This slow cooker chicken tikka masala is a staple in our home! It’s simple, packed with flavor, and you can easily find the spices at your local grocery store–unlike many typical Indian spices. The heat level is mild, but you can easily adapt it to your family’s spice preferences (we like it HOT!).
Slow cooker recipes will always be hands-down my favorite kind of meal to make, and this tikka masala is no exception! I can throw it all together during kids’ lunch or naps, and then not worry about it until it’s time to eat. That hour or two before dinnertime seems to always be the most hectic with kids. Try adding in making a home-cooked meal, and it’s absolute chaos! Crockpot meals always make that time a little more bearable.
How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
First, put together the marinade. I like to do this first step the night before–this lets the chicken marinate as long as possible. Plus, I don’t need to worry about this step the next day. Cut the chicken into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes. Mix all of the other marinade ingredients together, then stir in the cubed chicken. Store the marinated chicken in a sealed container, and refrigerate overnight, or at least for several hours.
Before putting everything in the crock pot, dice the onion and the serrano peppers. If you want it spicy, try leaving in some of the serrano pepper seeds! Saute the onions and peppers with butter, until translucent. Then add in the garam masala, turmeric, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, fresh ginger, minced garlic, and salt. Mix it all together, coating the onion and peppers with the spices. Only cook the mixture for about 1-2 minutes, you don’t want to burn the spices! Rather than add each spice one at a time (there’s a lot of them!) add them to a small bowl beforehand, and then add them together. That way, none of the spices get cooked for too long.
Next, add the marinated chicken, spiced onion and peppers, brown sugar, and crushed tomatoes to the slow cooker and mix well. Cook on low for about 5-6 hours, or on high for 3 hours. Once the chicken is cooked through, stir in the heavy cream and cook for another 15 minutes.
Serve the chicken tikka masala on top of basmati rice, add some fresh cilantro, and enjoy!
Try this recipe out, and let me know how it goes in the comments below!