Tandoori chicken cooked in the oven is so simple. It is also incredibly delicious! Great served hot or cold and a simple budget meal that everyone can enjoy!
Baked chicken on a sheet of newspaper with chimichurri drizzled over.

What is Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken (tandoori murgh) is an iconic Indian grilled chicken that is marinated in a yogurt spice sauce and usually baked in a tandoor oven. A tandoor oven is a traditional Indian earthenware cylindrical clay oven. This tandoori chicken recipe is for most of us who don’t have that option. The tandoori chicken is oven baked, tender and incredibly delicious!

This smoky red grilled chicken is perfect to also bake in an air fryer and on the grill or barbecue. To add smokiness to oven baked chicken, turn up the temperature for the last few minutes or grill/barbecue the chicken over an open flame before baking. The char will add smokiness to the dish for a more authentic Punjab tandoori chicken.

Related Recipes Chicken Tikka Masala / Thai Panang Chicken Curry

Why We Love This Recipe

Flavour-packed! The best part of making your own tandoori or masala chicken is being able to adjust the flavour. Make it spicier or as mild as you like.
Low in carbs – at only 2g net carbs this healthy Indian Chicken Tandoori recipe is low carb and keto-friendly.
Family Friendly – this chicken dinner is very family friendly. Not too hot or spicy. Add as much or as little as you like to flavour your favourite curry recipes.
Freezer Friendly -make ahead, and freeze in portions for easy healthy freezer meals.

More related recipes Chicken Korma / Authentic Butter Chicken

The Ingredients

Scroll to the bottom of this post for the quantity of each ingredient used in our low carb recipe for roasted tandoori chicken.

Chicken Tandoori Oven Baked recipe ingredients in bowls with labels so you know what is in it.

Chicken – you can bake a whole tandoori chicken if you like. I have made this tandoori with drumsticks and thigh cutlets, but a whole chicken or spatchcock tandoori chicken will be awesome too. For a chicken tikka, use whole chicken breast fillets or thigh fillets left whole or cut into cubes.

Tandoori Paste – I use my own homemade tandoori paste. You can use store-bought like Patak’s if you prefer or use my recipe for tandoori paste. A Tandoori paste uses traditional spices like red chili powder, garam masala, ground cumin and coriander, turmeric, and paprika. You can add a tandoori spice powder if you prefer and 2-3 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste for a cheats version if you don’t have a paste made.

Greek Yoghurt – is perfect to make the tandoori marinade. It helps tenderise the chicken and make it nice and succulent.

Lemon juice – use fresh lemon juice in the tandoori marinade. It also helps to tenderise the chicken pieces and balance the tikka sauce.

How to Make It

Step 1. Combine the yoghurt, tandoori paste and lemon juice until it makes a smooth tandoori sauce. Coat the chicken with the tandoori marinade and chill for at least 1-2 hours or overnight. Note: Reserve some of the tandoori sauce if you would like extra to serve with the chicken.

Step 2. After marinating, place the chicken onto a baking tray and bake in a hot oven until an internal temperature of 75°C / 165°F is reached. Baste with the leftover marinade halfway through cooking time. You can bake tandoori chicken in the air fryer too, if preferred. Preheat the air fryer to 200°C and bake the chicken until cooked through turning after the first 10 minutes.

Baked Chicken in a tandoori marinade on a baking tray.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to serve with tandoori chicken?

Serve with extra Greek yogurt, tikka sauce, raita, sour cream or coconut yoghurt. I like leafy greens with mine. I have added some extra serving suggestions in the recipe card below.

How do I make tandoori red in colour?

The spices do a lot to make a natural red tandoori chicken. You can use a small amount of powdered red tandoori colour (red food coloring) that is available from Asian markets if you like.

Is tandoori spicy?

It uses a spice, but I wouldn’t say it is spicy or hot. You can add hotter chilli powder if you prefer to the tandoori paste. Personally, I season the chicken with extra chilli flakes when I roast it in the oven. You can add some extra Huy Fong chili garlic sauce if you like or fresh hot chili to give it a spicier kick.

What is the difference between chicken tikka, chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken?

Chicken tikka is usually made with diced or cubed boneless chicken. Masala is basically a gravy, so a saucy tandoori sauce chicken. Tandoori chicken is usually made with whole chicken or chicken pieces still on the bone. It is then baked in a Tandoor oven (traditionally), barbecued, grilled or baked.

Pieces of chicken with salad on a wood board.

Recipes To try Next

  1. Rougaille Sausages – devilishly good African Creole sausages
  2. Easy San Choy Bow (Yuk Sung) – quick, simple, and so damn tasty!
  3. Kafta (Lebanese Beef Kebabs) – some seriously good kebabs. A must-try recipe!
  4. Easy French Onion Chicken

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Baked Chicken pieces with lemon and parsley sauce on a cutting board.

Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken cooked in the oven is so simple. It is also incredibly delicious! Great served hot or cold and a simple budget meal that everyone can enjoy!
5 from 58 votes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Marinating: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Lunch and Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Recipe Category: Low Carb
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Megan Ellam
Servings: 6 people
Tap or hover over number to scale ingredients
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Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup (0.5 cup) Tandoori Paste
  • 1/2 cup (0.5 cup) Greek yoghurt
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 1 kg (4.79 cups) chicken drumsticks see notes

Instructions

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

  • Combine Tandoori paste, Greek yoghurt, zest and lemon juice in a large bowl until a smooth sauce.
  • Add the chicken to the tandoori sauce and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 1-2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C fan/220°C static/ 425°F.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to a baking tray, shake off any excess marinade. (see notes)
  • Bake 40-50 minutes, baste with the remaining marinade halfway through cooking time. Roast until an internal temperature of 75°C/165°F is reached. Serve with lemon juice, gremolata and a salsa or kachumber salad.

THERMAL METHOD

  • Place Tandoori paste, Greek yoghurt, zest and lemon juice into mixer; mix 15 sec/speed 5. Scrape into a large bowl.
  • Add the chicken to the tandoori sauce and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 1-2 hours or overnight. Follow from step 3 above.

Notes

INGREDIENTS
Tandoori Paste – I make my own Tandoori paste. It is simple to make, tastes great and has no nasties. 
Greek yoghurt – mixing yoghurt and the tandoori paste makes a perfectly tasty (and low-carb) tandoori sauce. I add lemon juice as some extra acid for balance and a meat tenderizer. The tandoori sauce is delicious as a dip or can be served as serving sauce as well. Use coconut yoghurt for a dairy free tandoori chicken.
Chicken – I use drumsticks, thigh cutlets or whole chicken when making tandoori chicken. You can use boneless breast or thigh fillets as well. When prepared this way it is called a chicken tikka or chicken tikka masala (in case you were wondering). Extra masala sauce can be used for serving or extra basting sauce.
STORING
The chicken murgh (tandoori) will store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Alternatively, freeze in a ziplock bag baked or in the marinade.
WAYS TO USE TANDOORI MASALA PASTE
To make authentic chicken tandoori, use whole chicken or chicken cut into potions but still on the bone. Marinate and grill, bake, air fry, barbecue or if you are lucky enough cook in a tandoor oven.
To make chicken tikka masala use skinless chicken cut into cubes. Firstly, brown then cook in the sauce until tender and melts in your mouth.
Tandoori paste can be used with beef, lamb, pork, seafood and vegan and plant-based dishes. 
WAYS TO SERVE TANDOORI CHICKEN
Here are just some of my favourite ways to serve the tandoori chicken.
Tandoori Chicken Salad – serve cold or warm masala chicken with mixed leafy greens, chunky tomatoes, and diced avocados or guacamole.
Tandoori Chicken Wraps – oh hell yes! Add some shredded tandoori chicken to our keto tortillas or keto wraps with extra yoghurt (or tandoori sauce), mixed greens, and easy pickled onions.
Tandoori Chicken Kebabs – use diced chicken in place of pieces and thread onto skewers and marinate. Grill, bake, fry or barbecue until nicely charred and cooked through.
Serve with cauliflower rice, lemon gremolata or cilantro chimichurri. 
LOVE THIS RECIPE?
We have a lot of great Indian curries as well as many other Asian styles. Try some of our most popular recipes. Use the links below to bookmark and save your favourites or print for to cook later.
Butter Chicken, Chicken Korma, Red Thai Chicken Curry, Devilled Sausages, Malaysian Meat Curry Powder, Green Curry Paste, Red Curry Paste and traditional Australian Curried Sausages.
SERVING SIZES
This recipe yields approximately 6 serves. The actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. 
SERVING SIZE BY WEIGHT
To calculate the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe by 6. The result will be the weight of one serving. 
NUTRITIONAL VALUES
Nutritional values shown are guidelines only. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on the brands and types of ingredients used. 
The recipe card instructions contain the most basic steps and ingredients list. If you have any queries, or questions or are unsure of substitutions, please scroll up to the blog post for more information.

Your Own Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg | Magnesium: 24mg | Net Carbs: 2g
Tried this recipe?Mention @meganellam or tag #madcreations!

Share This Recipe

31 responses to “Baked Tandoori Chicken”

  1. Loreto and Nicoletta

    5 stars
    My mouth is watering. Love the sliced crust on the surface. I bet inside it is so moist, And tender! Yummy!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      It sure is

  2. Heidy

    5 stars
    This Tandoori Chicken recipe was so flavorful and satisfying! My husband loved it, and so did I!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      That is so good to read Heidy. Thanks for trying out our recipe.

  3. Lori

    5 stars
    So much flavor! And the colors are spectacular! If you’re a fan of really flavorful and richly spiced food then you need to make this! Seriously so good!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      It sure is a great dish isn’t it Lori.

  4. Cathleen

    5 stars
    Okay, this chicken was the perfect dinner for a Friday night!! Pinned to make over and over, thank you so much for sharing this recipe 🙂

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      You are very welcome Cathleen.

  5. Veronika

    5 stars
    This chicken was amazing! Especially with your homemade tandoori paste I made the other day. We’re definitely adding this dish to our rotation.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Yay! Winner winner~

  6. Leslie

    5 stars
    I love your idea of serving this Tandoori Chicken recipe with extra Greek yogurt! So delicious!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      It is so delicious too

  7. Jacqueline Debono

    5 stars
    Here in Italy, Indian restaurants are few. But I love Indian food and cook it at home. I have just bought some tandoori paste online to make this recipe when it arrives. It looks fantastic!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Enjoy!

  8. veenaazmanov

    5 stars
    Tandoori Chicken is yummy. Thanks for a reminder. Will go with all your detailing to making a perfect one.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Enjoy!

  9. Helene

    5 stars
    I love Indian food, so I was happy when I found your recipe to make it at home. And the best about it is the option to make my own tandoori paste. So much better than store-bought.Thank you.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      You are very welcome Helene

  10. Amanda

    5 stars
    Such a good chicken! It’s amazing how much flavor was packed in with just four ingredients. So flavorful and easy!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      I am so happy you enjoyed it Amanda. Thanks for trying and letting us know how it went.

  11. Emily

    5 stars
    This was packed with flavor! I am so glad I doubled the recipe; we enjoyed the leftovers with salad. Everyone loved it!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Yay!

  12. Nancy

    5 stars
    I love this Indian recipe made easy. Thanks for helping me nail this at home

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      You are very welcome

  13. Audrey

    5 stars
    We unfortunately don’t live near an Indian food restaurant any more so this was such a great recipe to make at home for our Indian cravings!!

  14. Nora

    5 stars
    I’m a fan of Tandoori chicken, but baked in the oven sounds heavenly! I will try it out right away!

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      Enjoy!

  15. Stephanie

    5 stars
    What an excellent dish! I usually order Tandori when at an Indian restaurant so it is nice I can finally make it myself (without a special oven!).

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      So true Stephanie. I am so happy you enjoyed it

  16. Mary

    5 stars
    This is a really delicious chicken Tandori! Worked great with bone-inn skin-on chicken thighs.

    1. Megan Mad Creations Hub

      yay!

5 from 58 votes (42 ratings without comment)

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