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!!
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 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.
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!
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!
- 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
Make 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).
- 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
- 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. 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.
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