Perfectly seasoned with a blend of robust spices and cool yogurt, Tandoori Chicken Wings hit all the flavor notes. These mouth-watering wings take just 5 minutes of prep, then marinate overnight, and can be made in the air fryer or oven!
Can’t get enough crispy chicken wings? Don’t miss our Caribbean Baked Chicken Wings basted in a jerk-pineapple sauce!
Crispy Wings with Tandoori Spice
These Tandoori chicken wings are absolutely bursting with flavor from all the spices used and very easy to prepare.
I’ve included instructions to make these crispy wings in both the air fryer or oven, so take your pick! Personally, I prefer the air fryer as it makes them just a bit crispier and the cook time is shorter but the oven is great if you’re doubling the recipe for a crowd.
Note that this tandoori chicken recipe does need to marinate for several hours, so this is a meal you’ll want to plan in advance – but the actual hands-on time is just a few minutes.
Why You’ll Love These Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Even if you don’t typically cook Indian cuisine, you will find yourself loving these wings.
- Super crispy outside. One reason I love making wings in the air fryer is how crispy the skin gets. I also included my top tip for getting crispy skin in the oven too.
- Bursting with flavor. These wings are marinated in tangy Greek yogurt and lemon juice with spices like cumin, sweet paprika, garam masala, and more for a robust, savory, and slightly sweet flavor.
- Quick and easy to prepare. While these wings do need to marinate for several hours, it takes just 5 minutes to prepare the marinade and then 20-30 minutes to cook the wings to crispy perfection.
What Is Tandoori Chicken?
Unlike the two other dishes, tandoori chicken is made with bone-in chicken. We’re making tandoori chicken wings today but you can also make tandoori chicken with a half or whole chicken, chicken legs, etc.
Tandoori chicken is marinated in yogurt with spices, like paprika, cumin, garam masala, and other traditional Indian flavors. It’s warm but not spicy and known for its bright red color.
Like many Indian dishes, this recipe is made with quite a few different spices but, luckily, they’re all pretty common and easy to find. Beyond the spices, you’ll need just 3 other ingredients for these air fryer wings.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Chicken wings – Cut them at the joint and remove the tips, if they’re not that way when you purchase them.
- Greek yogurt – Whole fat plain yogurt can be used in place of Greek yogurt if preferred.
- Lemon juice – Use fresh lemon juice for best results. Lime juice can also be used
for a different flavor.
- Spices – Mild red chili powder, cumin, sweet paprika, salt, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, garlic powder, and ground ginger are the spices used in this tandoori chicken marinade.
- Cilantro – Chopped cilantro is an optional garnish.
- Tzatziki – I love to dip this chicken into homemade tzatziki.
How to Make Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken Wings
I love tandoori chicken wings in the air fryer, because they end up so crispy – and cook so quickly.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Marinate the chicken. Combine the spices, yogurt, and lemon juice in a large, sealable bag until evenly mixed. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours – the longer, the better.
- Cook the wings. Shake off any excess marinade from the wings. Place in a 400F preheated air fryer in an even layer. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip and cook for another 8-10 minutes. The skin should be crispy and golden brown and the internal temperature 170F.
- Enjoy. Serve with chopped cilantro and tzatziki sauce.
How to Make Tandoori Wings In The Oven
Don’t have an air fryer? You can easily make this recipe in the oven.
- Prepare the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425F then line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake the wings. Place the wings, skin side up, in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and cook for another 15 minutes or until an internal temperature reaches 170F.
- Broil if desired. If you want the crispy, blistered effect on your oven baked wings, brush them with oil then move the baking sheet to the top rack and broil for 2-3 minutes.
Why Aren’t My Tandoori Wings Red?
The red color is often associated with Tandoori dishes and is typically achieved by using a combination of spices, including red chili powder, paprika, and turmeric, which are included in this recipe for Tandoori Chicken Wings.
However, the final color of the dish will depend on various factors such as the type and amount of spices used, the cooking method, and the intensity of the heat. If the final color of the wings is not as red as desired, you can try adding more of the red chili powder or paprika to the marinade or even add some red food coloring or some annatto seed powder, a flavorless, natural red coloring.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making flavorful, crispy air fryer chicken wings.
- Dry the wings before marinating. Make sure to pat the wings completely dry – this allows the skin to absorb the marinade.
- Marinate the chicken overnight. For the best flavor, marinate the chicken overnight – or at least prepare it in the morning to cook after work.
- Cook in batches. You’ll likely need to air fryer the wings in batches, depending on how big your air fryer is. It’s important that there’s space between each wing so that the air can circulate and crisp all sites.
- Use the oven for large quantities. I think cooking in the air fryer results in the best crispy skin, but if you’re doubling this recipe, I recommend using the oven so you’re not cooking in so many batches.
- Use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. If you prefer fresh garlic, you can use 2 tablespoons of minced garlic in place of the garlic powder.
- Use fresh ginger instead of ground ginger. Similarly, you can replace the ground ginger with 2-3 tablespoons of fresh ginger.
I love to serve this with some tzatziki sauce for dipping. The cooling flavors of tzatziki pair so well with the flavors of tandoori chicken.
- Fridge. Leftover cooked tandoori chicken wings should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last for up to 3 days.
- Reheat. To reheat the wings, you can either bake them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, or until heated through, or you can reheat them in the air fryer at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-6 minutes per side. It is best to avoid reheating the wings in the microwave as it can dry out the chicken.
- Can You Freeze Air Fryer Chicken Wings? Yes, you can absolutely freeze these wings, so consider making a double batch! After they’re cooled completely, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and then into the freezer until they are frozen solid. Then transfer the frozen wings to a freezer-safe bag or container. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat as directed above.
More Indian-Inspired Recipes:
Tandoori Chicken Wings
- 1.5 to 2 pounds chicken wings , cut at the joint with tips removed
- 1/2 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon mild red chili powder (not cayenne pepper)
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 2 & 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (not hot)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Chopped cilantro , optional garnish
- Tzatziki sauce , optional for dipping
- If the wings aren't already cut, remove the tips and split at the joint. Pat them completely dry and trim off any excess loose fat.
- Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, allspice, garlic powder, and ginger together in a large, sealable plastic bag and mix until incorporated.
- Add the chicken wings to the marinade and toss to coat. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and refrigerate the chicken for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight for best flavor.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and shake off the excess – you want the wings coated, but not gloppy.
- Preheat your air fryer for 3 minutes to 400F, then spray the basket with nonstick spray. Place the wings inside in an even layer (don't overcrowd the basket. You'll likely need to air fry in batches.)
- Cook for 10 minutes, flip and cook another 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches 170F internally and the skin is crispy and golden brown. (Note that cooking time can vary with different air fryers.)
- Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and Tzatziki sauce for dipping, both optional.