Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala


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!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala


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!

Featured Comment:

“This was incredibly yummy. Thank you so much we all loved it. Made it with the naan bread you suggested and OMG this has to be a weekly staple in my house. Better than takeaway. I love how easy it is too, chuck it all in the slow cooker and away you go.”

– Kathryn

What is Chicken Tikka Masala?

Chicken tikka masala is a dish where chicken tikka (chunks of roasted meat) is 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.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

What’s the Difference Between Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala?

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!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala Slow Cooker Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala Slow Cooker Recipe

Chicken tikka masala is considered a British national dish. It’s made up of bite-sized chicken tikka served in a spiced tomato gravy. This slow cooker version is simple and delicious.
4.7 from 13 reviews
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Servings 6
Cuisine Indian


  • 2 pounds chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces

Masala Sauce:

  • 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

Add later:

  • 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.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Kathryn says

    5 stars
    This was incredibly yummy. Thankyou so much we all loved it . Made it with the nann bread you suggested and OMG this has to be a weekly staple in my house. Better than takeaway. I love how easy it is too , chuck it all in the slow cooker and away you go. ❤️💓🙌

  2. Louie says

    Just curious before I try this recipe…when you say coconut cream can I use a cup of coconut milk or is coconut cream something different? TIA

  3. Isabelle Addison says

    5 stars
    Happy husband who is not easy to please. Super easy and delicious! Followed the suggestion of one of your readers and used the instant pot for 6 minutes with boneless thighs. Came out great. We paired it with your paleo naan and some basmati rice and steamed veg.
    And for Sumara who had a problem with bitterness, I have noticed that if I over blend the onions for a recipe this can happen. Perhaps that was the case?
    Thanks Ashley for a great recipe and a great website, I send many of my friends to you 🙂

  4. Sidra Naz says

    HI Ashley.

    Will the cook time Vary if I only used 1 pound of chicken breast. I also cut the rest of the ingredients in half. Also I am using the slow cooker mode on my instant pot. Do I just do the given hours on the “less” mode instead of “normal” heat?

  5. Sumara says

    1 star
    Hi, I loved your saag recipe but this tasted horrible like something bitter has been cooking. Had to throw it away.

  6. Hazel says

    5 stars
    Hi! Have made it several times now with great success. One question – can the masala sauce be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge?

  7. Maneesha says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley! This recipe is awesome! I marinated the chicken pieces overnight using the marinade from you chicken tikka recipe, and then I made the sauce from this recipe and pressure cooked in the instant pot for 6 mins – so delicious! I’ll definitely make this again, and I’m also going to try the slow cooker mode as well!

  8. Jill says

    5 stars
    I used your recipe and converted into an instant pot! I just sautéed the onions, garlic, ginger and spices with a little butter for a few minutes then added the tomato paste and tomato sauce, scraped the bottom of the pot to stitch around the spices and added in the chicken. I put it on manual high pressure for 15 minutes and let it naturally release and it was perfect! Thank you for this recipe, I’ve tried to make this before but it ended up being bitter but this was delicious!


    Ashley, we always have your amazing shredded chicken on hand. Do you think I could swap cooked shredded chicken for the raw cubed for this recipe? Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Samiksha! That’s great to hear! If you are using cooked chicken you can just cook the sauce on the stovetop and then add it in at the end – if you slow cook the already cooked chicken then it will overcook – hope that helps!

  10. Nicole says

    5 stars
    This was fantastic! I chose to use whole cardamom instead of ground, but otherwise kept this recipe as you wrote it. Flavorful enough to be interesting, yet not overbearing. This will be added to the rotation. Thanks!

  11. Maneesha says

    Wow this looks great! Do you think this would also work well with pressure cooking the chicken instead of slow cooking?

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