Easy Chicken Tikka Masala (Crock pot recipe!)

easy chicken tikka masala

This recipe and beautiful pics come from my dear friend Marcella, who got it from table for two blog (she just added veggies to it).  We studied Recreational therapy back in the day together at University of Utah and we have remained friends ever since.  We even worked at the same treatment center taking teen age girls skiing, camping, snow shoeing,hiking, and rock climbing.  It was a really fun job.

I digress, this curry is awesome!  If you like an easy-fast-put it in the crock pot and go- kind of recipe, this recipe is for you.  Watch the cayenne pepper if you are sensitive to heat.  My kids like it with just a pinch.

Here is the line up of ingredients (the list looks long but don’t be scared it is mostly spices).  Just dump all the ingredients in a large bowl and give them a stir (except for the cream or coconut milk and corn starch and peas those go in later).

chicken tikka masala ingredients

Here is how you cut the chicken (those are Marci’s lovely hands not mine:)

cutting up chicken

For a vegetarian option omit the chicken and add in 2 cans of chic peas drained and rinsed and 2 potatoes chopped.

Then just cook it in your handy dandy crock pot for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.  When When the chicken is cooked through, in a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream (or coconut milk) and corn starch, then pour the mixture into the crockpot.  Add the peas (frozen) at this time too, and gently stir the whole mixture. Let cook an additional 20 minutes to thicken up.

chicken tikka masala in a crock pot

Serve it over rice and enjoy!!!

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala (Crock pot recipe!)


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts  about, 3 lbs. (preferably organic)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 green peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 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 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 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream, preferably organic ( I have used 1 C full fat coconut milk and it was Delicious!)
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch, preferably non gmo
  • 1 small bag frozen peas (about 1-2 cups)
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping


  1. Put all the ingredients up to the bay leaves in a large bowl. Stir to combine all the wonderful spices and ingredients.  Make sure the chicken is well coated.
  2. Pour the mixture in your crock pot (carefully!)  and add the 2 bay leaves.
  3. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).
  4. When the chicken is cooked through, in a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream (or coconut milk) and corn starch, then pour the mixture into the crock pot.  Add the peas (frozen) at this time too, and gently stir the whole mixture. Let cook an additional 20 minutes to thicken up.
  5. Serve hot over hot brown rice mmmmm.  Lundberg short grain or brown basmati rice are my favorites :).
  6. If you have any leftover store it in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

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31 Responses to Easy Chicken Tikka Masala (Crock pot recipe!)

  1. Tiffany says:

    Where do you get garam masala?

  2. Evie says:

    Can’t wait to make this! Thanks!!

  3. Caroline says:

    I couldn’t find garam masala at my neighborhood store, but I found this recipe to make my own: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-garam-masala/

  4. Carrie Clegg says:

    This is basically how I make mine. My kids LOVE it. Indian food is generally so good and healthy. I used to live with a family from India. I miss them and their cooking! Thanks for sharing.

    • admin says:

      Hi Carrie! Oh how lucky I would love to live with a family from India and learn how to cook from them. Share your favorite recipe with me I would love to do more Indian!

  5. Necia says:

    This recipe turned out amazing! I used the make-your-own Garam Masala and used the coconut milk. Yum!

  6. momofsix says:

    I made this tonight and it was amazing! Thanks for the recipe.
    Do you have a good naan recipe?

    • admin says:

      OH so glad you liked it! Ooohh naan. I don’t have a whole wheat one. Lets search one out. When you find one let me know!

  7. Jane says:

    I just made this for dinner and it was fantastic! I don’t like it quite as spicy as my partner, so I made a Greek yogurt-cucumber riata to help cool it down a little. It was absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making this again!

  8. Dana says:

    Hi! We made this and it was good but lacking something. Any idea how we can make it more tangy or bring out the tomato taste a little more?

  9. Jenny says:

    It’s also delicious over steamed cauliflower. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Jennifer says:

    I want to make this tonight but I don’t have any plain yogurt, do you think sour cream will work? I also have Mexican crema?

  11. Kerri says:

    Made this today. I loved it! Served it with brown rice and naan. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Jamie Lee says:

    Yesterday, my husband had a bike race 2 hours out of town, so I wanted dinner mostly ready when we got home. It was incredibly delicious!!! Just throw the basmati rice in the rice cooker when you add the cream/cornstarch mixture and peas, and the timing works out great. Be patient when whisking in the cornstarch – it needs to be fully dissolved to avoid lumps. And garnish with cilantro instead of parsley – much better for Indian food! I make a lot of Indian food, including authentic recipes from an Indian friend (even using her mom’s hand-ground spices from India!) and this one is a definite keeper.

  13. Amber says:

    We didn’t like this one. The only thing I didn’t add was the parsley because I didn’t have it.

  14. USAMA says:


  15. Pingback: Meet Mr. Crockpot (& 3 reasons you will fall in love with him)

  16. Holly says:

    29 oz. tomato purée? Really?

  17. Betty says:

    Hi Desi, Thanks for this awesome recipe. I am allergic to tomatoes. Can you reccomend a substitute to the tomato puree please. Thanks so much!!!

    • Amy B says:

      Chicken Tikki Masala without tomatoes
      Ingredients :
      2 tbsp coriander seeds
      2 tbsp paprika
      2 tbsp jeera (CUMIN)
      1 tsp mango powder
      1 tsp chilli powder
      juice of a lime
      10 good thick yoghurt
      salt to taste
      2 lb chicken, diced
      5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
      1 large onion, finely chopped
      chicken stock or water
      Method :
      Grind the spices and mix with marinade ingredients.
      Marinade chicken in the fridge for 24 hours.
      Heat oil in a frying pan or wok until becomes very hot.
      Stir fry chicken vigorously for about 5 minutes.
      Take out chicken and keep warm.
      Fry the onion and garlic until just browning and return chicken with any remaining marinade, plus stock, plus more spices if you think the sauce needs it an extra tsp of cumin and coriander may ’lift’ it a little.
      Simmer until chicken is cooked and Sauce is nice and thick.
      Ready to serve.

  18. Melissa says:

    My husband is allergic to Cayenne pepper, does this recipe really need it to taste just as good? thank you.

  19. Is this recipe meant to fit in a 4 quart or 6 quart slow cooker? Crazily enough, we have both, and WAY under utilize them, so would love to try this recipe with best chance for success!

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