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Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Soup Recipe

chicken tikka masala soup in bowl with naan
chicken tikka masala soup in bowl with naan - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

If you've ever ordered Indian takeout, it's very likely you've found yourself with a bowl of chicken tikka masala, swiping up all the leftover sauce with pillowy naan. Believed by many to have been born in Great Britain, tikka masala gets its signature creamy texture from tomatoes and cream. The curry is widely regarded as quintessentially Indian, however, because it features traditional Indian spices like garam masala, coriander, and turmeric. The creamy sauce and tender pieces of chicken are hard not to love, which is why you'll so often see tikka masala featured on restaurant menus, in the freezer section of grocery stores, and beyond. It's so popular in Great Britain, in fact, that it is sometimes considered one of the national dishes.

It's hard to imagine how such a simple dish could get any better, but transforming it into a slow cooker soup might just be the way. In this recipe by Michelle McGlinn, chicken is slow-cooked in tomato, broth, and spices for a hearty and warming soup. Think of it like the most flavorful tomato soup you'll ever have — and instead of grilled cheese, you can dunk garlicky naan in, instead.

Read more: 20 Popular Canned Soups, Ranked Worst To Best

Gather The Ingredients For Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Soup

chicken tikka masala ingredients on table
chicken tikka masala ingredients on table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

If you've ever made chicken tikka masala, the ingredients list for this soup is very similar and mostly involves your spice cabinet. To start, grab an onion, garlic, fresh ginger, and butter, then pick up a pound of chicken. You can use chicken breasts or thighs — McGlinn just recommends boneless cuts so you can easily cut the chicken into cubes. From there, you'll want a jar of tomato purée, also called passata (or plain canned tomato sauce if you can't find any). Finally, grab chicken stock and heavy whipping cream, then dive into your spice cabinet for garam masala, cumin, paprika, chile powder, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, salt, and pepper.

Step 1: Melt Some Butter

butter melting in a skillet
butter melting in a skillet - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat.

Step 2: Cook The Aromatics

cooking onions in a skillet
cooking onions in a skillet - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until soft and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 3: Put The Chicken Pieces In The Slow Cooker

chicken pieces in a slow cooker
chicken pieces in a slow cooker - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add cubed chicken to the slow cooker.

Step 4: Add The Sauteed Vegetables

onions and chicken pieces in slow cooker
onions and chicken pieces in slow cooker - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Pour in the onion mixture.

Step 5: Add The Remaining Ingredients

soup ingredients in slow cooker
soup ingredients in slow cooker - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add tomato puree, chicken stock, and all the seasonings to the slow cooker.

Step 6: Slow Cook

tikka masala soup in slow cooker
tikka masala soup in slow cooker - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Step 7: Stir In The Cream

tikka masala soup in slow cooker
tikka masala soup in slow cooker - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Stir in the heavy whipping cream until heated through.

Step 8: Garnish And Serve

bowls of chicken tikka masala soup with naan
bowls of chicken tikka masala soup with naan - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Top with cilantro, if using, and serve right away.

What Can I Serve With Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Soup?

bowl of chicken tikka masala soup with naan
bowl of chicken tikka masala soup with naan - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

To keep it simple and classic, pair this slow cooker chicken tikka masala soup with warm pieces of naan. Pita bread or even focaccia will work well in a pinch, but this soup is best scooped with soft, buttery naan — especially the garlic variety. Because this dish is similar to tomato soup, you can also serve this with a classic grilled cheese sandwich. For the perfect fusion, McGlinn recommends melting cheese between pieces of naan (a naan grilled cheese, if you will).

This chicken soup is rich and filling enough to stand on its own, but it's wonderful when paired with plant-based Indian sides and mains like samosas, palak paneer, or pakora. If you'd like to enjoy leftovers for a light lunch, serve this soup with a salad. We recommend a light, raita-inspired salad, with chopped red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and leafy greens.

How Do I Store Leftover Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Soup?

bowls of chicken tikka masala
bowls of chicken tikka masala - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

This soup is the type that is even better after the flavors meld together for a day or two in the refrigerator. To store, simply allow the soup to cool, transfer to airtight containers, and keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat it in the microwave until warm, or gently simmer on the stovetop until hot.

This soup can also be frozen for longer storage. Allow the soup to cool, then transfer it to a freezer-safe airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator and microwave until warm. To reheat from frozen, transfer the soup to a large pot and slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat. Because this soup is so easy to freeze and reheat, we recommend doubling (or tripling) the batch for easy meals when you don't have time to start from scratch. A slow-cooked meal in minutes? Sign us up.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Soup Recipe

chicken tikka masala soup in bowl with naan
chicken tikka masala soup in bowl with naan - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 5mCook Time: 4h 5mYield: 4 servingsIngredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, cubed

  • 1 (24.5-ounce) jar tomato puree

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon chile powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Optional Ingredients

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat.

  2. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until soft and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Add cubed chicken to the slow cooker.

  4. Pour in the onion mixture.

  5. Add tomato puree, chicken stock, and all the seasonings to the slow cooker.

  6. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

  7. Stir in the heavy whipping cream until heated through.

  8. Top with cilantro, if using, and serve right away.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.