Chicken Tikka

chicken tikka
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Homemade Chicken Tikka is very easy to make

I love chicken tikka. It’s such a classic Pakistani bbq entree, but did you know how easy it is to make at home? You don’t need fancy spices or exotic ingredients. You just need some pantry and fridge staples and you’ll have delicious chicken tikka on your table. This recipe will take you back to those Pakistani summer nights! Sitting in your car, balancing a tray with tikka, naan and chutneys in your lap while holding an ice cold Coca Cola in one hand. It was a struggle balancing and eating but it was worth it. I may eat this from the comfort of my dining table, but the flavors take me right back to those Lahore nights.

More classic Pakistani recipes to try:

Mali Boti

Dum Kabab


Chicken Paratha Rolls

This Chicken Tikka is a great weekly meal prep option

While I push quick recipes that are usually ready in under 30 minutes, this is one that I have to call an exception. The preparation is simple. You just mix all the ingredients together. One thing I’ve learned is that when it comes to bbq chicken recipes, the longer you let the chicken marinate, the better the flavor. While you can cook this after marinating it for just 15-30 minutes, the flavors will be so amazing and the chicken will be tender if it is marinated overnight. This is why Chicken Tikka makes a great weekly meal prep option. Just take 5 minutes out of your day to mix up the marinade and add it to the chicken. Then keep it covered in the fridge and cook as needed.

The ingredients are simple

You’ll find the usual spice suspects in this recipe. Spices like cumin, coriander, Kashmiri laal mirch and turmeric give great flavor while the yogurt and lemon juice help keep the chicken tender. The lemon juice in this is phenomenal, so feel free to go heavy handed with it. I usually add a fresh squeeze right after I take this out of the oven, and the citrus really elevates the whole experience.

chicken tikka

Chicken Tikka

This classic Pakistani BBQ dish is mouthwatering and delicious! It's super easy to pull together and will become a family favorite in your home.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 3


  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs or breasft fillets
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri laal mirch chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • onion and lemon wedges optional


  • Cut the chicken into strips or cubes. Add to a medium sized bowl and add all the ingredients barring the oil. Mix till all the chicken is coated. Marinate for 15-30 minutes. For best results marinate and refrigerate overnight.
  • To cook, preheat your oven to 400 F. Drizzle the oil in a large baking dish. Add the chicken, keeping some space between each piece. Spread the onion and lemon wedges around the chicken. Bake uncovered for 25-30, or until the chicken is cooked thorugh. Flip halfway through baking. If you want some color on the chicken you can broil it in your oven for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve with naan, hari chutney and a simple salad.


Substitutions. You can replace the yogurt with Greek yogurt. 
If you don’t have fresh lemons, you can use lemon juice out of a bottle, just use a little less because it’s more concentrated. 
Variations. You can make this with bone in chicken, just adjust the cooking time. Bone in chicken takes longer to cook, so bake it at 380 F and for 35-40 minutes. You may need to cook it longer according to the size of your chicken pieces. If the chicken starts to dry out you can bake it covered.  
Keyword Chicken Tikka, Pakistani

Have you tried this delicious bbq recipe?

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