Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

I’m excited to share a new recipe with you that I tweaked over and over again to get it right—Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala! It’s as close as I could get it to the super yummy Tikka Masala we recently had at an authentic Indian restaurant here in Charlotte (thanks to Vani for introducing it to us).

I came home and immediately put it on our meal plan so I could try making it myself. The first version was nothing like the restaurant version—all we could taste was a strong cinnamon and clove flavor, and we were not fans. So, I quickly determined I’d basically have to make my own garam masala spice mix that was a little milder. I got some advice from my cousin’s wife (who grew up on authentic Indian cuisine), and after a few more takes, finally got it pretty darn close!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikki Masala on 100 Days of Real Food

Vegetarian Note

As I recently mentioned, my 13-year-old is trying something new and no longer eating meat at the moment! Luckily she’ll still eat the sauce from a dish like this, even if the chicken was cooked in it. I guess it’s that or make your own dinner, LOL. So, I quickly sauteed some shiitake mushrooms for her to substitute for the chicken, and she loved it. The sauce is so good that I made sure to include plenty of extra on purpose … yum!

I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do! It’s hard not to love a recipe where all you have to do is dump it in the slow cooker and turn it on. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikki Masala on 100 Days of Real Food

Other Indian Recipes You Might Enjoy

Chicken Tikka Masala

This Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is as close as I can get to the delicious meal I had at an authentic Indian restaurant here in Charlotte. The sauce is so good served over brown rice.
4.9 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs
Total Time: 6 hrs 15 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 8


  • 2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1 small onion (or 1/2 large onion), diced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can plain tomato sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 teaspoons ginger peeled and freshly minced/grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • plain yogurt and brown rice for serving


  • Place the raw chicken pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the diced onion, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic & spices, tomato paste, and honey. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.
  • Temporarily remove the chicken and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Add the cream to the slow cooker and use a hand-held immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth, then stir the chicken back in with a spoon.
  • Spoon the brown rice into bowls, top with chicken and sauce, plain yogurt, and cilantro, and serve.


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition facts do not include rice and yogurt.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Tikka Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 387 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 154mg51%
Sodium 806mg35%
Potassium 608mg17%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 1212IU24%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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23 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala”

  1. 5 stars
    I love Indian food, and this was delicious. Pretty easy to make too, especially if you have your spices out and ready to “dump” in the crockpot.

  2. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I’ve not had Tikka Masala before- but I am so glad I tried this. I prepared this recipe exactly as you stated. It is so flavorful and will be a recipe that I’ll keep coming back to.

  3. 4 stars
    I made this last night, and while it’s quite tasty, it doesn’t taste like any Tikka Masala I’ve had before. For me, the issue was the honey–perhaps I used very good quality honey (with a stronger taste?), because it overpowered the dish and made it too sweet. I did add three times as much crushed red pepper than the recipe called for, but I think real (not dried) chilis are required to give this any real heat. All this being said, I love these slow-cooker recipes, so keep them coming! As a college prof with a variable schedule, it’s so great to be able to toss stuff in between classes and not think about it until dinner time.

    1. Hi Amber, thanks for the feedback. It could possibly be the honey that is throwing you off, as we try to use only honey or 100% maple syrup as sweeteners, staying away from refined sugars that you would normally find in this type of recipe. – Nicole

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I think I’d add a little more spice next time – it was very flavorful but mild.
    I also only used one cup of heavy cream – I can’t imagine it needing 2! For some more veg (and because I had one that needed to be used up) I added a large-diced eggplant about 2 hours into the cooking time, and it was delicious! Even a teen who doesn’t like veggies ate all of it and asked me to put it in when I made it again!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve tried two other recipes, in addition to jarred tikka masala sauce. This one beats them all! It’s as yummy as our favorite Indian restaurant in Houston.

  6. Hi Lisa,

    Being of Indian-origin and hailing from the UK (Chicken Tikka Masala was voted the most popular “British” dish of the last decade – go figure) your recipe is something I’m totally going to try.

    I’m completely with you on the cloves and cinnamon though, as well as cardamom, which is used in many authentic dishes.

    In fact, enjoying my mother’s cooking as a child, and on my numerous visits to India, these spices are typically used whole during the cooking process (as well as the addition of ground garam masala).

    I cannot tell you how many times the overpowering aroma and taste of these particular spices, especially when still whole, almost put me off a meal.

    However, you seem to have created the perfect combination here and I cannot wait to try out your recipe.


  7. 5 stars
    My whole family of picky eaters loved this and they have eaten very little Indian food. I couldn’t tell you if it has an ‘authentic’ taste due to our inexperience but it was a hit. We made with a can of coconut milk so it would be dairy-free. I like the idea of serving it with roasted cauliflower or adding a can of chickpeas. It is very saucy so it has room for a few additions.

  8. 5 stars
    We really enjoyed this! We didn’t have cardamom so we substituted garam masala, still came out delicious! Why is cardamom so expensive btw? $16 at the grocery store

  9. 5 stars
    We all loved this. Next time I’m going to attempt to make it vegan by using canned coconut milk and chickpeas, though it’s perfect as written.

  10. Do you think this could be cooked on “high” in the slow cooker to cut down on the time? Maybe 3-4 hours on high? Or in an instant pot?

  11. instead of mushrooms for a vegetarian option, you could skip the chicken and add 2 drained cans of chick peas to the crockpot. might need a can of water to make up what the chicken might contribute. also stir in some spinach at the end.

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