Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

Ahhh, I’m really excited about this one. This has to be one of the best chicken marinades I’ve ever made. The best part is, you could use this marinade for just about anything, you don’t have to make kebabs! Marinate whole chicken breasts, chicken thighs, vegetables or even tofu… The marinade is just plain fantastic.

The tandoori marinade comes together fairly quickly but you’ll want to let it sit, soak and marinate for at least four hours if not over night. So, think ahead just a bit and prepare this the night before. Then when you’re ready to cook, just take it out, slap it on the grill (or George Foreman) and you’ll be eating in no time.

If you don’t have any turmeric, I’d be confident saying the marinade will still be killer. Curry powder would also be pretty awesome in there.

Oh yeah, I buy large, 5 lb. packs of chicken breasts for the discounted price and then freeze packs of two. So, this recipe calls for two breasts which gave me about three servings (2 kebabs each). The amount of marinade that this recipe makes could easily support four chicken breasts. Any more than that and you’ll want to double the marinade ingredients.

Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

tandoori chicken kebabs plated on plate and garnished with lemon slices

Tandoori Chicken Kabobs
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4.67 from 3 votes

Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

Turn plain chicken breasts into ultra flavorful tandoori chicken kebabs with this yogurt based marinade with Indian spices.
Total Cost: $3.95 recipe / $1.92 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 8 hrs
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 8 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 3


  • 2 large chicken breasts ($2.48)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt ($0.25)
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.14)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion ($0.16)
  • 2 inches fresh ginger ($0.31)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric ($0.05)


  • Trim the fat from the chicken and slice into thin strips. Place the chicken strips in a large freezer bag or glass dish for it to to hold the marinade.
  • Finely dice the onion and garlic and peel and grate the ginger. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and the rest of the ingredients to the bag with the chicken. Close the top and mix all of the ingredients well. Place in the refrigerator to marinate at least four hours or over night.
  • After marinating, place the chicken strips on skewers and grill (I put two chicken strips per skewer). If using a George Foreman grill, preheat the grill for five minutes. Place the kebabs on the grill and cook for three minutes. Flip the kebabs and cook for three minutes more to achieve grill marks on both sides.
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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 589.77kcalCarbohydrates: 11.7gProtein: 81.67gFat: 24.9gSodium: 1406.67mgFiber: 2.47g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Serve the kebabs over jasmine rice or with dal nirvana and naan.

Step By Step Photos

frozen chicken breast in zip lock bag
I always buy a huge 5 lb. pack of chicken because it’s at least a dollar less per pound. Then, when I get home, I split it up into bags of two breasts each and refreeze.

two trimmed chicken breasts
sliced chicken breast strips
Trim the fat off of the chicken and cut into thin strips.

marinade ingredients along with bag of sliced chicken
These are the ingredients for the marinade: yogurt, lemon, onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, paprika and cayenne. Plus salt and turmeric (I forgot to put those in the picture).

grate ginger
To easily “mince” the ginger just peel with a vegetable peeler then run it across a cheese grater. It takes seconds and there is no fumbling with a knife!

marinade bag with ingredients and chicken
Add all of the ingredients to the marinade bag, close it up and then mix really good. Dice the onion and garlic as small as possible so the maximum amount of flavor leaches out of them. Marinate the chicken over night or for at least four hours in the refrigerator.

teaspoon of turmeric
I ended up adding a teaspoon of turmeric for that classic yellow tandoori color. Just beware, turmeric will stain everything… even your finger nails.

skewered tandoori chicken ready to cook
String the marinated chicken strips onto skewers… or just grill them by themselves. They’ll taste the same either way!

tandoori chicken skewers on grill
Preheat the grill for five minutes then place a few skewers on. Close the lid and cook for three minutes.

skewers cooking on grill
Flip the skewers and grill for three minutes more. I did this because the bottom side was in contact with all of the liquids dripping off and therefore did not achieve nice grill marks. After flipping and cooking longer, both sides had grill marks.

two tandoori chicken kebabs plated on top of rice pilaf on white plate
These kebabs were made for laying on top a bed of rice pilaf.

Kebabs are really difficult to photograph but I forgive them because they taste so good.