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You won’t believe how easy this baked tandoori chicken recipe is! No need to be intimidated by this classic Indian dish – it’s super basic to make at home. I’ll walk you through how to make tandoori chicken in the oven step-by-step, from the simple tandoori chicken marinade to the even simpler cooking method.
This tandoori chicken recipe uses my favorite stovetop-to-oven cooking method for meats. I use this technique most often for steak, but it works perfectly for chicken as well.
What Is Tandoori Chicken?
Tandoori chicken is an Indian chicken dish that gets marinated in yogurt and traditional Indian spices, then pan fried and finished in the oven.
What does tandoori chicken taste like?
Tandoori chicken has a warm flavor from spices like garam masala, turmeric, ginger, and cayenne pepper.
Tandoori Chicken Marinade Ingredients
This easy marinade for tandoori chicken is made with simple ingredients:
- Full-fat Greek yogurt – The main component of tandoori chicken marinade is yogurt! I prefer to use Greek, but regular will work as well.
- Lime juice – Fresh is best, but bottled can be used for convenience.
- Garlic – Minced or pressed would both work fine.
- Spices – This simple recipe includes garam masala, turmeric, ground ginger, and cayenne pepper. Garam masala is an Indian spice blend that usually includes cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, coriander, cumin, and cardamom.
- Sea salt & black pepper
How To Make Tandoori Chicken In The Oven
This easy tandoori chicken recipe has just a few steps:
- Mix tandoori chicken marinade. In a large bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, lime juice, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Marinate. Add chicken legs to the marinade and coat all sides. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Sear. Heat oil in a cast iron pan and add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, until browned.
- Bake. Transfer to a preheated oven and cook for another 25-35 minutes, until cooked through. Garnish with fresh cilantro and limes!
Baked Tandoori Chicken FAQs
Is tandoori chicken spicy?
The tandoori chicken marinade isn’t very spicy, but has a little kick from the cayenne. If you don’t like spice at all, you can reduce the amount of cayenne pepper.
Is tandoori chicken healthy?
Yes, tandoori is a healthy and flavorful way to enjoy chicken. It’s made with simple, natural ingredients.
What makes tandoori chicken red?
Since this quick and easy tandoori chicken recipe uses natural ingredients, it’s not super red. Most commonly, tandoori chicken in restaurants is a much brighter red because they add red food coloring.
Can you use a different cut of chicken?
Store leftover oven baked tandoori chicken recipe in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It’s best to reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F, but the microwave will do if you must.
Can you make tandoori chicken marinade ahead?
Yes, you can prep the tandoori chicken marinade ahead. Simply mix together ingredients and store in the refrigerator. The marinade on its own will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
You can also marinate the chicken in the tandoori chicken marinade for up to 24 hours, which I recommend if you have the time, but 1-2 hours ahead is fine as well.
Can you freeze tandoori chicken?
Yes, store the chicken in the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or in cold water on the counter, before reheating the tandoori chicken in the oven.
What To Serve With Tandoori Chicken
Serve tandoori chicken in the oven with a simple side:
- Garnishes – Don’t forget plenty of cilantro and lime! Sliced red onions also go well.
- Rice – Regular rice is the classic option, but I prefer cauliflower rice or miracle rice for a healthier version.
- Naan – The iconic side to almost every Indian dish! You can make regular naan, or a healthier version is keto naan.
- Vegetables – Maybe not part of the traditional Indian tandoori chicken meal, but I can’t resist veggies with everything. Try roasted vegetables or stir fry vegetables.
Tools To Make Baked Tandoori Chicken
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Glass Bowls – Mix up the tandoori chicken marinade in a large bowl and then marinate the chicken right in the bowl.
- Cast Iron Fry Pan – This pan gets incredibly hot (crucial for that perfect sear!) and then can go right into the oven.
Easy Tandoori Chicken Recipe:
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Easy Tandoori Chicken Recipe In The Oven
An EASY baked tandoori chicken recipe with basic ingredients! Learn how to make tandoori chicken in the oven, including the tandoori chicken marinade and the best method for a crispy skin and juicy inside.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a large bowl, add the marinade ingredients and stir until combined.
Add chicken to the marinade bowl and coat the chicken on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
In a cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the chicken legs. Cook for about 5 minutes, flip and cook for about 5 minutes more, until chicken is browned.
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for an additional 25-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (time will vary depending on the size of your chicken legs).
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Serving size: 1 chicken leg
Video Showing How To Make Tandoori Chicken:
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Nutrition facts are calculated with 1/4 of the marinated discarded.
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