Slow cooker paneer tikka masala

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Paneer tikka masala in a bowl shot from above

Hello slow cooker! I thought it was time to bring my old friend out of retirement again to make this slow cooker paneer tikka masala. I only use my slow cooker every now and then, but it’s such a handy way to make a hearty dinner with very little effort. There’s no pre-cooking needed with this vegetarian curry recipe – just throw some raw veggies and some chunks of paneer into the slow cooker, and leave it to cook. Easy peasy.

Paneer tikka masala in a slow cooker with a spoon and fresh coriander

If you’ve never had paneer before, it’s an Indian cheese that’s often used in vegetarian curries. But don’t go imagining big chunks of cheddar or anything – paneer is much milder and creamier, so it doesn’t feel overly heavy (I’m an enormous cheddar fan, but even I wouldn’t stick a whole block in a curry). Its mild flavour means it takes on whatever flavours you cook it in, so it’s really versatile (even paneer pizza works well!) – any kind of sauce will work really well with it.

Paneer tikka masala in a bowl on a striped linen

My tikka masala sauce is really tasty, without being super spicy. The main base is tomatoes, with garlic, ginger, cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric… heaps of flavour with very little effort. It sounds like a lot of different spices, but these are the same basic ingredients I use in pretty much all of my curry recipes – I’ve never claimed I make authentic Indian curries, but I do make tasty and straightforward vegetarian food! I reckon you could stock your spice cupboard with less than 10 jars, and you’d have pretty much everything you need. I have a ton of random stuff in my spice cupboard, but I still find myself using the same things over and over again.

Since my paneer tikka masala is made in a slow cooker, it does end up a bit soupier than a standard curry. If you’d prefer a thicker sauce, you could always make this on the stove-top instead – but personally, I thought the thinner sauce was a good excuse to use a big chunk of naan bread to mop up the bowl (not that you need an excuse!).

Close-up shot of paneer tikka masala in a bowl shot from above

When your slow cooker paneer tikka masala is cooked, finish it off with a good glug of cream and a sprinkling of fresh coriander (cilantro) – and don’t forget the rice and naan bread! Oh, and a few onion bhajis. And maybe a vegetable samosa or two. Ooh, and poppadoms! Okay, I’ll stop. Just make the curry.

Paneer tikka masala in a bowl with naan bread and fresh coriander

Slow cooker paneer tikka masala

A really easy vegetarian curry that’s full of flavour – just throw all the ingredients for this paneer tikka masala in the slow cooker, and leave it to do its thing!

If you’ve cooked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a star rating!

5 from 23 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 512kcal
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 450 g paneer cheese, cut into chunky dice (~ 3 1/3 cups when diced)
  • 1 onion, sliced or diced
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks (I used orange and yellow)
  • 6 medium mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp minced ginger or ginger puree
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes (~ 2 2/3 cups in total)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 tbsp double / heavy cream
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped, to serve

Instructions

  • Add the first 11 ingredients (paneer through ground coriander) to the slow cooker, and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well, and cook on high for 4.5 – 5 hours, until the vegetables are all soft.
  • Add the cream, and mix well. Serve topped with another drizzle of cream if desired, and some fresh coriander (cilantro)

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Slow cooker paneer tikka masala
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 512 Calories from Fat 411
% Daily Value*
Fat 45.7g70%
Saturated Fat 28.2g141%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 144mg48%
Sodium 390mg16%
Potassium 728mg21%
Carbohydrates 17.9g6%
Fiber 3.7g15%
Sugar 8.2g9%
Protein 12.1g24%
Vitamin A 0IU0%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 136mg14%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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Bit more pressed for time? My easy creamy chickpea curry can be whipped up in just 15 minutes!

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19 Comments

  1. Yum, I didn’t expect paneer to work well in the slow cooker, but it did. I changed up the recipe a bit, adding some red lentils for extra iron (and I didn’t include mushrooms or capsicum), so it it was kind of a bit dahl-y…. And delicious! My 4yo even ate some, and it was devoured by my 11mo. Will definitely make again.5 stars

  2. Hi there, planning to make this tomorrow. Would it be possible to make this at low temp for longer? If so how long do you think?5 stars

    1. I haven’t tested this at different temperatures, but I’m sure you could leave it in for an hour or two longer if needed! It might go a bit mushier but it’s probably worth a try.

  3. Any tips on how you could prep and freeze this to cook later? I am pregnant and trying to get a good stash of frozen meals ready to make life easier once baby comes!

  4. Hi! I love your recipes. Just tried out this one but on stove top as I don’t have a slow cooker unfortunately! I fried the onion and peppers (no mushrooms as I hate them!), added the garlic and ginger then the rest of the spices, then added the paneer and chopped tomatoes. Also added some frozen peas for good measure. I’ve covered it and I’m going to leave it on a low heat for 2 hours as I read that’s about the conversion time for slow cooker to stove top. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out! Mainly curious about the paneer as I usually fry it before adding it. 5 stars

    1. Hope you enjoy it! :) To be honest I wouldn’t bother leaving it two hours – using a slow cooker is a great way to do hands-off cooking, but it doesn’t actually need that long if you’re doing it on the stovetop anyway. I’d just bubble it gently for 20 minutes or so, or until it looks right :)

  5. HI Becca,
    I’m becoming much more aware of what I puit in my body is what I become, and Im trying to eliminate most if not all meat products. It’s going to take a bit of time, but for now I will be happy to eliminate most of the junk foods I’ve become accdustomed to the last 40 odd years, and turn to raw veggies and fruits.. all organic by the way..

    So, that asid,e I’m looking for veggie recipes that appeal, and I can be a bit picky, but this one jumped out. I probably won’t have all the ingredients as I don’t like some of them, but looking forward to try this one out.. so.. thanks!

    Shaun5 stars

  6. Hey Becca,
    This is completely a new recipe for me with slow cooker. Hope it will yummy and Will try soon.
    Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  7. Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m really looking forward to trying it!!!
    I love paneer and I’m always neglecting my slow cooker, so this is a really good excuse. :)

    Cheers!5 stars

  8. I am always looking for slow cooker recipes. Love mine and make soup weekly with it. This looks really good, I am going to try it this week!