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This Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is the easy homemade version of your Indian food-loving dreams!  Bold and flavorful, yet with a fraction of the work! #chickentikka #tikkamasala #curry #indianfood #slowcooker #crockpot #easyrecipe
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5 from 4 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

This Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is the easy homemade version of your Indian food-loving dreams! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: crockpot indian food, easy curry recipe, easy indian food recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 454kcal


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion minced
  • 1 serrano pepper seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 - 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup whole-fat plain yogurt (not greek)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro minced


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over MED HIGH heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then add to the skillet once hot. Sear chicken 2-3 minutes per side, until very browned. Remove to a cutting board and slice into 1 inch pieces.
  • Add onion, serrano, tomato paste, garam masala, tumeric, smoked paprika, cumin and sugar to same skillet over MED HIGH heat. Cook 3-4 minutes, until onion is soft and slightly browned at the edges.
  • Stir in garlic and ginger and cook another 30 seconds or so. Add 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth to scrape up any browned bits in the skillet.
  • Transfer skillet contents to bottom of slow cooker. Top with diced chicken and tomato sauce, stirring well to combine.
  • Cover and cook on LOW 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours, remove 1/2 cup of sauce from the slow cooker and slowly pour it into the yogurt, while whisking quickly. This tempers the yogurt so it doesn't curdle.
  • Stir all yogurt into the slow cooker and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.


Recipe loosely adapted from America's Test Kitchen's The Complete Slow Cooker Cookbook
  • Scoop chicken pieces out of slow cooker and set aside in a bowl (I like to use a slotted spoon for this).
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce right in the slow cooker, or transfer the sauce to a standard blender and blend until smooth.  Be careful, as the sauce is very hot!
  • Add chicken back to pureed sauce and proceed with step 6


Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 221mg | Sodium: 1136mg | Potassium: 1109mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 833IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 3mg