This easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is packed with flavor, but couldn’t be easier to make with simple ingredients like tomato sauce, coconut milk, spices, and chicken.

If you’d like to make a more traditional version, try my traditional Chicken Tikka Masala.

A plate of crockpot chicken tikka masala, served over basmati rice.

Why I love this meal:

  • Quick – This simplified version for slow cooker chicken tikka masala takes only 5 minutes for prep. !
  • Delicious – The sauce has a rich, creamy, and mildly spicy tomato flavor. It is perfect served over rice, with a side of garlic naan.
  • Crowd Pleaser – Everyone in my family cheers when this is for dinner! I love to make a big batch because the leftovers are delicious.

How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala:

Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Crockpot: Place chicken thighs in slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Cook on LOW for about 4-6 hours.

Two images showing how to make easy slow cooker chicken tikka masala, first making the sauce and then layering the chicken and sauce in the crockpot.

Shred chicken (discard any bones). Stir in coconut milk. Add cilantro.

Serve over basmati rice.

A slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipe with coconut milk, garnished with cilantro and served over basmati rice.

Storing and Freezing Instructions:

To Store: leftover crockpot chicken tikka masala will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, depending on the freshness of the chicken.

To Freeze: Place in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then rewarm on the stove before serving. For a slow cooker freezer meal, freeze raw chicken and sauce ingredients (not coconut milk) in a freezer safe bag, then thaw overnight before adding to crockpot to cook.

More Slow Cooker Recipes:

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Recipe

A plate of crockpot chicken tikka masala, served over basmati rice.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 6 hours
Total 6 hours 10 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/4 of a large onion , diced
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 fresh jalapeño pepper , optional, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro , chopped (optional)
  • 4 cups Hot cooked basmati rice, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl. 
  • Place chicken thighs in slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours. 
  • Shred chicken (discard any bones). Stir in coconut milk. Add cilantro. Serve over hot cooked basmati rice.

Notes

Serving size is about 1 cup chicken tikka masala. 
Chicken: You could substitute chicken breasts, but only cook for 2-3 hours on LOW. 
Low Carb or Macro Variation: Serve the chicken over cauliflower rice or cooked spaghetti squash.
Storing Instructions: leftover crockpot chicken tikka masala will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, depending on the freshness of the chicken.
Freezing Instructions: Place in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then rewarm on the stove before serving. For a slow cooker freezer meal, freeze raw chicken and sauce ingredients (not coconut milk) in a freezer safe bag, then thaw overnight before adding to crockpot to cook.

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 36gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 405mgPotassium: 597mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 151IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg

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I originally shared this recipe January 2016. Updated January 2021 and February 2024.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this and used chicken breast. I also halved the recipe. I added some extra red and green bell peppers. It was incredible and easy to make. I threw it on some rice and it made close to 6 large servings for me. I will definitely make this again!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious, and easy to prep as promised. I didn’t bother shredding the chicken, just cut the thighs into smallish pieces to begin with, and the chicken came out very tender and tasty. Substituted curry powder for garam masala as that was what I had on hand.

  3. 2 stars
    I expected a lot of flavor but it was very watery instead. I might try it again sometime later with some changes. I plan to drain the diced tomatoes and use coconut cream instead of coconut milk.
    The flavor itself tasted good, just very light!

  4. 4 stars
    Very nice! The cilantro is essential. Do not skip! Mine came out to be a more watery consistency than I would like. If I were to make it again, I think I would drain the can of diced tomato as a remedy.

  5. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! We love Indian food but don’t always have the time to make it at home. Using the slower cooker was genius! Definitely a keeper!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this today. Both me and my husband really enjoyed it. Very easy to make. I’ll be making this one again. Just the right amount of spice for me. I did serve it over the rice and with a side of steamed broccoli. Just don’t rub your eyes after cutting the jalapeno!

  7. 5 stars
    My family loved this recipe so much that today when i make it I am making double so I can freeze some. Even though it is quick to assemble, this will make it even easier.

  8. I’m not a fan of Indian food but my husband loves it immensely!!! So I’m going to surprise him with this dish for his birthday on Monday :)) I have a question tho! After you pour in the coconut milk, how long do I let it keep cooking? It says to serve immediately but won’t it be cool-ish tasting? 🙂