This Mexican chicken is packed with flavor and is a great family-friendly way to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Perfect for a midweek meal.
The boneless chicken breasts are marinated in a delicious mixture of spices, garlic, lime, and orange. This marinade mix keeps the breasts juicy and infuses them with plenty of flavor. Plus, it only needs 20 minutes to work its magic!
If chicken breasts are on your weekly shopping list, then this recipe is a must! Use it in your tacos, or serve it up with rice and veggies for a tasty family meal.
How to make the Mexican chicken marinade
This easy Mexican marinade uses Taco seasoning as a quick way to introduce plenty of flavor into your skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
The taco seasoning is mixed with olive oil, garlic, a little sugar, salt, and the zest and juice of lime and orange.
This helps to flavor the breasts and also leaves them super tender. For exact quantities, check out the recipe card at the end of the post.
If you don't have taco seasoning in your pantry, you can use this easy recipe to make your own. (Homemade Taco Seasoning)
- Although you can coat the chicken in the marinade and then cook it straight away if you have time, then leave the marinated chicken breasts to sit for 20 minutes at room temperature. This ensures they have plenty of flavors and will give you juicer breasts.
- Don't leave the chicken in the marinade all day as the citrus juices will start to cook the chicken, and it can dry out.
- Use a fine microplate grater/any fine grater or a zester to remove the outer layer of zest from the lime and the orange. The zest adds so much flavor to the chicken without adding extra acidity.
- To ensure quick cooking and value for money, I like to use two large chicken breasts and cut them into cutlets. This also shortens the cooking time, so your chicken stays juicy and moist. To do this, you want to place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and pat them dry gently to stop anything slipping and sliding about. Then take a sharp knife, hold it parallel to the chopping board, and cut the chicken breast directly through the middle. (see picture below)
- You can cook this Mexican chicken in a hot skillet, griddle pan, or on the grill. The sugars in the fruit will encourage the chicken to lightly char, don't panic because of the short cooking time the char adds flavor without tasting burnt!
For more delicious chicken breast recipes try:
What to serve with Mexican Chicken Breasts
There is so much flavor in these chicken breasts; you'll be finding ways to use them whenever you can!
- Cutting up the chicken and stuffing it into tortillas for taco Tuesday!
- Serve the chicken with Fajita Veggies for a fun Fajita Friday!
- Try serving them with Mexican rice and beans.
- Add the chopped chicken to soups for a boost of flavor!
- Slice the chicken and serve it on top of a crisp green salad, sprinkle over some fried strips of tortilla or crushed tortilla chips and add a creamy, zesty dressing. So good!
- Serve the cooked chicken breasts in a burger bun for a healthy Mexican chicken burger.
Mexican Chicken Breasts
- 2 large chicken breasts - skinless and boneless
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 teaspoon taco seasoning - see note 1
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar - see note 2
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lime
- 1 orange
Start by Filleting the Chicken
- Pat the chicken breast dry to stop it sliding about the board.
2 chicken breasts
- Lay the chicken breast flat on a chopping board.
- Use a large sharp knife to cut sideways through the breast.
- Continue to cut through the chicken breast, keeping the blade of the knife flat and parallel to the chopping board.
- Carefully cut through until you have two plump fillets.
- If you find they are not an even thickness, you can use a meat mallet (or a heavy pan) to bash the plumper end down.
- Repeat with the second chicken breast.
To marinate the chicken
- Pour the olive oil into a non-metallic dish, and add in the taco seasoning, salt, and sugar.
¼ cup olive oil
4 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
- Crush or grate the garlic and add it to the marinade.
3 cloves garlic
- Grate the zest of the lime and orange and add them to the marinade.
- Cut the zested citrus fruits in half and add 2 tablespoon of orange juice (usually about half the orange) and 2 tablespoon of lime juice (usually the whole lime) - See note 3
- Add the chicken fillets and turn to coat.
- Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
To cook the chicken
- Place a heavy-based frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook on one side without moving for 4 minutes.
- Flip the chicken and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
- You can use storebought taco seasoning or make your own using my easy recipe.
- The sugar helps to caramelize the chicken and also keeps it juicy. But feel free to leave it out.
- All citrus fruit vary; some are far juicer than others! If you find your lime isn't yielding enough juice, then use what you can get from one lime, don't worry about using a second one!
Chicken and Mexican food! You're speaking my love language! These are absolutely scrumptious. Thanks so much for the easy recipe!
This marinade was so quick and easy that I am trying it on some steak later on this week! I love it when meals can be this simple without a million ingredients!
This is sooo delish! I'm making chicken like this for everything now - tacos, burritos, salads, everything! The recipe turns out perfectly! Thank you for sharing it!
I just made this last week and my family loved it! The chicken is super moist and flavorful. I served in a rice bowl. Thank you for sharing, this will become part of my monthly meal plan rotation.
The marinade on these was terrific! I ended up grilling them and they were so fabulous. I had a bit leftover for lunch and it was great cold, too!
I made this exactly as above, except I forgot to add the zest, and it still turned out great. Had it with red beans and rice. Pad your chicken dry before seasoning, and make sure your oil in the frying pan is nice and hot, this way it will char nicely.
Claire McEwen says
So pleased you enjoyed it Bob.
It is a fav in our house and sounds like your red beans and rice would be the perfect side dish.
Thank you for taking the time to come back and comment 🙂
This turned out perfectly! I used thin sliced chicken breasts. I also spiced it up a bit because the hubs likes a little heat. I did that by using a little sriracha sauce, Tony's seasoning, and Cayenne Olive oil. I didn't have an orange, so I used a tablespoon of Orange Juice. Also threw some fresh cilantro on it as garnish (from my garden, YAY). Topped it with some of those tortilla crunchy strips for salad, and served sliced thin with a Mexican cold black bean salad on the side. Was as delivered! Thank you.