Crock Pot Garam Masala Chicken & Chickpeas

Day one of the Crock Pot Challenge was a success!


On Thursday morning at the gym, I spent some time flipping through the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine while I warmed up on the elliptical. When a recipe for chickpea curry popped out at me, I dog-eared the page in the magazine because it seemed like a recipe I could adapt and make crock pot-friendly.

I wasn’t sure how the chickpeas would hold up all day in the crock pot, but since I’ve had a positive experience with canned kidney beans and black beans in the crock pot, I figured my chances were pretty darn good!


This was also my first time using garam masala, which, according to McCormick, is a sweet and aromatic blend of spices that delivers warm, exotic flavors essential to traditional Indian cooking.

I’ve seen a bunch of different recipes use the spice many, many times before and figured it was time to experiment with garam masala since so many people seem to love it! I know I’m late to the garam masala party, but after digging into this dish, I’m so glad I finally gave it a shot. The spice added hints of coriander, pepper, cumin and cinnamon to this dish and I absolutely loved the flavor.

Crock Pot Garam Masala Chicken and Chickpeas

Crock Pot Garam Masala Chicken & Chickpeas

Adapted from Cooking Light’s Chickpea Curry

Serves 4


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)


  1. Combine chickpeas through cauliflower together in crockpot.
  2. Place chicken on top of chickpea mixture and spoon mixture over the chicken to cover it.
  3. Allow everything to cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
  4. Spoon into four dishes and garnish with cilantro and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.


Adding a dollop of plain Greek yogurt at the end gave this dish an extra pop of flavor and creaminess. Ryan and I couldn’t get enough!

I hope you enjoy!


  1. \jill says

    If I use chicken breasts…shread them before hand raw? Not sure how that works. What would be the equivalent in cups of chicken? I’ll see if I can get the thighs (you talkig big thighs or small? Number of grams?)


    • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers says

      It was about a pound of chicken. I would say you could easily substitute chicken breast. Just put them into the crockpot raw and shred them before serving once they’re cooked.


  2. says

    Wow this looks great!! I’ve never tried garam masala, but I think I’m going to have to give this a try this week! I usually just throw chickpeas on a salad, but after have a side at Bonefish that was chickpeas, turkey sausage, spinach, and tomatoes, I’ve been wanting to experiment more with them! thanks!


  3. Sara says

    I highly recommend The Indian Slow Cooker cook book. I got it last year and I’ve tried several recipes. Everything has turned out so good


  4. laura says

    yay!! so glad it turned out. already bookmarked the recipe and think i’ll make it this week. i LOVE this challenge! thanks 🙂 i hope it was tasty. I love garam masala, so i’m sure ill like it 🙂 THANKS JULIE!


  5. says

    So glad you shared the recipe. I have all the ingredients except for the garam masala! I will definitely try this soon, but I’ll use chicken breasts instead of thighs.


  6. Alison says

    Hey! I’ve just discovered your blog all the way from Belfast, Northern Ireland! I absolutely love it, and since over Christmas I’ve fallen off the exercise and healthy eating wagon I am finding it so helpful! Thank you so much!


  7. says

    Hi Julie — I am new to your blog and I am already addicted — I check every morning for a new post! I especially love the circuit and interval workouts and the restaurant reviews — even though I live in Canada, have only been to Florida once and will probably never actually eat in these great restaurants you visit!
    I read with interest the comments in response to your question about what makes a good fitness instructor (I was flipping through some old postings) and learned a lot from them. But I also liked what you said in another posting — the 7 links one — about trying to ignore catty or critical-without-being-constructive comments. As a volunteer fitness instructor at the YMCA I cringe when people post nasty feedback about other volunteer instructors and classes (and the fitness coordinator says they can’t even post half of them, they are so outrageous). Once I heard two women being sort of nasty about my class in the change room (they could not see me). All I know is that I do my best EVERY time I am asked to teach a class – I plan it out carefully, I think of themes, I offer modifications, and I try to incorporate lively, up to date music. Still, when you put yourself out there, it is hurtful to hear snide comments, even if they are outnumbered by good ones.
    I am surprised that anyone would be so rude as to criticize your appearance or insult your blog — but then again, as you say, some people are just miserable, and misery loves company!


  8. Beckie says

    I made this today with chicken breasts and it worked well – the chicken was tender and came apart very easily after cooking. Delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing Julie!


  9. says

    I have had garam masala in my spice drawer for probably a year, and haven’t a CLUE what to do with it! I have no idea why I even bought it. This recipe looks great–now I’ll finally get around to using it 🙂


  10. Jamie says

    My parents are coming in today for a little overnight trip. I am making this for dinner. My dad LOVES this kind of food. The cauliflower is what I’m excited about! It looks delicious!!! :0) Thanks for the great recipe!


  11. Lianna says

    Just put this in the crockpot, and I’m looking forward to a new ready-made dish for dinner! Thanks 🙂 ps. LOVE garam masala and can’t wait to see how the flavours mingle together here!


  12. Leah says

    This is in my crockpot now! I used a bag of dried chickpeas (soaked overnight) and 1 lb of chicken breasts. I’m worried because it didn’t look like enough liquid. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.


  13. says

    That’s great you tried it, Julie. Not only to chicken but garam masala adds that hot spicy flavour to even vegetarian dishes that we Indians prepare at home. Its a spice that’s used almost daily in our Indian kitchens. Enjoy loving it!!


  14. Michelle W. says

    I tried this recently and it was delish! Very easy and I ate it for several days without getting sick of it. Always a win. 🙂



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