Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
I have made this recipe using curry powder in place of the garam masala, and it is also delicious. If you have not tasted garam masala, however, I recommend that you try. You may further adapt this recipe by adding a cup or so of canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and well drained.

Yields approximately 6 servings.


  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce (or about 2 cups homemade)
  • 1/2 cup light or regular coconut milk (see notes)
  • 1 large onion, chopped or sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (an Indian spice blend; see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8-10, depending on size; could substitute chicken breasts)
  • Cooked rice for serving
  • Optional garnishes: chopped or sliced cucumber, fresh mint, and/or cilantro


  1. In a slow cooker, combine the tomato sauce, coconut milk, onion, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, sugar, salt (I use about 3/4 teaspoon) and several turns of the pepper mill.
  2. Place the chicken on top, flipping to moisten with the sauce. I put a few of the onion slices on top of the chicken as well.
  3. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, 3-4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low.
  4. Remove the chicken to a plate, and shred the meat with two dinner forks. Stir the shredded meat back into the sauce and rewarm for a few more minutes.
  5. Serve over the cooked rice and garnish with cucumbers and fresh herbs, as desired.


  • If you prefer to use cream in place of the coconut milk, or that is simply what you have on hand, stir it in at the end of the cooking time.
  • Tubes of tomato paste are handy when using small amounts. If using a can, you may freeze the unused portion in one-tablespoon “globs” or in an ice cube tray for future use.
  • This recipe is designed to be kid-friendly and not overwhelm with spices. For more flavor, you may add an extra teaspoon or two of the garam masala and a minced jalapeño pepper or cayenne pepper for heat.

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