Enjoy a delicious and flavorful meal with this Slow Cooker Chicken Curry recipe.
Follow the easy instructions to create a dish that is sure to impress your family and friends.
Savour coconut milk's smooth, creamy taste, the Indian curry spice's warmth, and the slow cooker chicken thighs' tenderness. It will soon become your favourite slow cooker recipe.
Just to mention, this recipe can easily be doubled up, making it a great recipe for batch cooking or large family gatherings.
Here is a quick slide show video showing how to make chicken curry in the slow cooker.
Continue reading for more information on ingredients, substitutions and cooking tips.
Or to get started straight awayJump to printable recipe card for slow cooker chicken curry
Here are all the ingredients needed for this slow cooker chicken curry.
I will go into more detail about each ingredient, including suitable substitutes.
Skinless chicken thighs are the perfect choice for this slow cooker chicken curry as they cook so tenderly.
For maximum flavour, we recommend slicing the chicken thighs into large chunks - if cut too small, they can fall apart during cooking.
If you would like to use an alternative to chicken thighs, skinless chicken breasts would work just as well. Just make sure to slice it into large chunks too!
We do recommend sticking with skinless chicken in the slow cooker as the skin does not crisp up nicely in the slow cooker.
We prefer to use boneless chicken breast or thighs but you can use boned chicken if prefered.
Use your preferred oil to fry the onions and Indian spices in.
As with most curry recipes, you start by making a delicious curry base, using finely chopped onion.
While brown onions are commonly used, you can also opt for white or red onions depending on your preference. If you prefer a sweeter taste, try substituting the equal-weight of shallots instead.
Garlic is an important seasoning in this easy slow cooker curry, you can use fresh cloves finely chopped or a puree instead.
We like a bit of spice, so always add at least one fresh chilli pepper to this slow cooker chicken curry recipe. Usually a green finger chilli but you can adjust the quantity and heat of pepper used to suit your taste.
When cooking chillies in the slow cooker we simply cut it down the middle, the flavours and seeds distribute into the slow cooker curry during cooking then remove the skin at the end.
You could always use chilli powder, cayenne pepper or chilli flakes to add extra heat instead of fresh chillies.
You can buy mild curry powder, medium curry powder or hot curry powder to suit your taste. There are other blends of Indian spice mix, with everything needed to create this slow cooker chicken curry such as garam masala or go for a Thai curry mix for something different.
I also like to add a bit more to the curry mix as the slow cooker can water down some flavours.
Cumin & Tumeric
I love the flavour that cumin adds to curry - it's one of those spices that just makes everything taste better! I also add extra turmeric, it has lots of great health benefits and adds great colour too.
Tomato purée brings the spices and onion together into a thick curry paste.
Adding creamy coconut milk to the slow cooker is what makes this coconut chicken curry such a great recipe. Canned full-fat coconut milk is the best option in my opinion but a tin of reduced-fat coconut milk will still work or for a ultra creamy curry try using coconut cream!
Do not use a carton of coconut milk. This has a very high water content and will not give good results.
If you don't want to add coconut milk into your slow cooker chicken curry recipe you can substitute for chicken stock instead.
We use a tin of chopped tomatoes, but you can use passata or freshly chopped tomatoes.
Cornflour in the UK - known as cornstarch in the US - read more about cornflour here. It is a key ingredient for thickening up this slow-cooker chicken curry recipe.
You can substitute it for plain flour, or if you need a gluten free option use arrowroot instead. The amount needed is described further down this page.
Not everyone likes fresh coriander leaves (fresh cilantro), which is why I leave it to the end. If everyone likes it chop finely and stir through or leave a bowl for people to add their own if they like it!
Add extra veggies into the crock pot curry such as potato, sweet potatoes or chopped peppers add nice colour.
A spoonful of mango chutney in the curry sauce helps bring extra sweetness to this coconut chicken curry.
If you like a bit of zing you can always add lemon juice or lime juice to this slow cooker chicken curry recipe.
You could add fresh ginger too if you like.
You will need a frying pan to cook the curry paste, and a slow cooker!
This slow cooker recipe serves four and can be made in a 4-litre slow cooker. If you want to double up the recipe, you need at least a 6-litre slow cooker.
Here are step-by-step for cooking a chicken curry in the slow cooker.If you want the quick printable recipe with ingredients measurements, jump to the recipe card here
Dice onion, finely chop garlic cloves, and slice chilli down the middle. Chop chicken thighs into large chunks.
Add the diced chicken to the slow cooker pot whilst you create a curry paste.
When slow cooking a curry, I always recommend frying the onions, garlic, chilli and spices first to create a flavourful curry paste.
Heat oil in a frying pan and add the diced onion. Fry for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.
Then add the chilli and garlic. Next, stir in cumin, turmeric, curry powder, tomato puree, salt and pepper.
Smooth Sauce (optional step)
If you prefer a really smooth curry sauce you can now blend this curry paste with the chopped tomatoes before adding to the slow cooker.
Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker
Transfer the curry paste to the slow cooker with the chicken.
Add canned coconut milk, tin of chopped tomatoes, and cornflour.
Mix well to combine the ingredients.
Pop the lid on and cook on high or low according to your time scale.
Slow cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 ½ hours. It is important to keep the lid on during the whole cooking time to keep the heat in.
After the above cooking time, remove the lid and stir.
As with most slow cooker recipes, a lot of liquid is created due to condensation dropping from the slow cookers lid back into the curry.
It will have a runny curry sauce. If you prefer thicker curry it is easy to thicken using cornflour (corn starch).
How to thicken slow cooker curry
If you would like to thicken the curry sauce, mix one tablespoon of cornflour with one tablespoon of water until smooth.
Pour this mixture into the curry and stir well still on low heat.
This will instantly thicken up the curry sauce. Giving you a beautiful thick curry.
You can use flour instead of cornstarch but will need to double the amount used, which can affect the overall taste.
If you need to make it gluten-free you can use arrowroot instead of cornflour but will need to use twice as much as cornflour.
Find and remove the chilli skin before serving.
Stir in a handful of fresh coriander, serve and enjoy with your choice of sides.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- 6 chicken thighs (chopped into bite size pieces).
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion Diced
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- 1 chilli optional add more for extra heat
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoon Curry Powder
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tin coconut milk
- tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 tablespoon Cornflour Optional* to thicken sauce
- handful of fresh coriander
- Prepare ingredients. Dice 1 onion, finely chop 2 garlic cloves, slice 1 chilli down the middle. Chop 6 chicken thighs into large chunks.
- Add chopped chicken to the slow cooker pot.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and add the onion. Fry for about 5 minutes until lightly browned
- Add 2 garlic clovesarlic and chilli to the onions and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the 1 teaspoon cumin1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 tablespoon Curry Powder,1 tablespoon tomato puree, Salt and pepper.
- Stir and gently fry for 2 min.
- Add the fried onion and seasonings into the slow cooker with the chicken.
- Now add 1 tin coconut milk, tin chopped tomatoes, and 1 tablespoon cornflour.
- Mix together well.
- Cover with lid and cookLow- 6 ½ hours (best results)High- 4 hours (when short on time)
- Remove the lid
- Give the curry a good stir.
- Remove the chilli skin.
- Optional* To thicken the curry sauce, mix 1 tablespoon Cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth.Stir into the slow cooker curry, it will thicken instantly.
- Add a handful of fresh coriander stir through.
- Serve straight from the crockpot or into curry dishes.
- Goes well with pilau rice, naan bread, poppadums, mango chutney, mint raita and Indian salad.
Smooth CurryIf you prefer a smoother sauce you can blend the onions, spices and garlic together with the chopped tomatoes before adding to the slow cooker pot.
Mild, Medium or Hot CurryThe recipe we have created is medium spiced. Don't add the chilli and use a mild curry powder if you want a mild curry. If you want it spicier you can add extra chillies and/ or use hot curry powder. Feel free to add extra heat using chili powder or chilli flakes instead. Nutrition information calculated using light coconut milk.
Store any leftover chicken curry in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Reheat until piping hot in a microwave or a pan when ready to serve.
There is no need to brown chicken before cooking it in a slow cooker. The chicken will cook evenly in the slow cooker over a long cooking time.
If you prefer a smoother sauce, blend the onions, spices, and garlic together with the chopped tomatoes before adding to the slow cooker pot.
Curry may become watery in the slow cooker due to the liquid released during the long cooking process. Adding cornflour mixed with water after cooking will help thicken the sauce.
Mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour with 1 tablespoon water and mix until smooth, pour in over low heat.
More Indian Recipes
For an Indian-style feast, consider other side dishes such as mushroom bhaji, saag bhaji, aubergine curry, potato curry, chilli paneer and jeera rice. Love Indian cuisine? We have you covered with so many to choose from!