This Mexican chicken marinade recipe is easy, healthy, and full of flavour. Made with simple ingredients including lime juice, oil, cumin and cilantro it has the most incredible taste. Use it for the most succulent grilled chicken, chicken fajitas or chicken tacos.
Why you will love this recipe:
- This gluten-free marinade is full of flavour and will make your chicken so juicy and tender! You’ll never want to season your chicken any other way again.
- It's so fast, quick and easy to make and only takes a few minutes to prepare.
- This healthy Mexican marinade is made with simple pantry staple ingredients like lime juice, cilantro, and cumin for a quick and easy chicken dinner.
- If you're looking for a great way to add moisture and flavour to your grilled chicken, this is it.
- This authentic Mexican marinade works for chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken wings and chicken drumsticks.
- Besides being gluten free, this marinade is healthy, sugar free, keto, paleo, Whole30, and dairy free.
- You can use this marinade to help make chicken tacos or chicken fajitas!
- Besides being used for chicken, this marinade is also great for steak, shrimp and fish.
Taste and flavour:
This chicken marinade is packed with so much flavour - but don't worry, it isn't spicy so even kids love it. The combination of the sweet lime juice, flavourful herbs, cumin, and smoky paprika and chili powder blend perfectly to give this marinade the perfect taste.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Lime Juice — Citrus juice helps penetrate the chicken for the deepest flavour and helps tenderize the meat. I recommend using freshly squeezed lime juice for the best taste.
- Oregano — This spice is so perfect for adding a sweet herbaceous flavour to your dinner.
- Cilantro — There's no more Mexican herb than cilantro! It add's a delicious flavour to this marinade.
- Cumin — If you want just a little of that classic Mexican spice, it's cumin you need!
- Paprika — You can use either smoked or regular paprika for this marinade.
- Chili powder — Get that subtle smokiness with chili powder.
- Garlic — There's nothing that's not better with garlic, trust me. Add as little or as much as you want!
- Chicken Breasts — This is my favorite marinade for juicy grilled chicken breasts. I recommend using free range chicken if possible for the best taste. You can also use this marinade on any cut of chicken including chicken thighs, chicken wings, or chicken drumsticks too.
How to make this recipe:
First, add all the marinade ingredients to a bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir well to combine.
Next, pour the marinade over the raw chicken breasts and let marinade for 2 hours, or up to overnight.
Then cook the chicken however you like. You can either grill it or bake it in the oven.
Tips and variations:
- This chicken marinade recipe works for up to 6 chicken breasts, but it's easy to half, double, or even triple for a family cookout!
- This marinade also works for chicken thighs, chicken wings, chicken drumsticks, steaks, seafood, or even grilled vegetables.
- You can marinade the chicken in a glass dish or in a plastic bag, whichever you prefer.
- Don't overcook your chicken or it will end up dry rather than juicy and tender.
- This recipe can be easily adapted and modified! Like more garlic? Add another clove. Like it more spicy? Add more chili powder. The variations are endless.
- You can use this marinade as a chicken taco marinade.
How to serve:
You can use the cooked chicken in so many ways. You can use it to make a delicious chicken salad, chicken tacos, chicken fajitas, enchiladas, a burrito bowl, chicken nachos, or serve it on it's own with other side dishes such as rice, cauliflower rice, sweet potato rice, cooked or grilled vegetables. For even more flavour you could top this chicken with mango habanero salsa or guacamole.
How to store:
If you have extra marinade, set aside the extras (before you soak the chicken in it) and store it in the ridge in an airtight jar or container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze this marinade to use at a later date.
Once the chicken is cooked, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This chicken is great to have on hand for meal prep and for easy weekday lunches or weeknight meals.
Frequently asked questions:
The best grilled chicken is always marinated first! It adds so much flavour deep into the raw chicken that you just can't get with a spice rub. I always marinate chicken at least a few hours before cooking.
Marinating takes a little time. You want to marinate your chicken at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
Every marinade has a few basic components: acid, oil, and flavours. The oil and acid help permeate the meat to tenderize it and make it super juicy. The herbs and spices add extra flavour to the meat.
Most recipes for marinating meat and chicken recommend marinating for anywhere between 2-24 hours. It is safe to keep the food in the marinade longer, but after two days it is possible that the marinade can start to break down the fibers of the meat, causing it to become a little mushy.
Other recipes you will love:
- Pork Belly in the Air Fryer
- Whole30 Chicken Stir Fry
- Duck Burgers
- Keto Steak Marinade
- Gluten-Free Meatloaf
Since you made it this far we are basically best friends so be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and Facebook where I share even more recipes and healthy living tips! And don’t forget to leave this recipe a star review before you go!
Mexican Chicken Marinade
- Plastic bags or baking dish
- 6 chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- Add all the marinade ingredients to a bowl or glass measuring cup. Stir well to combine.
- Pour the marinade over the raw chicken breasts and let marinade for 2 hours, or up to overnight.
- Cook the chicken how you like. You can either grill it or bake it in the oven.
- This marinade recipe works for up to 6 chicken breasts.
- Feel free to double or triple this recipe if you are serving a crowd.
- This marinade also works for chicken thighs, chicken wings, and chicken drumsticks.
- You can marinade in a glass dish or in a plastic bag, whichever you prefer.
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