Chicken Masala Recipe

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!!

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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


  • 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


  • 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.


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


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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  1. Pingback: Clean Eating Recipes | Clean Eating Chicken Korma
  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. graciouspantry says:

    Sorry, curry powder.

  5. jo ann marzolf says:

    I love garam masala… I use it in a lot of stuff.. Tika Masala is one of my most favorite dishes.. I could eat a VAT of it!! Started eating Indian food when I started belly dancing.. once every 2 weeks, girls from my dance class and I would pick a new restaraunt that we wanted to try and go together.. it was always so much fun!!!

  6. graciouspantry says:

    Possibly. I get mine at a local Indian food store. However, it’s just a regular spice and you should be able to find it in some stores with the other spices like curry.

  7. graciouspantry says:

    Big difference. The stuff in the carton is not clean (at least I haven’t found one yet).

  8. Made this today for the first time after finding your website on pintrest. It is amazing! I love a good curry but the fats etc always put me off. I am so pleased I have found something easy to make and that tastes amazing. Thank you so much.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      My pleasure. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Carcar Simm says:

    I’m making this as I type and smells amazing. I”m a huge indian fan. Mine, however, is VERY liquidy, like soup?? The only adjustment I made to the recipe is that I used mostly chicken thighs instead of breast (1 breast in there)…it’s been in the cooker about 4 hours now.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chicken varies. Some suppliers shoot their chickens up with more water so they can charge more by weight. Then it all cooks out and makes your food watery. You might try cooking it down a bit in a pot if it’s a real problem. It was slightly soup for me, but not overly so.

  10. Carcar Simm says:

    Thanks for that. It’s organic/free range so I didn’t think it would have that problem but I guess you never know?! May try cooking it down in a pot ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Could you, I think you could sub milk kefir for some of that coconut milk, even coconut kefir, it would thicken it a bit. Wish I had seen this earlier today as I had chicken breast that had to be cooked and coconut kefir as well. Next time

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Not sure, I’ve never tried with kefir. I think the flavor might be a bit too sharp for this recipe.

  12. I plan on trying this recipe. Leaving the extras in the freezer isn’t a bad idea, right?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      It should freeze just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I have this in the crock pot right now!! My house smells fantastic! I love all the indian recipes you post. My family enjoys complex flavorful foods. I am sure this will be a hit. I sampled a bite and I feel confident they will put this in the “make again” binder. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jen – Fantastic! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Olivia Parker says:

    Looking forward to trying this! What kind/brand of coconut milk do you use?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Olivia – I get the Trader Joe’s brand. But the Thai Kitchen brand is good too.

  15. Hi! I just put this is the slow cooker. followed recipe exactly. is like a big pot of soup. i will try adding whole wheat pastry flour. was i supposed to drain the canned tomatos? Also..maybe next time will only use the creamy part of the coconut milk and not the water.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Laura – If you still have too much liquid when it’s done, just try cooking it down on the stove top. But it shouldn’t be all that watery unless your chicken had a lot of water pumped into it. Many stores do this now to make more money.

  16. Quick question,
    Do i have to use a slow cooker for all the slow cooker recipes or can i just cook it in a pan over a stove top?


    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Megan – Most slow cooker recipes will do fine on the stove. But the major difference will be the texture of the meat. That’s very different. A slow cooker makes a moist, tender meat that I personally have never been able to duplicate on a stove or in one.

  17. I have some left over shredded chicken breast I made a few days again on the crockpot. I’d like to try this can I do it with the cooked chicken? Should I put it stove top or what do you suggest? Love your blog.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Felicia – You can probably do it with a slow cooker, but I’ve never tried it before, so I can’t vouch for how it will turn out.

  18. I found that there was too much liquid and actually diluted the taste and spices. I would try it with only 1 can of coconut milk next time.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kristen – Bummer! Sometimes I wonder if it’s the chicken that does that. Many places pump their meats full of water now so they can charge more, and of course, that comes out during cooking. Frustrating. Sorry it didn’t work out for you!