These keto tandoori chicken drumsticks are deliciously spicy, tender and juicy with perfectly crisp skin!
If you're looking for an amazing chicken recipe that packs a TON of flavor, this is it. But, it's more than deliciously spicy — the skin on these low-carb and keto tandoori chicken drumsticks turns perfectly crisp (our favorite part!) and the chicken is beautifully tender and juicy.
Plus, this fool-proof recipe is simple to make. It's simply a matter of mixing the ingredients for the marinade and letting the chicken marinate before popping in the oven. We recommend marinating for at least 30 minutes. If you can marinate the morning of or the night before even better.
The tandoori chicken drumsticks usually roast in 40 minutes or less. Each serving of tandoori drumsticks is just 5 grams of net carbs per serving.
What is Tandoori Chicken?
Tandoori chicken is a dish from India in which the chicken is marinated in yogurt with spices and is then cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor.
Spices typically include garlic, ginger, garam masala, cayenne pepper, red chili powder or Kashmiri chili powder, and sometimes turmeric and paprika. Yogurt is a key part of the marinade since it tenderizes the chicken.
Since many of us do not own a tandoor, you can simply roast the chicken in a high-heat oven or over the grill. Both work well.
Just a few notes on key ingredients:
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks: We recommend buying free-range chicken that is antibiotic-free and hormone-free. Also, look for air-chilled chicken, which means that after slaughtering, it was cooled in the open air as opposed to cold water. Air-chilled chicken retains more flavor than chicken that's been cooled in water.
- FAGE Greek yogurt: Yogurt is a key part of the marinade since it tenderizes the chicken. It also adds to the flavor. We recommend marinating the chicken with the yogurt marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can use any level of fat in the Greek yogurt: zero, two or five percent fat.
- Minced garlic and ginger: A good amount is needed. We use a tablespoon of minced garlic and ginger.
- Garam masala and cumin: Two critical spices required for this tandoori marinade!
- Cayenne: If you're looking for just a little kick, then we recommend using about ½ teaspoon (or slightly less) of cayenne. If you want more heat (like us), then add a full teaspoon of cayenne.
How to Make
STEP 1: First, grate or mince the garlic and ginger (we highly recommend using a microplane for grating). In a large bowl, mix the garlic and ginger with yogurt and other spices until well blended.
Then, combine the chicken with the yogurt marinade until the chicken is fully coated. We recommend marinating for at least 30 minutes. If you're able to marinate the night before or the morning of, just be sure to cover and refrigerate.
STEP 2: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a rack on top. Light grease the baking rack with avocado oil, so the chicken doesn't stick. After, arrange the marinated chicken legs on the rack with space between each. Roast the drumsticks for roughly 40 minutes at 450 degrees F, flipping the drumsticks halfway through. For crispier skin, broil the legs for a few minutes on each side until slightly charred.
How to Serve
We recommend serving these keto tandoori drumsticks with a seasoned yogurt (similar to an Indian Raita) to help cool the heat from the spices while eating. We've included the instructions for the simple yogurt blend in the recipe instructions. To make it, you simply mix the yogurt with minced garlic, lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper. We sometimes add cilantro, but it's not necessary.
Since the drumsticks are quite filling, we usually serve with a light salad. But, you could serve with any type of veggies you like.
If you try this recipe, we would love to hear your feedback! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag @lowcarbsimplified on your photo of this recipe on Instagram or Facebook. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Keto Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks
- 2 pound chicken drumsticks, about 8 drumsticks
- Cilantro for serving (optional)
- ½ cup Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne (depending on preferred spice level)
Yogurt Dip (Optional)
- ½ cup Fage Total 2% Greek Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
- Salt and pepper to season
- Get started: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grate or mince a tablespoon of garlic and ginger. In a large bowl, combine ½ cup yogurt, garlic and ginger, garam masala, cumin, and cayenne. Stir well. Season chicken drumsticks with salt. Combine the chicken and marinade until chicken is fully coated. We recommend marinating for at least 30 minutes. If you're able to marinate the night before or the morning of, then cover and refrigerate.
- Bake: Line a rimmed baking sheet parchment paper. On top, place a baking rack. Lightly grease the rack with avocado oil. As soon as chicken is done marinating, space out chicken drumsticks on rack. Put in 450 degree F oven and bake for 40 minutes (when done, chicken should register 165 degrees on thermometer). Flip drumsticks midway through baking. To make the skin even crisper, broil for a few minutes on each side until slightly charged.
- Make yogurt dip (if desired): Combine ½ cup yogurt, 1 minced garlic clove and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Nutrition information includes the yogurt dip.