Grilled Tandoori Chicken

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. It’s not spicy, but instead has a wonderful layered flavor profile that comes from the variety of spices.

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! — and venture out on an ethnic eats whim. 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 a mixture of Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, garam masala (available in the spice aisle of your regular store), paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and more. The Greek yogurt imparts so much moisture into the chicken, so definitely don’t leave it out! And it’s impossible to have bland or run-of-the-mill chicken with all those spices.

If that flavor profile and list of ingredients sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s very similar to my Chicken Shawarma Bowls. I loved both of those recipes so much and it’s no surprise the tandoori chicken was also a winner for us.

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. 

Grilled Tandoori Chicken and white rice in bowl with cilantro

How to Make Tandoori Chicken

This is arguably the easiest grilled chicken recipe EVER. Simply 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. Then pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to give those flavors time to combine. 

Then, grill the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes on each side (cook times will vary depending on how thick your chicken is). While the chicken is grilling, make the dipping sauce. 

When you’re ready to serve the grilled tandoori chicken, garnish it with a little chopped cilantro and serve alongside rice or quinoa! 

Can I Use a Regular Grill for This Recipe? 

Since I don’t have a tandoor out back (and you probably don’t either), I use my outdoor gas 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.

Tips for Making Tandoori Chicken

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. 

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. 

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

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!!

More Easy Indian Recipes: 

  • Pressure Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala – Make this Indian favorite at home in 30 minutes! Juicy chicken is coated with an ultra flavorful creamy sauce! You don’t need to go to a restaurant because this easy recipe tastes better!
  • Indian Butter Chicken – An easy, one-pot recipe for a classic Indian favorite! Juicy, buttery chicken simmered in a creamy tomato-based sauce! Next time you’re craving Indian food, you can make it yourself in 30 minutes!
  • Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry – An easy one-skillet curry that’s ready in 30 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors! Healthy comfort food that tastes amazing!
Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Recreate this Indian favorite QUICKLY and EASILY at home! This tandoori chicken is super juicy, flavorful, and you'll LOVE IT!!

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1/2 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
  • 1/4 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely minced for garnishing, optional

Instructions

Make the Chicken

  1. 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).
  2. 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. While it rests, make the dipping sauce.

Make the Dipping Sauce

  1. 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.
  2. Optionally garnish the chicken with cilantro before serving it with the dipping sauce on the side. 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 Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 511 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 19g Cholesterol: 128mg Sodium: 1269mg Carbohydrates: 19g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 11g Protein: 54g

Even More Grilled Chicken Recipes: 

14 comments on “Grilled Tandoori Chicken”

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

  2. 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.

  3. Perfect recipe to break out the grill for!!

  4. 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.

  5. 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)!

  6. 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.

    Rating: 3
    • 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.

  7. 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!

    Rating: 5

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