Flavorful, delicious chicken tikka masala made easily in your slow cooker. This beautiful recipe is perfect for making ahead of time and enjoying throughout the week.
A crock pot version of chicken tikka masala has been on my To Make list for a long time. First off, it’s my favorite Indian dish. Secondly, I feel like Indian food in general turns out superbly in the crock pot. Thirdly, I absolutely LOVE lazy man meals that yield leftovers.
In case you’ve never heard of or tried Chicken Tikka Masala, it is a classic Indian dish of tender chicken lavished in creamy tomato Indian-spiced sauce. It melts in yo mouf.
The word, tikka means pieces of meat, or as I like say, chunks of lovejoy. Just kidding, I don’t talk like that.
Legit chicken tikka masala takes about seventy thousand years to make, because it involves marinating the chicken, roasting, and then slow cooking. The result of the authentic version plays a number on your heart strings; however, for this recipe, we’ve got things to do, man, so we skip the time-consuming steps and go straight to the slow cooking. This involves putting every ingredient in your crock pot and turning the dang thing on. Boom! Football food. < – roll with it.
I enjoyed my tikka with Ginger and Turmeric Aromatic Rice. Bombshells of gypsy magic explode in your mouth. Do these two recipes together is my recommendation!
Although I was kind of jesting about the football food thing, this actually is the perfect food to serve to your football buds this weekend. It feeds a crowd and is super filling. Plus is requires zero effort. No one will be digging through your pantry in hot pursuit of the pretzels and peanut butter. Crock pot chicken tikka masala wards off pantry pirates.
If you aren’t footballing anytime soon, you can save the recipe for the winter months or make this the next time you’re in dire need of comfort food. It’s just.so.comfortable.
P.S. Don’t be intimidated by the looooong list of ingredients – they’re mostly spices and you probably have all of them on-hand already!
P.P.S. If you make the turmeric rice, double the recipe if you’re serving it to more than 4 people.
P.P.P. S. Have a beautiful weekend!
This will bring you peace.
Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- 2.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced.
- 1 14- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 2 teaspoons fresh turmeric peeled and grated*
- 1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour*
- Ginger and Turmeric Aromatic Rice
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Pine nuts
- Chopped cilantro or parsley
In a mixing bowl, combine the onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, turmeric, jalapeno, all of the spices, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine
Add the raw chicken to the bowl and mix together.
Pour everything into a crock pot and set on the lowest setting for 4 to 6 hours, until meat is cooked through. (If cooking on high, check after 2 hours, and continue checking every 30 minutes thereafter. It should only take between 2 and 3 hours).
30 minutes before the tikka masala is finished cooking, whisk together the heavy cream and tapioca starch in a small bowl until all of the clumps are out.
Add the cream mixture and yogurt to the crock pot and stir well. Replace the lid and finish cooking, stirring occasionally. The longer the mixture sits, the thicker it will become. Note: if necessary, raise the heat of your crock pot to high.
Serve with fresh chopped cilantro, a dollup of plain yogurt, and turmeric ginger rice.
*You can replace the fresh turmeric with 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
**You can replace the tapioca flour with corn starch. If you choose to do so, note that tapioca and corn starch are not a 1:1 replacement, so the amount or corn starch you need to use may be slightly more or less than the amount of tapioca flour.
I used a basic Hamilton Beach 6-quart crock pot to make the chicken tikka masala. The low setting on this crock pot is very low, so you may need to make time adjustments based on your own crock pot.