This easy Mexican chicken marinade has a well-balanced flavor from chili powder seasoning, chipotle, garlic and onion powder and a nice freshness from lime. In addition to lime juice, this marinade also has lime zest for a strong lime flavor that pairs perfectly with the spices. The marinade makes delicious grilled chicken that's perfect for any Mexican dish, such as chicken fajitas, chicken tacos, burrito bowls and tostadas. You can also use it on fresh salads!
For another delicious Mexican chicken recipe, also check out this Mexican chicken dip!
What's in the marinade?
Similar to this Mexican chicken seasoning, this marinade is made with a combination of chili powder seasoning and ground chipotle pepper. Chili powder adds its signature rich chili flavor and chipotle gives this marinade just a hint of spicy smokiness. The citrus juice adds delicious lime flavor and also tenderizes the meat.
- Chili powder seasoning is a blend of spices that includes various ground chili peppers in addition to cumin, oregano, garlic and salt. You can use mild, medium or hot chili powder seasoning for this marinade, depending on how spicy you like it.
How to make and use the marinade:
Step 1. Zest and juice a lime.
Step 2. Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
Step 3. Set chicken breasts on a cutting board or a cutting mat and cover with plastic wrap. Lightly pound the thick ends with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until you get an even thickness. Set aside.
Step 4. Add the chicken breasts to a resealable plastic bag, pour the marinade into the bag, close and refrigerate for 1 hour. Take the chicken out of the bag and grill. The meat is cooked when it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F., measured on a meat thermometer.
Frequently asked questions:
Slice the grilled chicken breasts into strips and use them in fajitas, tacos or tostadas. The chicken is great with sides like pico de gallo, guacamole, black beans, rice and more! You can also add the chicken slices to a fresh salad and serve with a homemade taco salad dressing.
If you're using mild chili powder seasoning, this marinade will be mildly spicy from the ground chipotle pepper. Use medium or hot chili powder seasoning for a spicier marinade.
This Mexican marinade is best for boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
More delicious marinade recipes for grilled chicken:
- Cajun Chicken Marinade (smoky and spicy)1 Hours 15 Minutes
- Ras el Hanout-Spiced Grilled Chicken Salad with Sumac Dressing2 Hours 25 Minutes
- Maple Mustard Marinade for Chicken1 Hours
- Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Marinade40 Minutes
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Full Printable Recipe
Mexican Chicken Marinade
- measuring spoons
- citrus zester
- cutting board or cutting mat
- plastic wrap
- meat mallet or rolling pin
- mixing bowl
- resealable plastic bag
For the marinade:
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons mild olive oil
- ½ teaspoon chili powder seasoning*
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the chicken:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
For the marinade:
- Zest, then juice the lime.
- Add all marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined.
For the chicken:
- Set the chicken breasts on a cutting board or mat, cover with plastic wrap and pound the thick ends with a meat mallet or a rolling pin into even thickness.
- Transfer the chicken to a resealable plastic bag, pour in the marinade, then close the bag and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Take the chicken out, discard the bag and the marinade and grill the chicken.
Nutrition Information (Estimated):
Nutrition values provided on this website are generated from a nutrition database and are estimates only. The accuracy of the nutrition information for any recipe on this website is not guaranteed. Nutrition values can vary quite a lot depending on which brands are used.