Margarita Grilled Chicken is marinated in fresh orange and lime juice, tequila, honey, cilantro, and a delicious spice blend. It’s juicy, flavorful, and so easy to make! This versatile grilled chicken can be used as a base for numerous summer meals!
If you love this grilled chicken recipe then you might enjoy this chipotle lime grilled chicken with mango salsa!
Why you’ll love this grilled chicken
Flavorful marinade – This marinade is full of fresh citrus flavors, tequilla, cilantro, and a classic southwest spice blend made up of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and smoked paprika. To balance out the tart flavors, the marinade is sweetened with honey.
Versatile chicken recipe – Not only is this margarita grilled chicken delicious on it’s own with your favorite side dishes, but you can also incorporate it into other meals such as tacos, burritos, salads, and more. See more suggestions listed below.
No margarita mix – Most recipes for margarita chicken use margarita mix. I suppose it’s a time saver, but using fresh citrus and your favorite bottle of tequila yields a far superior flavor. I often find cocktail mixes to be way too sweet and have a chemical taste to them. Not cool for drinking or using in this chicken marinade.
- Chicken – Chicken breasts are what I used for the recipe, but if you prefer chicken thighs, use those.
- Tequila – You don’t need to buy the most expensive bottle of tequila, but use something that you enjoy drinking. Silver or gold tequila can be used.
- Orange and lime juice – Use fresh squeezed juice for the best flavor.
- Honey – Used to sweeten the marinade and balance out the tart flavors. Agave or maple syrup can be used as well.
- Olive oil – Avocado oil can be used as well.
- Cilantro – Fresh chopped cilantro adds so much flavor and really can’t be substituted with anything else. If you don’t like cilantro, omit it.
- Cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, smoked paprika – Earthy, smoky spices that are often used in southwest and Mexican cooking.
How to make margarita grilled chicken
Marinate the chicken – Combine the tequila, citrus juices, honey, olive oil, cilantro, and dried spices in a bowl or glass measuring cup and whisk them together. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to a resealable bag.
Pour in the marinade, seal the bag, and massage the marinade into the chicken. Let the chicken marinate for 1-3 hours. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling so it can come to room temperature.
Grill the chicken – Heat your grill to 400° F. then clean and oil the grates well so that the chicken doesn’t stick to them. Grill the chicken for approximately 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness, and then flip it over and grill until the internal temperature reaches 165° F. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it.
Ways to serve margarita chicken
You can serve the grilled chicken the same way I have in the photos with a side of rice and corn. Below are some other ways to serve it or incorporate the leftovers into another meal.
- Use it to make burrito bowls. Use it in place of the chicken in these chili lime chicken burrito bowl.
- Shred the chicken and use it to make this green chile chicken enchilada skillet.
- Use it as a filling for tacos and top it with pico de gallo.
- Use the margarita chicken to replace the chicken that this southwest chicken salad with avocado lime dressing calls for.
- Add it to this white chicken chili.
Can I freeze grilled chicken?
Yes. Most grilled chicken recipes, including this margarita grilled chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let the chicken cool completely before freezing it. I don’t recommend slicing it before freezing as you may lose some of the juiciness.
Can I make margarita chicken without tequila?
Yes. If you don’t use alcohol, replace the 1/4 cup of tequila with an extra tablespoon each of orange and lime juice.
More grilled chicken recipes
Did you make this margarita grilled chicken? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl or glass measuring cup. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to a resealable bag. Pour in the marinade and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge. Preheat your grill to 400° F. Clean and oil the grill grates then add the chicken to them. Grill for 6-8 minutes then flip the chicken over and grill until the internal temperature reaches 165° F. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 42g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.