Our Whole Roasted Chicken Tikka recipe showcases a spatchcock chicken infused with savory goodness from a creamy yogurt marinade. Seared, baked, and broiled, this chicken has the perfect balance of crispiness on the outside and juicy tenderness on the inside.

Whether you’re hosting a special dinner or simply want to elevate your weeknight meal, this whole roasted chicken tikka is sure to impress!

Chicken tikka on a plate with garnishes.

What Is Chicken Tikka? 

Chicken tikka is a type of chicken dish that is popular in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. Typically, chicken tikka is made with boneless pieces of chicken marinaded in a spiced yogurt mixture. 

Then, they are threaded onto skewers and cooked over charcoal. This recipe features the same yogurt marinade but uses a whole chicken. We bake it in the oven to keep things simple while retaining the juicy consistency of the meat and bold flavors! 

Ingredients You’ll Need

Below is an overview of the ingredients and instructions for this recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete details! 

  • Chicken – Use a whole spatchcock chicken. 
  • Yogurt – Plain, full-fat yogurt forms the base of the marinade, tenderizing the chicken and infusing it with a tangy flavor. 
  • Olive Oil – Similar to the yogurt, this helps tenderize the chicken and creates a smooth marinade. 
  • Seasonings – Garam masala, smoked paprika, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper create the warm, bold flavor we look for in chicken tikka recipes. 
  • Aromatics – Fresh garlic cloves and grated ginger add a tangy, subtly sweet flavor. 
  • Tomato Paste – Adds extra depth to the marinade. 
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed is best! The acidity cuts through some of the heaviness of the fats and balances the warm flavors. 

Skip the Takeout with the Best Chicken Tikka Recipe You’ll Ever Taste

  1. Prepare the marinade. Combine all the ingredients (except the chicken) in a large bowl, whisking until smooth. 
  2. Spatchcock the chicken. Remove the backbone from the chicken, and flatten it down. 
  3. Season the chicken. Use a sharp knife to make deep slits on both sides of the chicken. Place the chicken in a large dish or sealable bag, and pour the marinade on top. 
  4. Marinate the chicken. Massage the chicken, making sure the marinade gets into the slits. Cover the chicken, and transfer it to the fridge. 
  5. Warm. Allow the chicken to sit out at room temperature. 
  6. Cook. Heat a grill pan or skillet over high heat. Then, add the chicken skin-side down, and cook until charred. Flip the chicken over, and sear the other side. 
  7. Bake. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish, and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Transfer the chicken to a preheated oven, and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  8. Broil. Remove the foil, and broil the chicken until the skin is brown and crisp. Be careful not to burn! 
  9. Serve. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes. Then, slice, and serve.
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03/20/2024 06:59 pm GMT

Serving Suggestions

Chicken tikka is commonly served with a side of white rice. However, it’s also a perfect pairing with these side dishes:

And don’t forget to add a sauce like tzatziki or toum for even more flavor!

Pieces of chicken tikka on a plate with garnishes.

Common Questions About This Roasted Chicken Tikka Recipe

What’s the difference between chicken tikka and chicken tikka masala? 

Chicken tikka is typically pieces of meat that are marinated in a yogurt mixture and grilled or roasted. Tikka masala is made by cooking chunks of marinated meat in a spicy, tomato-based sauce. 

What does chicken tikka taste like? 

Chicken tikka is warm, savory, slightly spicy, and creamy. It’s truly a unique combination of pungent, earthy, and sweet flavors! 

What is chicken tikka vs tandoori? 

The primary difference is the cut of meat used. For instance, skinless, boneless pieces of chicken breast typically form kebabs. Meanwhile half, whole chicken, legs, breasts, and wings can be used for tandoori. 

A fork holding a bite of chicken tikka dipped in tzatziki.

More Fantastic Chicken Recipes

Chicken is a staple in our homes so we’ve found plenty of ways to jazz it up! Check out more of our mouthwatering chicken-based recipes:

Four pieces of chicken tikka on a plate.

Whole Roasted Chicken Tikka

5 from 8 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Marinade Time: 12 hours
Total: 13 hours 10 minutes
Make this whole roasted chicken tikka recipe in the oven for a juicy, flavorful chicken dish perfect for meal prep or feeding a crowd!


  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 whole chicken spatchcocked (backbone removed and flattened)


Prepare Marinade:

  • In a large bowl, combine yogurt, olive oil, garam masala, smoked paprika, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, grated ginger, tomato paste, and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.
    3/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 Tablespoons garam masala, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 3 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 4 garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons grated ginger, 2 Tablespoons tomato paste, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
    Chicken tikka sauce being whisked in a bowl.

Marinate Chicken:

  • Spatchcock the whole chicken by removing the backbone and flattening it.
    1 whole chicken
  • Using a sharp knife, make deep slits on both sides of the chicken.
    Cuts being made in the sides of a spatchcock chicken.
  • Place the spatchcocked chicken in a large dish or resealable plastic bag.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring it’s well coated. Massage the marinade into the chicken, making sure it penetrates into the slits.
    Spatchcock chicken in a skillet covered with tikka sauce.
  • Cover the dish or seal the bag, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Season with a 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to taste.


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  • Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Heat a grill pan or skillet over high heat. Once hot, place the chicken skin-side down and cook for a few minutes until nicely charred.
  • Flip the chicken over and sear the other side for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken to a baking dish or oven-safe skillet. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
  • Place the covered chicken in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius) and the juices run clear.
  • Remove the foil, and switch the oven to broil. Broil the chicken for a few minutes until the skin is crisp and browned, watching carefully to prevent burning.


  • Once done, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before carving.
    Four pieces of chicken tikka on a plate.
  • Serve the spatchcocked tikka chicken with sides of choice, and enjoy!

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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Recipe Rating


  1. What if garam masala is not a spice one is familiar with? What would be a good substitute for it?

    1. You can typically find garam masala in the spice section of most grocery stores! Or, substitue 4 parts ground cumin with 1 part allspice.
      We hope you enjoy!

      Alia & Radwa

  2. A bit confused, when do we add the remaining salt and pepper
    You have that listed on the bottom of the ingredient list in parentheses ()
    Saying this is different??


    1. Apologies for any confusion! We add an additional 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper, but you can season to taste. Hope this helps!

      Alia & Radwa