Pulled Tandoori Chicken

Take your pulled chicken to the next level with a delicious tandoori sauce blend which is gluten free, paleo, whole30 friendly and dairy free! Moist, flavourful pulled chicken ready in 20 minutes instead of the slow cooker! 

20 Minute Stovetop Pulled Tandoori Chicken (Whole30, Keto, Paleo, Gluten Free)- Easy low carb chicken recipe which is whole30 approved and keto friendly- Instant pot and crockpot ready too! #instantpot #whole30 #keto #whole30approved | Recipe on thebigmansworld.com


Firstly, thank you all SO much for your kind words on my big announcement on Thursday– I’m still in disbelief and excited all in one- I’ll keep you all updated as I most likely will need some advice! Cheers! 


Let me preface this by saying I love pulled meat.

Pulled chicken, pulled pork or pulled beef- Hell, if there was pulled shrimp or pulled crab, I’d be a huge fan (although I don’t think my wallet would be). With Summer ending in Australia, it means that slow cookers and hearty stews are going to be pulled (ha) out of the depths of the pantries, kitchen drawers or (where my mum stores it), the garage. 

Since sharing more recipes here on the blog, there has been a fine lesson I’ve learnt- Share seasonally relevant recipes.

20 Minute Stovetop Pulled Tandoori Chicken (Whole 30, Paleo)- Whole30 Friendly juicy, moist and EASY pulled tandoori chicken perfect for a low carb, high protein and flavorful meal- Lunch, dinner and freezer friendly! {paleo, gluten free, whole30}- thebigmansworld.com

What does that mean? Well for me, I realised most of my readership was from America. Learning how to understand google analytics was a huge learning curve for me and taught me to play to my strengths. No more sharing stews in Summer or overnight oats in Winter. Yes, they were delicious recipes but the likelihood of them being made- Not so much. 

Today’s recipe is one which could be seasonally appropriate for those about to face Winter or those entering Spring- Pulled chicken without the need for a slow cooker and ready in much less time. 

Stovetop Pulled Tandoori Chicken- Moist, flavourful and juicy pulled chicken made over the stovetop and ready in 20 MINUTES- No need for a slow cooker! Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Whole30 friendly! @thebigmansworld.com - thebigmansworld.com

Slow cooker= 8 hours on low.

Stove top = 20 minutes + 5 minutes cooling time + 1 minute pulling. 

I’d take the latter, thanks. 

I am always fearful that chicken made over the stovetop would turn out like rubber. In turn,  I could take up hockey as a sport and bring my own pucks. Luckily, after picking my mum’s brain, I now am confident in making stovetop poached chicken which are moist (sorry), flavourful and juicy– Perfect to be be shredded and doused in a delicious sauce. 

(It’s times like these I forgive my mum for having a slow cooker perfectly intact because she refuses to use it unless desperate). 

Stovetop Pulled Tandoori Chicken- Moist, flavourful and juicy pulled chicken made over the stovetop and ready in 20 MINUTES- No need for a slow cooker! Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Whole30 friendly! @thebigmansworld.com - thebigmansworld.com

This pulled chicken is so simple to make and the addition of a homemade healthy tandoori sauce takes it to the next level. While barbecued pulled chicken and and buffalo pulled chicken tastes delicious, it’s always fun to toss it up. The homemade tandoori sauce is different to mainstream ones out there- It is paleo friendly, dairy free, whole30 friendly and gluten free! It is free from any sugar and the spice mixture is flavourful and slightly spicy. 

This delicious and easy pulled chicken also fits well this with month’s recipe redux theme which is two for one- Or the concept of turning the leftovers into other meals. The beauty of this versatile pulled chicken is how the leftovers can be used. I’ll be sharing a couple in the coming weeks but some ideas include pulled tandoori chicken wraps, tossed in a salad or even thrown in a soup! 

Stovetop Pulled Tandoori Chicken- Moist, flavourful and juicy pulled chicken made over the stovetop and ready in 20 MINUTES- No need for a slow cooker! Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Whole30 friendly! @thebigmansworld.com - thebigmansworld.com

Alternatively, you can use the sauce for a small portion of it and change up the leftovers to suit different flavours! Don’t reserve pulled chicken to the slow cooker and make this stovetop version with a tandoori sauce and embrace the leftovers! 

Pulled Tandoori Chicken

Take your pulled chicken to the next level with a delicious tandoori sauce blend which is gluten free, paleo, whole30 friendly and dairy free! Moist, flavourful pulled chicken ready in 20 minutes instead of the slow cooker!
5 from 2 votes
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Author: Arman @ thebigmansworld


For the pulled chicken

  • 1 kilogram chicken breasts fat trimmed and cut into palm sized portions (just over 2 lbs)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Pinch sea salt

For the tandoori sauce

  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk can sub for Greek yogurt/dairy free plain yogurt if not paleo or dairy free
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper optional but highly recommended
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper


To cook the chicken

  • Fill a large pot with chicken stock and add the garlic and onion and bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling, add the chicken breasts and after 2 minutes, reduce to low and allow to simmer for 12-15 minutes, until chicken is just cooked and no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain immediately and allow chicken to cool.
  • Once cooled, place chicken back into the pot and using two forks, shred the chicken finely. Add the tandoori sauce and serve immediately*

To make Tandoori Sauce

  • Combine all the spices into a small bowl and add the coconut milk (or Greek yogurt) and mix until fully incorporated. Adjust spices to suit taste (I love a really spicy sauce so go overboard with the cayenne pepper and smoked paprika)


If you intend to eat the chicken later (e.g. for meal prep), do not add the sauce until about to eat to maintain freshness.
Pulled chicken can be refrigerated for 2-3 days without the sauce, or frozen for up to a month
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!
Stovetop Pulled Tandoori Chicken- Moist, flavourful and juicy pulled chicken made over the stovetop and ready in 20 MINUTES- No need for a slow cooker! Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Whole30 friendly! @thebigmansworld.com - thebigmansworld.com

Want more delicious chicken recipes? Try one of the ones below!

The Best Chicken Patties (Paleo, Gluten Free, Whole 30)

The Best Chicken Patties- Hands down, the ultimate chicken patties- Juicy, thick and so flavourful without the need for any grains, flours or additives- #paleo #glutenfree #grainfree and better than take out! -thebigmansworld.com @thebigmansworld.com

Persian Slow Roasted Chicken (Paleo, Gluten Free, Whole 30)

Persian Slow Roasted Chicken- Delicious, flavourful and so simple to whip up- this recipe is Paleo, Gluten Free and Whole 30 friendly! @thebigmansworld -thebigmansworld.com

Healthy 20 Minute Pulled Tandoori Chicken- Seriously, moist and juicy shredded chicken made stovetop- Secretly healthy and SO flavorful! {paleo, gluten free, whole 30 recipe}- thebigmansworld.com

Ever had failures with cooking chicken?

Want to join my hockey team? We use overcooked chicken as pucks. 

Favourite way to use leftover chicken/pulled meat? 

The Big Man’s World ® Arman Liew owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes, pictures and content to be reproduced anywhere other than this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed this recipe and would like to publish it on your own website, please re-write it, in your own words and link back to my site and recipe page. Copying and/or pasting full recipes and pictures to social media or personal blogs is strictly prohibited. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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202 thoughts on “Pulled Tandoori Chicken

  1. Ooh I love pulled meat too. Especially with a side of baked beans and a hunk of cornbread. Something tells me those flavours wouldn’t really go with this recipe though haha. But it sounds awesome! I don’t think I’ve ever used tandoori flavours in cooking before but if it involves coconut milk, I know I’d like it.

  2. Again, making my day! Tandoori chicken is so so good. I too have a slow cooker that saw the light of day when I unwrapped it but hasn’t been used since. I mean, how often are you gone for just 8 hours during the work day? and is it just supposed to hang out there after? That’s a bitch move.

  3. I LOVE pulled meat as well 🙂 and love that you can do this over the stove! Slow cookers are supposed to be easy and convenient but I always forget to prep the ingredients, so I never have it ready when I want. Oops.

  4. tandoori chicken is amazing. I’ve never made it at home though – I find Indian food intimidating to cook at home so I don’t use the flavours often.
    Pulled chicken is right up there with pulled pork. Although, if you figure out pulled shrimp I want in on that shit.

  5. pulled chicken cooked on the stovetop? in 20 minutes? yes please! Loving all the flavors going on in here. Forget 2-for-1 I can make like 5 different meals using this! Well done, my friend

  6. This looks incredible, Arman! I love pulled everything, too…I usually do it outside on the smoker, so as you can probably imagine, I’m pretty darned ready to break the smoker out from it’s winter hibernation cave. I’m digging the tandoori spices in here…I kinda wish I was having this for dinner tonight! (P.S. Your lighting in these shots looks awesome!)

  7. As soon as I read this post and realized I had everything on hand, it was decided: this would be tonight’s dinner. Loved it – quick and easy to whip together and such great flavor with only a few ingredients. Another fantastic one, buddy!

  8. I do not believe I’ve ever tried Tandoori sauce, but it sounds scrumptious. Hey, if you need any advice if you’re moving anywhere to Arkansas (not likely, but…) I can help! And I agree, I’d eat pulled meat of any kind, especially if pulled shrimp or crab were an option. This needs to be invented.

  9. This looks insanely good, so flavorful and such awesome pics! I can think of a million different ways that I would love to enjoy it- can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  10. Love this Arman! Big fan of tandoori chicken but I stopped eating it after I decided to avoid dairy- feeling kinda dumb now that I never thought to use coconut milk…good thing I have smarty pants like you in my life :)! Have you tried mixing pulled chicken with guac- SO delish!

  11. I LOVE that this is a stove top version!! We don’t even have a slow cooker, at least not an electrical one. But with this I guess you could even bake the chicken breast, you just have to get it cooked through:-D didn’t know that tandoori sauce is so easy to make – I even have all those spices here! I’d make a sandwich or maybe a lettuce wrap thing for a low carb version with it!

  12. Just pinned the recipe for making soon! Sounds very delicious and right up my alley 🙂
    Okay but totally different topic – what’s so gross about the word moist? I don’t get it!

  13. New fan here! Congrats on your move back to America, it seems like a natural fit for you! This tandoori chicken is a dream meal; a great way to use up leftover chicken. Who needs the crock-pot. Love the flavors. See you around the blogosphere!

  14. Made this last night and it was delish! Had it for lunch today (with the sauce – I used Greek yoghurt – mixed through) and it was still perfect. Nice, easy and also suitable for the summer-like weather here in Perth!

  15. Oh yes please!! Since I am living on chicken at the moment on the specific carbohydrate diet this will make a lovely change from the usuals! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Pinning it to my board of inspiration for those on the SCD diet or GAPS diet…

  16. This was delicious! I’m working on a round-up of Whole30 recipes for my blog pretty soon and this will definitely be on the list. Made it with zoodles this time around and will be trying it with cauliflower next time. Yum!

  17. Arman this is a fantastic recipe, and kudos for making it so compliant across all different dietary preferences! The Tandoori sauce looks like a really nice balance between spicy and smooth (thanks to the coconut milk). Pinned!

  18. Arman, this was truly delicious! And so simple. Yet a complex flavor profile for “foodies”. My husband and son could not get enough! We served it along quinoa and a piece of high fiber naan. This is will be in our dinner rotation. Thank you!

  19. First time here and I’m so impressed. This is such a fabulous recipe, and your photos are stunning. I was reading your sidebar comment about Channing Tatum and laughed. My first thought was I bet Channing Tatum wishes he could cook like this guy. So there you go.

    1. Hi Sarah, I can help you. Yes, just heat up the broth, put the chicken in and let it simmer gently (no rapid boiling), and it will cook. You are poaching the chicken.

  20. I made mine in the slow cooker and it turned out great. My husband is a sucker for tacos, so I put the tandoori chicken in a corn tortilla, topped it with a splash of lime and the tandoori yogurt sauce. (I made extra to act as a salsa or taco sauce). It got a thumbs up from both me and my husband. Thanks for the great recipe. 🙂

  21. Just found your recipe. Never had Tandoori sauce. Is it real spicy? Sounds like it. My husband sweats eating ketchup!

    1. This was WAY spicy and I love spicy food. I think that I will cut the spices in half next time. I added a little ghee and a few handfulls of spinach then served it over riced cauliflower and roasted sweet potatoes.

  22. Love Australia – just did a WH there… Anyhoo – about how many people does this recipe serve? I’m making it for a dinner party and don’t want to run out (or be drowning in it). Thanks so much!

  23. I made this and then immediately text Jo to tell her I had made a recipe that was whole30 since she has been nagging at me about doing the whole plan. Blah blah blah. Not interested if wine isn’t part of the plan. BUT I will say this was a damn good meal. … And I served it with a half a bottle of wine 🙂

  24. Making this now and have a question- I know you say drain immediately but wanting to make sure I have this right- drain the chicken stock liquid and don’t use any of it or the onions for the shredded chicken?

      1. Awesome! Thanks for the quick reply. About to shred my chicken now and eat with some roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Smells yummy.

  25. I can’t wait to try this, I’m all about the quick (and delicious) dinner. But don’t be hating on the slow cooker. I use mine all. the. time. Especially in the summer since my oven really heats up the house (and I live in Texas). It’s great because my husband can eat when he gets home early, and I can eat when I get home late. win-win.
    I recently found your blog and really love all your healthy recipes. Keep them coming Arman.
    Now, how do you make TahDig, the Persian rice with crunchy layer on the bottom?

  26. Just stumbled across your blog via Pinterest and this recipe looks amazing. I’m always looking for new ways to mix up the basics, and since we eat a lot of chicken in my house (it’s easy, lean, and always available in bulk) it’s nice to have options that flavor it differently. Definitely saving this recipe for this week. Also, love the way your write your posts!

  27. I can’t wait to try this recipe. The onus is that I have every single ingredient.

    I love to use the pressure cooker because it’s so easy and the meats is so tender. What do you think?

  28. I make a pot of chicken broth every single week (GAPS Diet). I am so sick of eating boiled (and then shredded) chicken, although sometimes I do turn it into a stir fry or add other seasonings. I am going to try this sauce on it to mix things up. Can’t wait until I make the next batch of broth this weekend.

    1. I just got done making this for lunch using the boiled chicken, heating it all in a in a large pan. Perfection! It was a big hit with my 10 year old daughter, along with slices of cucumber, roasted cauliflower, and fermented carrots. Even with all the sides, she ate 3 heaping portions of the chicken and told me that she definitely wants me to make this recipe often. I did add a teaspoon of ginger too (fresh grated ginger would have been amazing, but was looking for quick and easy today). This dish would be great on top of rice, for those who eat rice, or riced cauliflower, or zucchini noodles. I am looking forward to trying some more of your recipes. The Persian chicken looks delicious too!

  29. This is so delicious! Did you know that if you put the chicken in the pot and use your regular beaters (like you would use to make cookies) It makes the perfect shredded meat!

  30. I have never tried tandoori chicken and so didn’t know what to expect. But my husband is tired of my go to chicken recipes so I gave this a try. It’s actually quite tasty, but it’s hot!! Funny enough I tried it with just a 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper first but decided to add the other half and it really is better hot. But if you aren’t used to spicy stuff, be warned. It’s not for wimps. My 10 yr old son complains about dinner just about every night but he and my husband both liked this and created a competition as to who could take the most bites without their eyes watering lol. We will definitely make again. Next time I may use the Greek yogurt over the coconut milk simply because coconut isn’t my favorite flavor and you can taste it slightly in the sauce. Great job and thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Melody!!! Thanks so much for the feedback and thank YOU for the reality check – I often forget my level of spiciness is so different to others (I grew up with chilli sauce over ketchup as a condiment!)- I’m so glad it worked out well in the end, I will be amending the instructions 🙂 We love it with yogurt over coconut milk too 🙂

  31. Hi, I’m looking to make this to have for lunches during the week. I have a question about the sauce. When you make the sauce you prepare in a bowl and mix all ingredients. I see that you keep chicken and sauce separate if not eating right away. When you reheat the chicken to add the sauce then? or is the sauce supposed to be cold?

      1. Thank you! That’s what I thought but wanted to make sure. I prepped everything today and will be having for lunch tomorrow 🙂

  32. Aww, mine doesn’t look as pretty as yours ;( still tastes good, though. Thanks for the recipe, so much better than waiting for the chicken to marinate! I’m having to fight the urge to pair it with a flour tortilla ( Mexican household, no naan). What vegetables go well with this?

    1. You are so welcome 🙂 I LOVE (when I’m doing paleo) serving it over cauliflower rice with a big scoop of the sauce to soak- It’s delicious! Otherwise, sauteed peppers, broccoli and cauliflower with a dash of pepper is delicious 🙂

  33. Killer! Doubled up on the portions and meal prepped my protein for the week along w/Turkish meatballs w/almost the exact ingredients. Slow cooked, cause I like the smell to linger and think it soaks in a bit better. Delicious brother. Thanks!

  34. I love that you can make this on the stove!! I have a day off and thought I’d try it in the slow cooker. Would you cook the ck in the broth and then add the tandoori sauce at the last half hour after shredding? Or would you just cook it in the tandoori sauce for the whole time – if you did that would you cut down on the broth then? Thanks for your help!

  35. This is our very favourite meal. We eat it almoste every week. Sometimes with rice, sometimes with udon noodles, and also with quinoa. YUMMY!!!! And so super easy! Thanks for the recipe!

  36. I wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to post this recipe. I made this tonight after I got home from work. Was SO easy and my family LOVED it. Had it with a side salad. Next time we’ll probably use cauliflower rice. Can’t tell you enough how grateful I am for this recipe and what a nice feeling when your family enjoys what you make to share at the end of the day. 🙂

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