Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

How do you feel about a crock pot meal that’s super easy but FULL of flavor? That’s what my slow cooker chicken tikka masala is all about.

Overhead shot of slow cooker chicken tikka masala.

But first, let’s celebrate that it’s been a year since The Gourmet RD started!

Seriously, like, one year ago I wrote my very first blog and shared with you one of my very favorite recipes – Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese.  

I remember writing this blog and thinking that I was about to let the whole world know that I’m a total dork who talks nonstop about (and to) her food.  

It was so difficult to press “publish” that first time, but let me tell you.  It was the best decision.  Ever.  

So much has happened in one year – namely 50-something amazing {I mean, uh-mazzzzing} recipes have happened – but I’ve also done so much in other parts of lyfe.  

Took a new {fabulous} job and moved into our new home!  Like, these are big things.  OH, and I almost forgot to tell you that The Gourmet RD has {almost} officially turned into a real business.  

Like, one where I do recipe development and food photography for REAL PEOPLE.  Someone pinch me bcuz this can’t be real.  

More to come on that, friends.

But anyway, we’ve basically been on a food journey together for the past 365 {ish} days and I hope you haven’t made too much fun of my ridiculousness and are still here, reading my ridiculous blogs, and most importantly, cooking delichus food!

Okay, okay.  I promise I’m moving on to what’s really important.  And it’s that this food – this here food – is insanely good.  

Why, you ask?  Because it’s December now and apparently that means it’s winter, and this is uber-comforting when you’re feeling sad about that.  

There’s all this sauce that is perfect to sop up with freshly-baked naan.  

Which makes my belly feel warm and satisfied and happy.  

And *bonus* the house smells so good because of the yummy spices – like you’re at an Indian restaurant, but you’re in the comfort of your own home.  

It’s necessary to sit next to a fire all wrapped up in a blanket while eating this. #netflixandchill

Like I said, I’m dorky, and yes, I just hashtagged for no reason whatsoever.

Overhead close-up shot of finished chicken tikka masala.

How to make slow cooker chicken tikka masala (with pumpkin!)

But there is just one other thing.  I don’t know if I’m actually allowed to call this tikka masala because, well, putting pumpkin in this dish is far from traditional.  

I just don’t know what’s gotten into me. One day a random food thought popped into my head – while driving – and I just had to make it a reality.  

Like hey, how would tikka masala taste if I tossed in a dollop of pumpkin puree?

And how about I swap coconut milk for yogurt, because… why not?  {And maybe that’s all I had at home.}  It’s random.  

But IT’S GOOD.  The pumpkin gives it this velvety texture, and the coconut milk makes it super creamy with a hint of one of my favorite flavors, ever.  

And both lend themselves well with the Indian spices, that have to be toasted, btw, to give them extra umpf and nuttiness.  

Oh, and did I mention that this dish is made in the slow cooker?  And it tastes even better the next day?  No jokes.  #leftovers


Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

A delicious dinner option made with pumpkin puree, loads of Indian spices, ginger, garlic and coconut, slow cooked and served over Jasmine rice.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian




  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
  • Zest and juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon each coarse salt and ground black pepper


  • ½ tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro, chopped + more for garnish
  • Cooked Jasmine or basmati rice, for serving


  1. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, coconut milk, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Chicken can be used immediately or marinated in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Warm butter or oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute 30-60 seconds. Transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker. Stir in the garam masala, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Stir in chicken with the marinade, then stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  3. Stir in the cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve over rice with remaining cilantro as a garnish.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 277
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 174 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Cholesterol: 77 mg

Keywords: easy, slow cooker, authentic, healthy, simple, chicken breast, chicken thighs, fall, seasonal

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Overhead shot of slow cooker chicken tikka masala.
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