Get your grill going and make this incredibly moist and perfectly marinated Tequila Lime Chicken recipe filled with citrus, herbal and spiced tequila flavor then grill to perfection!
Margarita chicken, flavored with tequila, lime, and orange juice, transforms chicken into flavorful and juicy bites of chicken you can enjoy as a main dish or use to add to salads, tacos, and dishes that need sliced cooked chicken.
I love this tasty chicken dish year round but it’s a favorite in our house especially during the summer when it’s the weather is perfect for grilling.
If you love the citrus flavors of margaritas, you might also enjoy these pineapple mocktail margaritas or this strawberry margarita pie.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Great flavor and perfectly juicy chicken! The combination of ingredients really transforms chicken breast into something that’s a far cry from dry, rubbery chicken.
- So many ways to use it! Slice it or shred it to use in so many different recipes. From quesadillas and tacos to grain bowls and salads.
- Simple ingredients. You don’t need much to create a tasty chicken recipe everyone will love.
- Healthy chicken recipe. Grilled chicken breast makes a healthy protein for meals.
- Easy to prep ahead. This margarita chicken recipe tastes great warm or cold making it perfect to use throughout the week to create healthy meals.
Making tequila lime marinated chicken doesn’t require much to prepare. Here are the ingredients you will need to pick up at the store.
- Tequila: Tequila not only helps to tenderize the chicken but it also adds a pungent, bright kick.
- Lime: This lime chicken marinade includes both lime juice and lime zest. Together these two powerhouses of flavor layer in acidic, sour yet sweet flavors. The natural enzymes will break down protein and make for tender, juicy chicken.
- Orange juice: Oranges are sweet and slightly floral; they help to tone down the acidity of the limes. Acidic enzymes help to tenderize as well which allows the flavor to fully infuse into the meat.
- Olive oil: Oil serves as a base for any marinade; it holds together the other ingredients and makes for even distribution.
- Worcestershire sauce: A few dashes for a malted, vinegary flavor that balances out the fruit perfectly.
- Chicken breasts: We will be using boneless, skinless chicken in breasts in this recipe but you can also use other cuts of chicken and even bone-in chicken.
- Spices: A bit of paprika and garlic powder for a bit more flavor to the lime marinade for chicken.
- Cilantro: Adds a nice splash of color and a flavor that blends great with tequila and lime.
How to Make Tequila Lime Chicken
- Combine the tequila, lime juice, lime zest, orange juice, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and whisk until the ingredients are combined.
- Place the chicken breasts in a large plastic storage bag and pour the southwestern chicken marinade over the top. Make sure to submerge the chicken. Close the storage bag and store it in the refrigerator for at least three hours or overnight for more intense flavor.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Grill the chicken on all sides until cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the grill. Cover it with foil and rest for a few minutes to allow juices to settle. Slice it up and garnish with chopped cilantro and lime zest for serving.
How to Store
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months. You can store the chicken breasts whole, sliced, or chopped depending on how you plan to use them. However, if you plan to reheat it, I prefer to store the breasts whole and then cut them once reheated.
Reheat whole chicken breasts in the microwave at 75% power for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat it in the oven. For this method place the chicken on a baking tray with a bit of water and covered it with foil. Bake at 325° F for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Sliced or chopped chicken can be reheated in a skillet or microwave.
How to Serve
The sky’s the limit with this recipe! Use this chicken to make tacos, salads, and grain bowls, or serve with a side of rice and veggies. Keep it simple or make it unique!
For a bit of spice, serve it with a salsa verde.
- Let it marinate. The longer you allow the chicken to marinate the more time it has to penetrate and tenderize the chicken, resulting in a moister chicken. Feel free to play around with dry rubs for it to add even more flavor once you get the hang of it.
- Don’t be afraid to get that grill hot! We want a slight char without burning and a quick cooking time.
- Let it rest. Slicing too early will cause the juices to seep out. Let the breasts rest for at least 5 minutes, giving them time to redistribute their juices.
- Use the marinade on just about anything! Mix it up by using thighs or even wings next time.
Ideally, any cut of meat should be marinated anywhere from 12-24 hours for maximum flavor infusion. But, I know that’s not always possible. I find that a 3-hour soak is just the right amount of time to ensure the ideal texture and flavor. Chicken breasts are naturally a drier cut of meat so, if you’re short on time, cut the breasts into thinner slices. No matter what, give it at least an hour of marinating.
For regular-sized chicken breasts, grill for 5-7 minutes on each side or, until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.
More Grill Recipes
Looking for this Summer’s latest and greatest grilling recipes? I got you! Try out a few of Grandbaby Cakes’ BEST grilled goodies:
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Apricot Glaze
- Pineapple Honey Bourbon Grilled Catfish
- Grilled Flank Steak Flatbread
- Grilled Spatchcock Chicken
- Baby Back Ribs
- Carne Asada
- Grilled Proscuitto Arugula Pizza
Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken Recipe
- 1 cup tequila
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp lime zest
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
- 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- Whisk together tequila, lime juice, lime zest, orange juice, olive oil and worchestershire sauce until combined.
- Pour marinade into large plastic storage bag then submerge chicken, close storage bag and store in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight for more intensified flavor.
- When ready to grill, remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper, and evenly with paprika and garlic powder.
- Grill chicken on all sides until cooked through then remove from grill, cover with foil and rest to allow juices to settle. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime zest and serve.
This post was originally published June 2018. It has been republished with new content and images.