Paleo Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

Let’s start this post with a cliché: I love indian food! But then again, who doesn’t?

I wanted to find a way to make my favorite cheat meal into a non-cheat meal, without spending too much time in the kitchen.

It turned out that some tweaking and a clever combination of two existing recipes did the trick :-)

My house smelled mouth-watering all day while my Crock-Pot slaved away, and after that first taste I was over the moon with how it turned out.

So, don’t wait any longer: show some love on the original recipe pages, then pin this recipe, share it on your wall and start cooking!

Don’t forget to let me know how it turned out.

paleo crock pot chicken tikka masala

paleo crock pot chicken tikka masala

paleo crock pot chicken tikka masala

This is the cashew creme. Don’t throw away your leftovers! It’s an excellent and yummy substitute for cream in soups as well.

paleo crock pot chicken tikka masala

paleo crock pot chicken tikka masala

paleo crock pot chicken tikka masala

I do eat occasionally some rice (for example after a work-out) and I combined the chicken tikka masala here with some cucumber salad.

paleo crock pot chicken tikka masala

4.6 from 5 reviews
Paleo Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 1 kg)
  • ½ large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh, finely grated ginger
  • 1,5 can (about 90gr) tomato puree
  • 1 cup cashew crème (see below, you need 1 cup of raw cashews to make this)
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp garam masala (you can find this spice mix in any asian food store)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp paprika powder
  • 2 tsp celtic sea salt, or to taste
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-3 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want your chicken tikka masala)
  • 1 red pepper, stemmed, sliced in half and seeds removed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup almond milk (or water or coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • Prepared Cauliflower Rice
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  1. Start by making the cashew crème: soak 1 cup of raw cashews in 3 cups boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain the cashews, but reserve the soaking water. Place the cashews in a blender with 1 cup of the soaking water and blend until smooth. It should be a similiar thickness of a greek yogurt. If it’s too thick, add a little water at a time to get your desired consistency.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine chopped onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, tomato puree, cashew crème, almond milk (1/2 cup), olive oil, lemon juice, garam masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.
  3. Pour half of sauce mixture into a large slow cooker then add in diced chicken then cover chicken with remaining sauce.
  4. Add in sliced red pepper and 2 bay leaves.
  5. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat for 6 hours (or high for 3 hours).
  6. After 5,5 hours, in a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup almond milk (or water of coconut milk) and arrowroot. pour mixture into slow cooker and gently stir.
  7. Allow mixture to cook 20 minutes while you prepare the cauliflower rice.
  8. Remove bay leaves and sliced red pepper and serve warm over cauliflower rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.


  1. Melissa says

    I was wondering if there is any substitution for the cashew cream. My daughter is gluten intolerant, but is also allergic to all nuts, except for almonds. Thanks!

    • paleolland says

      Hi Melissa, I used the combination of cashew creme with almond milk in this recipe to sub the traditionally used yoghurt. So if you(r daughter) tolerates lactose you could try plain greek yoghurt (or lactose free yoghurt in case of any intolerances). One other option would be coconut milk, but the flavors probably would change somewhat, since coconut milk has a strong taste.
      Hope this helps, let me know if you tried any of these suggestions and how it turned out!

  2. says

    Love this recipe! Looks delicious and anything in the crock pot is super awesome of course.

    Shared on my facebook page and am also pinning.

    Angela <
    (popping over from blogger alliance)

  3. Samantha says

    Have you ever made this without using the crockpot? I really want to make this recipe (craving tikka masala!), but I leave for work at 7 and get home at 5:30 at the earliest so a 6 hour crockpot meal would be sitting on warm for close to 5 hours before I get home. I would do the 3 hours on high, but my stomach can’t wait until 8:30 for dinner either :) Any recommendations? Could maybe 2 hours in the crockpot be sufficient? Any advice would be great – looking to satisfy my Indian food craving sooner than later. Thanks!

    • paleolland says

      Hi Samantha, I haven’t tried it without the crock-pot. I can imagine you can’t wait for it though, my house smells mouth-watering when it’s cooking! You could try cooking it on a low to medium stove in a regular pan, or pop it in the oven. Hope this helps, good luck with the cravings and let me know how it turned out! Sjanett

  4. Laura says

    Great recipe, thank you! Very, very delicious. I like the technique of the cashew creme. Question about the puréed tomatoes… Can you be more specific on quantity? Oz or mL?

    Thanks again.

      • Meri says

        The recipe says tomato puree, but in the Comments you say tomato paste. Can you clarify? My grocery store carries both, but they are different…

  5. Lindsay says

    This recipe is dee-licious. I made it on the stove instead of in a crockpot and it took about two hours from start to finish. The cashew cream was amazing! I can’t wait to use it in other recipes. My only critique is on the amount of cayenne. I put one teaspoon and it was pretty darn hot. Next time, I’ll add the cayenne to taste towards the end of cooking.

  6. Celeste Larson says

    Has anyone tried to make the cashew creme and freeze for a make-ahead Paleo freezer meal? You could prepare the 1st 5 ingredients ahead of time to make this an even faster prepared meal but was not sure how the cashew creme would taste after freezing. Thank you!

  7. says

    This has to be the most simple, delicious crock-pot meal I have ever made! The only things I changed were that I used Neufchatel cheese (lower fat than regular cream cheese) and that I used frozen corn instead of canned. I loved how I could just throw in frozen chicken breasts, the rest of the ingredients, turn it on and leave it! I served it on flour tortillas, and my kids all loved it! Thanks, Jen! Your recipe is a winner in our house. :o)

  8. Rebecca says

    Hi Lindsay and paleolland!

    Lindsay- could you describe a little more of what you did to make this on the stove? I get home around 6 and using the crockpot isn’t an option. Did you use a dutch oven on the stove or a regular soup pot?

    Paleolland- This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try!!!

  9. Sylvia says

    Could you clarify tomato paste vs tomato puree, and how much? The other recipes you referenced at the beginning call for about 28 oz of tomato puree–much more than the 90 grams. In one of the comments it specified tomato paste instead. Which is correct? Thank you.

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