This Sheet Pan Tandoori Chicken and Cauliflower comes together in no time, it all gets cooked together at once on the sheet pan and you end up with a meal loaded up with traditional tandoori flavors, without a sink loaded up with dishes!
I have become quite the fan of simple sheet pan meals for easy weeknight eats. Inclusive meals where everything you need for your meal on one pan. Cooked once, altogether. Minimal effort, inexpensive, hands-off, nutrient-rich meals are a must if I expect my nutrition clients to prioritize cooking and eating at home. I always want to make this as simple and approachable as possible, not just for my clients and all of you but honestly, for me as well. Easy is clutch.
Here are a couple of my other favorite Sheet Pan Meals:
This Sheet Pan Tandoori Chicken and Cauliflower is one that has become a bit of a staple meal for me. With the traditional flavors of Tandoori Chicken, it’s warming, comforting and layered with so many different depths of flavor. With a little tartness from the yogurt (you can use dairy or non-dairy yogurt) and the lemon juice, combined with the warming spices provides the taste of classic tandoori chicken, the yogurt also works to tenderize the meat and even helps to bring that nice caramelized outside to the skin. I used a small serrano pepper in the marinade for a little heat, you can leave it out, or opt for a jalapeño.
Traditional Tandoori is marinated in yogurt and spices and roasted in an oven. Tandoori is derived from the word tandoor meaning large clay oven where traditionally long skewers of marinated meat and poultry are cooked to perfection. So while I don’t have the clay oven, this is the best I could do and it’s pretty darn close. Add the veggies and it’s everything you need.
What I love about this dish, is the options. I generally grab a whole free range, locally-grown chicken and have the butcher break into down into parts for me (or I will do it myself), splitting the breast to keep all the parts similarly sized so they cook evenly. You can also use just bone-in skin on chicken thighs or drumsticks, or if all you’ve got is boneless skinless breast, you can even use those, you just have to adjust cook times, appropriately.
You can also mix up your vegetables, I love this dish with the cauliflower as it’s very hearty and stands up well to the longer cook time with the bone-in meat. Potatoes would be a nice additional as well. Zucchini is also really nice, but I would add it in about halfway through cooking, so it doesn’t over cook. You could also add in mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, etc. Chickpeas would also be a great addition to the cauliflower.
This meal is delicious topped with the thinly sliced red onions, quick pickled red onions are really nice here, too. I add little extra seasoned yogurt to the meal, either served dolloped on top, or alongside. Finish with some fresh cilantro and it’s just a stunner.
- 3-4 pounds whole free-range chicken broken into parts - halve the chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 small fresh green chile pepper (such as serrano or jalapeño), seeded and finely chopped, optional
- ¾ cup full-fat plain yogurt (Regular whole milk, sheep's or goat milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt all work great)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons ground paprika
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, avocado oil or melted ghee
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- sea salt & black pepper, to taste
- Combine ginger, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, paprika, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, in a large bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. (It should be on the salty side, as this is a marinade.) If you'd like, you can blend the marinade together in the blender or food processor beforehand, but it's not necessary.
- Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Let sit at least 30 minutes at room temperature, and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
- Place oven rack in top third of the oven and preheat to 425ºF.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cauliflower. Add the cauliflower to a large rimmed baking pan. Drizzle evenly with the olive oil. Sprinkle over the cumin seeds and ground turmeric. Toss together until evenly coated.
- Remove chicken parts from the marinade and shake to leave excess marinade behind. Make spaces in the cauliflower for the chicken parts throughout the center of the pan. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, then toss the cauliflower to ensure it's cooking evenly, and return the pan to the oven for 25 to 30 minutes more (40 to 45 minutes total roasting time), until chicken and cauliflower are cooked through and the skin of the chicken is evenly browned. At the end of cooking, you can place the sheet pan under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to get the classic char / tandoor marks on the chicken, if you'd like.
- While everything roasts, mix together the yogurt with garlic, lime juice and season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- When everything is cooked, top with garnishes of your choice — we used dollops of seasoned yogurt, fresh herbs and scatter the red onion all over. Serve right from the pan.
It will take approximately 40 - 45 minutes for bone-in parts or 30 - 40 for boneless. (time may have to be adjusted more or less, given the size of the chicken parts)
To the cauliflower, you can also include a can of chickpeas and/or 1 lb of Yukon Gold potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, etc
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg