Tandoori Chicken with Caramelized Lemon

My dad has this thing about “sheet pan meals.” He can’t stand them. For starters, they’re usually made using too many ingredients, overcrowding the sheet pans so things steam rather than caramelize. They’re also puzzling because it’s not often a piece of broccoli cooks at the same rate as a potato, so you wind up taking your sheet pan meal out of the oven halfway through cooking to remove things that are past done and let other things keep on roasting. It’s exhausting and the opposite of an easy recipe.

Luckily, this meal is a sheet pan meal that cooks everything to perfection without the fuss. Spiced yogurt creates a tender marinade for this tandoori-like chicken (read: not authentic at all, but still tasty) with cauliflower, onions, chickpeas, and, perhaps my favorite part: caramelized lemon.

If you’ve never roasted lemon slices along with the rest of your meal, you haven’t experienced one of the greatest flavors on Earth. The lemons take on a mellow flavor that is still tangy and bright, but not pucker-inducing, that elevate any basic meal into something great. Don’t skip them in this recipe! Let’s walk through the steps so you too can make Tandoor Chicken with Caramelized Lemon at home!

Ingredients needed to make Tandoor Chicken with Caramelized Lemon

I love this recipe because it uses a pretty basic set of pantry staples that you may already have in your kitchen, plus a few fresh items that are easy to get your hands on.

Here’s everything:

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs


Olive oil

Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (or nondairy alternative)

Fresh lemon juice

Fresh garlic

Fresh ginger

Ground cumin

Ground turmeric

Chili powder

Ground cinnamon


Fresh cilantro

Canned garbanzo beans

Red onion



Tools used to make Tandoor Chicken with Caramelized Lemon

Another reason to love a sheet pan meal that actually works? VERY few dishes. All you need is a good sharp knife, large cutting board, two rimmed sheet trays, a large mixing bowl, and measuring cups and spoons. That’s it!

How to make Tandoor Chicken with Caramelized Lemon

This recipe is simple to pull together. To start, prepare the chicken and cauliflower by patting the chicken dry and cutting the cauliflower into small florets. Next, you’ll mix the marinade in a very large mixing bowl. I recommend a very large bowl so that you can make the marinade, add the chicken and cauliflower directly to it, and cut down on dishes.

Once the chicken/cauliflower have been coated in the marinade, transfer them evenly between the two sheet trays and layer on the sliced onions, lemons, and rinsed chickpeas. Bake everything until the cauliflower is tender and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

To serve, garnish with more chopped cilantro and sliced cucumber. This meal can be enjoyed on its own, served with a side salad, or heartied-up with some rice or naan bread. No matter which way, it’s always delicious!

Looking for more easy recipes?

Try these from The Ardent Cook!

Hidden Veggie Sloppy Joes

Honey Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

Instant Pot Lemongrass Pork Bowls

Recipe Ingredients

2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 medium heads cauliflower, cut into florets

¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup plain, unsweetened yogurt 

Juice of 1 lemon

5 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch knob ginger, grated

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

1 ¼ tsp salt 

3 tbsp cilantro, minced, plus more for serving

1 14.5oz can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and dried

½ medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds 

Sliced cucumber, for serving

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a very large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, salt, and cilantro. Mix well. Add the chicken thighs and cauliflower florets and coat in the yogurt mixture. 
  3. Spread chicken and cauliflower out onto two rimmed sheet trays, then scatter the garbanzo beans, red onions, and sliced lemons over the two trays. 
  4. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and beginning to brown and the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Serve with additional cilantro and sliced cucumbers, if desired. This is a wonderful low-carb, stand-alone meal, or can be served alongside rice or flatbread. Enjoy!

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