Chicken Masala Recipe

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This clean eating chicken masala is wonderfully aromatic and definitely tasty!

I’m fascinated by the Indian culture. The music, the clothing, the religions and most of all… the food!

A bowl of Clean Eating Chicken Masala on a gray background. The red sauce with chicken sits ladled over brown rice.

It’s all just so different from the way I was raised. The culture is so rich, so vibrant and so full of color in so many ways. It’s almost hypnotizing.

If you read my last blog post on Clean Eating Naan, you know that Indian food is a relatively new experience for me. But it was love at first bite, and I will always find a way to include Indian food in my eating plan.

The first time I tried Indian food was at an Indian restaurant in Concord, California. Not the likeliest place to get good Indian food, but wow. It was GOOD!

The first thing I tried was butter chicken. I loved it, and found it hard to stray from this new found dish. But I eventually worked up the courage to try the chicken masala, and life was just never the same after that. I’ve actually had vivid dreams about enjoying a large bowl of chicken masala (No, I’m not completely normal. But we’ll keep that to ourselves, shall we?). It’s fantastic stuff.

I was a little worried that my recipe would not match up to the restaurant version. So I made sure to use plenty of spices in the hopes of at least coming close. And you know what? I did!!

More Healthy Indian Recipes

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CHICKEN MASALA RECIPE:

Clean Eating Chicken Masala Recipe

Chicken Masala

Don’t let the ingredient list for this delicious meal scare you. Most of the recipe is spices. This is actually a very quick and easy recipe to make!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings (Makes approximately 3 quarts)
Calories: 219kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 30 0z. canned light coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 ¼ lb. chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 6 oz. tomato paste (no sugar added)
  • fresh cilantro for garnish – optional

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients (except the cilantro) in a 5 quart crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours or until chicken is fully cooked. Stir occasionally during cooking process to be sure the chicken gets submerged in the liquids.
  • NOTE: It will start out looking a bit thick and dry, but the liquids will release into the pot after about an hour or so of cooking. If this does not happen for some reason and you feel it will burn without more liquids, add 1/2 to 1 cup of clean, low-sodium chicken broth. But wait a full hour before doing so.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 413mg | Potassium: 727mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 13.9mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 4mg
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81 Comments

  1. Megaan Cianci says:

    Can’t wait to try this, yum! Thanks so much! Eager to try the apple pie recipe from a couple posts ago, too. So simple but looks amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to create or re-create recipes and sharing them! Really appreciate it.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Megaan – You’re welcome! Thanks for trying my recipes!

  2. Tasiana Nichols says:

    I am making this as I type! As soon as I saw this recipe on your blog this morning, I went out and bought the ingredients I needed. It smelled so good as I put all the ingredients into the crock pot. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I may make the nan with it too!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Tasiana – Oh you should definitely make the naan! They are sooooo yummy together!

  3. McCaa Erdman says:

    Tiffany, is that 1cup of coconut milk in addition to the 2 cans (if we do not use almond milk)? Just wanted to clarify. This looks amazing, and very simple! Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Anonymous says:

      McCaa – Yes, that is correct. Enjoy!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Becky – LOL!!! Make the neighbors jealous. I love that! Ha!!! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  5. Seemichellecook says:

    I asked this same question in my blog and yes I dream about food ALL the time. I don’t actually eat the food but I spend my dreams making up recipes and funny enough, when I wake up I am convinced that I missed writing down something life changing. Then I forget what that was.

    1. Anonymous says:

      SMC – LOL!!! I’m so glad I’m not alone in my craziness! I haven’t formulated any recipes in my dreams yet, but I’m sure the day will come. And wow, now I’m worried I won’t remember to write everything down in my dream. Now I’m worried. Oh dear. lol!

  6. Tenderfoot says:

    What brand of Tomato Sauce or Paste do you use that has No Sugar Added and low in Sodium?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Tenderfoot – I shop at Trader Joe’s and the only tomato paste they have is that one. But I have seen other clean tomato pastes in more mainstream stores. I’ll have to get to the store and get the names for you.

  7. One question… it looks like you have light coconut milk listed twice? #1 and #13?

    Also – can you please share the butter chicken recipe you mentioned? That sounds soo good!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Erica – Yes, it is. I used almond milk but I wanted to give the option too of just using extra coconut milk so they didn’t have to make an extra trip to the store. It’s just an option. But it’s IS 2 cans plus that 1 cup, regardless of what kind of milk you use for the one cup.

      I’m still working on the butter chicken recipe. I tried one version and it was not very tasty. I’m still trying though!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Stephanie – As long as the chicken gets cooked, you should be fine. The chicken won’t have the same texture, but it will still taste have the same flavor.

  9. Tonishafer says:

    I’m making this right now and it smells delicious. Only thing, mine seems really liquify or soupy I guess. It’s about an hour into cooking. I have a feeling I put too much coconut milk…am I reading it right that in total it should be 38 oz? Just seemed like a lot, i must be confusing something.

    1. Anonymous says:

      That’s right. 38 oz. Since it’s only been cooking an hour, I’d give it more time before you decide. But you can always remove a little liquid if you feel it’s too much. Just save it in case you want to add it back in later.

  10. Hola Tiffany!!!

    I just made this recipe, just eat it too! I followed the recipe carefully, I was in a hurry, so I did not find tomatoes without sugar, both cans had a total of 8 gr. I had one lite coconut milk, and one regular, this recipe calls for no salt? I added some salt..other than that is yummy! Oh, I did not add the chili, thinking my children will try it, …one did and not much into it, well more for me and hubby! 😉 The other thing is, mine is not as thick or dry, looks more like a soup! ? I do not know what I did wrong, I still like it a lot, Graciassss!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Zicela – I’m glad you enjoyed it! Mine was not overly thick either. If you get the same thing next time, try mixing 1 cup of the “soup” in a separate bowl with a few tablespoons of whole wheat pastry flour. Then stir it back into the whole pot. That should help thicken it some. Enjoy!

  11. What can I substitute for the Coconut milk? I don’t like coconut at all.

    Thanks,
    Suzanne

    1. Anonymous says:

      Suzanne – You can sub any milk, but it won’t be the same.

      1. Charly214 says:

        Or use yogurt, then you get the creaminess just not the coconut flavor. Just take the pot of the stove and put the yogurt in of the stove otherwise it curdless.

        1. graciouspantry says:

          Charly – Great tip!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Clt – It’s brown rice, and yes, brown rice is clean. It is not processed like white rice.

  14. Anonymous says:

    That’s wonderful! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cheyenne – My cooker is very old. What qualifies as high for me is low for most these days. You have to know how your cooker cooks and make adjustments as needed. There are many reasons for meat turning out dry in a slow cooker. You can get some tips here: http://skinnyms.com/avoiding-dry-or-tough-meats/

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nicole – LOL! I love that smell! Glad you enjoyed it!

  17. graciouspantry says:

    Irene – I’m so happy you both enjoyed it!

  18. graciouspantry says:

    Kim – I wouldn’t do rice milk. It doesn’t hold up in the slow cooker. I think soy would be the better option, but I’m not sure what the final flavor would be like. You would have to experiment. I’ve never tried flax milk, so I can advise you there. Let me know how it turns out!

  19. graciouspantry says:

    Jodi – Hope you enjoy it!

  20. graciouspantry says:

    This is done in the slow cooker. By the time the chicken is cooked, it just falls apart on its own when you stir. No need to cut ahead of time.

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  22. Am so looking forward to making this tonight! In 7 days I begin a 12 week body transformation program so until then I’m clean eating, you site is awesome! Thankyou.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      That’s great! I hope you enjoy it!

  23. Silly question, but can the chicken breasts go into the slow cooker frozen or do they need to be thawed out?

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Not a silly question. Actually, you aren’t supposed to put frozen food in a slow cooker at all due to food safety issues. It takes too long for the food to reach it’s cooking temperature, leaving it open to stuff that can make you sick.

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