Tandoori Chicken

This Tandoori Chicken Recipe was originally published in our cook book “Savoring the Seasons.”  I developed the recipe especially for that book and honestly I haven’t made it in years!  But lately I have been hearing from so many people that it is one of their family’s favorites so I figured it was time to whip it up again at home and share it here on the blog.  This is an Indian style dish and what makes it a little different is that the marinade is yogurt based.  Yogurt is a natural tenderizer so it produces a really flavorful chicken that is tender and juicy.  Tandoori chicken pairs perfectly with the Indian Style Turmeric Rice I shared on Friday!

Tandoori Chicken On plate

You’ll need some plain Greek yogurt and a variety of seasonings for the marinade.

Tandoori Chicken Ingredients

We’ve got some fresh onion, paprika, garlic, turmeric….it just gets zipped up in the blender.

Tandoori Chicken Marinade in Blender

And then you’ll pour it over some boneless, skinless chicken thighs to marinate.  Do not make this recipe with boneless skinless chicken breasts, it won’t work well with this type of recipe- trust me with the thighs!  It’s also best to marinate this overnight, if you’ve only got a few hours, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Tandoori Chicken Marinading

When the chicken comes out of the marinade it’s a little thick because it’s yogurt.  Make sure your grill is hot, and greased, to avoid messes.

Grilling Tandoori Chicken

I also experimented with cooking it in a cast iron pan on my grill (or you could do stovetop) and it worked great.  I just drizzled in a little olive oil and I actually loved how the sauce cooked in the pan and left really flavorful little bits in there, so that’s an option as well.

Tandoori Chicken Cooking in Skillet

I like to serve this over the Indian Turmeric Rice with a simple vegetable side, like grilled asparagus.

Tandoori Chicken on Serving Plate

It’s a light, but filling dinner that my whole family loves!  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken

5 from 1 vote
A flavorful Indian-inspired chicken dish, marinated in a spiced yogurt sauce. We suggest serving this with our Indian Turmeric Rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Marinating Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 22 minutes
Servings6 people

Ingredients

  • 8-10 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless about 2 1/2 pounds
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt, plain or just one small container, sizes vary a little, throw the whole thing in there.
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper *see note
  • chopped cilantro and lemon wedges optional, for serving

Instructions

Marinade

  • Rinse chicken thighs in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off excess fat, if necessary (a pair of kitchen shears is the easiest way to do this!) and place in a glass bowl or heavy duty zip-top bag. 
  • Place yogurt, lemon zest and juice, garlic, onion, olive oil, salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin, ginger, turmeric, and red pepper in the blender and process until smooth.  Pour over chicken, toss to coat, and marinate for 24 hours for best results.  

Grill

  • Preheat grill to medium heat and oil grill grates to avoid sticking. Remove chicken pieces from bag or bowl and allow excess marinade to drip off. Place chicken on grill and close lid. Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. However, you’ll want to aim for between 170-175° for improved flavor and texture.
  • Chicken can also be cooked in a skillet, indoor grill pan, or under the broiler. We suggest serving with Indian Style Turmeric Rice and a veggie of your choice. 

Notes

  • Feel free to omit the ground red pepper if you want no trace of heat, or add more if you'd like a little kick to it.
  • This also works well in a cast iron pan on a grill or stovetop. Drizzle in a little olive oil and cook as outlined.

Nutrition

Calories: 298kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 144mg, Sodium: 728mg, Potassium: 507mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 625IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Courses
Cuisine: BBQ, Indian
Keyword: Tandoori Chicken
Calories: 298kcal
Author: Sara Wells
Cost: $10
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I made this tonight with the tumeric rice and roasted broccoli. My family loved it. Definite Indian flavors. The red pepper gave ours just enough heat but not so that anyone didn’t want to eat it. I used almond yogurt to make it dairy free and I didn’t put it in the blender. I marinaded it for about 10 hours and it was delicious.

  2. Made this for supper tonight and the whole family, picky eaters included, gobbled it down. Paired it with grilled naan and veggies. Delish! Thank you!

  3. Looks awesome. I totally want to try it. Don’t have the stuff to do it tonight, but will put it on the list.

    Tonight I am having rice krispie chicken thighs 🙂 thanks for your great recipes

    Ps. There is a typo in this post…green yogurt ?

    1. haha, you don’t want GREEN yogurt in your chicken?? Key Lime Pie perhaps?? haha thanks!

  4. This has been marked in my cookbook for forever and I finally put it on the menu for tonight!

  5. I will so be making this soon- it looks so good! I just recently realized how much I like chicken thighs. The rice looks good too. Thanks for sharing from your cookbook!