My slow cooker chicken saag curry is an easy to make, fairly mild curry with spinach that goes down well with my whole family and is an easy way to pack in the vegetables! Full of goodness, it fills the house with delicious aromas as it cooks.
Spinach in curries
We love spinach and I was looking for a curry without coconut milk so it would be quite light and low in calories. Slow cooker chicken and spinach curry – saag curry – seemed to tick all the boxes.
Spinach (saag) is a great ingredient to include in a curry. This is a delicious, fairly mild curry (as I made it) which is suitable for all the family.
Making it in the slow cooker lets the flavours develop and mix together during the long cooking time, which is ideal for a curry.
The spinach cooks down in this recipe as you can see from the photos. When you first add them in the spinach leaves nearly fill the crockpot! Then after cooking the spinach has wilted down and cooked down in the sauce so it almost disappears.
I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Mamta’s Kitchen site here.
I also regularly make this recipe with diced chicken thigh instead of chicken breasts, and usually make it without browning the onions off first, and it works just as well if you throw the ingredients straight into the pot. This makes it perfect for when you are short on time!
Chicken breasts can go a little dry if you cook them for too long in the slow cooker. You should aim to cook chicken breast for only 5-6 hours on low (or 3-4 on high).
If you need to leave the dish cooking longer than that while you are out at work, chicken thigh meat might well be a better choice. Being dark meat, it is more juicy and has more fat, so with longer cooking it will not dry out in the same way.
Healthy chicken & spinach curry
This saag curry recipe is great too if you are eating healthily as it is not full of cream, oil or any of those nasties. Simple to make and low in fat and great for Weight Watchers and eating clean!
I just love the colour when it is served, a plate full of colour is always the best. The spinach disintegrates and the tomato-based sauce has a lovely rich colour.
Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?
Yes, you do not need to brown your chicken first before adding to your dish, it will cook in the slow cooker.
How long does it take to cook diced chicken in a slow cooker?
It takes 5-6 hours on low or 3-4 on high to cook diced chicken in the slow cooker. Try not to cook for longer or it may go dry.
Can I add coconut milk to this recipe?
Saag curry is traditionally a tomato based recipe. If you want to change to using coconut milk when making this recipe in the slow cooker, I would leave out the pasta (sieved tomatoes) and add the coconut milk instead.
This is because if you use both it would become too thin and watery. Remember the liquid does not evaporate off during cooking as it does when cooking in a pan.
Note I have only made the recipe as stated below so cannot comment on the result if swapping to coconut milk in this way.
More slow cooker curries to try
If you try my recipe for slow cooker chicken saag curry let me know what you thought by leaving a comment.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Saag Curry
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp of lazy ginger or 1 cm piece of real ginger grated
- 0.5-1 tsp hot chilli powder
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Grinding of salt or more to your taste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 500 g passata
- 4 chopped chicken breasts or a pack of diced chicken thigh
- 200 g spinach chopped if you like (I leave mine whole)
- Brown onion, garlic and ginger in the oil.
- When browned, add the spices except the garam masala and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the passata.
- Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the garam masala.
- Add the spinach and let it wilt. Stir to mix it in once wilted.
- Pour the mixture into your slow cooker.
- Add the chopped chicken and combine with the sauce.
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
- Half an hour before the end, taste and add more garam masala if needed.
- If you like, pull the chicken apart and stir into the sauce. This helps make the chicken go a bit further I find.
- Serve with rice, poppadoms or naan bread and raita.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger and all the spices into the slow cooker pot.
- Add the passata and mix to combine.
- Add the chicken and mix it into the sauce.
- Place the spinach on top.
- Then follow from point 8 above.