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This healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry is SO incredibly easy. No browning, no preparation. Just leave it to bubble away and come home to the most delicious, creamy but light, coconut milk curry.

Hands holding a bowl of healthy slow cooker chicken curry with rice

I’ve wanted to try making a curry recipe using this slow cooker method for SO long. I love easy, slow cooked curries, but who has time for browning meat at 7am before work?!

So, I thought I’d test out, NOT browning the meat and just kind of, flinging it all in to the slow cooker (or crock pot if you’re in the USA). Friends, THIS is the total gem of a result.

Let’s be honest, an authentic Indian curry, Madras curry or Thai curry, this is not. BUT it’s a super shortcut to a delicious, easy dinner. Just what we like!

Why you should make this recipe:

✅ It’s so easy. No prep, no stirring, combine everything and come home to a delicious Chicken Curry.

✅ The recipe uses Coconut Milk and no cream for a yummy flavour and a lighter, healthier curry.

✅ Perfect for families, kids, or spicy phobic people, as you can really simply adjust the level spice.

✅ Oh and I did I mentioned – it tastes SO GOOD.

Easy slow cooker chicken curry in bowls with rice sprinkled with mint

How to make a Slow Cooker Chicken Curry:

Pop all of your ingredients, (apart from your Garam Masala) into the slow cooker and cook until soft and tender. Gently break up the meat and mix in with the sauce, plus the Garam Masala.

Serve and get ready to fall in sweet curry love.


When the recipe has cooked for 4 hours on HIGH or 6 hours on LOW, take off the lid, give everything a good stir. You’ll notice the chicken breaking up.

Top tip! I like to gently shred the chicken with forks when the curry is cooked, whilst still in the slow cooker (crock pot) and stir it into the sauce. It kind of soaks into the sauce and thickens the sauce.

Stir in the Garam Masala and some extra mango chutney if you think it needs a little more sweetness. Garnish with mint or coriander if you fancy.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry Ingredients

Garlic, Ginger & Onion – I use all of these from the freezer, pre prepared. (Always after a shortcut) You can obviously prepare fresh if you’d prefer.

Medium Curry Powder – Replace with mild, or extra hot depending on your spicy taste. This is just right for us.

Chilli Flakes – This just gives a little extra flicker of heat. Feel free to leave out if you prefer.

Salt – I use good quality flakes like Maldon Sea Salt. It really adds to the flavour.

Mango Chutney – This added a sweet, ’rounded’ taste. Use whichever brand is your favourite – with more to serve of course!

Reduced Fat Coconut Milk – You can use full fat if you prefer, this is just what I usually have in the cupboard. Give the can a shake before you add it. Coconut Milk curry is so creamy without the heavy feeling of a curry like Chicken Tikka Masala or Chicken Korma made with double cream.

Chicken Thighs – These should be boneless and skinless. You could use chicken breast in this recipe, but it won’t be as tender or shred when cooked in the same way.

Garam Masala – We add this after cooking as it can become a little bitter if cooked, it is (I believe) usually used as an uncooked seasoning.

Spices and mango chutney and garlic and ginger in a slow cooker

What to serve with the Slow Cooker Chicken Curry?

  • Boiled Basmati rice (or from a microwave pouch if you’re saving time!)
  • Raita salad (yoghurt mixed with mint and cucumber and a little lemon juice)
  • My easy Flatbreads
  • Naan breads
  • Roasted cauliflower (I coat in oil and some curry powder and roast – it’s SO GOOD!)
  • Poppadoms (or GIANT crisps as George and Harriet call them)
Slimming world friendly slow cooker chicken curry

Should you brown chicken before cooking in the slow cooker?

If you want to get scientific, the reason we brown meat before slow cooking, is because it causes a Maillard reaction. The process of frying, heating it very hot until it browns, changes the flavour compounds in the meat, basically adding a depth of flavour.

Does it add something to most slow cooked dishes? Yes. Is it vital in this dish, which is packed with other flavour? No.

My opinion is that it’s much more important in red meat dishes and even then, sometimes speed and ease are more important.

Bowl of slow cooker chicken curry with rice sprinkled with mint and with spiced roasted cauliflower in the background.

Variations on the Slow Cooker Chicken Curry recipe:

  • Butter Chicken Slow Cooker Curry – Add the juice of half a lemon, and 50g of butter before serving, stir well into the sauce.
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Korma – Use Korma curry powder, and add 3 tbsp of ground almonds before serving.
  • Madras Chicken Curry – Use Madras curry powder.
  • Slimming World Slow Cooker Chicken Curry – Count the Syns for the mango chutney and coconut milk.

I’m not promising any of these are mega authentic, but we all need a shortcut sometimes, right?!

Can you freeze this recipe?

Yes! I LOVE making a big batch of this and freezing it for another day. When it’s cold, I portion it up into takeaway containers (in the photo below).

I buy them in bulk from Amazon, about £8 for 50. (I wash and reuse them but they are much cheaper than buying hundreds of thick Tupperware containers.) I then defrost and warm through when needed.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this Slow Cooker Chicken Curry recipe. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

Also, if you fancy showing me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations.

4.93 from 615 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry – easiest EVER recipe

This healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry is SO incredibly easy. No browning, no preparation. Just leave it to bubble away and come home to the most delicious, creamy but light, coconut milk curry.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients 

  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and chopped, or frozen, ready prepared
  • 2 tsp Fresh ginger, Peeled and grated, or use a ready prepared paste
  • 3 tbsp Medium curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 100 g Mango chutney
  • 400 ml Reduced fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Large Onion, Peeled and very finely chopped, I use frozen ready prepared
  • 1 kg Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

Instructions 

  • Put everything APART FROM the Garam Masala into the slow cooker (crock pot). Give it a good stir.
  • Put the lid on and cook on HIGH for 4 hour or LOW for at least 6 hours.
  • When the chicken is tender and falling apart, gently shred it with two forks and stir in the Garam Masala. Mix well until everything is coated and softened in the sauce.

Notes

Thick/thin sauce?
This recipe makes quite a thin sauce, which I like as the shredded chicken kind of ‘soaks’ it up. If you’re anxious to have a thick sauce, you have a couple of options:
  1. Use 300ml of Coconut milk instead of the full can.
  2. Or when cooked, if you feel that the sauce is too thin, pop 1 tbsp of cornflour into a mug or small bowl, take a ladle of sauce from the curry and mix until smooth with the cornflour. Pour BACK into the curry and stir through and heat through. It will thicken the sauce slightly. (Do NOT just put the cornflour straight in, it will go lumpy!)
If you’re planning on reheating the curry, or freezing, definitely use the full amount and don’t thicken as it will get thicker when you reheat it.
 
To finish:
  • When you taste the curry at the end, you can add another tablespoon or two of Mango Chutney if you think it needs more sweetness.
  • Garnish with mint or coriander if you fancy.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 33gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 408mgPotassium: 514mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 120IUVitamin C: 4.3mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 2.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food, Indian
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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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155 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Fabulous dish! Too easy and too yummie! You don’t need to be a masterchef to make this (and impress people ;-). )

  2. 5 stars
    yum ! our go to chicken curry. I can’t buy jars anymore are they are so bland in comparison. I’ve added ground almonds and used full fat coconut milk and some frozen peppers.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you so much for this fantastic chicken curry recipe. I’ve cooked it several times in the slow cooker. The chicken absorbs the sauce perfectly whilst keeping moist.
    I’ve also made changes to be able to cook this in an oven at 150 fan for 2 hours or 130 fan for 3 hours.
    I brown the chicken pieces first. Remove to a bowl and add sauté the main ingredients before returning the chicken back to the casserole and adding rest of ingredients. I also add 200ml chicken stock as I use 1.6k of fresh chicken breasts to make enough to freeze. I can get an average six x 320g portions using number 2 foil dishes, so by the time it’s served up with some peas mixed in and portion of rice, makes for a hearty curry! I like my curries with a bit of kick so I add some finely chopped chillies and 3 finely chopped shallots. Result is just as good as cooking in a slo cooker. Thought this would be handy for those without a slow cooker. Thanks for sharing your recipes which remain in my bookmarks!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve tried so many different recipes for curry due to my partner being coeliac and us both being lactose free I have never found a recipe that will give us a flavoursome curry. I can’t believe it took me so long to find this one! It is hands down the easiest curry I have ever made and the tastiest! So much so I plan on making it for my parents over the weekend! I’m hoping doubling up on ingredients will work just as well 🤞 But yes I 100% will be recommending this recipe to everyone! Thank You!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time this afternoon… absolutely delicious!!!! Without a doubt this is the tastiest and one of the easiest slow cooker meals I have made so far. I love the little extra tips included with the recipe too.

  6. 5 stars
    This is a staple recipe in my house now, we make it both on the day and as dump bags that go in there freezer. It is super tasty and can easily be adapted for spiciness levels. Thoroughly recommend, in fact I’m making it for dinner tonight again!

  7. 5 stars
    My first slow cooker meal and it was amazing! I browned the chicken first and added a bit more veg. Used the rice cooker as well so the evening was so easy!

    1. Sure, I find a tenderloin works well in the slow cooker as other pork needs to be browned first to render the fat off.

  8. 5 stars
    Another amazing slow cooker recipe! This was so easy and absolutely delicious. The added bonus being there is plenty of leftovers for another day.

  9. 5 stars
    Lovely very tasty curry.Have made it loads of times I add 300g of pineapple to mine because I’m naughty.Definitely would recommend so easy to make as well.