Healthy Tandoori Chicken
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Tandoori Chicken: From Dinner to the Lunch Box



One of the biggest questions I get asked when it comes to school lunch is, "how do I make it easy?" I hear that one day in and day out and honestly, I spend a good part of my days in search of the best answer. If you've peeked at the hundreds of school lunch pictures I've posted daily on Facebook over the years, then you know that I try hard not to send my kids to school with the same thing in any given week or two, and that if there's one thing I'm passionate about, it's figuring out ways to simply and creatively turn last night's dinner into today's lunch. That one thing alone removes so much of the work and worry about what to pack in your little one's lunch box.

Surveying my fridge last week I realized I had a good amount of two things: chicken and plain Greek yogurt. I also have a drawer full of spices that I rely on for creative inspiration, so the idea of Tandoori chicken popped in my head. Tandoori is a delectable, Indian dish in which the chicken is marinated in yogurt and assorted spices. It's a tempting choice for dinner, how about serving it for lunch the next day? I thinly sliced my leftover Tandoori chicken on a crusty ciabatta roll with a simple lemon mayo spread for Kenya's lunch, but you could just as easily chop up the chicken and place it on top of cooked brown rice, cut it into cubes for dipping into a side of the citrus-y mayo or even place it on salad for yourself (or if you have girlfriends coming over).

Next time you have a dinner everyone really enjoys, why not think about how you can reinvent it the next day for a tasty lunch? You can give it a new spin and chances are your crew will love it just as much.

**This recipe is participating in Food Network’s virtual Back to School party, The Communal Table. Check all the wonderful, celebratory dishes below, and join the conversation on twitter using hastag #pullupachair.

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Tandoori Chicken  (serves 4)

  • Prep Time: 10 mins,
  • Cook Time: 35 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
One of the biggest questions I get asked when it comes to school lunch is, "how do I make it easy?" I hear that one day in and day out and honestly, I spend a good part of my days in search of the best answer. If you've peeked at the hundreds of school...


  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (i use greek yogurt)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 ciabatta rolls (any bread will work)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced


  1. 1. In a bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, salt, yogurt and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Stir to combine well.
  2. 2. Rub the yogurt mixture all over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight.
  3. 3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. 4. Remove the chicken from the yogurt marinade and wipe off excess.
  5. 5. Bake chicken for 35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven, allow to cool and then slice.
  6. 5. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and remaining lemon juice.
  7. 6. Spread the mayonnaise on each slice of the ciabatta rolls, top with sliced chicken, tomatoes, bread and serve.
Tandoori Chicken

Nutrition Information

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  1. nixnax

    July 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    My four year old just loved this. i was really nervous about the spices, but he just wolfed it down! Thank you, Catherine!

  2. Sadie

    May 6, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Twenty minutes? Sounds about right.

  3. Deb

    January 24, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Sounds great but my daughter refuses to eat any dinner foods cold (ones that were originally hot). So it limits my options since grade school kids can’t us a microwave

  4. gesenia

    October 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    can i omit the yogurt?

    • catherine

      October 22, 2012 at 11:51 am

      I guess you could and just rub the dry spices directly on the chicken!

  5. Dana

    September 20, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    A huge hit with me and my husband! My picky girl refused, but there’s always next time since I’m definitely making this again :)

  6. Cha

    September 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    What is garam masala and where can I get it? Do I need to cover the chicken while in the oven? Hubby doesn’t like dry chicken :(

    • catherine

      September 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

      It is a spice blend, look for it with all the other spices! You do not need to cover the chicken. It will only dry out if it is overcooked! So just make sure to follow the directions, and if your oven runs hot, remove the chicken when there is no longer pink in the center!

  7. Lisa | With Style and Grace

    September 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I love Tandoori anything, but especially chicken!

  8. Dana

    September 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    This looks great! Can’t wait to try it out on my family.

  9. Cecyl A.

    September 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Would i be able to grill the chicken instead?

  10. Jen

    September 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and the whole family loved it :)
    Even our pickiest eater gobbled it down

  11. aida mollenkamp

    September 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Such a good idea, Catherine, and I love that it’s an easy way to intro your kids to spices.

  12. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

    September 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    LOVE tandoori chicken!! Looks incredible.

  13. Julie

    September 10, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Can this be made with non dairy yogurt? Or what might you use instead?

    • catherine

      September 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

      Maybe coconut milk or coconut milk yogurt? I’m not sure how soy yogurt would react when heated, but it’s probably worth a try if you need it dairy free!

  14. Alyson

    September 10, 2012 at 8:16 am


    What do you serve with the Tandoori Chicken when you make it for dinner?

    Thank you!

    • catherine

      September 10, 2012 at 11:42 am

      brown rice or potatoes and broccoli or some other green veggie!

  15. CCMom73

    September 10, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Wow this sounds sooo yummy!