These easy masala chicken breasts are marinated in a fragrant South Asian spices, creamy yogurt, and citrus juice marinade, then grilled to perfection. Serve as a delicious main dish or sliced and add to salads, wraps, curries and soups. This chicken breast recipe is perfect for individuals looking for a low carb, keto-friendly lean protein to add to their diet. Our recipe calls for garam masala which is widely available online, in South Asian markets, and some grocery stores.
What is garam masala?
Garam masala is a mixture of toasted, ground spices used in South Asian cooking. It is not to be confused with curry powder which a wholly different spice blend that contains ground turmeric and curry leaves. Garam masala is darker in color and comprised earthy spices like coriander, fennel, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, red chili powder, and cloves. Ingredients can change from region to region, slightly altering the flavor of the masala.
Easy Masala Chicken Breasts: The Ingredients
- Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- Whole Milk yogurt
- Chili powder
- Garam masala
- Salt and black pepper
- Yogurt marinades, like the one used in this masala chicken breast recipe, are an integral part of South Asian cooking and help tenderize and flavor meats before they hit the grill.
- To make the masala marinade, place ingredients in a food processor and puree into a smooth mixture. Taste the marinade, and make adjustments as needed.
- Place chicken breasts into a resealable plastic bag or a large glass dish. Pour the marinade over the top turn to coat with tongs. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap and place it into refrigerator for 6-12 hours.
Easy Masala Chicken Breasts: The Grilling
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, or 375 degrees F. Have a reliable instant-read thermometer nearby to check for doneness.
- Remove chicken from marinade and place them on the grill. Cook for 7-9 minutes per side or until internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees F. Adjust heat as needed.
- Once cooked through, remove the masala chicken breasts from the grill and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve whole or slice and serve with your favorite sides.
- Store leftover chicken breasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze for up 3 months in vacuum-sealed bags.
For faster cooking, flatten the chicken breasts. Place one breast at a time between two pieces of plastic. Using the smooth side of a kitchen mallet, gently strike the chicken breasts from the center, moving outward to create a uniform thickness of 3/4″. Marinate the masala chicken breasts and grill as directed.
Easy Masala Chicken Breasts
- 5 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- for marinade:
- 1 1/4 cups yogurt Whole Milk (do not use Greek style)
- 3 limes juiced
- 1/2 onion roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 chili pepper, seeded and roughly chopped (choose type and heat preference)
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place marinade ingredients in a food processor and puree into a smooth mixture. Taste for salt content, made any adjustments as needed.
- Place chicken breasts into a resealable plastic bag or large glass dish. Pour marinade over top and turn to coat. Seal bag or cover dish with plastic wrap and place into refrigerator for 6-12 hours.
- Preheat grill for medium high heat.
- Remove chicken from marinade and place on the grill. Cook for 7-9 minutes per side or until internal temperature at thickest part of breast reaches 165 degrees F. Adjust heat as needed.
- Once cooked through, remove from heat and let meat rest for a few minutes. Serve whole or slice and serve with your favorite sides.
- For faster cooking, flatten the chicken breasts. Place one breast at a time between two pieces of plastic. Using the smooth side of a kitchen mallet, gently strike the chicken breasts from the center, moving outward to create a uniform thickness of 3/4". Marinate and grill as directed.