Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

January 30, 2015

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala




Winter is in full swing now and the colder temperatures have descended upon us.
There’s snow, ice, blizzards, and windchill.
Don’t you love it?
No, don’t answer, I already know what you’re going to say. You hate winter, you hate cold, and you can’t wait for spring to arrive.
Fair enough. Not everyone can be a snow-lover like myself.
Still, I think there are so many awesome things you could be doing when it’s freezing outside. Such as sled racing, snowball fighting, even snowman building. How cool is that? (pun intended).

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala




Winter cold also gives you the perfect excuse to barricade inside, cozy up on the couch, and finishing up your Orange Is The New Black binge.
It’s also the best time of the year to pull out the slow cooker.
Slow cookers are awesome, cool, and hip — btw 12-year old Niece explained to me that NO ONE says “hip” anymore unless “You’re a dork or you’re like 65!

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala




Anyways, slow cooker recipes are ideal when it’s cold and dreary outside. They warm us from the inside and help keep us warm on chilly nights.
Slow cookers are like a magical pot that transforms food from blah to legit. What’s even better, is that they do all of the work so we can have the fun (or just be lazy!)
You simply prep the ingredients in the morning, set them in the slow cooker and fuhgeddaboudit.
Dinner will be ready when you get home.

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala




Easy, simple, even quick. I know quick isn’t a word one usually associates with “slow-cooker”, but the time you actually spend cooking is minimal.
Take this Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala for instance.
While it requires time to cook, it only takes 5 minutes to prep. Once it’s in the slow cooker, you can go about your day.

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala




If you think that chicken tikka masala couldn’t really get much better, think again.
This is a curry dish that benefits from a nice, long simmer anyway, so why not let that happen while you’re off doing other things?
This is a simple "dump and go" recipe. That's what I call smart cooking.
The slow cooker draws out deep flavors and produces an effortless succulent dish.
It’s pure comfort food, just lighter and a tad spicier.
Me thinks there’s no better way to warm up on a chilly night than to cozy on the couch with a bowl of this delicious chicken tikka masala.

Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala


Easy Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala                                                     Print this recipe!

Ingredients
Serves 6

2 lbs / 900 gr free-range organic chicken breasts, cut into 1½-inch chunks
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 (29 oz.) can of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust according to your heat preference)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 bay leaves

1 cup / 250 ml heavy cream (or full-fat BPA-free coconut milk)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder*
Juice of ½ lemon

*arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch (you can use cornstarch if that’s what you have in your pantry.)

Directions

Grease the inside of your crockpot bowl with a bit of olive oil. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients (except for bay leaves, heavy cream, arrowroot powder, and lemon juice) in a large bowl. With a large large spatula, stir to combine everything, making sure that the chicken is well coated.
Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and place the two bay leaves on top.
Cover and cook for 8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).
When done, in a small bowl combine heavy cream and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), and gently stir into the mixture. Let cook an additional 20 minutes to thicken up.
Finally add lemon juice and gently stir to incorporate.
Serve warm.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 400 calories, 18 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs, and 49 grams of protein.

84 comments:

  1. OMG I know we will devour this. Love Chicken Tikka, Hate Winter. Love the crock pot and I have all the ingredients, when does that happen?

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  2. That chicken is calling my name Mike. Looks fantastic!

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  3. My daughter told me the same thing your 12 yr old niece told you when I tried to use "swag"! Just when we start thinking we are hip we find out we are acting 65!!! GAH!

    As for this recipe - this is my kind of comfort food! Never tried making it in a slow cooker - and I've not used cream and yogurt combined like you did - gotta try this version with lactose free milk next time! Have a wonderful weekend, Mike!

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    1. Yeah Shashi, no one says "swag" anymore. I've learned that the hard way :/

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    2. This comment says you have yogurt in your recipe but I don't see it. Am I missing something?

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  4. I gave my crockpot away when we moved and downsized the kitchen. I typed "downsized the chicken", but caught myself before public embarrassment.

    love chicken tikka masala, one of my favorites when dining out, never made it at home, gotta fix that problem

    you don't want to know what a Brazilian think of winters in general and snowball fights in particular... (sigh)

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    1. You should get yourself a downsized slow cooker, if that even exists...

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  5. OMG Mike this looks incredible!

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  6. I am making this tomorrow! What is the garnish? Cilantro?

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    1. Great thanks. Got all the ingredients :-)

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  7. This is so hip mate! ;)

    I might be the only one to disagree with your Winter statement. Hence, you should hit up Australia....with your slow cooker.

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  8. Hey, Mike... my beloved would like you to ask your niece "what's ok to say instead of hip"? :-)

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    1. I'm going to ask next time I see her and report back. Mmkay?

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  9. Hi Mike, I LOVE WINTER!!! but I'm in AZ so it's the perfect time of year. This dish is amazing, these are my favorite type of flavors.....

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    1. I should spend my winters in AZ then, I'm so fed up of this cold!

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  10. I can't say that I've made tikka masala from scratch before.. but I sure do love ordering it from takeout. Love how you've made this a crockpot version - and healthified it too. I have to make this recipe!

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    1. You should absolutely start making tikka masala at home, it's so easy!

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  11. This looks amazing, thank you for sharing! I'm going to leave out the heavy cream and I hope it won't ruin it. I will experiment with a substitute when I get to that part.

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    1. You can use full-fat coconut milk, as mentioned in the recipe!

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  12. Haha I guess I should stop saying "hip", then! Great recipe. Thanks for sharing :) always looking for more recipes to try in the crock pot.

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  13. Alpha Mike! This looks incredible...like the most amazing comfort food ever. But would you believe that I don't have a slow cooker? Ours broke like 2 winters ago, and I just never got around to replacing it. I still think I can manage to whip up this amazing recipe...it'll be perfect after another round of snow blowing that will be on tap for tomorrow morning! #WolfpackEats

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    1. Dude, you don't have a slow cooker? How come we're still friends? :/

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  14. LOVE chicken Tikka! This looks so damn good and slow cookers are the best. I find I need to bump up the spice on them as it slightly muddles the flavor if I do that 8 hour-gone-all-day setting. Beautiful staged shots here, too. Awesome!

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  15. Orange is the new black..Yay, now that's a good one, the book was fun one too. Love the snow and hey I love to use the word 'bae'.:). My teen too, looks at me like..'really'.
    Have to get myself a slow cooker, seeing some good recipes here. You know I love this one..

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    1. I know pretty well that 'really' look...it's sooo annoying! :)

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  16. Made this last night (although since I don't own a slow cooker I made it in a large pan with a thick bottom over very low heat) it came out delicious. Finger-licking good. Thanks for the great recipe!

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    1. That's awesome Laura, I'm so glad you liked it!

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  17. This chicken tikka masala is so full of YUM & AWESOMENESS! Loved your gorgeous clicks! :-)

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  18. This is a great read! Slow cooker foods are much better if you are a working mom, since you haven't enough time to prepare foods for yourself. Thanks for sharing this recipe, you are helping lots of mom, indeed!

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  19. Oh man this looks DELICIOUS! I absolutely love tikka masala, and even better that it's made in the crockpot, pinned! Also, this is my first time visiting your blog, I love it!

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  20. I just found you on Pinterest when I googled cauliflour grill cheese. Then I found the motherload on your site! This looks divine. I just bought myself a NINJA cooker. It's a stovetop and slow cooker all in one pot. Brilliant! It's for those times that you have to sauté or cook something like onions, garlic, meat etc. before you put it in the slow cooker. I know you don't have to do it for this recipe but I thought I would share. Maybe you have one? No I don't work for the company.
    I shall be trying this recipe soon and scoping out all of your other goodnesses! LOVE! :)

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    1. Wait, what? A NINJA cooker???? I sooo want one!

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  21. Dude, this sounds INCREDIBLE! I'm such a fan of tikka masala and making in a slow cooker would totally rock my socks! #wolfpacksmellslikeindianfood

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  22. I crave Indian food 24/7 so naturally I had to try this and it was divine! Thank you! Will definitely be making it again.

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    1. That's fantastic Daniela, thank you so much for letting me know!

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  23. omg we all love chicken tikka here Mike! This looks so creamy and delicious!

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  24. This looks fabulous! Definitely pinning it to try this month. I live in Alaska, so I have a love/hate relationship with winter. I look forward to it, yet dread it at the same time. ;)

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  25. Is there really no salt in this recipe? I find it hard to believe.

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  26. sounds great!! look Forward to trying this out!!

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  27. Made this yesterday: amazing! I'm planning on making it again today...

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    1. Awesome, I'm so glad you enjoyed it that much!

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  28. Mike - I was born and raised in North India and as such grew up eating Chicken Tikka Masala. It has been almost a staple for the past 30 years. When I first saw your recipe, I was skeptical. Quite skeptical. I have also never had much luck with slow cooker recipes. But you changed all that!! I just made it - 4 lbs of it! And it's almost gone!! This has been an amazing dish - so delicious and easy! My husband thanks you too! I cannot wait to make it again!! Thank you!

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    1. OMG Vanita, your comment made my day.
      I mean, I love this recipe - it's definitely one of my faves - and I make it all the time. But knowing that a born and raised Indian loves it just as much as I do, is just awesome!

      PS And thank you so much for taking the time to comment :)

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. This is a great recipe! I made it with coconut milk and did rice for the kids and quinoa for me, it was a huge hit and will go into heavy rotation! I am a nutrition coach and will be sharing this post with my clients! Nice work! ps, if this comment came thru many times, sorry :) had a hard time with google.

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  31. This looks great, im making it tonight, i would like to add some veggies though, whatvwould work?
    Thanks,
    Cat

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    1. I was wondering the same thing... could I throw in some potatoes or other veggies without over cooking them?

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  32. This looks so good, I love Indian food and I can't wait to try it!!!! Where do you buy Garam masala???

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    1. You can get it at pretty much any grocery store in the spice aisle, unless you live in a teeny tiny town maybe.

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  33. made this for the first cooler week in September, amazing - I may use less red pepper next time - the kids thought it was to spicy hot. No worries I finished all of it! Can you make this with Chick peas?
    -K

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  34. Just got done eating this. Not bad at all!! Great flavor & fantastically tender chicken!

    I should have been born in India because I could eat only the flavors of India and be totally content. I've tried a number of recipes for this dish and while they've all been good enough, this is the best yet. PLUS, it was so much easier than any of them. I love crock pot cooking, so I had to try it. I'm glad I did. Next time I am going to try Coconut milk instead of cream. I think the slight change in flavor it will give the sauce will be perfect!

    Also, because I am fully stocked with canned garden goodies I used half tomato sauce from the store, and half canned tomatoes from my pantry. It was so good!

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  35. We love this recipe! We shared it in our 25 Delicious Crockpot Meals for Busy Families roundup on The Shopping Mama!! http://www.theshoppingmama.com/2015/10/25-delicious-crockpot-meals-for-busy-families/
    YUM!!

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  36. Going to make this for dinner tonight. I read through the recipe twice and am surprised that there is no salt...

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  37. Hi just bumped into your blog, will try the cauliflower cheese toast for sure. I have the original recipe for tikka for you here. I am sure you will find it very interesting. http://www.ketoforindia.com/thursday-day-4-priyas-indian-keto-diet-plan/

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  38. This recipe is soo good! One of my staples now for sure! I have a few questions tho. 1) Do the ingredients really need to be mixed in a separate bowl? I feel like everything could just be mixed in the crockpot and not dirty another bowl, no? 2)In the recipe when it calls for 2 tablespoons of olive oil, is that including the olive oil used to grease the crockpot? I've been using a separate amount of olive oil to grease then adding the 2 tablespoons to the recipe, is that correct? 3) How on earth do you prep this recipe in 5 minutes?!? I just timed myself and it took an hour and 20 minutes for me to prepare. Granted I like to take my time and measure things carefully but with all the chopping of onions, garlic, and ginger, and how many different spices you have to measure, I don't get how it could be done in 5 minutes? Next time I just made myself extra batches of the spice mix and I guess I'll prechop all the veggies!

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  39. Hello Mike!! Made your tikka masala but with lamb for dinner today and WHAT A HIT!!!!! Even my picky daughter asked for second and the rest of the family and myself give it a 10 !!! Bravo, this recipe for sure will become a favorite in our house, thanks!!! Fatiha.

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  40. I'm excited to make this tonight! Quick question though, do I cook the chicken first or put it in the crock pot raw? Thanks!

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    1. We cooked the chicken a bit first (no pink showing on the outside). It was really good! The chicken shredded a little, but it was amazing!!

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  41. Could you substitute the chicken for steak? I love this recipe, but sometimes the chicken is dry.

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    1. I started using boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts for that exact reason.

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  42. Hi, I love this idea, but seems a little high fat- can I sub half and half or yogurt? Otherwise looks great and I would love to make it.

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    1. You can use full fat coconut milk.

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  43. The calorie count excludes rice, correct?

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    1. I'm wondering this too! It seems a bit high, which is why I hope rice is included, but maybe not...? Either way, this looks amazing and I'm going to make it next week! Really love your blog and recipes, Mike!

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    2. If anyone is interested, I just ran this through a calculator using full-fat coconut milk and it came out close to the counts listed below, which I take to mean that rice is not included!

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  44. Made this for dinner tonight and was disappointed? 😕 not sure what I did wrong but it was not as spicy as I had anticipated. Will try it again though. It was still tasty.

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  45. Pretty good. We used two cans of tomato sauce (30 oz total instead of 29), which made it a bit too tomato-y (Italian meets Indian?). I'm used to eating a sweeter version (even though we used the coconut cream). Prep time was definitely more than 5 min with all the chopping/mincing. Might make a few tweaks in the future, but overall we're pleased. Thanks for sharing, Mike!

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  46. In the process of cooking! Smells delicious!!

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  47. We also thought something was missing, We added 6 oz yogurt, salt, more of all the spices, a little chicken base, and still something was missing. After reviewing similar recipes on other websites we found the missing ingredient; sugar. We added a bit more cinnamon and sugar and viola! it was delicious. BTW when we cut up everything we cut the chicken in large pieces so it would hold together, which it did. We left the onion in rings but I wouldn't do that again. Thanks for your recipe.

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  48. Would this be a recipe you would recommend freezing? I'd like to make today to freeze and reheat/eat over the next month. Thoughts?

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    1. I froze the leftovers and they were still delish. When I reheated I added a little broth to loosen it up a bit. I will definitely keep reserve of this dish in the freezer from here on out!

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  49. Didn't have time for the crock pot version so I made the sauce separately, cooking it down for about 30 minutes, and grilled the chicken on skewers. And instead of using canned tomatoes I blended about a pound of Roma tomatoes with a Vitamix. My family said it was one of the best meals I've made. Thanks for the recipe.

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  50. Where have you been all my life Mike?! I am obsessed with your recipes and I'm including TWO in this week's Whole30 Meal Plan on my blog! Can't wait to make this and the Thai Pork Zoodles!! I'm also going to find you on Insta- thanks for all the inspiration!

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  51. Just made this today and it was very good! (I used coconut milk instead of cream, to cut down the calories a bit.) I only used 1/2 tsp of cayenne as I wasn't sure if it would be too hot for me, and I could have used a little more but it was still great. I don't know how yours is yellow in the photos, though, with all that tomato sauce - mine was dark red, but that doesn't matter. :) Thanks for the recipe, I'll definitely make it again!

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