30-Minute Chicken Vindaloo

Chicken Vindaloo is my favorite of the Indian Curry dishes. Vindaloo does not have to be that spicy, it can also be prepared in milder forms to suit your palate. This vindaloo is gluten-free and dairy-free.

A bowl of chicken vindaloo with cauliflower rice


Where does Chicken Vindaloo Come From?

  • Vindaloo is a specialty of central and southwestern coastal India.

What is in Chicken Vindaloo?

  • The roasted spice blend may contain any of various ingredients including ginger, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, garlic, onions, cloves, coriander, and hot red chilies. Vindaloo sauce is then typically combined with meat and served with steamed rice.
  • Making it at home from scratch is easy and we serve it with Palak Chole as our side dish with steamed white rice or cauliflower rice. Naan bread is another Indian mainstay which we eat in moderation since we are trying to eat low carb. A skillet full of chicken vindaloo cooking on the stove top.

How Hot is Chicken Vindaloo?

  • The tangy, spicy blend of vinegar and Indian curry spices in Vindaloo is sure to satisfy and I have created it at home without a pre-made paste or sauce blend. 
  • The spice level can be made from mild to XX-Hot depending on your tastes using extra hot Indian chili pepper powder (affiliate link)
Chicken Vindaloo plated in a clay bowl with cauliflower rice set on a wooden board with a yellow cloth.

Marinating the chicken in the spice paste prior to cooking helps tenderize the chicken. Since I almost never have the forethought or that kind of time, I only marinate the chicken for 30 minutes prior to cooking. It is delicious just the same.

Close-up shot of yellow curried cauliflower rice with chicken vindaloo.

How Long does Chicken Vindaloo Take to Cook?

  • This gorgeous dish with its complex spice blend is ready in just 30 minutes (plus an overnight marinade)!
Close-up shot of chicken vindaloo enrobed in tangy herbs and spices garnished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

How many calories are in Chicken Vindaloo?

  • This vindaloo dairy-free making it very low calorie at just 353 calories per serving. 

Is Chicken Vindaloo Dairy Free?

  • Yes, this version is dairy-free – but not all versions are so sure to read the ingredient lists on packages.

Is Chicken Vindaloo Gluten-Free?

  • Yes, this version is Gluten-Free (GF) – but not all versions are so sure to read the ingredients list on packages.

Looking for more Indian dishes like this Chicken Vindaloo?

The tangy, spicy blend of vinegar and Indian curry spices in Vindaloo is sure to satisfy and it's made without a pre-made paste or sauce mix.


Want to try this Chicken Vindaloo Recipe?

Pin it to your CHICKEN, DINNER or INTERNATIONAL FOODS board & SAVE it for later!

Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes!  I am always pinning yummy new content!

©Kitchen Dreaming by KitchenDreaming.com

The tangy, spicy blend of vinegar and Indian curry spices in Vindaloo is sure to satisfy and it's made without a pre-made paste or sauce mix.

Chicken Vindaloo

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
The tangy, spicy blend of vinegar and Indian curry spices in Vindaloo is sure to satisfy and it’s made without a pre-made paste or sauce mix. Adjust the spice level from milk to XXX hot by increasing the extra hot chili pepper powder.
4.77 from 13 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 188 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lbs boneless , skinness chicken (light or dark) cut into 1/2″ inch pieces

Spice Marinade:

  • 1 onion , diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar – Heinz has a gluten-free variety. more or less to your personal tastes
  • 1 TSP to 2 TBSP EXTRA HOT chili pepper powder [See note 1], more or less to your desired heat level
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons garlic , minced
  • 1 piece fresh ginger , about 2 inches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp sugar optional, to round out the acidity of the vinegar


Marinate the Chicken

  • Place cubed or thinly sliced chicken pieces into a glass bowl or zip top bag and set aside.
  • Add all the ingredients needed for the marinade and stir to combine.
  • Pour the marinade mixture over the chicken and toss well to evenly coat all the chicken pieces. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours. [See Note 2]

Cook the Vindaloo

  • In a large and deep skillet or wok heat the oil over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes. Stirring often.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water, simmer UNCOVERED on low for 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through to 165°F.
  • If you prefer a thinner gravy add water as need and let it simmer for another 4-5 minutes before serving. I prefer the gravy to be thick and sticking to the meat pieces.
  • Serve hot with basmati rice.


  1. Extra Hot Chili Pepper Powder is sold in an Indian grocery. It may also be sold in World Market. It is much hotter than cayenne pepper but cayenne may be substituted for the Extra Hot Chili Pepper Powder – but there will be a noticeable Scoville heat difference.
    1. To increase the heat from this milder version of vindaloo, simply add more Extra Hot Chili powder until you hit an acceptable spice level. We start with a milder dish for those afraid of the heat and increase the heat (after their servings are taken) to XX or XXX hot for the spicy food lovers.
    2. If the dish becomes too spicy, you can add some more vinegar or some sugar to balance it out.
  2. The longer the marination the more tender the chicken. That being said, I’ve made this dish with near no marination and a super thin cut on the meat and it’s still amazing.
    1. For a super thin cut on the chicken meat, partially freeze the chicken (about 20 minutes) and then slice thin.
Nutrition is calculated based on the recipe as written. Additions, omissions, or substitutions will change the calculated values shown. The addition, omission, or substitution of ingredients will alter the nutritional information shown. Nutrition percentages are based on a 2000-calorie diet. The FDA recommends 80 micrograms of vitamin K.


Calories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 13gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 101mgPotassium: 302mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 428IUVitamin C: 4mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 2mgVitamin K: 9µgCalcium: 12mgFolate: 7µgIron: 1mgZinc: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

89 thoughts on “30-Minute Chicken Vindaloo”

  1. I’m confused by the recipe. I followed it to a T yet the finished product looks nothing like yours. For one there almost seems to be no onion in your picture yet the recipe says to add a whole onion. Also the color of my dish came out to be more of a butter chicken brown than red.

  2. This recipe was delicious with rice! I also re-purposed the leftovers on Hawaiian role sliders with BBQ sauce, strangely amazing combination. Thank you!

  3. The Vinegary flavor here was very unappetizing for me. Next time I may decrease the vinegar to 1/2 cup instead. I still have hope for this recipe.

  4. I made this dish for a dinner party of 20 guests. It was one of 7 dishes I cooked. However, it was the first dish to be eaten up quickly. This is an excellent recipe . I even doubled the portions and it was still all gone in minutes

  5. You say that the recipe is Gluten Free. However, Distilled White Vinegar is a clear version of Malt Vinegar which contains Barley = Gluten

    • Heinz® Distilled White Vinegar and Apple Cider Flavored Vinegar are sourced from corn, not from wheat, rye, barley, or oats. Wine Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar are sourced from grapes and apples, respectively, not grains.

  6. The instructions seem to be a bit off. I think you meant to say simmer UN-covered until cooked through. I did this and it worked out perfectly and looks just like your photos. I think simmering covered is not what you meant to say in the directions. Check it out.

    • Hi Andrea! OMgosh – you are right, I need to update that right now. Thanks for catching that and for your constructive criticism. I am still human after-all. :) I appreciate you taking the time to come back and let me know – you help me be a better me. Happy Holidays!

  7. can the chili hot spice powder be omitted from the recipe to make it less spicy? Or would that mess up the recipe? and how much vinegar should I use for 600g of chicken breast? Thanks

  8. Can we get the recipe for the cauliflower rice pictured, please? Trying to replace some of my carbs, but it seems so bland.

  9. Hi I would like to try this recipe but I was wondering – does the chicken really cook so little time??? It seems to short, am i wrong?


    • Hi Catherine!
      Yes, this can be made ahead of time and frozen. Simply thaw and cook as per the instructions. Or you could also cook it to completion and then freeze, thaw, and reheat. This would make a good frozen entree made into individual portions. That’s my favorite way to freeze left-overs.

  10. You don’t specify when to add the onions or the tomato paste. Is it mixed with the spice blend and used in the marinade?

    • Hi Patricia,
      yes, it’s all part of the marinade. I have updated steps 2 and 3 of the recipe to make this more evident. Thank you for taking the time to ask. I hope you will try this recipe – it’s amazing. ;)

  11. Thanks for a flavorful dairy free recipe with instructions to scale the heat level for the people in my family. We loved this cravable Indian vindaloo recipe

    • Yes, it’s correct. I also made this on Monday of this week and used 1/2 cup in the recipe. If you feel like you were tasting it too much, you could reduce the vinegar (or start with less and increase it), add water to dilute it, or add another teaspoon of sugar to balance it out.
      Update: I was thinking about this some more and it could have something to do with the size of the chicken breasts used. Some are much larger/smaller than others. So, I have updated the recipe to use a weight rather than the ambiguous “2 whole chicken breasts.” I hope this helps.

    • Thanks for stopping by today, Nola. I’m glad you finally found my little corner of the world and hope you come back soon. This Vindaloo is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it too.

  12. Finally got to try this out. I added a little more spice and we like it super spicy and it was delicious! Thanks so much.

  13. Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time making a decision to go with WordPress.

  14. I love Vindaloo, too. The hotter that better. A little yogurt sauce helps cool it down. And garlic naan bread is just to die for.


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating