Chicken tikka masala is considered a British national dish. It’s made up of bite-sized chicken tikka served in a creamy spiced tomato gravy. This slow cooker version is both simple to make and delicious!
This flavorful slow cooker chicken tikka masala is the perfect lazy meal recipe! You just dump everything into a slow cooker, and cook. Set it and forget it.
No, it’s not “authentic” – with my version, you don’t have to marinate the meat then roast it in an oven then cook it again in sauce on the stovetop. None of that. This is a super simple slow cooker version with great flavor and requiring minimal effort.
It’s a conveniently easy recipe and when recipes are convenient – this busy mama is more likely to make them more regularly!
What is Chicken Tikka Masala?
Chicken tikka masala is a dish where chicken tikka (chunks of roasted meat) are served in a spiced creamy tomato based curry sauce. As I mentioned, my recipe is a simpler and easier way to make this Indian food favorite.
The funny thing is that this isn’t actually an Indian dish – it’s more of a dish made with Indian flavors. Chicken tikka masala is said to be a British creation and is actually one of the most popular dishes in the UK. There’s no official recipe for this dish – but there are plenty of people on the internet who claim there are only certain ways to make it.
What’s the Difference Between Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken?
In my opinion, chicken tikka masala is very similar to butter chicken. Some people will tell you one is made with more spices or without onions or with/without a certain ingredient. The fact is – there’s no one recipe for the dish or one right way to make it.
I live in the US and sometimes Indian restaurants will list both in the same line as if they’re interchangeable. Or sometimes they will list both chicken tikka masala and butter chicken on the menu – but when you ask about the difference, they’ll say it’s the same thing. Or that the sauce is the same but in the chicken tikka masala the chicken is just pieces of tandoori chicken. I’ve actually been told not to order both at the same time lol.
Serve this chicken tikka masala with basmati rice or Indian flatbread and a side of veggies and you’ll have a great meal that your family will be sure to love!
- 2 pounds chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2- inch ginger
- 1 Serrano pepper
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder or paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ ground cardamom
- Pinch of cayenne adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
- 1 cup coconut cream or ¾ cup heavy cream, to taste
- Cilantro for garnish
- Add all of the ingredients listed under “masala sauce” to a blender and blend well.
- Put the chicken and the freshly blended masala sauce into a slow cooker and cook 4-5 hours on low or until meat is cooked through.
- Stir the coconut cream (or heavy cream) into the slow cooker and mix well. Cook for another 15 minutes on low heat.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.