A super easy and healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry that takes less than 5 minutes to prep. Easy to adapt, lots of green vegetables and it freezes well too. A tomato based, creamy curry sauce with tender chunks of chicken and some spinach for a green boost. A family favourite with minimal effort!
This chicken curry honestly couldn't be easier. You just put everything in the slow cooker (no pre-cooking needed), stir and let it bubble away until the chicken just falls apart and melts in your mouth.
Easy to adapt with your favourite vegetables (or none at all), this is a family favourite and perfect for batch cooking and keeping in your freezer for easy week night meals. It also contains our "secret" ingredient to making the BEST curry.
Why you will love it
- Easy - There is no prep required in making this slow cooker chicken curry. You don't need to brown the meat first, you just dump everything in and let the slow cooker work its magic.
- Adaptable - Use this as the base recipe and then adapt it with what you have/like. There are lots of different vegetables you can add and we have shared our favourite ways to adapt this below.
- Freezes really well - This is one of our favourite batch cook meals, as it freezes and reheats really well. We always make sure we have a couple of portions of this chicken curry in the freezer for days we know we won't have time to cook something from scratch.
- Family friendly - Whilst you might not think of a curry when it comes to family friendly meals, this one is perfect for introducing your family to curry and new herbs and spices. It's a really mild and creamy curry, which can be made spicier if you wanted.
- Chicken - We used chicken thighs as we think there is more flavour, but chicken breast will work really well too. We used boneless and skinless chicken thighs.
- Chopped tomatoes - Try to find good quality tomatoes, as cheaper ones can be quite water - we like Mutti tomatoes.
- Mango chutney - This is our secret ingredient for our curries and it adds a lovely hint of sweetness. Make your own using our easy mango chutney recipe.
- Coconut milk - This is to make the curry nice and creamy. We used light coconut milk, but you could use full fat.
- Onion, Garlic and Ginger - The base to any good curry. You could swap the onion for shallots which would add some sweetness. To save even more time, use frozen onion, garlic and ginger.
- Spices - We used just curry powder and cayenne pepper, but you could use Garam Masala, a combination of your favourite curry spices or even a curry paste. Using different curry pastes is a good way to make the curry a different way each time.
- Spinach and coriander (cilantro) - For a green boost to the curry.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Add the onions, chicken, garlic and ginger to the slow cooker pot.
Two: Add the spice mix.
Three: Add the chopped tomatoes, mango chutney and coconut milk.
Four: Stir well and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
Five: 15 minutes before the end, add the spinach and coriander.
The great thing about this slow cooker chicken curry is that you can pretty much use any vegetables you want. It's a great fridge raid meal to reduce waste, as you can use vegetables that are starting to look a bit sorry for themselves.
We like chunky veg like bell peppers, courgette (zucchini) or aubergine (eggplant). But you could also add carrot, mushrooms, broccoli or parsnip.
We always like to add some greens to a dish if we can, so we stirred in some spinach before the curry finished cooking. You could use kale instead though or even some peas.
You could also use different curry pastes to change the flavours. Why not use something like a madras paste if you wanted to make it really spicy?
What to serve this with
Curry and rice is a classic combination, but we have also have this with potato wedges too! But you could also just make a couple of our Easy Homemade Flatbreads and use them to scoop up all that delicious curry sauce. Maybe brush some garlic butter on the flatbreads too. A Peshwari Naan is always a great side to a curry too.
If you choose to have it with rice, add a teaspoon of turmeric when boiling your rice to give it a gorgeous golden colour and also a healthy boost. We have a full recipe for Turmeric Rice, which will go really well with this curry.
Store: This curry will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freeze: This freezes really well, making it great for batch cooking, and it will keep in the freezer for 2 months. Just make sure that it has cooled completely and then portion it out in to freezable containers (with rice to make it and even easier meal) and then put it in the freezer.
Defrost: Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Reheat: To reheat leftovers of this, just add it to a pan and gently cook for 3-4 minutes until completely heated through. If frozen, make sure it is fully defrosted before reheating. Always make sure the food is piping hot and only reheat once.
The great thing about this curry (apart from the amazing taste) is how simple it is. That's why we wanted to use a ready made curry powder to keep it simple. Try to go with the best quality one that you can find, as you really can taste the difference. If you want to make it spicier (as this is a pretty mild curry), then you can add extra cayenne or even a sprinkle of red chilli flakes before serving.
You don't have to use curry powder though. You could use a couple of heaped tablespoons of your favourite curry paste instead, and it would give the curry a more intense flavour. It's a good way to make a different flavour curry each time, by using a korma paste or even a madras.
We have used boneless and skinless chicken thighs and this will give much juicer chicken, but not as lean. Chicken thighs tend to be better value than chicken breasts too. It really comes down to your preference.
Chunks of chicken breast keep it nice and lean. Plus, when you cook chicken breast in the slow cooker, it just falls apart and shreds nicely.
Making your own curry at home, rather than ordering a takeaway, is always going to be a healthier option. You can control the amount of oil that goes in it, you can use less meat and you can add more vegetables. Coconut milk does make this curry fairly high in calories, but you can use reduced fat coconut milk to lower that.
Yes, this is a delicious gluten free curry. Just make sure that there is no cross contamination.
No, there is no need to brown the chicken in this recipe before it goes in to the slow cooker. That is more important when making a beef dish, as it browns the meat and locks in the flavour. We find that it doesn't make enough difference to the flavour for the extra effort it takes.
You can either cook this on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
Yes, if you want to make a quicker version of this slow cooker chicken curry, then you can make it on the stove instead. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger, add the spices and chicken and brown for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 40 minutes.
We think this curry sauce is the perfect consistency. However, if you want to thicken it a little, then add a cornflour slurry about an hour before it has finished cooking. Using good quality tinned tomatoes will help to make sure you don't have a watery curry.
There really is no rule here, just make sure that the beef joint you are using can fit in your slow cooker. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too. So, we thicken the gravy on the hob, in the slow cooker bowl. You can also sear the meat in it first. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
• You can use chicken breast instead of thighs.
• If you want this curry to be spicier, then you can add extra cayenne or even add a sprinkle of red chilli flakes before serving.
• We have used curry powder for the spices in this to keep it a super simple curry. However, you could use your favourite curry paste instead. It's a great way to make a different curry every time. You could have a korma or madras.
• The onions could be softened and the chicken sealed in a pan before adding it to the slow cooker, but I really don't think it is essential.
• You can cut the chicken thighs into chunks, like we have, or leave them whole and once cooked use two forks and shred it all up and then give it a good stir.
• If you want to cook this on the hob (stove top), then fry up the chicken, onion, garlic and ginger until the chicken is browned and then stir in the spices. Then add the tomatoes, mango chutney and coconut milk, stir and simmer for 40 minutes.
• If your sauce ends up too thin, then you can add a cornflour (cornstarch) slurry to thicken it up.
More chicken curry recipes
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Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- 300 g Chicken thighs - either cut into chunks or left whole (see notes)
- 3 Garlic clove - crushed
- 15 g Fresh ginger - grated
- 1 Onion - small; diced
- 4 tablespoon Curry powder
- 0.5 teaspoon Cayenne pepper - or more to taste
- 400 g Chopped tomatoes - canned
- 200 ml Coconut milk
- 4 tablespoon Mango chutney
- 60 g Spinach
- 15 g Fresh coriander (cilantro) - chopped
- Add the onions, chicken, garlic and ginger to the slow cooker pot.300 g Chicken thighs, 3 Garlic clove, 1 Onion, 15 g Fresh ginger
- Add the spice mix.4 tablespoon Curry powder, 0.5 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- Add the chopped tomatoes, mango chutney and coconut milk.400 g Chopped tomatoes, 4 tablespoon Mango chutney, 200 ml Coconut milk
- Stir well and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- 15 minutes before the end, add the spinach and coriander.60 g Spinach, 15 g Fresh coriander (cilantro)
- If you want this curry to be spicier, then you can add extra cayenne or even add a sprinkle of red chilli flakes before serving.
- We have used curry powder for the spices in this to keep it a super simple curry. However, you could use your favourite curry paste instead. It's a great way to make a different curry every time. You could have a korma or madras.
- You can use chicken breast instead of thighs.
- You could soften the onion and seal the chicken in a pan before adding it to the slow cooker, but I really don't think it is essential.
- You can cut the chicken thighs into chunks, like we have, or leave them whole and once cooked use two forks and shred it all up and then give it a good stir.
- If you want to cook this on the hob (stove top), then fry up the chicken, onion, garlic and ginger until the chicken is browned and then stir in the spices. Then add the tomatoes, mango chutney and coconut milk, stir and simmer for 40 minutes.
- If your sauce ends up too thin, then you can add a cornflour (cornstarch) slurry to thicken it up.