This Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is super flavourful! It’s a great hands-off dinner idea that cooks all day in the crockpot on low.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Butter – or a butter substitute of your choice like margarine or even olive oil.
- Yellow onion – white onion or shallots would also work.
- Chicken – you can use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts or swap it out for another protein like tofu, chickpeas, lentils or stewing beef.
- Garlic – freshly minced garlic is best but jarred minced garlic will work in a pinch.
- Gingerroot – if you don’t have any fresh ginger, use 1 tsp. ground ginger powder instead.
- Brown sugar – make your own brown sugar using white sugar and molasses.
- Garam masala – the garam masala is pretty essential to this dish. You can try using curry powder or more cumin in its place, but the flavour won’t be the same.
- Turmeric – saffron would be the best substitute here or you can leave the turmeric out altogether.
- Cumin – add in some extra garam masala, curry powder or even chili powder.
- Chili powder – mix together paprika, cumin and cayenne in a pinch.
- Salt – to taste.
- Crushed tomatoes – diced tomatoes can be used instead.
- Sour cream – canned coconut milk or 1/3 cup heavy cream would also be good.
- Cilantro – leave this off if you’re not a fan of cilantro.
- Naan – you could also serve your tikka masala with pita or leave this out to cut down on the calories.
How to make chicken tikka masala in the slow cooker
- Add everything but the sour cream to the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Make the rice.
- Stir in the sour cream.
- Serve with rice and naan!
What to serve with chicken tikka masala
You can eat this chicken tikka masala on its own or serve it with some sides. Here are some of my favourite options:
- Naan bread, for dipping
- Basmati rice
- Side salad
- Roasted or steamed broccoli/cauliflower
Frequently Asked Questions
Chicken tikka masala is a delicious curry dish that originated in South Asia. It’s made of chicken tikka (roasted marinated chicken) in a creamy tomato-based sauce with lots of spices.
Since it’s made with a creamy sauce, chicken tikka masala isn't the healthiest Indian dish you can make. That being said, one of the things that I like about this recipe is how versatile and adaptable it is! If you want to cut down a bit on the calories and fat, just swap out the full-fat sour cream for some low-fat sour cream or yogurt. Instead of white rice, you can also serve this tikka masala with brown rice or even quinoa.
The sauce for this chicken tikka masala recipe is made of garlic, gingerroot, brown sugar, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, crushed tomatoes and sour cream. If you want, you can swap out the sour cream for a can of coconut milk or heavy cream.
Chicken tikka is roasted chicken that’s marinated in yogurt and a blend of spices. Chicken tikka masala is a dish made with chicken tikka, served in a creamy and delicious sauce over rice.
Storing and reheating
This chicken tikka masala recipe is great for meal prep and will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can store individual serving sizes in the fridge. That way, when you’re ready to enjoy your dish, all you have to do is pop a container in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes then dig in. Easy-peasy!
Can you freeze chicken tikka masala?
Some curry dishes freeze better than others. Because coconut milk can separate when frozen, coconut milk-based curries don’t freeze well. Luckily, this chicken tikka masala has a tomato-based, so it freezes beautifully! It’ll last in the freezer for up to 3 months in airtight glass containers or Ziploc bags.
When you’re ready to enjoy this dish, just remove it from the freezer and let it defrost overnight in the fridge. If you've frozen it in microwave-safe meal prep bowls, you can reheat individual serving sizes right from frozen in the microwave for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Wanna Learn How To Meal Prep?
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Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Order some garam masala if you can't find it at your local grocery store.
- Glass meal prep bowls are so great for microwaving and reheating your food safely.
- A rice cooker will automatically cook the side dish of rice for you.
- Restock your freezer with free-range poultry from Butcher Box.
- These Bento box containers are perfect for packing the rice and curry separately in the same container.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb chicken, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp gingerroot, grated
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 (796mL) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Naan bread (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Add all ingredients except for sour cream, rice, cilantro and naan to slow cooker in the order they are listed above and cook on high for 3 hours, or on low for 6 hours.
- Remove lid and stir in sour cream. Add rice to large bowls and top with chicken mixture, then garnish with cilantro and serve with naan (if desired). Serve and enjoy!
- Add all ingredients to a rice cooker or on the stove top and cook according to package directions.