Tandoori pizza is a flavor-packed fusion that will take your pizza game to the next level. Tandoori’s signature smoke and spice infuse each slice.
Are you ready to elevate your pizza game? Well, say hello to tandoori pizza: a fusion delight that pairs the bold flavors of tandoori with the familiar concept of pizza. Whole wheat naan replaces the classic crust and is topped with a tandoori sauce, tandoori chicken, cheese, and a few fresh additions, sure to make your mouth water. Whether you’re looking for a creative weeknight dinner, are hosting a party, or simply craving something out of the ordinary, tandoori pizza is the answer. Let’s dive into the details!
Why You’ll Love Tandoori Pizza
- Unique crust – Whole wheat naan is light and soft with some chew, plus the flatbreads come together with such ease. Also, let’s not forget the air pockets!
- Creative – If you’re tired of the same old pizza, tandoori pizza is a refreshing change. This twist on traditional pizza is impressive (if I do say so myself).
- Double the tandoori – Tandoori paste is mixed with yogurt to make a sauce, then half of the sauce serves as a marinade for the chicken, which means double the flavor!
- Fresh mango – Some may see mango as the equivalent of pineapple on pizza, but there’s really no room for debate because no one can resist all this flavor! The juicy bits of fruit with the equally juicy chicken and everything else happening in each bite is sublime.
Tandoori Pizza Ingredients Notes
- Chicken: Although the recipe calls for chicken breasts, feel free to use thighs if you prefer the richer taste of dark meat. Just remember that the richer flavor also comes with more fat.
- Tandoori paste: You can find this in the Asian section of many grocery stores or purchase it online. The paste is a combination of water, oil, ginger, garlic, and dried spices.
- Mozzarella cheese: A proper pizza cheese pull is impossible without it. The subtle milky flavor of mozzarella works well with the otherwise bold flavors of tandoori pizza.
- Red onion: The sharpness of the thin slices adds something special to each bite.
A complete ingredients list with amounts is in the recipe card below!
How to Make Tandoori Chicken Pizza
- Make the naan: You can’t make tandoori pizza without naan, so start with that. I’ve provided a link to my favorite recipe but made a few tweaks. I used half whole wheat flour and brushed the rolled dough with olive oil mixed with a teaspoon of chili powder and one minced garlic clove to give it more flavor. You know how pizza crust is often brushed with a buttery garlic blend? Same concept.
- Time for the sauce: Combine the yogurt with the tandoori paste to make the tandoori pizza sauce. When ready, set aside half of the sauce.
- Marinate the chicken: After you cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, add the chicken to the sauce you set aside and marinate in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Sear: Heat a pan over medium-high, add the marinated chicken to the hot pan, and cook for 5 minutes on each side. During cook time, the pieces of chicken will develop a nice sear.
- Assemble the pizzas: Spread the Greek yogurt-based sauce over each naan, followed by chicken, and mozzarella cheese, which helps keep the toppings in place once it melts. From there, pop it into a 400-degree oven to bake for 10 minutes. Top with red onion, mango, and cilantro.
Variations, Substitutions, and Cooking Tips
Go vegetarian – Paneer will work equally well. The Indian cheese is mild and milky. You can cut it into cubes and marinate it, then add it to the naan.
Make it vegan – Roasted potatoes can replace chicken on tandoori pizza, as can tofu or cauliflower. Toss it in the sauce, and either cook it in the pan or roast it. Also, swap the yogurt for your favorite vegan option and use your favorite vegan cheese.
Try beef – Sirloin steak is great for pan frying, as is strip loin, tenderloin, or strip steak. Cut it into strips, marinate, and cook. Just be mindful of cook time to prevent overcooking.
What Is Tandoori?
Tandoori refers to food cooked in a tandoor oven, a sizeable urn-shaped oven usually made of clay. The meats cooked in the tandoor are marinated in yogurt and spices (including coriander, cumin, garlic powder, ginger, cloves, mace, fenugreek, cinnamon, and a few others) before it’s cooked. Since we don’t have a tandoor oven, the tandoori in this pizza comes from the yogurt and seasonings, which applies the concept minus the need for special equipment.
It is best to prepare tandoori pizza beforehand, especially if you plan to make naan yourself. Although easy, homemade naan takes time since the bread is made from a yeast dough enriched with yogurt. The dough needs about an hour to rise, or you can refrigerate it overnight. The same goes for the chicken. You can marinate it for 45 minutes to an hour or extend it to 8 hours. Chicken can remain in a yogurt marinade for as long as 24 hours.
- 1 cup and 1 tbs plain greek yogurt, divided
- 1 1/2 tbs tandoori paste
- 2 tbs olive oil, divided
- 2 chicken breasts (about 1.25 lbs each), halved
- 4 Na'an breads, store bought or homemade
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
- Combine 1 cup yogurt and tandoori paste in a large bowl and mix together, set aside half of the yogurt mixture for later. Add the chicken and toss together.
- Let marinade for about 45-60 minutes and up to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a large pan over a medium high heat add 1 tbs olive oil, once heated, cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on one side, then flip a cook for 4 to 6 minutes on the other side, then turn off the heat.
- Brush each side of na'an bread with olive oil combined with chili powder and minced garlic, then grill them on a hot skillet.
- Spread about 1 tbs of the reserved greek yogurt mixture on each piece of na'an then top with the chicken, and mozzarella and bake for about 5 minutes until the cheese has completely melted.
- Top with sliced red onion, mango, and cilantro. Serve immediately!
Chicken breasts thickness varies and so will cook time, use a digital thermometer to measure doneness (165 °F).
Once the chicken is cooked, placed chicken halves on the naan bread or chop into bite-sized pieces first.