Healthy Slow Cooked Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is one of those amazing dishes that tastes different at every restaurant you order it. I’ve yet to meet a version I didn’t like, although some I’ve enjoyed more than others.

Healthy Slow Cooked Tikka Masala

I have an awesome tendency to stuff myself whenever we go out for Indian food because I have to try a bite of absolutely everything I can get my hands on (and especially the Mulligatawny Soup!).

Because I like to stuff my face to the point that I feel more like Jabba the Hutt than a reasonably sized (albeit, tall) woman, I thought I might try my hand at lightening up this Indian buffet classic.

And guess what, guys – it totally works!

Healthy Slow Cooked Tikka Masala

Annnnnnd just in case you had any qualms about trying this recipe, let me just point out to you that it’s made in a slow cooker. With no pre-marinating, pre-searing, pre-anything. Just dump it in and turn it on.

Healthy Slow Cooked Tikka Masala


So, some notes about the ingredients and instructions:

  • Yes, you absolutely must find yourself some garam masala. I buy mine on Amazon, but you can usually find it on the spice aisle of a well-stocked grocery store.
  • You’ll want to use a good-sized slow cooker; anything smaller than 3 quarts probably won’t work out. I used my awesome handy-dandy self-stirring Crockpot¬†and it came out quite tasty.
  • Please, please, please follow the recipe and don’t add the yogurt in until you’ve let the slow-cooker contents cool. And please be sure to temper the yogurt by stirring in some of the warm Tikka Masala sauce as directed. Using non-fat yogurt is awesome for your waistline, but low-fat dairy products have a tendency to curdle and get generally ticked off if you introduce them to high temperatures.

Healthy Slow Cooked Tikka Masala

This was really, really yummy and I’m really, really happy to share the recipe with you.

It’s a really simple and delicious dinner served over some basmati rice (check out this post to see how I make my basmati rice fluffy and delicious —> How to Cook Perfect Rice) or with some homemade warm Naan Bread.

Healthy Slow Cooked Tikka Masala

Here’s Your Recipe!

Healthy Slow Cooked Tikka Masala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • ½ tsp. cardamom
  • ½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 oz. fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Combine the ginger, garlic , tomatoes, coconut milk, spices, and chicken in your slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. Uncover and let cool ten minutes.
  2. Stir together the yogurt and cornstarch in a small bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes to activate the thickeners. Stir few spoonfuls of the warm Tikka Masala sauce into the yogurt to bring the temperature up and prevent curdling. Pour the yogurt mixture into the slow cooker, stir, then let thicken for 15 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed.
  3. Serve over basmati rice with a sprinkling of cilantro leaves.



  1. says

    Oh, this looks so amazing. I LOVE tikka masala, and I have all of these ingredients in my pantry/fridge pretty much all of the time. Can’t wait to make this!

  2. says

    I’m so glad I found this recipe! My house smells delicious and it has 15 more minutes but I liked the spoon and swooned. I’m wondering if the crockpot is supposed to stay on low when the lid is off for those 10 minutes toward the end, and if it’s supposed to stay on once the yogurt is added, and if the lid is supposed to stay off. Thanks so much for posting great recipes!

    • says

      Hi, Jillian!

      I’m so glad you like the recipe :) Go ahead and turn the slow cooker off to let it cool for 10 minutes. You can keep the lid off for the rest of the recipe at that point!

      Enjoy :)

  3. Jennifer says

    Sounds like a great recipe and can’t wait to try it. Quick question- what size can of crushed tomatoes, 14 oz. or 28 oz.? Thank you!

  4. Ashti says

    Few quick questions. 1 do I thaw the chicken before putting it in the slow cooker
    2. How often do I stir the pot

    Thanks!! Can’t wait to try it today!

  5. Sierra says

    Hi there! I know it’s been a while since you posted this, but I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a substitute for the coconut milk. I’m allergic to coconut :(

  6. Holly says

    I’ve got this in my slow cooker right now! Can’t wait to get home & try it!
    As another reader commented, I totally read the instructions wrong and used the whole can of tomatoes & coconut milk. Hopefully that will be ok.
    Thanks for the recipes, Anetta. I’m a newby at this whole cooking thing and I’ve really enjoyed your blogs! :)

    • says

      Awesome, Holly! I hope it still turned out alright with the extra tomatoes and coconut milk. Too much sauce never killed anyone, right? ;)

  7. Karen says

    Made this last night. For a slow cooker recipe, it was very good. My complaint with slow cookers is that they cook all the taste out of everything. However, the spices in this recipe held up rather well – but I only cooked it for 3 hrs on high. Chicken was very tender, so mine didn’t need 4 hrs. All 4 children enjoyed this recipe.

  8. Michelle says

    Can not WAIT to try this….it’s on the menu plan for the month! Have you tried with with light coconut milk? Just curious….. I KNOW that there is NOTHING better than regular coconut milk, but I’m just wondering if you ever experimented with it.
    Thanks for posting!! LOVE all Asian food! :slurp: :)

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