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Baked Tandoori Chicken

Tangy, spiced tandoori masala imparts all the best flavor into this easy, baked tandoori chicken recipe. The dish cooks in the oven for less than an hour, and you can serve the juicy chicken with warm naan, basmati rice, or kachumber salad to complete the meal. 

Baked tandoori chicken on a plate.

What is Tandoori Chicken?

Like chicken karahi, this dish gets its name from the equipment used to cook the chicken, a tandoor.

A tandoor is a cylinder clay pot heated by an open flame, resulting in robust chargrilled chicken packed full of flavor from the masala and marinating process. Since a tandoor is something few people have in their kitchens, the chicken roasts in the oven to delivers the same flavor right to your dinner table. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

How to Make Baked Tandoori Chicken

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Combine ingredients for the tandoori masala (apart from the onions) in a food processor until smooth.

Tandoori masala in a blender.

Step 2: Transfer it to a mixing bowl with the chicken pieces and sliced onion. Toss to combine. Then, cover and marinate in the fridge for 6 hours (but at least one hour).

Chicken tossed in tandoori masala.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C) and set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the chicken pieces onto the wire rack, leaving excess marinade behind.

Step 4: Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (204°C). Bake for 25-35 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Check the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches 165°F (73°C).

Tip: Let the chicken broil on high for the last 5 minutes if you prefer crispy skin. 

Baked tandoori chicken on a wire rack.

Step 5: Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

Baked tandoori chicken on a plate.

Expert Tips

  • I recommend marinating for 6-24 hours (but at least one hour) to ensure the flavor penetrates and flavors the chicken.
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you are ready to prepare it.
  • Carefully shake off the excess marinade and onions before setting them onto the wire rack.  
  • Start by preheating the oven to 450°F (232°C), the same way you preheat a grill. Then, lower the temperature and roast the chicken at 400°F (204°C) for even cooking.
  • Insert your food thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken drumstick. The safe cooking temperature for chicken is 165°F (73°C).
  • After cooking, let the chicken set for 10 minutes; this allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicy tandoori chicken.

If you enjoy this meal, try one of these oven-baked recipes!

Can I Grill Tandoori Chicken?

Grilled tandoori chicken on a serving plate.

Do you prefer the taste of grilled chicken? Try this easy recipe for grilled tandoori chicken with the same tandoori masala flavor. 

Serving Suggestions

If you’re deciding what to serve with tandoori chicken, here are a few suggestions:

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze  Let the chicken cool, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Baked tandoori chicken freezes for up to 2-3 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat  Reheat defrosted or leftover chicken in the oven at 400°F (204°C) for 15 minutes.
  • Repurpose – This may be a given, but you can make chicken tikka masala or butter chicken masala with the leftovers, or use the chicken to finish a pizza, quesadilla, or sandwich.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is tandoori chicken red?

The red-colored tandoori chicken served in restaurants is the result of added food coloring; achieve a similar color using Kashmiri chili powder, though it won’t be as pronounced without food coloring.

What’s the difference between tandoori chicken and chicken tikka?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the terms tandoori chicken and chicken tikka, and many use them interchangeably.

• Charga: Similar to how I prepare Peruvian chicken or tandoori turkey, chicken charga refers to a marinated whole chicken that’s grilled or roasted.

• Tikka: Most people in the West consider small pieces of chicken (usually chicken breast) to be tikka when chicken tikka can also be leg quarters or legs, similar to the ones I use to make BBQ chicken legs. However, the term also covers the bite-size pieces of chicken since the word ‘tikka’ just means pieces in English. 

• Tandoori: Tandoori chicken is chicken (whole or parts) that cooks in a tandoor oven. Since most kitchens aren’t tandoor-equipped, you will find grilled and baked tandoori chicken recipes that attempt to recreate the cooking technique.

More Indian Recipes:

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Baked tandoori chicken on a plate.

Baked Tandoori Chicken

Tressa Jamil
Tangy, spiced tandoori masala imparts all the best flavor into this easy, baked tandoori chicken recipe – the chicken is ready in less than an hour!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 286 kcal
Ingredients
  
Instructions
 
  • Combine ingredients for the tandoori masala (apart from the onions) in a food processor until smooth. Transfer it to a mixing bowl with the chicken pieces and sliced onion. Toss to combine. Then, cover and marinate in the fridge for 6 hours (but at least one hour).
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C) and set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the chicken pieces onto the wire rack, leaving excess marinade behind.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (204°C). Bake for 25-35 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. Check the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches 165°F (73°C).
    Tip: Let the chicken broil on high for the last 5 minutes if you prefer crispy skin. 
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. 
Notes
Serving Size: 2 Chicken Pieces
Expert Tips:
  • I recommend marinating for 6-24 hours (but at least one hour) to ensure the flavor penetrates and flavors the chicken.
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you are ready to prepare it.
  • Carefully shake off the excess marinade and onions before setting them onto the wire rack.  
  • Start by preheating the oven to 450°F (232°C), the same way you preheat a grill. Then, lower the temperature and roast the chicken at 400°F (204°C) for even cooking.
  • Insert your food thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken drumstick. The safe cooking temperature for chicken is 165°F (73°C).
  • After cooking, let the chicken set for 10 minutes; this allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicy tandoori chicken.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 286 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5 g | Protein: 21 g | Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Cholesterol: 82 mg | Sodium: 493 mg | Potassium: 323 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 685 IU | Vitamin C: 4 mg | Calcium: 72 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Shariq

Sunday 16th of October 2022

This is a very easy and delicious recipe for baked tandoori chicken. I think it comes close to the real deal from a restaurant while being much healthier and cheaper.