Grilled Tandoori Chicken

PinSaveJUMP to RECIPE

This post may contain affiliate links.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken — Recreate this Indian favorite QUICKLY and EASILY at home! If you’re looking for a new spin on grilled chicken, this is THE recipe to try. It’s super juicy, flavorful, and you’ll LOVE IT!!

Grilled Tandoori Chicken with rice in white bowl

Easy Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Over the past few years, I have really fallen in love love with Indian food, and this grilled tandoori chicken is no exception. It’s juicy, tender, and has so much authentic Indian flavor.

While some Indian cuisine seems daunting and complicated because of the unfamiliar ingredients and the cooking process itself, this tandoori chicken recipe is easy-peasy, very straightforward, and you can get the ingredients at almost any grocery store.

As we enter grilling season, I urge you to put down that bottle of barbecue sauce — we’ve all had barbecued chicken a million times! You will thank yourself later because this chicken is delish.

Served with jasmine or basmati rice, this fast and easy grilled chicken recipe belongs in your dinner rotation.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken in white bowl garnished with cilantro

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Ingredients

For the flavorful tandoori chicken marinade, you’ll need:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Garam masala (available in the spice aisle of your regular store)
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chicken breasts

And for the optional dipping sauce, you’ll need:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh cilantro

Marinade Tip

I used non-fat Greek yogurt in the tandoori chicken marinade, but you may use full-fat if desired. Just make sure it’s plain and unsweetened, otherwise this chicken won’t taste right! 

Grilled Tandoori Chicken and white rice in bowl with cilantro

How to Make Tandoori Chicken

This is arguably the easiest grilled chicken recipe EVER. Here’s an overview of how the Indian-inspired tandoori chicken comes together:

  1. Prep the tandoori chicken marinade: Combine the chicken, yogurt, and spices in a zip-top bag and smush everything around until the meat is fully coated in the tandoori chicken marinade.
  2. Marinate the chicken: Pop the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to give those flavors time to combine. 
  3. Grill the chicken: I used chicken tenders, which require just 4 to 5 minutes on each side (cook times will vary depending on how thick your chicken is).
  4. While the chicken is grilling, make the dipping sauce. 
  5. When you’re ready to serve the grilled tandoori chicken, garnish it with a little chopped cilantro and serve alongside rice or quinoa! 
Grilled Tandoori Chicken - Recreate this Indian favorite QUICKLY and EASILY at home!! If you're looking for a new spin on grilled chicken, this is THE recipe to try! Super juicy, flavorful, and you'll LOVE IT!!

Tandoori Chicken FAQs

What Is Tandoori chicken?

Tandoori chicken is a popular chicken dish that originated in India. To make it, chicken is marinated in a yogurt-based marinade and flavored with a variety of spices (all of those spices are what give tandoori chicken its signature reddish-orange color!).

The chicken is traditionally cooked in a clay oven, called a tandoor. Seeing as how I don’t own a tandoor, I made this recipe using my gas grill.

Can Tandoori Chicken Be Made on a Grill?

Yes! Since I don’t have a tandoor out back (and you probably don’t either), I use my outdoor gas grill and it works perfectly every time.

Can Tandoori Chicken Be Made Without a Grill?

If you don’t have a grill, I’m sure you can bake it on a sheet pan in a 400F oven until done or use an indoor grill pan, but I haven’t personally tried either. ‘Tis the season for me to fire up my outdoor grill!

Can the Tandoori Chicken Marinade Be Reused?

No! When you take the marinated chicken from the bag, discard any leftover marinade. You don’t want the chicken to be dripping when you put it on the grill, and you can’t repurpose the leftover marinade since it’s touched raw meat. 

What’s the Best Cut of Chicken for Tandoori Chicken?

“Quick and easy” is the name of the game for me! If you’re in a hurry, use chicken tenders instead of breasts or thighs. They’re much smaller and thinner, so they cook up quickly on the grill. 

Is Tandoori chicken spicy?

No, it’s not spicy, but instead has a wonderful layered flavor profile that comes from the variety of spices.

What spices are used in Tandoori chicken?

The signature Indian chicken yogurt marinade used to make tandoori chicken contains many different spices, with garam masala always used!

Different recipes will use different spices, but mine calls for garam masala, paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper.

What Does Yogurt do for marinating chicken?

Many Indian chicken marinades use yogurt rather than a harsher acidic ingredient, like vinegar. Yogurt tenderizes meats slowly, adds moisture, and ultimately makes for ultra juicy tandoori grilled chicken.

Does Tandoori chicken always have a dipping sauce?

While it’s not very traditional to have a dipping sauce for tandoori chicken, I used the extra Greek yogurt that I had anyway for the marinade to make a dipping sauce. It’s made with olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. It’s super creamy and complements the spiced chicken perfectly.

Although optional, I highly recommend pairing your grilled tandoori chicken with it! You don’t need a sauce since the chicken is so moist on its own, but I am a sauce and dip junkie. Hence, I made a sauce. 

What to Serve with Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Serve this Indian-style tandoori grilled chicken with basmati or jasmine rice, plus one or more of the following sides:

Pin This Recipe

4.55 from 118 votes

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

By Averie Sunshine
Recreate this Indian favorite QUICKLY and EASILY at home! This tandoori chicken is super juicy, flavorful, and you’ll LOVE IT!!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Save this recipe to your email
Enter your email and we’ll send it to you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients  

Chicken & Marinade

  • ½ cup 5 ounces Greek yogurt (I used 0% fat)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, I used smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • 1 to 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, I used breast tenders which cook very quickly to save time

Dipping Sauce (optional)

  • about 2/3 cup, 6 ounces Greek yogurt (I used 0% fat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro finely minced for garnishing, optional

Instructions 

Marinate the Chicken

  • Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized ziptop bag, seal, and squish the chicken around to coat it well and evenly.
  • Place bag in the fridge and marinate for at least 30 minutes (if you can plan ahead and marinate overnight, even better).

Grill the Chicken

  • Preheat grill to medium-high.
  • Remove chicken from the bag using tongs and place it on the grill; discard the bag and extra marinade.
  • Grill chicken on each side for about 4 to 5 minutes or until done. Because I used breast tenders, they cook very quickly, in about 8 minutes total. Large breasts will take longer to grill.
  • After chicken is done, set aside to rest (5 to 10 minutes). While it rests, make the dipping sauce.

Make the Dipping Sauce

  • To a small bowl, add all ingredients except cilantro, and whisk to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance and desired consistency, and if necessary add more salt, pepper, oil, honey, etc. to taste.
  • Optionally garnish the chicken with cilantro before serving it with the dipping sauce on the side.

Notes

Storage: Chicken is best fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days; dipping sauce will keep airtight for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 511kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 54g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 1269mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Grilled Chicken Recipes: 

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs – Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables coated in a sweet-and-tangy sauce! Great for parties or easy weeknight dinners! Everything tastes better grilled!

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs - Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables coated in a sweet-and-tangy sauce!! Great for parties or easy weeknight dinners! Everything tastes better grilled!!

Spicy Garlic Grilled Chicken – An EASY homemade marinade made with everyday ingredients that produces super FLAVORFUL, juicy chicken!! If you’re looking for a NEW marinade to jazz up grilled chicken, this is the one!!

Spicy Garlic Grilled Chicken - An EASY homemade marinade made with everyday ingredients that produces super FLAVORFUL, juicy chicken!! If you're looking for a NEW marinade to jazz up grilled chicken, this is the one!!

Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken — EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the cilantro chicken is so TENDER, juicy, and full of Mexican-inspired flavor!! Put this HEALTHY chicken recipe on your summer menu rotation and it’ll be a hit with everyone!!

Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken - EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is so TENDER, juicy, and full of Mexican-inspired flavor!! Put this HEALTHY chicken recipe on your summer menu rotation and it'll be a hit with everyone!!

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

Get the latest recipes via email!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I don’t have a grill and so used a cast iron skillet to cook the chicken, and it was still so good! I did use smoked paprika, so that helped give it that smoky taste without the grill. The recipe is also very forgiving, in that I mistakenly grabbed the ginger instead of turmeric and added two teaspoons of ground ginger by accident, but still the flavors and spices were all very well balanced.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I don’t have a grill and so used a cast iron skillet to cook the chicken, and it was still so good! I did use smoked paprika, so that helped give it that smoky taste without the grill. The recipe is also very forgiving, in that I mistakenly grabbed the ginger instead of turmeric and added two teaspoons of ground ginger by accident, but still the flavors and spices were all very well balanced.

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad this worked out well for you in a cast iron skillet! Great thinking on the smoked paprika for some smoky flavor. 2 tsp of ground ginger is probably what I actually use. I like to be heavy handed and bolder with the spices and I am glad it came out balanced for you this way!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this recipe tonight for dinner and everyone loved it!! And I loved that it was super easy and quick and I actually had all of the ingredients in my kitchen.
    My only change was that I swapped boneless skinless chicken thighs for the breasts. The chicken was delicious!
    FYI, I made a half recipe of the sauce because I was low on yogurt and I still had more than enough.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this recipe tonight for dinner and everyone loved it!! And I loved that it was super easy and quick and I actually had all of the ingredients in my kitchen.
    My only change was that I swapped boneless skinless chicken thighs for the breasts. The chicken was delicious!
    FYI, I made a half recipe of the sauce because I was low on yogurt and I still had more than enough.

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that the thighs worked well and halving the sauce was still plenty for you and that everyone loved it!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this recipe using my Traegar grill and it was delicious. My only t
    Regret wasmothaving enough yogurt to make the dipping sauce, next time.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this recipe using my Traegar grill and it was delicious. My only t
    Regret wasmothaving enough yogurt to make the dipping sauce, next time.

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this turned out great on your Traeger and sounds like you will make it again!

  7. 5 stars
    I just tried your recipe out and it worked well. I did add a little chili powder to mine though.

    Keep up the good work 👍

  8. 5 stars
    I just tried your recipe out and it worked well. I did add a little chili powder to mine though.

    Keep up the good work 👍

  9. 5 stars
    Just learned how to cook this dish. I beat the chicken well and fried it under pressure. But next time I’ll bake in the oven – it’s more dietary. It’s hard work, but it turns out great. Thanks a lot for the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    Just learned how to cook this dish. I beat the chicken well and fried it under pressure. But next time I’ll bake in the oven – it’s more dietary. It’s hard work, but it turns out great. Thanks a lot for the recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness – this was wonderful!! Definately a “keeper” recipe!

    We did leave out the garlic (as it really doesn’t agree with my family (makes cooking challenging sometimes!)

    Thanks!

  12. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness – this was wonderful!! Definately a “keeper” recipe!

    We did leave out the garlic (as it really doesn’t agree with my family (makes cooking challenging sometimes!)

    Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad this is a keeper! I too am very garlic sensitive and am pretty moderate it with it, so I understand totally.

  13. 5 stars
    This was so delicious!

    I had some potatoes and cauliflower that I needed to use and found an aloo gobi recipe, so it was decided that we would have an Indian night. I love the Tandoori chicken at my local Indian buffet, but they use drumsticks and thighs, (and obviously a tandoor) and I had boneless breast.

    Well, low and behold, I found your recipe! It isn’t like the one at the restaurant, but it is at the same time, if that makes sense? It’s like Tandoori chicken’s yummy cousin. SUPER flavorful. Maybe even too flavorful for those with a limited palate. But we loved it, thanks!

  14. 5 stars
    This was so delicious!

    I had some potatoes and cauliflower that I needed to use and found an aloo gobi recipe, so it was decided that we would have an Indian night. I love the Tandoori chicken at my local Indian buffet, but they use drumsticks and thighs, (and obviously a tandoor) and I had boneless breast.

    Well, low and behold, I found your recipe! It isn’t like the one at the restaurant, but it is at the same time, if that makes sense? It’s like Tandoori chicken’s yummy cousin. SUPER flavorful. Maybe even too flavorful for those with a limited palate. But we loved it, thanks!

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that you enjoyed my version of tandoori chicken! Like all things from chicken noodle soup to chocolate cake, everyone makes theirs a little differently and puts their own spin on it so while no two will never be the exact same, there is a familiarity.

  15. I noticed that the fat content was 25 Gms!! how can this be if you used fat free yogurt and there is only 2 Tbls of oil? I really want to try this but with the fat content that high my husband will not eat it due to health issues.

    1. Because if you read the info in the box, this is an estimate only provided as a courtesy and automatically generated. Calculate by hand using the exact ingredients you use. The program can’t distinguish between 0% fat vs. regular fat yogurt.

  16. 5 stars
    So I made this last night AFTER realizing there is a sauce separate from the marinade…. best cooking mistake I have ever made 😂 the night before, I made the marinade but accidentally put all the sauce ingredients with it too! I read it all way too fast. It marinated overnight and I grilled the chicken and to my surprise it was AMAZING! I’ll try it the correct way next time but part of me doesn’t even want to because it was so good lol 

  17. 5 stars
    So I made this last night AFTER realizing there is a sauce separate from the marinade…. best cooking mistake I have ever made 😂 the night before, I made the marinade but accidentally put all the sauce ingredients with it too! I read it all way too fast. It marinated overnight and I grilled the chicken and to my surprise it was AMAZING! I’ll try it the correct way next time but part of me doesn’t even want to because it was so good lol 

    1. Thanks for the five star review and glad it turned out great as the marinade + dipping sauce, all used as the dipping sauce! The only thing that that really changed in any meaningful way was there was much more Greek yogurt in your marinade, and more acid (apple cider vinegar) so your chicken was probably super super tender!

  18. 5 stars
    This recipe is fabulous! There were no leftovers. Used it with chicken tenderloins and it was perfect!

  19. 5 stars
    This recipe is fabulous! There were no leftovers. Used it with chicken tenderloins and it was perfect!

  20. 5 stars
    This is AWESOME. I always thought that Tandoori chicken would be hard to make – too hard to attempt, what with the special cooker and all. Tried this recipe 2 weeks ago – and had to make it for dinner again tonight. Next time I have people over for dinner, this is what I will serve. Beautiful and absolutely delicious! Super easy and super good!

  21. 3 stars
    My fault I didnt give it 5 stars. I should have taken your suggestion and used chicken tenderloins. Instead, I used huge breasts that didn’t cook all the way and didn’t have enough outside meat exposed to coating and grill. The part that I did taste on the outside was very tasty. Am looking forward to the next time I cook using tenderloins.

    1. Yes in this case it’s not the recipe that is to blame since you didn’t follow the recipe. But now you know why I specifically called out using smaller cuts of chicken. I find with grilling, it’s almost impossible to properly cook huge breasts so that they turn out tasty.

  22. We loved this! Its perfect on the grillI and the marinade is so flavorful. I also made your curried cauliflower and chickpea salad to go with it (delicious)!

    1. I am glad you loved this and I think the curried cauliflower and chickpea salad would be AMAZING with this! Love that salad so much :)

  23. Yummy, those spices look amazing. I have found, like you mentioned, that Greek yogurt adds wonderful moisture to chicken–looking forward to trying it with this flavor profile.

    1. It´s an awesome flavor profile, I hope you enjoy it! And yes, Greek yogurt is a miracle worker with chicken!

  24. This looks fabulous and I have enjoyed making more Indian food thanks to your recipes! I really love garam masala and have a jar on hand that I mixed up myself….with just enough left for this recipe.

    1. I love that you mixed up your own garam masala! Glad you have been making more Indian food, too!

  25. This chicken looks awesome!
    I prefer tandoori chicken with roti or naan and a side salad.
    It is DIVINE :-)