Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

This Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala could not be easier but is packed with flavor!!!

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

Inspired by the classic Indian dish, Tikka Masala, also known as “creamy butter chicken”, I’ve created a flavorful, Whole30 crockpot dinner that only takes THREE steps! The end result is absolutely delightful and a dish that your whole family can enjoy!

*this recipe is also included in my cookbook! Get your copy now!! 🙂

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 large onion, diced
  3. 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  4. 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. 6 oz. can of Tomato Paste
  6. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  7. 3/4 cup organic, free-range chicken broth
  8. 1 tbsp. curry powder (or sub Garam Masala)
  9. 1 tsp. tumeric
  10. ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust according to your heat preference)
  11. 1 tsp. cumin
  12. 1 tsp. paprika
  13. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  14. 2 tsp. salt
  15. 1 tsp. black pepper
  16. 1 bay leaf
  17. 12 oz. can Unsweetened, full fat Coconut Milk (blended so that it is well combined)
  18. 2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
  19. Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  20. Cilantro, for garnish
  21. Prepared cauliflower Rice for serving
  1. Cut chicken into 1.5 inch cubes.  Place in the crockpot with the diced onion, the minced garlic, olive oil, the minced ginger, the tomato paste, the chicken broth, and all of the spices (except bay leaf for now).  Stir well to combine.  Place bay leaf on top and cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4.
  2. When cooking time is done, in a bowl whisk together the arrowroot and the coconut milk.  Gently pour and stir into the crockpot with the cooked chicken. Let cook an additional 20 minutes to thicken up.
  3. Immediately before serving, stir in the juice of 1/2 a lemon.  Serve with prepared cauliflower rice and top with some freshly chopped cilantro or cilantro microgreens.
  1. *Note, Instant Pot Method: combine the chicken, broth, onion, tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, ginger, curry powder, salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Stir well. Place the bay leaf on top, cover and seal. Press the ‘poultry’ button and increase time to 20 minutes.
  2. When cook time is complete, release pressure manually by turning the valve to "venting". When the pressure is finished releasing, carefully open the InstantPot. Turn on the ‘saute’ function. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and arrowroot starch. Add the mixture to the InstantPot with the cooked chicken and let simmer until sauce has thickened, about 10 more minutes.
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  • Reply
    June 1, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Best Chicken Tikka Masala recipe I have ever had! It tastes just like an Indian restaurant’s Tikka Masala. The chicken is so tender and the flavors are perfect. I am amazed that it is healthy too! I have made this numerous times now for guests and they all love it! Thanks Alex!

  • Reply
    May 17, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    We love tikka masala, and I have tried lots of recipes – this one has to be my favorite!! The flavors are spot on, and the creaminess makes it seem decadent. Thank you for such a delicious recipe – especially one for the crockpot. I froze the leftovers and can’t wait to have it again!!

    • Reply
      May 17, 2021 at 7:52 pm

      Thank you, Leigh!!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Uh ohh! I added the lemon juice at the beginning instead of the end! Do I need to start over?

  • Reply
    February 21, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    Could I assemble the ingredients uncooked and freeze to make an easy dump in the crockpot recipe?

    • Reply
      February 22, 2021 at 4:58 pm

      yes!!! for sure.

      • Reply
        April 6, 2021 at 8:55 pm

        I can’t find arrowroot powder anywhere! Would xantham gum work or baking paleo flour?

  • Reply
    February 13, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Any chance there’s a substitution for the tomato paste? I’ve made this recipe before and LOVE it but unfortunately don’t have any tomato paste right now!

    • Reply
      February 19, 2021 at 6:17 pm

      do you have canned tomato sauce? maybe a 1/4 cup of that would work!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Can I use a dutch oven if I don’t have a crockpot?

    • Reply
      February 19, 2021 at 6:29 pm

      definitely!!!! I’d do low heat for 3-4 hours

      • Reply
        August 9, 2021 at 4:16 pm

        What is considered a low heat if using a Dutch oven?

        • Reply
          August 18, 2021 at 7:06 pm

          Low heat is usually around 200 if you are cooking for a long period of time (like you would in the crockpot)

  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 3:16 am

    Can this be made with two pounds of chicken thigh instead? I always make it with chicken breast but I accidentally bought thigh. Such a great dish,by the way!!

    • Reply
      February 8, 2021 at 12:18 pm

      yes for sure!!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Best crockpot recipe of all time! Always have to make a double batch

  • Reply
    February 2, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Hi! Love this recipe with chicken but want to use frozen/thawed shrimp tonight. Any tips on how to modify the IP cooking time, and whether I should put the shrimp in frozen or thawed? Thank you!!

    • Reply
      February 2, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      I’ve honestly never cooked shrimp in the IP before and worry it would overcook easily– i’d feel more comfortable doing this stovetop and it shouldn’t take but 5-10 mins from frozen.

  • Reply
    Brittany K
    January 31, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    First time making tikka masala and this was soooo good – and easy! Even my kids said it “smelled good” and they don’t usually compliment any food I cook 🙂 the spice list seemed long, but I was surprised that I already had most of it. Served it with broccoli and cauliflower to keep it whole30. Definitely will make again!

    • Reply
      August 29, 2021 at 1:58 am

      Did you put the broccoli in the crock pot with everything or cooked separately? I’d love to add another veggie to this! Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    Can I double this in a crock pot?

    • Reply
      January 31, 2021 at 8:55 pm

      absolutely!! you probably won’t need double the sauce (it makes a lot).. i’d double the chicken and just 1.5 the sauce.

  • Reply
    Maggie Crum
    January 22, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    I accidentally dumped the coconut milk in with everything in the beginning 🤦‍♀️ But not the arrowroot! Can it be saved?!

  • Reply
    Janet Hall
    January 22, 2021 at 1:55 am

    I would like to double the recipe in the instant pot. How would the cook time differ with 4 lbs of chicken instead of 2? Thx!

    • Reply
      January 24, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      The cook time should be close to the same! maybe just add 10 minutes in the IP.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2021 at 12:05 am

    I tried making this in the IP and I got a burn notice from the IP. Have you had the same thing happen, how can I adjust to fix it? Thank you!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2021 at 1:43 am

      With so many different models and varieties of Instant Pots, this, unfortunately, happens from time to time. Try this recipe with an additional 1/4 cup of broth and that should do the trick!

      • Reply
        February 21, 2021 at 8:01 pm

        I have made this recipe twice and got the burn notice each time. I will try adding extra broth this time but also – I don’t have a “poultry” button so have been doing the pressure cook on “high”. Maybe I should try low or medium pressure cook?

        It’s my fave crock pot recipe but looking to master it in the IP since it’s much faster!

        • Reply
          Allison Ellison
          June 30, 2021 at 12:24 am

          I have the same problem. I tried adding the 1/4 extra broth this time and it is still burning. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    January 10, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    I have been looking for whole30 Indian recipes and they have all been disappointing – until this one!!! It tastes totally authentic and honestly you’d have no idea it’s whole30. I’m so happy I finally have a whole30 recipe I can make now when Im craving Indian food!

  • Reply
    Moly Z
    January 8, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    This dish is truly THE GOLDEN TICKET. I have made this 10+ times and cannot ever over how delicious it is. Its a favorite meal in our household, whether I am on whole 30 or not. Amazing flavor, makes the house smell delicious, and folks are always shocked when I tell them it is whole 30 compliant!! 10/10. THANK YOU!

  • Reply
    Jaclyn Force
    January 7, 2021 at 4:31 am

    Just made this for the one hundredth time and it is SO good! Our kids even eat it now 🥳 We definitely prefer the slow cooker method to the instant pot version, but instant pot works in a pinch!

  • Reply
    Antoonette Villaroman
    January 6, 2021 at 3:56 am

    I have time in the kitchen now thanks to COVID. How would one make this on the stove top?

  • Reply
    January 6, 2021 at 2:54 am

    Made this tonight in the instant pot and it was so easy and so good !! Thank you for all your amazing recipes! Doing first whole 30 and your recipes get me excited to cook. Served with cauliflower rice and green beans. Rave reviews all around !

  • Reply
    Claire Obryan
    January 4, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    This is one of my all time FAVORITE recipes, and as it’s pulled up on my computer to make for the 87th time I figured I’d review it and let the world know how incredible it is. We even double (tonight will try tripling) the amount of veggies because there is plenty of sauce. The flavor is AMAZING.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Delicious !!!! family loved. 5 stars always

  • Reply
    January 3, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Probably the best butter chicken recipe I’ve ever made. Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly! I’ll continue making this even after the Whole30!

    • Reply
      January 3, 2021 at 2:12 pm


  • Reply
    Glennys Rodriguez
    January 1, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    I just realized I don’t have arrowroot powder – any recommendations for a substitution? I was thinking maybe coconut flour? Thanks in advance, I absolutely love all your recipes!

    • Reply
      January 2, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      I don’t recommend Coconut Flour in this recipe; as it doesn’t act like a thickener. For reference: think of coconut flour as a baking flour. Think of arrowroot as like a cornstarch for thickening. Tapioca would work, also– but coconut flour and almond flour would not act as a thickener and it would make the sauce grainy.

      • Reply
        January 4, 2021 at 8:14 pm

        Hi Alex. If I am not doing whole 30 or paleo could i use corn starch in place of the arrowroot powder? I know that is what I have done in other recipes of yours that call for that and they turned out delicious but was just curious. Thanks!

        • Reply
          January 4, 2021 at 8:44 pm

          yes that would work fine here! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jenny B
    December 7, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Hi! Would this freeze well? After cooking?

    • Reply
      December 7, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      I would try to freeze it before you add the coconut milk, if possible. But yes, it still freezes pretty well!!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2017 at 3:59 am

    This was amazing! Your recipes are my absolute favorite! I have not been disappointed once. Thank you thank you!

    • Reply
      May 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      🙂 Aw thank you Melissa!!! I am so glad to hear that!

  • Reply
    Marisa Skousen
    May 8, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    This was delicious – the closest we’ve come to our favorite Indian restaurant. My husband said he’d be fine if I made it once a week. Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2017 at 12:00 am

      Awesome!! So glad!

      • Reply
        January 25, 2021 at 6:18 pm

        I’m dying to make this but no crockpot. Is it also possible in a Dutch oven?

  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I just made this and have yet to try it but I know you had listed the olive oil in the ingredients but not when to use it. So I didn’t use the olive oil

    • Reply
      May 1, 2017 at 1:26 am

      Thanks, i fixed that error. Im sure it tasted the same without it 🙂

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