Make restaurant quality garlic chilli chicken at home with this easy and healthy recipe, full of big, bold flavours. Juicy and tender chicken thighs are lightly tossed in a sticky and flavour packed chilli and turmeric sauce, flavoured with aromatic ginger and garlic for a quick and easy dinner that everyone will love. And you can adjust the spice to suit your taste!
Looking for comfort food with a little kick? Learn how to make chilli chicken at home with this easy to follow recipe! Irresistibly juicy and tender turmeric chicken thighs are marinated and cooked in flavourful spices like ginger, garlic and chillies to make a dish that is so good, you’ll want to lick the plate!
Serve it with fluffy steamed rice or homemade fried rice and your favourite steamed veggies for a dish that the whole family will love (you can even adjust the heat to suit!).
If you love garlic and chilli and super easy dinners, then this recipe is for you!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Quick and easy – a super simple recipe that takes only five minutes of prep.
Packed with chilli and spices and using only ¼ cup of oil, it is a healthy take on fried chilli chicken.
It’s a one pot meal – everything cooks in the pan!
The chicken is coated in a sticky, flavour packed aromatic chilli paste that everyone will love.
What you’ll need
** This post contains tips and instructions to achieve the best possible results. For full ingredient quantities and methods, see the detailed recipe card below.
Chicken – chicken thigh is best in this recipe, as it has more flavour and won’t dry out while cooking. However, if you prefer, breast fillets would work too. Just be careful not to dry them out!
Chillies – you can control the heat to taste by adjusting the type of chillies you choose. If you prefer a milder dish, use a mild chilli like cayenne, poblano or bullhorn and either skip or reduce the amount of chilli powder used. If you like your chicken spicy, use habanero, bird’s eye or jalapeno.
Ghee – Ghee is a type of clarified butter used in the cuisines of India and the Middle East. It can be purchased at most supermarkets or Asian grocers. Alternatively, you can use canola or vegetable oil.
Step by step instructions
- Marinate the chicken. Add it to the bowl along with the salt and lemon and stir so that the chicken is well coated. If you want to make this dish a little spicier, add some chilli powder or even a little sriracha chilli sauce.
Rest the chicken for at least 20 minutes. You can also refrigerate it to marinate overnight.
2. While the chicken is resting, prepare the chilli paste. Place all of the paste ingredients into a food processor and pulse, until the mixture has combined but is still slightly chunky.
3. Cook the chicken according to the recipe instructions below. Remove the chicken from the pan for a short time, to cook the paste until fragrant. The chicken is then returned to the pan and coated in chilli paste and simmered (covered) until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly sticky. Adding water prevents the chilli paste from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Check the sauce as it cooks, to make sure it doesn’t stick too much. (A little sticking is ok!).
Regular option – steamed Basmati rice, white or brown rice, or fried rice. Or, your favourite noodles.
Low carb option – cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles or steamed veggies.
Try adding some natural or Greek yoghurt to the top and sprinkle with coriander leaves or a little extra sliced chilli.
This delicious, sticky and tasty one pan dinner is the perfect weeknight meal. Healthy, bursting with flavour and oh so easy to meal prep! Try it with this “better than takeaway” fried rice, prawn gyoza, char siu pork spring rolls and Chinese style chicken and corn soup or chicken with cashew nuts for your own delicious homemade
If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment or review below, or send me a message. For more food inspiration, tips and to share your own recipes and creations, head over to my Facebook Recipe Group.
Garlic Chilli Chicken with Turmeric
- 1 kg chicken thighs (approx. 5-6 large fillets), skin on or off depending on preference
- 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 6 cm ginger 28 grams, peeled and finely chopped (quantities/weight of garlic and ginger should be the same)
- 3 shallots peeled and finely diced
- 3 red chillies
- 3 green chillies
- 1 tbsp turmeric ground
- ½ tsp chilli powder or more (or less!) to taste
- pinch Sichuan pepper ground
- ¼ cup canola oil or ghee
- ⅔ cup water
- Steamed basmati rice, white rice or fried rice.
- Place the chicken thighs in a bowl and cover with lemon juice and salt. Stir, cover and set aside for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken is resting, place the ginger, garlic, shallots, chillies, turmeric, chilli powder and a little black pepper into a food processor. Use 1-2 tbs of the water and blend until you have a smooth, but slightly chunky, paste.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil/ghee and cook the chicken until brown on both sides. Remove the chicken from the heat and rest on a plate. There will be a little liquid from the lemon juice and chicken. Leave this in the pan.
- Add the chilli paste to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant.
- Add the chicken to the chilli paste and carefully pour the water over the top. Cover and cook for around 20 minutes on low heat, lightly simmering. Turn the chicken halfway through. You may need to add a little more water, but you want the paste to stick slightly to the pan at the end and become a little crispy.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately with basmati or fried rice.
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