Tandoori Chicken Tacos

in Chicken & Turkey, Cinco de Mayo, Lighter & Healthier, Mexican & TexMex, On the grill, Recipe Collections, Tacos, Enchiladas & Quesadillas

Cilantro Tandoori Chicken Tacos

After being teased with bathing suit weather and endless fresh gulf seafood at Food Blog Camp in early January, we just couldn’t go back to heavy winter foods. So for the last couple of months, we’ve been eating like it was 80 degrees outside, even if it was only 35.

I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve had Cilantro Tandoori Chicken since January. The chicken sits in a fragrant and flavorful marinade and is then grilled to crispy and juicy perfection. While it’s very good as a grilled cut-up whole chicken (the original recipe), it’s excellent when served as tacos.

We serve the tacos with our favorite pineapple salsa, wrapped in a fluffy tortilla. Prior to cooking this recipe, neither of us were crazy about dark meat but we were quickly converted. We now “fight” over the last thigh and leave the white meat for the baby πŸ™‚

A couple of notes: There is a lot of marinade here. The original recipe called for the legs, thighs, and breasts from a 4 lb chicken. The first time we made it, I realized it could easily handle double the chicken as I was pouring a bunch of used marinade down the drain. So now when I make it, I marinate 10-12 skin-on/bone-in chicken thighs in the biggest glass bowl we have. These leftovers don’t suck!

Tandoori Chicken Tacos

The chicken sits in a fragrant and flavorful marinade and is then grilled to crispy and juicy perfection. While it’s very good as a grilled cut-up whole chicken (the original recipe), it’s excellent when served as tacos.


  • Up to 12 chicken thighs (see note above)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (Greek-style is my favorite)
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander (I used 2 rounded tsp of whole coriander)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling grill pan/grate
  • Flour tortillas, for serving


  1. Place chicken in a large bowl. Place remaining ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. If you use a really thick yogurt, you might need to add a little milk if your blender struggles with the marinade.
  2. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for several hours to overnight.
  3. Oil grill (or grill pan) and heat to medium. Remove chicken from marinade and shake off the excess marinade.
  4. Grill ~10 minutes each side (for bone-in/skin-on – use your meat thermometer), until juices run clear and the skin has nicely browned. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes before serving.


Yields: 4-6 servings (whole chicken) or up to 12 (individual thighs)

Adapted from Fresh Mexico, by Marcella Valladolid

20 comments… add one
  • I’m no fan of dark meat either, but I think I could try it this way. The pineapple salsa seems like a great compliment!

  • Shawnda, these look wonderful! I’ve never tried Tandori chicken.

  • Yes! I have been waiting for you to post these ever since you mentioned them a while back- going on my menu for next week!

  • Che gustoso deve essere questo tacos ? ciao

  • Maybe if we all cook this straight for like a WEEK the weather gods will take notice and will get summer here faster. I personally volunteer to take part. (Okay so maybe I just kinda sorta want to eat this all day every day ever and anon. Is that so wrong?)

  • Wow this chicken looks amazing! I love that pineapple salsa too. Will def have to try.

  • First time in your blog and I must say you have an awsm beautiful display out here .. love your clicks and the mouthwatering recipes!!

  • Oh and I meant to ask – is that rice in the tacos?

    • @Josie, Yes. The rice recipe is buried in my backlog but it’s essentially brown rice, the kernels from a roasted ear of corn, and a roasted poblano. If you want it, I’ll email it to you.

      • Wendy

        @foodiebride, Ooh, please email me the rice recipe as well! πŸ™‚ These tacos look fantastic! They are going on the menu for next week! πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Wow! Those tacos look amazing

  • Laurel

    This sounds like an awesome flavor combination! I’d love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

  • this looks fabulous! definitely a summer-tease πŸ™‚

  • my life be like

    yumm look super fresh and not too heavy of a meal πŸ™‚

  • This does sound like the perfect in-between-seasons-meal. And I love the dark meat of chicken–so much more moist and flavorful!

  • You’ve totally inspired me – I’m making a version of these on Wednesday or Thursday. I’ll also be trying out Naturally Ella’s roasted mango and habenero salsa, which I saw around the same time. I think it will go great with these chicken tacos!

  • Okay, this looks INCREDIBLE! Wow! I can’t wait to try this out! Fabulous photography!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  • Jennifer

    These sound awesome! Definitely making them for dinner ASAP.

  • Tandoori chicken tacos are a great idea!

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