Turn up the heat with this mouthwatering Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe! Perfect for busy weeknights or lazy Sundays.
So, I ventured into the kitchen to make my own garam masala. Even though I shared the recipe I made it’s a work in progress. I will continue to revisit and update this recipe until I make one that I absolutely love! You an also try this kohlapuri masala powder, too. I made garam masala because I REALLY wanted to make this dish. I’ve been seeing picture of tikka masala all over the place like this chicken tikka nan pizza. It just looks so…DELICIOUS!! How could you NOT want to make this? Just look at its bright color and creamy texture!! And now that I have garam masala I can make these brown sugar, garam masala, and pistachio muffins.
So, what is tikka masala?
Tikka masala is a beloved and popular dish in Indian cuisine that gained recognition and popularity by Indian chefs in Great Britain. It remains to be determined if it’s a Bangladesh, Indian, Punjab, or Pakistan dish. There are arguments for all being the originators of this popularly delicious dish.
Tikka masala is known for its rich and creamy tomato-based sauce, combined with tender pieces of marinated meat, usually chicken. The flavors of tikka masala are complex and include a variety of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Make sure you use garam masala and not curry powder. Curry powder is for chicken curry and has different spices and a different color. These spices infuse the dish with their unique fragrance and contribute to its warm and comforting essence.
The most distinct feature of tikka masala is the creamy tomato-based sauce that envelopes the chicken. This sauce is made by simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and a variety of spices, until they form a luscious and thick gravy. The creaminess of the sauce perfectly complements the spices and creates a velvety texture that adds to the overall indulgence of the dish.
Why Chicken Tikka Masala is the perfect comfort food?
Whether it’s a chilly winter night or a day when you crave something warm and creamy, chicken tikka masala is the perfect comfort food. It’s a rich and creamy recipe that combines with the delightful flavors of Indian spices. This makes it a dish that brings both physical and emotional comfort into one recipe.
The flavors of chicken tikka masala have a way of wrapping you in a warm embrace. The tender chicken creates a succulent base that is then smothered in a luscious tomato sauce. Every bite is full of flavors link hints of ginger, garlic, and the earthiness of garam masala. It’s a harmonious blend that warms you from the inside out. The added bonus of making this in the slow cooker allows the chicken to become incredibly tender and practically melts in your mouth with every bite.
Why use a slow cooker?
There are many benefits to using a slow cooker. One of the main advantages is the way it enhances the flavors of any dish. The ingredients have ample time to meld together resulting in a richer and more satisfying dish. The slow cooking time also allows the spices to completely infuse the dish which creates a harmonious blend of flavors that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Using a slow cooker adds a level of simplicity to the preparation and cooking process. Traditional stovetop methods often require constant attention and stirring, but with a slow cooker once you’ve gathered all the necessary ingredients and added them to the slow cooker, you can simply set it and forget it. Let the magic happen in the slow cooker. Sometimes, you don’t even need to thaw the meat like these crockpot frozen chicken breasts. This not only saves you time and effort, but it also allows you to focus on other tasks or simply relax while your delicious meal simmers away.
Not only does using a slow cooker make cooking easier, but it also makes clean-up easier, too! With only one pot to wash, you can spend less time tackling a pile of dirty dishes and more time enjoying your meal. Plus, slow cookers have removable inserts, making them easy to clean and store. And they make plastic liners to make clean up even easier! If you’re still on the fence, check out these tips for using your slow cooker.
How do you make slow cooker chicken tikka masala?
It’s a dump and go meal. I did not marinate my chicken, but you can marinate yours in some yogurt overnight. Actually, you can put all the ingredients into a plastic container ahead of time and then when you’re ready to cook the tikka masala, just dump it into the slow cooker, set it to cook, and go about your day.
I used bite-sized pieces of chicken breast for my tikka masala. Feel free to change it to chopped chicken thighs, whole chicken thighs, or even whole chicken breast. It’s your chicken tikka masala. Use whatever kind of chicken you want for your dinner.
Combine your chicken with the next 10 ingredients (onions through bay leaves). This can be in a plastic container the night before or in the liner of the slow cooker when you’re ready to cook. Simmer the chicken tikka masala on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. If you’re cooking on low turn the slow cooker to high heat for the last 30 minutes. Combine the cream with the cornstarch with a whisk and then add the cream mixture to the chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens to your liking.
I served my slow cooker chicken tikka masala over some brown jasmine rice. Feel free to serve yours over basmati rice, white jasmine rice, cilantro lime rice, herb rice, or even some cauliflower rice. Or skip the rice and serve it with some naan. It can stand up on its own as a delicious stew-like dish or on top of rice. Try serving it with a side of these golden lentils and rice.
What does slow cooker chicken tikka masala taste like?
First, there’s the creaminess that hits your palate. It covers your mouth what that delicious tomato-based sauce. Then the chicken is tender and infiltrated with all those herbs and spices. I say infiltrated because it just attacks the chicken and gets all their flavors and goodness into every nook and cranny of that meat.
Then there’s the sauce. Packed with garlic, earthy cumin, smoky paprika, cinnamon, and a kick from the cayenne. The bay leaves are that umami flavor you can’t quite taste but know it’s there. Finally, there’s the homemade garam masala which contains12 spices from coriander and fenugreek to ginger and cloves.
Add more cayenne if you want it spicier or omit it if you don’t want it spicy at all. You can swap the cream for coconut milk. Don’t worry about having to save the rest of the can because you can use it to cook your rice. It makes your coconut rice super fluffy and creamy which is the perfect vessel for this slow cooker chicken tikka masala.
Turn up the heat with this mouthwatering slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipe! Perfect for busy weeknights or lazy Sundays.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups thinly sliced onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 29 ounces tomato puree
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoons garam masala
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 whole bay leaves, crushed
- 1 cup fat free half and half
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 6 cups hot, cooked rice
- Place the chicken and next 10 ingredients in the liner of a slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
- For the last 30 minutes, increase the temperature to high. Combine the half and half and the cornstarch and add to the chicken, stirring to combine. Cook 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Place 1 cup of rice on each of 6 plates and top with tikka masala.
Amount Per Serving Calories 559Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 100mgSodium 185mgCarbohydrates 77gFiber 6gSugar 14gProtein 49g