Curry Chicken Marinade (5-Ingredients!)
Craving Indian-inspired chicken? Try this quick & easy curry chicken marinade that produces warmly spiced, tender and savory chicken with only 5 ingredients! Grilled or baked in the oven, it makes the perfect busy weeknight dinner, yields the best leftovers for chicken salad or sandwiches, and is elevated enough to entertain with.
5 star review
“I love how easy this was to make…and the entire family enjoyed, including the kiddos. (bonus!). Great flavor with just 5 ingredients that we already have on hand. I especially liked the use of Greek yogurt, which helped us get in more protein and also just makes the best marinade base with chicken coming out so juicy and tender! This one is a keeper!!”– Erin
Visual Guide: How to Make Curry Chicken Marinade
Testing Notes from Robyn
I love a quick and easy marinade to elevate any meal.
It requires very little effort for a big payoff, just like this sweet and savory honey mustard marinade.
This healthy Greek yogurt curry marinade is no different – with only 5 ingredients and little effort, you get perfectly tender chicken with a huge amount of flavor.
My secrets for maximum flavor and texture are Greek yogurt, brown sugar, and Indian-style curry powder.
Greek yogurt is an excellent marinade ingredient, as it helps tenderize the meat in a shorter amount of time (hence why I also love my Greek yogurt chicken marinade), plus it adds an extra boost of protein, making it a fantastic easy protein packed dinner recipe.
When I tested this recipe with regular yogurt it was too thin and watery, so I don’t recommend substituting regular yogurt.
This curry chicken only needs to marinate for 30 minutes (but can marinate for up to 4 hours) – just enough time to heat up the grill or oven, or make an easy side dish.
The other key tenderizing ingredient is the brown sugar.
It also tenderizes the meat faster and helps meat brown and caramelize while cooking, which deepens the flavor, so don’t skip the sugar!
I don’t use any speciality or hard-to-find ingredients to boost the flavor in this recipe, but instead use a spice you most likely have in your pantry, Indian-style curry powder.
You can customize the spice level based on your preference by using either spicy curry powder or a mild curry powder (which makes this dish kid-friendly as well!).
As far as what cuts of chicken to use, it’s up to you!
I tested this recipe with chicken breasts and chicken thighs, and both turned out excellently.
How to Make Curry Chicken Marinade Ahead
If you need a quick meal, this recipe is for you, but if you also want to prep it ahead of time, you can do that too.
I recommend marinating at least 30 minutes and no longer than 4 hours, however, if you need to make it further ahead of time you can freeze the chicken in the marinade for a later time.
Simply add your chicken and marinade to a 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag and stash away in the freezer. When you’re ready to use, let it defrost in the fridge.
The yogurt may separate a little, but don’t worry, it won’t affect the flavor.
Make It Dairy Free
For a dairy-free version of this dish, use a Greek-style non-dairy yogurt in the marinade.
Storing, Freezing & Doubling
Once cooked, the curry chicken keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
You can also freeze the cooked chicken when stored in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
And, since this curry marinated chicken is such a crowd-pleaser, you can easily double or triple the recipe to feed a large group.
Serving Suggestions for Yogurt Curry Chicken
This chicken is delicious on its own, but it also pairs really well with cold pasta salads like orzo pesto pasta salad or sun dried tomato pasta salad, or a cool and creamy cabbage slaw. Surprisingly, I also love to eat it with this fresh and crunchy black bean corn salad.
This Recipe is…
Curry Chicken Marinade
- ½ cup 1% Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- Grill pan optional
- Whisk the yogurt, curry powder, brown sugar, lime juice and salt together in a large baking dish or 1-gallon zip-top bag until well combined.
- Toss the chicken in the marinade to coat, then press as much air out of the bag (if using) as possible, or cover with plastic wrap (if using a baking dish). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours, flipping halfway through.
- When ready to grill, heat a gas grill to high. Allow to preheat, then remove the chicken from the marinade, shake off any excess, and discard any remaining marinade from the bag or dish.
- Grill, with the cover down, for 6-9 minutes, then flip, and grill uncovered until the internal temperature reaches 165F, about 2-7 additional minutes.
- Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain into ½ inch slices.
Oven Baking Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Discard any remaining marinade. Add the chicken to a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.