Mexican Chicken Marinade

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If you’re craving a zesty, flavor-packed dish with a hint of Mexican flair, this Mexican Chicken Marinade recipe is your answer. Combines olive oil, taco seasoning, lime juice, and a blend of aromatic spices for fresh flavor in every bite.

a piece of grilled chicken with mexican marinade on a plate

When it comes to cooking chicken for dinner, my favorite is to use a simple marinade. Our Greek chicken marinade is a healthy go-to that fits a simple flavor profile. Key West chicken marinade packs a spicy punch. And our easy chicken marinade is just 2 ingredients, shared with us by a sweet man in the grocery store.

Next Up: Mexican Chicken Marinade

With our strong love for all the flavors and textures of Mexican food, an easy Mexican marinade for chicken was long overdue. This Mexican marinade uses our homemade taco seasoning, a hint of brown sugar, lime juice and zest for tanginess and olive oil to keep the chicken tender.

Ingredients to Use

ingredients for mexican chicken marinade on a table
  • Chicken Breasts: Opt for boneless and skinless chicken breasts for easy grilling. Pounding them to a uniform thickness ensures even cooking. If you’re looking for extra juicy chicken, try boneless skinless chicken thighs.
  • Olive Oil: Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the marinade. It adds richness and helps tenderize the marinated chicken.
  • Taco Seasoning: Store-bought taco seasoning is quick or make taco seasoning at home by using chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat.
  • Lime Juice and Zest: Fresh lime juice and zest provide a bright, citrusy flavor. In a pinch, use Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Garlic: You can adjust the amount according to your preference. More garlic is never a bad thing, right?!
  • Green Onions: They offer a mild onion flavor with a hint of sweetness.
  • Cilantro: Chopped cilantro adds freshness. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can omit it or substitute with parsley.

✨ See the recipe card for the full recipe and ingredients. ✨

4 Tips For Making the Best Mexican Grilled Chicken

  • For the best results, marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight. 
chicken marinating in a bowl with mexican seasoning
  1. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat before adding the chicken. A properly preheated grill ensures a nice sear on the outside while keeping the inside juicy.
  2. Chicken breasts can easily dry out if overcooked. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature should reach 165°F. Remove the chicken from the grill as soon as it reaches this temperature to avoid dryness.
  3. Allow the grilled chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful chicken.
chicken on a grill

Recipe Variations and Serving Ideas

  • Transform the grilled chicken into delicious chicken fajitas by slicing it thinly after cooking. Serve with sautéed bell peppers and onions, warm tortillas, and your favorite toppings like salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
  • Add a smoky kick to the Mexican chicken marinade by incorporating chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Blend the chipotle peppers with the marinade ingredients for a spicy and flavorful twist.
  • Serve the grilled chicken with a vibrant mango salsa on top. Combine diced mango, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt for a refreshing and tropical topping.
  • Slice the grilled chicken on a salad. Serve it over a bed of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, black beans, corn, avocado, and queso fresco. Drizzle with a lime vinaigrette for a refreshing and satisfying taco salad.
overhead view of a plate of chicken, rice and corn
about tastes of lizzy t

Make it a meal.

closeup of a slice of mexican chicken sliced on a plate

You may also love our baked salsa chicken and garlic mustard chicken marinade.

two pieces of mexican chicken on a plate
two pieces of mexican chicken on a plate

Mexican Chicken Marinade

5 from 1 vote
If you're craving a zesty, flavor-packed dish with a hint of Mexican flair, this Mexican Chicken Marinade recipe is your answer. Combines olive oil, taco seasoning, lime juice, and a blend of aromatic spices for fresh flavor in every bite.
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinate Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

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  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  • In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, taco seasoning, fresh lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk together until the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Place the pounded chicken breasts in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring each piece is evenly coated. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to meld and the chicken to tenderize.
  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oiled the grill to prevent sticking.
  • Place the chicken breasts on the preheated grill. Discard any excess marinade left in the dish or bag.
  • Grill the chicken for approximately 6-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
  • Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the grill and transfer it to a clean plate. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute, ensuring a tender and juicy bite.
  • Garnish with green onions, chopped cilantro and lime wedges if desired.


  • If you have any leftover grilled chicken, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.
  • Grilled chicken can also be frozen for longer-term storage. Allow the chicken to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing. Properly stored, grilled chicken will keep well in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • When ready to enjoy the frozen grilled chicken, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. This gradual thawing process helps maintain the chicken’s texture and flavor.
  • Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
  • The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 4, with 1 serving being 1 marinated chicken breast. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. **
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken marinade, chicken recipe, mexican recipes
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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