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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.

The full ingredients and instructions are on the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll or jump to the recipe card, don’t miss the HELPFUL RECIPE TIPS in the post itself!

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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.

If you love Indian food, be sure to try my coconut curry chicken or butter chicken.

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.

Plate with baked tandoori chicken and rice

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

Tandoori chicken ingredients

How To Make Tandoori Chicken In The Oven

This easy tandoori chicken recipe has just a few steps:

Tandoori chicken marinade in a glass bowl

  • Marinate. Add chicken legs to the marinade and coat all sides. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Marinating tandoori chicken in a bowl

  • Sear. Heat oil in a cast iron pan and add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, until browned.

Tandoori chicken in a skillet

  • 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 in skillet

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?

Yes, you can really use any cut of chicken, such as chicken breast or chicken drumsticks. The cooking time will vary, depending on the cut, size, and if there are bones.

Several pieces of tandoori chicken

Storage Instructions

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.

Easy tandoori chicken with cauliflower rice on a plate

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.
  • 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.

Reader Favorite Recipes

The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.

RECIPE CARD

Baked tandoori chicken recipe on a plate with cilantro and lime

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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.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 35 minutes

Marinating Time 1 hour

Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

Click underlined ingredients to see where to get them.
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Instructions

Get RECIPE TIPS in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!

Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. In a large bowl, add the marinade ingredients and stir until combined.

  2. 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.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1 chicken leg

Nutrition facts are calculated with 1/4 of the marinated discarded.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories 427

Fat 29.5g

Protein 35.4g

Total Carbs 3.1g

Net Carbs 2.2g

Fiber 0.9g

Sugar 1.6g

Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.

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