Tequila Lime Chicken features boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated in a flavorful mixture of lime juice, tequila, cilantro and spices. A super easy grilled chicken recipe perfect for summer entertaining!
Tequila Lime Chicken is a delicious chicken recipe made with simple ingredients in very little time.
I make this easy grilled chicken recipe quite often as I love how light and healthy it is. During the winter months, when it’s too cold to grill outside, I simply use a grill pan.
What Goes With Tequila Lime Chicken
You can also serve Tequila Lime Chicken on top of your favorite salad or as a filling for tacos, burritos and quesadillas.
The Chicken Marinade
The simple Tequila Lime chicken marinade has a few ingredients and it’s very easy to prepare. If you worry about the alcohol in the tequila, you don’t have to. The alcohol burns off while grilling, leaving only some of the “margarita” flavor.
Need a Shortcut? I make this recipe 2 ways depending on the ingredients I have at home and my level of laziness at the time. My original recipe calls for tequila, lime juice, sugar, garlic, cilantro and spices. When I feel like I need a shortcut, I buy a bottle of margarita (with tequila already mixed in) and add the garlic, cilantro and spices. Quick, easy and no lime squeezing at all!
I am a big fan of Costco’s Kirkland Margarita Wine. The price is reasonable and besides making a killer cocktail, it makes this chicken marinade incredibly easy to make. This is not a promotion and I am not getting paid to say that (although I will take a case anytime!). I simply like the product an use it often.
How To Make Tequila Lime Chicken
- Mix the chicken marinade ingredients in a shallow baking dish or in a resealable bag.
- If your chicken breasts are thick in some areas and thin in others, you can pound them with a meat mallet to even them out.
- Marinate the chicken for as little as 15 minutes or for 4 hours.. The longer you marinate, the better.
- Heat up a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grilling the chicken at medium-high heat seals in the juices while also giving a nice charred exterior.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill for about 5 to 8 minutes per side. The exact timing will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breast.
- If the chicken gets stuck on the grill grates, don’t force it off. That usually means the chicken is not ready to be flipped or be removed yet. Just let it cook a bit longer until it releases easily.
- After removing the chicken breast from the grill, allow it to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before slicing or serving.
Safe Temperature for Boneless Chicken Breast
- The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to check is by using an instant-read thermometer.
Tequila Lime Chicken Tips and Notes
- Resting the chicken before serving it, allows for carryover cooking. Carryover cooking simply means that the heat will continue to move (from the surface to the interior of the meat) and the temperature will increase about 5 to 10 degrees after you remove the meat from the heat source, in this case the grill. For perfectly juicy and tender grilled chicken breast, you can remove the chicken from the grill when an instant read thermometer, inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Tent the chicken with aluminum foil while resting.
- If your chicken is getting too charred but is not cooked through, you can always finish the cooking in a pre-heated 300 degrees Fahrenheit.oven. Just place the chicken in an oven safe dish and cover it with foil to keep it moist. Bake it until cooked through.
- You can store leftover grilled chicken in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
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Tequila Lime Chicken
- 6 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To prepare the marinade, combine the lime juice, tequila, sugar, chopped garlic, chopped cilantro, ground cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil in a zip top bag or large bowl. Check the notes if using pre-made margarita.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken to the marinade.
- Marinate for 15 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Heat up a grill to medium high. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill turning once for about 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Remove from the grill to a plate, cover with foil and let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve
- If using bottled Margarita with tequila, omit the first 3 ingredients.
- Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before consuming. This resting period will increase the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees due to carryover cooking.
- The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on the brands of ingredients used