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5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

This Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala is my version of the classic Indian dish. Tender chunks of chicken simmer in a creamy, tomato-based sauce that is infused with fragrant and highly flavorful Indian spices. Once you try it, you'll be hooked!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 15 mins
Total Time6 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to taste (see recipe note below)
  • 2-3/4 to 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a combination)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • cooked long grain or Jasmine rice
  • Plain Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic to pan; cook for several minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add garam masala, paprika, curry powder, cumin, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to LOW and simmer while you prepare the chicken.
  • Cut chicken into bite-size chunks and place in a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour tomato mixture over chicken, cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or until chicken is very tender.
  • After initial cooking time, shake can of coconut milk well and measure out 1/4 cup. Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch to the measuring cup and stir until well combined and cornstarch has dissolved. Add the remaining coconut milk in the can to the slow cooker, stirring it into the chicken and sauce. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until well combined. Cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt, if desired.

Notes

Use your microplane, zester, or cheese grater to finely grate the fresh ginger. I always keep ginger root in a plastic storage bag in my freezer so that it stays fresh for a very long time. It also makes it easier to grate.
Using 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper will result in a very mildly spicy dish. Use more to increase the heat level to your liking.
Full fat coconut milk will yield the best result, however, if you are watching your intake of fat, feel free to substitute light coconut milk.