This easy slow cooker chicken and chickpea tikka masala is so simple to throw into your crock pot, and it’s a lightened up, dairy-free and gluten-free version. Made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans), juicy chicken and a flavorful sauce, this recipe is perfect for a healthy weeknight meal or meal prep lunches.
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Chicken and Chickpea Tikka Masala Ingredients
What makes this recipe such a great gluten-free weeknight dinner is that it really uses only a few ingredients, some spices, and there’s really minimal prep work that’s needed for this slow cooker chicken recipe.
For fresh ingredients, all you’ll need is 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 1 diced yellow onion, plus cilantro for serving. There are a few canned pantry items that are needed. Those include chickpeas (which may be labeled garbanzo beans), crushed tomatoes, and coconut milk.
Traditional tikka masala is made with a meat marinated in yogurt and includes cream in the sauce. This recipe is not done in the traditional way, and made with the canned coconut milk to keep it a dairy-free tikka masala.
The only other ingredients needed for the slow cooker tikka masala are the spices. These spices are widely available in any major grocery store, and include garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and a few others. While this recipe is heavily spiced, it is not spicy.
Related: Make Whole30 and Paleo Slow Cooker Tikka Masala using this recipe
How to Prepare Dairy Free Tikka Masala in the Slow Cooker
This chicken slow cooker recipe could not be easier to prepare and cook. All you’ll need to do is add all of the ingredients, except for the canned coconut milk and cilantro, into a large slow cooker.
Use a spoon to stir the spices into the crushed tomatoes and chickpeas, and cover the chicken with the sauce before placing the lid onto the slow cooker. Set your crockpot to high for 3-4 hours, or to low for 6-8 hours.
When it’s done you’ll transfer your chicken to a cutting board and dump the canned coconut milk into the slow cooker. Dice your chicken into bite size pieces and use a spoon to incorporate the coconut milk into the sauce. Add your diced chicken back into the slow cooker, give it a stir and it’s ready to enjoy!
How to Serve and Store
This slow cooker tikka masala is great with basmati rice, or any rice of your choice. The sauce, chickpeas and rice is my favorite part! You can also opt for cauliflower rice or broccoli rice to lower the carbs. The final step is to chop some cilantro and sprinkle it over top.
This recipe lasts in the refrigerator for up to five days, and reheats so well as leftovers or meal prepped for lunches. The chicken and chickpea tikka masala is also freezer friendly! You can store in freezer safe containers for up to 3 months.
When putting it into your containers, make sure to leave about an inch to a half-inch of space at the top to leave room for expansion.
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PS. If you’ve made this recipe, don’t forget to rate this recipe and let me know in the comments how you liked it!
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1.5 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
- 1/4–1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for serving
- Add all of the ingredients except for the canned coconut milk and cilantro into the slow cooker
- Stir the spices into the tomato sauce and incorporate in with the chickpeas. Cover the chicken breasts with the sauce and then place the lid onto the slow cooker
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours
- Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and dice. Pour the canned coconut milk into the slow cooker and stir into the sauce. Place the diced chicken back into the slow cooker and stir again to mix into the sauce and chickpeas
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice and top with cilantro if desired
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken breasts
- Add 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth for a thinner sauce
Keywords: dairy-free, slow cooker, crockpot, dinner recipes, chickpea recipes, gluten-free
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