This grilled margarita chicken is loosely based on Chili's Margarita Chicken, but it's way better. We soak the chicken in a homemade tequila-lime marinade, grill it to perfection, and top it with a super fresh pico de gallo. It's the perfect summer grilling recipe.
We're always looking for new grilling recipes, and this grilled margarita chicken is one of our new favorites. It's super easy and pretty healthy too. We modeled it after the margarita chicken at Chili's, but this tequila-lime marinated chicken is so much better. Everything is homemade, fresh, and so so good. It's the perfect summer BBQ recipe if you're looking for something a little bit different.
Serve it with our skinny orange grapefruit margarita, Mexican black beans, and escabeche vegetable salad.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
For the tequila-lime chicken:
- Limes- You'll need the juice and the zest, so we use fresh limes.
- Tequila- We use blue agave tequila. You can use whatever kind of tequila you have on hand.
- Orange- The marinade has orange juice in it. We prefer to use fresh squeezed, but if you already have orange juice on hand, you can use that.
- Olive oil
- Spices- chili powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, ground cayenne
For the pico de gallo:
- Tomatoes- We like to use cherry or grape tomatoes because they tend to be more flavorful than regular tomatoes, especially during the winter months. You can use whatever you prefer or have on hand.
- Red onion
- Fresh jalapeño- If you don't like spicy food, look for mild or heatless jalapeños.
- Lime juice- We use fresh lime juice, but the bottled stuff will work too.
- Spices- salt
See recipe card for amounts.
Step 1: Marinate the chicken. Add chicken, lime juice, lime zest, tequila, honey, garlic, orange juice, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, ground cayenne, and olive oil to a quart or gallon ziplock baggie and shake to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.
Step 2: Make the pico de gallo. Combine tomatoes, jalapeños, lime juice, cilantro, and red onion in a medium mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Step 3: Grill the chicken. Once the chicken is done marinating, turn your grill to medium-high heat, and allow the temperature to get to 475°F. Add the chicken directly to the grill grates and cook for 4-5 minutes. Then flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Step 4: Serve. Add the pico de gallo to the top of each chicken breast and serve with your favorite side dish. We love this chicken with our Mexican black beans and cilantro lime hearts of palm rice.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Preheat your grill for 20 minutes at 450°F. Cook the chicken on one side for 15 minutes, then flip it and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
This grilled margarita chicken was inspired by the Chili's margarita chicken, but it's way better in our opinion. Everything is super fresh and homemade.
Store the chicken in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. We recommend storing the pico de gallo in a separate container so the juices don't get soaked into the chicken. For best reheating results, set your air fryer to 365°F and reheat for 5-6 minutes.
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