Easy Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken with naan bread

Who loves tandoori chicken? Not only is tandoori chicken really simple and quick to make, but it also tastes delicious. Plus, my easy Oven-baked Tandoori Chicken recipe doesn’t require a tandoor – you can simply use your home oven or BBQ to still achieve those beautifully charred edges.

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What is Tandoori Chicken?

Tandoori Chicken is an Indian dish, traditionally cooked in a tandoor cylindrical clay oven. The chicken is marinated in spices and natural yoghurt and left overnight to marinade. Known for its distinctive red colouring, Tandoori Chicken is one of my favourite dishes that I love to order at an Indian restaurant. However, if you have those midweek cravings, then this dish is super simple to make at home. Plus, it’s healthy.

If you’re short on time, you can easily use a jar of Tandoori Paste, which is packed with flavour. I generally use Sharwood’s Tandoori Paste which is also suitable for vegetarians and contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Ingredients: Water, Rapeseed Oil, Durum Wheat Semolina, Salt, Sugar, Acids (Acetic Acid, Citric Acid), Ground Cumin (5%), Ginger Purée, Chilli Powder, Mustard Powder, Ground Ginger, Ground Cinnamon, Garlic Powder, Ground Paprika, Spices, Onion Powder, Colour (Paprika Extract), Ground Celery, Stabilisers (Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum).

My top tips for the perfect Tandoori Chicken every time

The key to making your tandoori chicken succulent and zingy, with a slight kick of chilli and spice is to leave the chicken marinating for as long as possible – ideally up to 48 hours in the fridge. This will ensure your chicken soaks up as much flavour as possible, whilst tenderises the meat with the help from the lemon juice.

  1. Use lots of lemons – for 1kg chicken, I use the juice from two whole lemons – this helps to tenderise the chicken.
  2. Marinate the chicken for up to 48 hours to allow the chicken to soak up the maximum flavour. I like to marinate my chicken for around 36 hours. If you’re short on time, try to marinate the chicken for a minimum of 4-6 hours.
  3. Basting – baste the chicken in the oven at least three times to achieve maximum flavour, and to keep the chicken moist.
  4. Increase the temperate to 220C for the final 10-15 minutes to achieve that crispy charred effect.
  5. Use chicken thighs – I like to use chicken thighs as this is the most tender part of the chicken. Ensure that any skin is removed, along with the sinew and excess fat before marinating. You can also enjoy tandoori with lamb, fish or prawns.
  6. Line your tray with foil – as the chicken will drip with marinade, I recommend lining your tray with foil for easy cleaning.

What to serve with Tandoori Chicken?

For me, I like to keep the tandoori chicken as simple as possible. You only need a few sides to accompany the chicken which can include:

  • Basmati rice – serve either plain or cook with saffron to achieve that golden yellow colour (if you can’t afford saffron – use turmeric or saffron powder instead).
  • Naan bread / Flatbread – either place the tandoori chicken inside the flat bread and eat like a wrap or tear off pieces of bread and eat together.
  • Mint Yoghurt – you can’t have tandoori chicken without mint yoghurt and this is easily made from scratch. Simply combine fresh mint and yoghurt and blend. See recipe below.
  • Tomato salad – slice a few tomatoes and cucumber to serve on the side.
  • Green beans – I love adding some green beans as a side dish.

Enjoy it cold

If you happen to have leftovers, then you can easily enjoy this cold. Throw the tandoori chicken into a salad with your mint yoghurt, fresh coriander, tomatoes, red onion and lettuce for an easy and nutritious lunch.

Easy Oven-baked Tandoori Chicken Recipe | Serves 4 | Easy | 1 Hour (plus up to 48 hours marinating time)


  • 1kg chicken thighs, sinew and excess fat trimmed
  • Juice of 2 whole lemons
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 250 ml natural yoghurt
  • Half a jar of Tandoori Paste (Use approx. 150g)
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • Canola spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basmati rice
  • 4 naan bread or flatbread

Mint Yoghurt

  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • ½ cup mint leaves washed
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Add the chicken thighs into a large bowl and pour over the lemon juice.
  2. In a separate bowl, add 250ml natural yoghurt with half a jar of Tandoori Paste and 2 tsp cumin. Mix and then pour over the chicken, ensuring all the chicken is evenly coated. Cover and marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 24-48 hours. If short on time, try to marinate for at least 4 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow the chicken to come to room temperature.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a tray with foil and place an oven rack on top.
  5. Place the chicken thighs on top of the oven rack, shaking off any excess marinade. Place into the middle shelf of an oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Take the chicken out, and baste both sides of the chicken with the leftover marinade and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes to cook.
  7. Bake for a further 10 minutes, and baste the top of the chicken with marinade.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes and baste the top of the chicken one last time, before spraying the top of the chicken with oil and placing back into the oven, at 220C/450F for 10-15 minutes. Note: the chicken should be starting to char around the top and edges.
  9. Once cooked (you can test by using a thermometer or when the juices run clear), remove from the oven and serve with basmati rice, flatbreads/naan bread and mint yoghurt. Sprinkle with coriander and serve immediately.

Mint Yoghurt Method

  1. Add the yoghurt, washed mint leaves, salt and pepper into a blender and blend for approx. 10 seconds, or until the mint is finely chopped. Make sure the mint yoghurt isn’t too watery.
  2. Place in the fridge or serve immediately.

Tandoori Chicken Marinating

Tandoori Chicken on Oven Rack

Tandoori Chicken First Baste

Tandoori Chicken charred

Tandoori Chicken Closeup

Oven Baked Tandoori Chicken with Basmati Rice

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