My daughter, Phoebe, has finally hit that stage where she’s starting to be a little more open-minded to exotic flavors and will at least taste dishes that are unfamiliar to her. (As long as they don’t have eggs or fish… the girl knows her limits.) As a result, we’ve been on a major Indian takeout kick since both our kids will actually gobble down bowls of chicken tikka masala, rice, and naan bread—just writing those words literally makes me do a happy dance inside!

Since there are only so many nights I can order takeout without feeling gross, I made it my mission to create a healthy homemade chicken tikka masala recipe that’s easy enough to make on a weeknight.

And since it’s one of those saucy meals of chicken and veggies that gets better the longer it marinates, I guessed that it would be a perfect candidate for the slow-cooker. BINGO.

Is anyone else turned off by slow-cooker recipes that require you to sauté ingredients in a pan first? I mean, the main reason I’m using my crockpot in the first place is so that I only have one pan to wash at the end of it. So it goes without saying that one of my favorite things about this recipe is that you chop up a few ingredients, throw them in the slow-cooker before work, and when you get home you’re greeted by the most mouthwatering aromas of your favorite Indian meal. But with less grease, sodium, and after-bloat. You’re welcome.

For those who are wondering, our favorite Austin spot for Indian takeout is Tarka Indian Kitchen – seriously so good, and I’ll frequently order the grilled chicken kebab with sautéed vegetables when I’m keeping things healthier. Scroll on for the recipe, and let me know if y’all give this a try.

This post was originally published on February 8, 2020, and has since been updated.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves 4

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

By Camille Styles


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • for garnish: cilantro, plain yogurt, chopped cashews, and lime wedges


  1. Add all the ingredients to a slow-cooker and cook for 8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high. Chicken should be super tender and fully cooked through.
  2. Divide into bowls and add garnishes. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice if desired, and eat!

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Comments (20)
  1. 1
    Molly February 6, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    This is amazing! I cannot wait to make this weekend!

  2. 2
    Dottie February 7, 2019 at 6:36 am

    This looks delicious. I wonder if it can be made with chunks of chicken breast and light coconut milk? I will be giving it a try.

    • Camille Styles February 7, 2019 at 9:10 am

      Absolutely – I think it would work wonderfully. Let us know if you give it a try!

  3. 3
    Carolyn February 9, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    This recipe is a keeper! Made it with roasted veggies and naan. Sooo good!

  4. 4
    Katie February 10, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Looks good! We’ll have to give it a go. If you’re looking for more healthy Indian food recipes for cooking at home, we’ve enjoyed “My Heart Beets”. Her butter chicken is amazing. 🙂

  5. 5
    Heather February 11, 2019 at 4:12 am

    Hello! What size can of coconut milk do you recommend? I’m in Hong Kong and there are several choices in my market! Can’t wait to make this!

    • Kate January 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm

      I think the 13 oz size? That is what I used

  6. 6
    Julie | This Main Line Life February 12, 2019 at 9:51 am

    I love Tikka Masala, but I’ve never made it myself. Will definitely try this recipe.

  7. 7
    Jessss February 12, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Ouuuu!! I like chicken curry in general so it would be nice to try it fresh and it’s very easy! Thank you, ??

  8. 8
    Blogs For Women February 19, 2020 at 2:26 am

    Thank you for this recipe. I already made it. it tastes super good.

  9. 9
    Kate January 8, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Hi! I just ate this. Didn’t use the butter or honey and used low fat coconut milk to cut down on calories and it was the bomb!!
    Would totally make again

    • Kate January 8, 2023 at 7:01 pm

      Also I forgot to mention I used breasts and not thighs etc. it was perfect!

  10. 10
    Stephanie Lee February 25, 2023 at 6:10 am

    I am making this for 12 people tomorrow night. I am wondering what I need to double and what I need to just keep the same in the recipe. Can’t wait to try.

  11. 11
    Emily April 14, 2023 at 9:20 am

    I made this last night and it was super delicious! I’ve been sharing the recipe with my friends this morning! The only bummer is that the store I was at didn’t have fresh ginger, so I had to use the squeeze tube ginger, but it still came out tasting incredible! Seemed watery when I first turned off the crockpot, but the sauce thickened up as it cooled and was great to put over rice or cauliflower rice! LOVE how easy it was!

  12. 12
    Debbie Kay Martin May 25, 2023 at 10:19 am

    hello. how could i use chicken breasts instead of thighs? can’t wait to make this!

    • Casey McKee May 30, 2023 at 1:42 pm

      Hi! You can easily cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch thick pieces and cook in the crockpot.



Hannah Haston