to its culinary history, Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is thought to have originated in the mid-20th century in the United Kingdom. It’s argued to be a combination of Indian and British cuisines, created to satisfy the British palate by incorporating the flavors and spices of Indian cuisine.

The precise origin of this dish remains uncertain, with multiple claims from different restaurants in the UK. Some assert it was created in Glasgow, while others claim it was invented in London.

Despite its obscure beginnings, Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala has become a beloved dish worldwide, known for its rich and creamy tomato-based sauce and tender chicken pieces.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

-1 large onion, diced

-2 tablespoons minced garlic
-1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
-2 teaspoons garam masala
-2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground coriander
-1 teaspoon paprika
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
-1 cup plain yogurt
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Gather all the ingredients needed to make Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and follow these steps.

  1. Marinate the chicken:

    • Mix together yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, garam masala, paprika, cumin, turmeric, and salt in a bowl.
    • Add the chicken pieces and fully coat.
    • Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Sauté the onion and spices:

    • Heat oil in a pan and cook the onion until it’s translucent.
    • Add cumin, coriander, paprika, and cinnamon and cook for a minute until fragrant.
  3. Transfer to the slow cooker:

    • Place the sautéed onion and spice mixture into the slow cooker.
    • Then add the marinated chicken, tomato sauce, and coconut milk.
    • Stir well to combine.
  4. Cook on low:

    • Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Serve your Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala over rice or with naan bread. Enjoy!

Tips for Cooking

Let’s discuss some tips to help you cook Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala to perfection. Using a slow cooker for this delicious Indian dish will let the flavors blend together nicely. Here are a few tips that will ensure a successful and tasty outcome:

Tip Explanation
1. Marinate the chicken: To infuse the chicken with robust flavor, marinate it in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and lemon juice for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
2. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs: Thighs are more tender and flavorful than chicken breasts, and they stay together well in the slow cooker.
3. Sauté the onions and spices: Before putting them in the slow cooker, sauté the onions and spices in a pan to bring out their flavor and boost the overall taste of the dish.
4. Add coconut milk at the end: To prevent curdling, add the coconut milk shortly before the cooking time is up. This will give the dish a rich and creamy texture.
5. Adjust the spice level: Taste the sauce before serving and adjust the spices according to your taste. You can add more chili powder for heat or more garam masala for depth of flavor.

Final Thoughts

Remember these tips to create a flavorful and satisfying Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala.

To start, marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices for enhanced flavors.

Use a combination of ground spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala to give your dish a rich and aromatic taste.

Don’t forget to add tomato puree and coconut milk to create a creamy and slightly tangy sauce.

Cook the chicken on low heat for several hours to make sure it becomes tender and juicy.

Serve the dish with steamed rice or naan bread to soak up all the delicious sauce.

With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a homemade Chicken Tikka Masala that’s full of flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Regular Pot Instead of a Slow Cooker to Make Chicken Tikka Masala?

Yes, it is possible to make chicken tikka masala in a regular pot instead of a slow cooker. Just bear in mind that the cooking time and temperature may need to be adjusted accordingly.

How Long Does It Take to Marinate the Chicken for This Recipe?

To marinate the chicken for this recipe, let it sit in the marinade for a minimum of 2 hours. This will allow the flavors to soak into the meat and make it more tasty.

Can I Substitute Coconut Milk With Another Type of Milk?

Yes, it is possible to substitute coconut milk with another type of milk in the recipe. Pick a milk with a creamy consistency, such as almond milk or cashew milk.

Can I Freeze the Leftovers of This Dish?

Yes, you can freeze the leftovers of this dish. Put them in an airtight container and when ready to eat, just thaw and reheat for a tasty meal.

Is This Recipe Suitable for Vegetarians or Vegans?

This recipe can easily be adapted for vegetarians or vegans. Simply swap out the chicken for tofu or vegetables, and use plant-based yogurt instead of regular yogurt. You can enjoy a delicious meatless version of the dish!

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