Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Easiest slow cooker chicken tikka masala

You're going to love this healthy recipe for making amazing chicken tikka masala effortlessly in your slow cooker.

Easy, healthy recipe for chicken tikka masala made effortlessly in a slow cooker

Regular readers know I'm more than a little obsessed with slow cooker meals -- heck, with making anything in my slow cooker. And not simply the usual soup or chili but also the unexpected: oatmeal, cake, bread pudding -- nothing is off limits.

It's largely because I am all about recipes that are not only healthy and delicious but also easy or even downright effortless.

Which is why it drives me absolutely bananas when I see slow cooker recipes that require pre-crock stovetop preparation. What is up with that? The whole point of the slow cooker, for me, is to make meal prep easier, not add extra steps.

I just don't get it. Why put the effort back into something effortless?

Easy, healthy recipe for chicken tikka masala made effortlessly in a slow cooker

So I freaked when I saw my long-time fave cooking magazine featuring a slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipe (two thumbs up!) that required a bunch of sauteing, browning, simmering and boiling before dumping everything in the crockpot (two thumbs way down!).

Not going to happen.

So I skipped all that hooha and turned it instead into the easiest slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipe ever.

Yeah: you're welcome.

I served this chicken tikka masala over rice, topped with a dollop of greek yogurt and a generous side of naan so that we could scoop up every last bit. It's got a nice little spicy kick that you'll dig if you love Indian food as we do.

Another little tip? Spread the leftovers thinly on a bread shell and top with peppery arugula and some shredded cheddar cheese for a chicken tikka masala pizza that will make you swoon.

Indian food lover? Slow cooker lover? Lover of both? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Easy, healthy recipe for chicken tikka masala made effortlessly in a slow cooker

Easiest Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 small onion, chopped
1-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 14.5-ounce cans no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika (smoked is best)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons flour
24 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

For serving:
Cooked rice
Non-fat Greek yogurt

Add the first 10 ingredients (onion through cayenne pepper) to the crock of a slow cooker; stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water, then stir it into the tomato mixture. Nestle the chicken breasts into the mixture, cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. Uncover, stir in the coconut milk and shred the chicken (should be tender enough to shred just by stirring). Turn the temperature to HIGH and cook for another 15 minutes, then stir in the cilantro. Serve over cooked rice, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and with plenty of naan.

-- print recipe --


  1. This looks so good! I can't wait to try it. I'm with you on trying to do as little prep as possible before firing up the slow cooker. :)

    1. Why take an easy thing and complicate it, right? Enjoy!

  2. Love your approach to the kitchen! Keep It Simple S....!

    Question: My husband loves the more standard 'curry powder' sold in grocery stores - and I hate it. I love garam masala - and he hates it. He's thinking it is the cumin. Do you think this would work without the cumin if I made my own 'garam masala sans cumin' for him to try?

    1. I'm all about customization for your family's tastes, so give it a shot! And let me know how it turns out for you.