slow cooker tandoori chicken

with green sauce
4.78 from 18 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 14 ounces coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups basmati or jasmine rice


  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ ripe avocado
  • water, for thinning
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper


  • For the chicken: Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker (with the exception of the rice); 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, 2 tablespoons garam masala, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons turmeric, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk, and 2 tablespoons honey.
  • Slow cook for 4 hours on HIGH, or 6 hours on LOW. If your chicken is frozen, cook for 6 hours on HIGH.
  • Just before serving, prepare rice and Green Sauce. Shred and serve chicken over rice with topped with green sauce.
  • For the Green Sauce: Using a blender or food processor, add 1 bunch cilantro, 2 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, juice from 1 lime, 2 teaspoons honey, and ½ ripe avocado. Blend until smooth. Add just enough water to make the sauce pourable. If it gets too thin, thicken with more avocado or cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed with salt and pepper.


  • Instant Pot: Add everything to the Instant Pot. Cook for 5 minutes manual high pressure + 10 minutes for natural release. If using frozen chicken, cook for 15 minutes manual high pressure + 10 minutes natural release. Shred and serve over rice with Green Sauce.
  • Stovetop: Combine the garam masala, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small dish. Season both sides of the chicken with the spice mixtures. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat before adding in the chicken thighs. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Shake the can of coconut milk then pour in the skillet with honey. Cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes until the chicken is fork tender and can be easily shredded.


  • Serve with a crisp green salad or roasted broccoli and naan to complete this meal.


  • Protein: Swap 2 lbs. chicken thighs for chicken breasts.
    Vegetarian: Swap out chicken for 1 head cauliflower. Cut cauliflower apart after 3-4 hours on HIGH in the slow cooker of 4-5 hours on LOW.
    Rice: Swap rice for cauliflower rice or grains such as quinoa, farro or barley.


  • Freezer Version: Combine the chicken and spices together in a freezer-friendly bag or airtight container. Transfer to the freezer and store for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then cook as directed above.


Calories: 541kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 890mg | Potassium: 760mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 681IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 4mg