Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

  • I feel like I’m 95 years old this week. I’ve been so tired every night. I’m struggling writing this blog post as we speak. It looks like I’m crying because I’m yawning so much. On top of all that, I have noticed that I’m getting really bad lower back pain. I sit all day long and sometimes I don’t even get up to take a walk. Does that happen to you? If it’s raining out, I typically don’t go out for a walk so that really isn’t good, but some days I get so busy or involved at work, I forget to leave my chair, only to the bathroom. I think that’s really affecting my lower back. Why do we have to get old?! I’d be perfectly fine if I were 25 forever :)

    Being tired after work doesn’t help the whole dinner part of the evening. When I’m tired, I’m usually too lazy to cook or make anything decent. That was this entire week. We ate horribly this week because I was so tired so we would go out to eat. I hate doing that but what can ya do? You can’t force yourself to cook when you can barely keep your eyes open.

    That’s where slow cooker meals come into play :) a few weeks ago, I prepped everything the night before (mostly all the chopping) and threw everything in the crock pot right before we left for work in the morning and we came home to the most amazing and comforting dinner. It’s so nice to walk into your house after work and smell dinner already prepared. It’s as if you have an in-house chef.

    I have seen crockpot tikka masala all over the place but a lot of them had you cooking some parts of it as a prep step. This is just my opinion but what’s the point of a set it & forget it meal if you still have to cook it before you set it? I hate those. I just like chopping things up and throwing it in a crockpot. So when I finally found this recipe on Jaclyn‘s site, I was thrilled. Definitely a keeper. Tastes just like the real thing and it makes a ton! Leftovers in this household = less days I have to cook during the week, haha

    5 from 1 vote

    Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

    A great way to make the classic Indian dish at home!
    Prep Time: 15 mins
    Cook Time: 8 hrs
    Total Time: 8 hrs 15 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 6 -8
    Calories: 356kcal
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    • 8 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.) - cut into 1.5" cubes
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
    • 1: 29- oz can of tomato puree
    • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp Garam masala
    • 1 tsp tumeric powder
    • 1 tbsp cumin
    • 1/2 tbsp paprika
    • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
    • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    • 1-3 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on your heat preference
    • 2 leaves bay
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 3 tbsp cornstarch
    • Lemon juice from half a small lemon
    • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping


    • Place chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, yogurt, olive oil, garam masala, tumeric powder, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. With a spatula, stir to combine everything and make sure the chicken is coated well.
    • Gently place the mixture in the insert of the crockpot and add the two bay leaves.
    • Cover and cook for 8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).
    • When done, in a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream and corn starch, then pour the mixture into the crockpot and gently stir. Let cook an additional 20 minutes to thicken up. Squeeze half a lemon over the mixture then stir to incorporate.
    • Serve hot over a bed of white (or brown) rice.
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


    Source: adapted from Cooking Classy
    Nutrition Facts
    Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
    Amount Per Serving (1 Serving)
    Calories 356 Calories from Fat 189
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 21g 32%
    Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
    Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    Sugars 9g
    Protein 27g 54%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and note guaranteed to be accurate. 


    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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  • Elizabeth @Food Ramblings says:

    My mouth is watering for this!

  • Carla's Confections says:

    Ahh, this looks amazing too Julie! I am loving all these crockpot recipes! I cannot wait to whip mine out! I need to get cooking with all these beautiful recipes. PS, I went to Sur La Table this weekend for the first time! Heaven!!!! It is bad that it is so close to me. Im going to get in trouble there ;)

  • Kathy says:

    Cooked this today for the family. The kids didn’t go for it at all and I have to say that it wasn’t super-great for me either. It was a miss for me, sorry!

  • erin says:

    I just did this tonight too and I have to agree with Kathy – it was very bland, believe it or not!! I don’t know what to add to give it some more flavor…

  • Mary says:

    To Julie – Thanks, Julie! (For the clarification and the link for the spice.)

    To Soknitpicky – thanks for the post for the spice recipe. I was thinking of just skipping that ingredient since I didn’t know what it was. Thanks! :)

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure and Health says:

    oh my this is such a heavenly dish. I have never thought about making it in a crock pot..I will have to try this out soon!
    love your photographs

  • Elaine Gilroy says:

    Hi, lovin the recipe but struggling with the 29oz can of tomato puree… 29oz??? Really that much??

    Just going to try this now but seems I haven’t got enough!!!

    • Julie says:

      Yup, 29 oz.!

  • Elaine Gilroy says:

    29oz = 822.13617g

  • Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie says:

    Yum! I am going to have to try this recipe – I tried one a while back from Tasy Kitchen and the hubby and I werent too crazy about it. Hopefully this one will be a winner!

  • Jaclyn says:

    Thanks so much for posting this Julie =)! I wish my pics looked as good as yours! I love your blog, it’s so pretty and original and your photography is always amazing.

    • Julie says:

      Oh Jaclyn, please! I love YOUR blog!! Your photographs are always so flawless and the way you stage your photos make me so envious of your food styling! Your frosting skills are superb too :) thanks for the sweet comment, it was a delicious dish! xoxo

  • Gina says:

    Count me in the too tired club this week. Plus I finally replaced my old crock pot that died and I’m looking for some tasty things to try in it. Adding this one for sure. Thanks Julie.

  • Starr @ The Kiefer Cottage says:

    I’m thinking this will be dinner tomorrow night. Looks absolutely delicious.

  • Shelly Rose says:

    This was fantastic! I made it today for dinner tonight, and my husband and I were super impressed. Only drawback was that I used a little too much cayenne for the kids to like it, but it provided just the right amount of heat for the grownups. I’m looking forward to leftover night!

  • Rita says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was really good. I substituted chicken thighs for the breasts and they tasted great. They fell apart in the sauce. My family really enjoyed it and there is enough left overs to use for dinner another night. Do you think it would freeze well?

    • Julie says:

      Yes! It would freeze well in an airtight container or Tupperware. Glad your family enjoyed it!

  • Jamie says:

    I made this last night exactly as the recipe says (except I cooked it in a dutch oven at 300 degrees for five hours). It was absolutely amazing! It tastes exactly like the chicken tikka masala I have had in restaurants. Definitely on the top 3 list of favorite recipes!

  • Jenny D says:

    This is absolutely amazing! I used canned coconut milk in place of the heavy cream since I always have that on hand. I sneaked in some cauliflower and peas, too.

    I made this just for me since I know no one in my family would even try it so I froze the left over sauce in individual containers. I had only added one chicken breast. I always keep cooked turkey breast in the freezer and I usually have cooked chicken in the fridge so I always have quick meals ready to go verses having to buy those frozen dinners.

  • Gina says:

    I made this yesterday and it was absolutely delicious! I had to leave it in the crockpot almost 12 hours because that’s how long I was at work, so I added some chicken broth so it wouldn’t get too dry and it was incredible.

  • Kendall says:

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! I found it on Pinterest a few weeks ago and have been looking for a cold day to make it. Today’s the day. I started it at 1pm and doing the 4-5 hrs on high. It’s starting to smell amazing! It looks really good for Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve made a different version of this recipe in the past that wasn’t bad, but it excluded the Masala…WHAT?!? Yes, and it didn’t taste right either. I’m looking forward to the end result. Thanks again, and keep up the great work on this wonderful blog!

  • Kassi Nelson says:

    Hey! This looks amazing and I am making it tonight. I have one question thought….did you dice the chicken beforehand or let it cook and then cut it up?

    • Julie says:

      I diced it beforehand.

  • Brittanne says:

    I have this recipe in the crock pot now. Glad to have found it on pinterest. Really looking forward to dinnner!!! I’m sorry to hear about the pain & tiredness you’ve been experiencing. As I was reading, I thought, “I need to share nopalea.” It’s an all natural juice with cactus in it. It has been a life changer for so many experiencing pain & inflammation, including myself. Now i don’t like to go 1 day without it. More info at

  • Daniela says:

    I can’t wait to make this. I’ve never used a crockpot before but with my hectic schedule I plan to buy one this week! This may be a silly question but am I suppose to cut the chicken up before???

    Thank you for this recipe!


    • Julie says:

      Yes, I cut up the chicken before! Hope you enjoy!

  • Hanna z says:

    Is there any benefit from cooking 8 hours over 4? Is there a different in taste?

    • Julie says:

      No, there isn’t. 8 hour is on low and 4 hours is on high. Just depends how much time you have. If you’re setting it to cook while you’re at work, I’d do 8 hours.

  • Em says:

    Great recipe! I used fat free evap milk in place of heavy cream and it had a nice texture to it. Could have used more tomato flavor – may add paste next time. Thanks for this!!

  • Jessie says:

    So, the first time I read the recipe I read TABLESPOONS of cayenne (wishful thinking?), and I added 3 tablespoons of cayenne to the pot! Needless to say, it was insanely spicy. What I ended up doing is just doubling everything else AND adding a can of coconut milk (instead of doubling the cream). It turned out great. I made this two weeks ago and we are STILL enjoying it, I froze all the extra. Reheating on the stove as we speak!

    I served it with this garlic naan (I doubled the garlic [on purpose] and griddled it in a saute pan with salted butter, AMAZEBALLS). I season your recipe with salted butter, for a little more fat in the flavor, and sea salt.

    While I am still trying to find the elusive “restaurant-style” Chicken Tikka Masala (I’m convinced that there is some secret that no one is telling us home cooks), I really have enjoyed your recipe–and having tried several as well as having taken a cooking class for it–I plan on making yours many more times in the future! The ease of the crockpot seals the deal for me. Thanks!

  • melissa says:

    your blog is beautiful and this recipe looks delicious and not too complicated. :)

  • Lee says:

    I’m making this tonight! So excited! I’ve never cooked in a crockpot before so this may be a silly question. Do the chicken pieces need to be thawed beforehand?

    • Julie says:

      Yes, they need to be thawed beforehand.

  • Mari-Leigh says:

    Made this last night but used skim milk instead of cream. To make up for the creaminess heavy cream would have given I used Greek yogurt. It was a huge hit and my new favorite recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • nancy diaz says:

    Made it for dinner and it was AWESOME! even my kids loved it. thank you so much for the recipe

  • Jessica says:

    Just wanted to thank you for this recipe, I made this tonight and it is sooo yummy! I was afraid to try it because I can’t tolerate anything spicy but it looked so good so I decided to give it a try and just left out the cayenne and pepper all together and it tastes delicious, very flavourful but not spicy at all so if anyone doesn’t like spicy food you can still use this recipe minus the cayenne. This was super easy too, cut the chicken, onion and garlic up last night and put it in a large ziplock bag in the fridge and measured all the spices out and put in a bag then just dumped it all in in the morning and presto!

  • Victoria says:

    Pretty good, SO EASY! I threw everything in my crockpot the night before (put it in the fridge) and had it all mixed up so i could just pop it in the crockpot in the morning and turn it on.

    It seemed to be missing a certain flavor though? and wasn’t as red as I was expecting it to be.

  • Trude says:

    I just had to comment and say how freakin’ delicious this was. I found your blog through Pinterest and everything I’ve tried so far has been amazing! Thank you! :)

  • Jessica says:

    Yum!! I just made this for lunch today!!! So easy and delicious! Thanks for posting! I found your blog on Pintrest and love your recipes!

  • Katie says:

    SO good!! I had to add a little extra cayenne pepper, Garam masala & garlic to kick it up for my taste…but super yummy! Thank you for the recipe :)

  • Vicky says:

    Recipe looks amazing… my family LOVES the spices in Garam Masala! Making it for dinner tonight – with coconut & yogurt to replace the cream (lactose issues). Also, don’t need to cut your meat before hand… it will easily shred after hours in the crock pot and wonderful sauce! Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Susan says:

    Julie, thank you thank you thank you + THANK YOU.

    Found this on Pinterest. Had it for last night’s dinner (plus just now at lunch) and it was amazing. I knew it would be too spicy for my toddler so she dined on rice and na’an … and my husband + I licked our bowls … seriously.

    Not sure if it will make a difference for anyone reading but thought I would pass it along. I just threw in the chicken breasts whole (lazy) and it was perfect. Also added some peas and carrots when serving to say I ate veggies at dinner.

  • cheryl says:

    I am making this for tonight – cannot wait.
    p.s. the lovely woman who owns my favorite Indian restaurant near Cincinnati says the secret ingredient is “love”. She’s right !

  • kirsten says:

    I have this in the slow cooker now … about 3 hours left and ALL I SMELL is cinnamon, even tho I followed the directions to a T. I’m concerned that this is just going to be so sweet that we can’t eat it. Also, my sauce is barely pink after I added the yogurt … haven’t even added the cream yet. Anyone have any suggestions how to salvage the $16 worth of chicken breasts I used? Another half can of tomatoes, maybe?

  • Rachael says:

    A friend of mine posted this link on Facebook. I though it looked good and bookmarked it. My husband (who happens to be from India) told me “Hey, that chicken tikka masala recipe that you saved on the computer looks good!” So, I’m making it tomorrow! We are both excited!

  • Rachael says:

    Thank you so, so much for posting this recipe! It is off the hook! It was a big hit with my family! Color me impressed!

  • Jen says:

    This was obscenely delicious — I used chicken thighs, omitted the bay leaf, and used light cream and a little extra half and half instead of the heavy cream, but I don’t think that made a huge difference. I cannot believe how good this came out! The BF loved it (and he’s hard to please), and I’m excited for my leftovers tomorrow :)

  • Whitney says:

    I just made this tonight, and it was delicious!!!

  • Liz says:

    I think this is a fantastic recipe!

    Last night I prepped this dish and put it into the crock this morning. Couldn’t wait to get home for dinner. It’s so easy. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs because my experience is that chicken breast can get dried out in my crock.
    Before I added the cream/cornstarch mixture I tasted it. I had only put in 1.5 tsps of cayenne and it was really hot. After the (light) cream it lost its heat so next time I’ll go all the way to 3 tsps. However, I think I will also use less cream because I feel it masked the other spices as well. Overall very yummy.

  • Sarah says:

    This is in my crock pot right now, and it’s honestly distracting from my ability to get my work done because it smells so good. I cannot wait for dinner tonight.

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