This Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is sponsored by Silk. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!
I’ve always loved Indian food. Growing up outside of Boston, my family enjoyed eating out at the variety of Indian restaurants in Waltham, Massachusetts. As a kid, it was always a treat to sip on a Mango Lassi and eat all the papadums I wanted.
To this day, my love for Indian cuisine has not faded, yet sadly, Indian food doesn’t always love me. Many traditional Indian recipes use yogurt, cream, milk, and butter, all of which I generally avoid because dairy doesn’t make me feel good.
Since I rarely eat Indian food out anymore, I decided to try my hand at making one of my favorite Indian dishes dairy-free. This Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala has all of the flavor and spice of the traditional version, but is lighter and contains no dairy. Plus, I love the convenience of throwing everything in the slow cooker and coming home to a delicious, cozy meal.
Ever since I eliminated dairy from my diet, I’ve struggled to find a good substitute for regular yogurt. I recently discovered this Silk Almondmilk Yogurt Alternative, and I’m hooked. It’s dairy-free, soy-free, and contains no artificial colors or preservatives. You can use it in place of regular yogurt in just about any recipe. In this dish, just a little bit of this Almondmilk Yogurt makes the sauce nice and creamy.
Whatever you do, don’t leave out the fresh cilantro in this dish. It’s essential, and the more the better!
While I normally think of meals like this as winter comfort food, we thoroughly enjoyed this Chicken Tikka Masala in the summer! When it’s this hot and humid outside, cooking with a slow cooker is much easier than hovering over a stovetop and oven.
I served this Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala with brown rice and peas. It would be delicious with whole wheat naan, as well.
You'll love this Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala. It's much healthier than the traditional recipe and contains no dairy. Serve with brown rice or naan.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/8 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1.5 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppper
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, excess fat trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped + more for serving
- 4 tablespoons Yogurt (Dairy-Free if preferred)**, for serving
- Brown Rice or Naan, for serving
- Salt & Pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Make a hole in the middle of the pan, and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and ginger and cook with the onions for another 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes.
In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the water and flour. Add the flour mixture to the pan with the garam masala, paprika, curry powder, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Cook for 1 minute, then remove the pan from heat.
Place the cut chicken pieces at the bottom of a slow cooker. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pour the tomato mixture from the skillet over the chicken pieces and stir to thoroughly coat. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-3.5 hours, until the chicken is very tender.
Remove the lid from the slow cooker, and add 1 cup of coconut milk. Continue to cook, uncovered for 20 more minutes. Turn the slow cooker off and stir in the cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve the Chicken Tikka Masala over brown rice and top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of yogurt and a pinch of chopped cilantro.
*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
**For a creamier sauce, stir in a few additional tablespoons of yogurt.
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