Yes, you can bake a tandoori chicken in the oven. It comes out wonderfully juicy and very flavorful!
I've been making this recipe quite often lately because all my family members love it. I make chicken recipes often, so it's nice to find an interesting and highly flavorful way of cooking this fairly bland meat.
I was surprised to learn that you can absolutely bake a tandoori chicken in the oven. It comes out is succulent and intensely flavorful. It's also very easy to make!
A wonderfully flavorful dish
The traditional recipe is prepared by marinating chicken in yogurt and spices, then roasting it in a tandoor, a traditional cylindrical clay oven.
I adore tandoori dishes. They are just so flavorful! A real treat for me is going to an Indian restaurant and ordering a mixed plate of lamb, chicken, and fish.
Then, for dessert, I order mango ice cream! (My homemade mango frozen yogurt is also wonderful, by the way).
Can you bake tandoori chicken in a regular oven?
Yes! It won't be exactly the same. But if you use very high heat and traditional seasonings, it's actually very close.
For best results, set your oven to high heat (475°F) and roast the chicken until charred in spots. This will ensure juicy and flavorful chicken even without the traditional clay oven.
Does tandoori chicken have skin?
No. It's usually made with skinless bone-in chicken pieces. The thick yogurt coating helps prevent the meat from drying out, even without the protection of the fatty skin.
But I actually like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. They are very flavorful and so easy to eat.
The ingredients needed for this recipe
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this tasty recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.
Greek yogurt: I use plain whole-milk Greek yogurt in this recipe.
Fresh lemon juice: I highly recommend freshly squeezed and not bottles lemon juice.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Turmeric, ginger, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Chicken: I use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Cilantro: Used mostly for garnish, although it does add an additional layer of flavor.
How to bake tandoori chicken in the oven
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. First, prepare the marinade: mix the yogurt with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and spices.
2. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
3. Place the marinated chicken pieces on a greased roasting rack. Roast until fully cooked, about 30 minutes at 475°F.
4. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
Recommended side dishes
I like to serve this dish with Indian-style side dishes such as these sweet potato cakes. It's also good with sauteed cauliflower, with plain steamed rice (if you don't mind the carbs), or with cauliflower rice.
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
More tasty chicken recipes
Another great recipe that uses boneless skinless chicken thighs is this recipe for spicy chicken thighs. It's delicious and very easy to make.
Chicken and mushrooms is another very flavorful recipe that makes great use of chicken thighs.
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Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 lb. total weight)
- Avocado oil spray
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne.
- Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat. Marinate for 1 hour in fridge. You may also do this in the morning, leave the chicken to marinate, covered, in the fridge, then roast at night when it's time for dinner.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Fit a rimmed baking sheet with a roasting rack and spray the rack with nonstick spray. Place the coated chicken pieces on the rack.
- Roast until charred in spots and juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.