This easy Chicken Vindaloo skips some of the time consuming parts of classic Vindaloo, but still delivers lots of flavour. Perfect weeknight meal!
We have a very good Indian restaurant locally, so when I’m looking for classic, authentic Chicken Vindaloo, that’s where I’ll head. When I’m craving those flavours but not looking to go out, this is my easy, weeknight, make at home version.
This Chicken Vindaloo comes together quickly and easily in one pot, without the need to pre-marinate the chicken. Once combined, it simply simmers for 30 minutes or so to develop the flavours. Serve with basmati rice or some Naan bread.
Vindaloo is a popular Indian curry, that can be made with a variety of meats, such as pork, lamb and chicken. Vindaloo is typically quite a spicy dish, though when you make it at home, you can easily control the spiciness level. You will sometimes see Vindaloo with cubed potatoes added in to the mix.
Check out my Herb and Garlic Naan Bread Recipe shown in the photos here. The perfect side for Indian food!
While this dish has a long list of spices, most are quite common in the average spice rack. If you find you’re missing one, it’s not a deal breaker. You will still have a lovely, fragrant curry.
I almost always use chicken broth for the sauce, as I find it makes for a fuller flavour sauce, but water will work if you don’t have broth on hand.
While Vindaloo is typically a spicy Indian dish (one of the spiciest!), when you are making it at home you are in complete control of the spice level. The heat here comes from the red pepper flakes. I have specified 1/2 tsp here, which will give you mild-moderate heat. Use more if you like it hot or none if you don’t want any heat at all.
I enjoy this Chicken Vindaloo with basmati rice, but as noted above, you can also add cubed potatoes to this dish and skip the need for rice. Simmer the uncooked, small cubed potatoes right along with the chicken. You may find you need to add a bit more liquid (water or stock) to the pot.
If you’d like a smoother sauce (better for dipping!) and you don’t mind an extra step, place your chopped onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor and process into a paste. Use in the recipe the same as the chopped onions, except cook for a bit less time.
Get the Recipe: Easy Weeknight Chicken Vindaloo
- 1 1/2 lb. chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into 3/4" cubes
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp ginger paste, or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 1/2 tsp white or brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more, to taste, for more heat or omit for no heat
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 6 Tbsp vinegar, white, white wine or red wine vinegar
- 2 cups water or chicken broth, or a mixture of both
- Chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leafed parsley
- Prepare the spice mix by combining all the spices in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan with a lid, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add cubed chicken and cook until you don't see any raw spots, 3-4 minutes. Remove from pot to a plate.
- Add 1 Tbsp more oil to the pot. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring, until quite soft and starting to brown lightly, about 4-5 minutes. (I like to add a splash of water to the pot about half way through cooking onions, which loosens any brown bits on the bottom of the pan and flavours the onions). Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and cook, stirring, another 30-45 seconds. Add the prepared spice mix to the pot and cook, stirring, for 45 seconds - 1 minute. Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir to combine. Add the vinegar and water or chicken stock to the pot and stir. Return the chicken to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and cover the pot with a lid.
- Allow the curry to simmer covered for about 20 minutes, for the flavours to blend and the chicken to cook through. Remove the lid and simmer another further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to thicken the sauce.
- Taste sauce and add salt as needed (it probably will need some to bring out all the flavours).
- Serve garnished with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, with basmati rice and Naan bread, if you like.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
My family and I really liked this. I decided to make this more of a complete meal (but still using one pot) by adding some frozen cauliflower and peas that I wanted to use up. Served with naan bread. Will make again . Your recipes are always great!
So glad you enjoyed it, Kim :) Thanks so much!
Love your recipes! The directions are so spot on and easy to follow. This was delicious and so simple to make.
Thanks so much and so glad you enjoyed it, Jola :)
Very nice and super easy recipe I added 4 scotch bonnets for an extra kick turned out perfect not to hot but a good heat will definitely be making again .
So glad you enjoyed it, Daniel! Thanks so much :)
Everyone really liked this. I made the spice level as written and I felt it was just right. No complaints that it was too spicy!
I didn’t feel this was a balanced meal with the rice and naan so I steamed some broccoli too.
Thanks for a tasty and easy recipe. I can always count on you !
Glad you all enjoyed it, Kim! Thanks so much :)
I would like to try your recipe. I actually have a seasoning packet that is named Vindaloo Seasoning. A friend got it from the Savory Spice shop and sent it to me. So, I want to try your recipe using the packet and then later, I plan to try your entire recipe. It looks great! But, I have a question. Do you season the chicken with salt and/or pepper before cooking? Lately, I have seen many recipes that don’t say to season the chicken before cooking and then end up a little bland. Thank you!
Hi Genice, I generally do most of my salting at the end of cooking, but if you prefer, certainly go ahead and season the chicken before cooking.
Thanks for sharing as this tasted amazing and easy enough that it’s just normal ingredients you keep in the cupboard (I probably make too much curry)
Just a tip for anyone that enjoys really hot curries that I found it a bit mild so needed to add a few scotch bonnets to get a good heat level for me.
Glad you enjoyed it and yes, you can absolutely spice up to your own taste. I always write recipes in mild mode, as you can add spice, but you can’t take it out :) Thanks!
I made this earlier in the week and had enough for left overs two days later. It was fantastic – flavourful and delicious! Thank you so much, Jennifer, for these great recipes – everything I try turns out so well! I love getting the email each week with new recipes. Thanks!!
So happy to hear, Linda :) Thanks so much!
Another wonderful dish from the best food blog!!!
Very good flavors. Subtle heat with a nice sweetness. I used 1 kg of chicken because that was in the package and increased the sauce ingredients. No need to increase the sauce as the recipe makes lots.
Great job Jennifer! I look forward to the Seasons & Suppers email each week.
So glad you enjoyed it, Mario and yes, very saucy. Perfect for soaking up with lots of Naan bread :) Thanks!
made it tonight and already know I will be making it many many times. it’s so fast and easy and yet so rich in flavor. thanks for sharing this winning recipe.
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much :)
I made this a few weeks ago Jennifer, but haven’t shared yet. I thought my husband Tom, Mr. Picky, would balk when I served it, but he LOVED it. What a great dish. So much flavor!
Thanks Mary Ann! We are both Indian food lovers here, too :)
I’ve never tried Chicken Vindaloo but, honestly, you’d made me want to make it today! Such a delicious combination of spices!
Thanks Chris! Vindaloo does have a lovely blend of spices and the added vinegar gives it a nice tangy note, as well.
All that amazing flavor in one delicious dish. This is my kind of make-at-home favorite. A must try! Thanks Jennifer.
Thanks so much, Tricia :)
Love making delicious takeout meals at home…so much better and I get to stay in my cozy clothes ;) This one looks super flavourful, Jennifer. I just need some naan for soaking up that delicious sauce!
Thanks Dawn and me, too. Always nice to be able to enjoy these dishes at home :)