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Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

February 11, 2012

I have seen a lot of Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala floating around the internet recently. My problem with the recipes is that most of them require sauteing some of the ingredients before putting them in the slow cooker. To me, this defeats the point of slow cooker cooking which is “Dump the stuff in the slow cooker, turn it on, go to work, and come home to dinner.” In my mind, if I’m going to saute and spend some time over the stove, I might as well just finish the recipe that way. So when I saw this recipe from Real Simple in the Dr.’s office the other day, I almost passed it by, thinking it was the same. Imagine my delight when I saw that it was a “dump and run” recipe. Huzzah!

When I looked up the recipe after I came home, I was even happier to discover that there were many comments in the comment section. Recipe comments make me happy, because it’s a sort of ongoing conversation about the recipe. I can learn from other people’s mistakes before I even start. In that light, I adapted this recipe fairly liberally, based both on the comments in the original recipe and my own guessing.

The result was fantastic. I doubled the sauce because I am much more interested in the sauce than the chicken. I put a lot of sauce and a tiny amount of chicken over rice and was a happy camper. For those who are used to restaurant quality masala sauce, this doesn’t quite measure up, but it’s very close, and very good.

Note: If you compare this to the original recipe, you will see that the amount of garam masala I used is more than doubled. I thought the level of spice was perfect. Garam Masala doesn’t add much heat, but it adds a ton of flavor. I would label the final product mild+ in terms of heat.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala adapted from Real Simple


1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 can tomato paste (about 4 T)

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 and 1/2 tablespoons garam masala

1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken thighs

1/2 pint heavy cream


1. Carefully add everything except chicken and cream to slow cooker being careful not to splash the sides of the cooker with any tomatoes or paste (whatever sticks to the side will burn)

2. Lay chicken pieces on top

3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours

4. Just before serving, remove chicken from the sauce and stir in heavy cream. Return chicken to sauce.

5. Garnish with cilantro if desired and serve with white rice, naan, or bread of your choice

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April permalink
    February 11, 2012 3:30 pm

    I feel the same way about crock pot recipes. If I can’t just drop it all in, then I don’t want to bother!

  2. jo ann permalink
    February 11, 2012 5:35 pm

    more vegetarian recipes, please mrs. smith.

  3. February 11, 2012 6:49 pm

    The next one up is a deeeeeelicious vegetarian quinoa cake. You will love it!

  4. Jessica P. permalink
    February 28, 2012 7:20 pm

    I make this at least twice a month. Heavenly and easy 🙂

  5. Katherine permalink
    March 13, 2012 10:41 am

    Thank you! I found this on Pinterest, and I made it yesterday! It turned out really yummy. I couldn’t find garam masala in the grocery store (not in the spice aisle or the Intl aisle), but I used an Indian curry blend that had the majority of similar spices.

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