This is one of my favorite recipes because 1) I love Indian food and 2) I can make it my the crock-pot (with whom I have a serious love affair). I get home from work around 6:30 PM, so finding meals that are easy to throw together are key for me. This tikka masala is perfect because I can assemble the majority of the the recipe the night before, and then JB adds the chick’n strips and turns the crockpot on low before he leaves for work. Dinner is ready by the time I get home. The only thing left for me to do is dish some rice onto my plate, pour my portion of the tikka masala on top, and munch. I found this recipe when I was still a vegetarian and replaced the chicken with tofu. As I transitioned into being vegan, I wasn’t ready to let this recipe go. I experimented. I substituted the dairy with coconut and soy-based alternatives, added a green bell pepper, and cut the onions in large slices instead of dicing them. I can’t speak to my version’s authenticity, but I can tell you this: it tastes unbelievable. Without further adeu, here it is:


Vegan Slow Cooker Tikka Masala
Serves 8
  • 2 bags meatless chick’n strips (I like Beyond Meat and Gardein)
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 green bell bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated (I use Gourmet Gardin because I am lazy)
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato puree
  • 1½ cups plain unsweetened soy or coconut yogurt (I used So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (use 1 if you’re not a fan of spicy foods)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • Serve over rice (I prefer basmati)
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro
  1. Mix together the onion, green pepper, garlic, ginger, tomato puree, yogurt, olive oil, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper, and cayenne in the insert of your slow cooker. Once well combined and smooth, add chick’n pieces, and toss to coat.
  2. Add the bay leaves.
  3. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low (3 hours on high).
  4. Whisk together the coconut milk with the cornstarch. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in the coconut milk mixture. Cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Notes: This recipe was adapted from Dinners, Dishes, and Deserts.

Sometimes, depending on our work schedules, this dish has cooked in the crock pot up to 8 hours on low. The top can get a little crusty, but JB and I just stir it in and eat anyway. We’re monsters.

If you’re looking for more vegan Indian dishes to try, I strongly recommend Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s chana masala. I’ve also had Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen sitting in my Amazon cart for months, waiting for my budget to work itself out – if anyone has purchased it and has an opinion, I’d love to hear it! The reviews seem to speak for themselves.

If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to know what you think!