Crockpot Wednesday: Chicken Tikka Masala

This one day, on Twitter… (If only I had a dollar for every time a great kitchen idea and story started with that sentence — well, I’d be more than a few bucks richer.)

But really, on this specific day there was a great discussion going on that was dedicated to that versatile, yet often under-rated and under-utilized, appliance that resides on so many kitchen countertops. There was no shortage of recipe ideas exchanged between this dedicated group of Twitter fans, and in time it seemed only right that we begin to share the slow cooker-based recipes we try out — from the classics to the experimental, there is sure to be something out there for everyone.

I’ll admit, my slow cookers — yes, I have two — are typically reserved for stews, soups, or my grandpa’s applesauce. They aren’t something I look to use when I’m trying out a new recipe, particularly when I’m exploring a new cuisine. But then one night, on Pinterest (I swear I’m not making this up), I saw a pin mentioned by my friend Jen for Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala from the blog, Cooking Classy. Now, I’d never attempted to make Indian food at home — in fact, I’m pretty sure I can count the number of times I’ve eaten Indian food on my two hands. But somehow the fact this dish was done in the slow cooker just made it seem possible. So I did a quick check of my cupboards, made my grocery list, and got to work.

And just as Jen had promised, I was not disappointed. The delicious smell warmed my house for two days — I actually found myself taking the dog out more often than normal, just so I could walk back in to the smell — and every last bit of the dish was gone. No more fear of tackling Indian food at my house!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

From: Cooking Classy
Makes: 6 servings
Cooking time: 8 hours, plus 20 minutes

5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp freshly, finely grated ginger
1 – 29 oz can tomato puree
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 – 3 tsp cayenne pepper — this will depend on how spicy you like things, so measure to taste
1 jalapeno, stemmed, sliced in half and seeds removed
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
6 cups basmati rice, prepared and kept warm
Chopped cilantro, for serving

In a large mixing bowl combine the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garam masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, ground pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Stir until fully combined. Pour half of the sauce mixture into your slow cooker. Add in the chicken pieces and cover with the remaining sauce mixture.

Lay the jalapeño halves and 2 bay leaves on the top of the mixture.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 hours — or high for 4 hours, but my suggestion is to stick with low and slow.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and cornstarch.

Remove the jalapeño halves and bay leaves from the top of the chicken and pour the mixture into the slow cooker. Stir gently. Add the jalapeño halves and bay leaves back to the chicken and allow the mixture to cook 20 additional minutes.

Remove the jalapeño halves and bay leaves. Serve warm over the rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro for a garnish.

Other #CrockpotWed picks this week:

What is your favorite slow cooker recipe?

Leave a comment


  1. Haha, the lingering smell could be a good and a bad thing 😉 I love chicken tikka masala!! How did this compare to the restaurant versions?

    • It was pretty good! I’ll gladly stick with making this here and enjoying a different dish when I go out 🙂

      The true test will be how the extra servings fared in the freezer — I’m pulling the first bowl out today to have over the weekend.

  1. Freeze and Forget: Make-Ahead Crockpot Recipes - Recipe Sunday

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