Charred and Tender grilled chicken spiced with a special blend of homemade taco seasoning can be grilled or cooked on the stove-top. It’s delicious in tacos, burritos, on salads, or for meal-prep! 
The Best Grilled Chicken ( for Tacos, Burritos, or Salads)Perfectly charred and crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, this really is the BEST Mexican spiced grilled chicken. It’s seasoned with my favorite blend of homemade taco seasoning. With the addition of garlic, lime, and olive oil, you’ve got yourself delicious chicken that’s great for tacos, burrito bowls, salads, wraps and just about anything else.

A batch of perfectly grilled chicken can go a long way. I like to season a few pounds of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts and keep them in zip seal bags in the fridge and freezer. When needed, just pop a bag out of the fridge or freezer and grill on an outdoor grill or right in a pan on the stove top. Use it to make tacos, wraps, on a salad or rice.

Just like Chipotle, I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs rather than breasts because they are always tender and won’t dry out. Chicken breasts will also work for this recipe but be sure not to over-cook them. The Best Grilled Chicken ( for Tacos, Burritos, or Salads)

4.81 from 109 votes

The Best Grilled Chicken For Tacos, Burritos, or Salads

Charred and Tender grilled or chicken spiced with a special blend of homemade taco seasoning can be grilled or cooked in a skillet on the stove-top. It's delicious in tacos, burritos, on salads, or for meal-prep! 
Prep5 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total20 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • Add the chicken, garlic, olive oil, lime, spices, and cornstarch to a large bowl or zip-seal bag.
  • Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 15-30 minutes or up to 24 hours. 
  • Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Place chicken on a grill or pan heated to medium-high heat. Let chicken cook until it is no longer pink on the inside, about 6-7 minutes per side  (or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F). 
  • Serve chicken in tacos, burritos, on salads or rice.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
like this recipe? Rate & Comment below!

The Best Grilled Chicken ( for Tacos, Burritos, or Salads) The Best Grilled Chicken ( for Tacos, Burritos, or Salads)

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  1. Our new go-to marinade! Great flavor but not too spicy (you could easily spice it up if desired) . We really liked the paste consistency, it did really well to coat the chicken and stay on while being grilled. Restaurant-quality look and taste!

  2. We do Mexican food a lot for my family of 4. One of my kids does not like ground beef, so I am always looking for other meat options. This was perfect! Everyone loved it. I cut breasts into strips (about 4 per breast half) to get marinade on more surface area. I made 1 1/2 times the recipe for 2.5 pounds of chicken. It was plenty. They turned out perfect. This will definitely be in regular rotation in our house.

    1. So glad you were able to make this work for your family, Holly! 🙂

  3. This is one of the easiest and most flavorful marinades/sauces for chicken! I marinated chicken thighs for about 50 minutes for a last minute dinner. I grilled them up, chopped, and added to rice bowls with lettuce, pintos, avocados, tomatoes and cheese. My family LOVED them! Will definitely make again.

  4. This was delicious! I added an extra tablespoon of lime juice,, but no other changes. I will definitely use this recipe again.

  5. I made this last night for the family and we all enjoyed the flavor. I followed the recipe exactly, But, (Don’t you just hate it when someone completely changes the recipe and then continues to review it, especially if they don’t like the results. Like, I tried this chicken recipe but used cinnamon rolls instead and they tasted funny…. Well DUH!) I thought I had limes in the fridge but nope… So… I used margarita mix from costco (with the alcohol) I was thinking… yup, that’s mostly lime juice right? Turned out nice and moist even using chicken breast. Marinated for about 2 hours cuz I was running late, but I can see that an overnight in the fridge would be even better! This recipe is a keeper for my family. Thanks

  6. This was SO GOOD, even though I messed up and used 1 TB instead of 1 TSP of cumin and paprika 😆 It was super flavorful to say the least. I did add extra olive oil and lime juice to sort of tone it down. I’m going to make it again very soon, and definitely more than 1 pound!

  7. These were great! Will definitely save this recipe and make again!

  8. I made this yesterday for Cinco de Mayo which fell on Taco Tuesday this year 🙂 My family DEVOURED this! The flavors are amazing. I let the chicken marinate overnight and seared/cooked it in a cast iron pan the next day. The cast iron pan created an amazing char. As some have commented, the spice blend comes together as a paste/wet rub rather than a wet marinade but don’t get caught up in technicalities. Just try the recipe – sooooo good!!

  9. Absolutely delicious! The mix added the perfect flavor to our chicken for tacos.

    It appears there has been some discussion on the mixture turning out to be more like a paste. This was my experience as well. I ended up adding a little more lime juice and olive oil until the consistency was where I wanted it to be (more like a marinade than a wet rub). I then used a zip lock bag to shake the marinade and chicken around until evenly distributed and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Turned out amazing and will definitely be using it again!

  10. Holy cow!!! My family LOVED this and couldn’t stop Raving about how delicious it was. I made ground beef and chicken for tacos and the chicken went so fast! I will never make chicken any other way again! A few minutes in the grill tops it all off. Can I say FLAVOR! And also this is exactly why my husband married me. Thanks for making me look like a chef! Forget packaged seasonings this is bomb!

    1. I’m glad your family enjoyed the chicken, Tiffany!! <3

  11. WOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! Holy crap. I feel like a chef! These were way better than I thought I could ever make. They seriously tasted like I bought it off the street! Thank you!
    I followed the recipe as is, did not cut up the chicken before putting it on the grill, and used thighs which I thought made a big difference. I assembled the tacos as follows:
    Shredded sharp cheddar (didn’t even need after trying another without and I put cheese on everything)
    Diced red onion
    Shredded iceberg lettuce
    Homemade pico de Gallo
    Store bought salsa verde

    I can’t wait to make these for a party!

    1. These is my favorite way of grilling chicken too!!

    2. I was reading through the comments trying to figure out how to make this a little bit more like a marinade without using too much more olive oil or lime juice and salsa verde is the answer! Thank you!!

  12. Delicious. So much flavor but not too spicy and not too salty. My whole family loved it!

  13. I changed this recipe a little so I feel funny rating it but it was a great starting point for me so I’m glad you shared with us.

    I did use two tablespoons of oil, no optional ingredients and instead of your amounts for paprika, cumin and chili powder I did this:

    1/2 t paprika
    1/2 t chili powder
    1/4 t chipotle powder
    1/4 t of San Juan seasoning blend (like taco seasoning)

    After 24 hours marinating, they came out delicious! Just the right amount of spice for us 🙂

  14. Would the marinade be good for vegetables like broccoli and carrots along withe the chicken of course. And probably marinate separately?

  15. Made these for dinner tonight ! They were amazing! Doubled the recipe -used 4 large chicken breasts used a butterfly cut. Marinated for about an hour. Here’s the rest of the story: used warmed flour tortillas, pan roasted red & yellow peppers and red onion; cut up jicama slices, fresh cilantro, shredded sharp cheddar, a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of fresh lime on each taco. AMAZING We have enough left over to make nacho’s tomorrow. As others have said, this is more of a wet rub vs a marinade, at first I didn’t think there would be enough but after smooshing around in the plastic bag it was plenty!! This is a new favorite for our family

  16. Can you bake this in the oven? If so at what temp for how long?

    1. 350 on a rack for 15 minutes then flip and check temp after 10 minutes

  17. This has become my go to grilled chicken recipe! I made it last night for chicken bowls and it was amazing! Question though, do you think this will taste good on steak? I’d like to marinate steak the same way using this recipe for tacos/burritos but I’m not sure that it’d come out right. Any suggestions? Do you have a recipe for steak?

    1. I was wondering the same thing. I think I might literally try the same recipe on steak and see how it tastes.

  18. Very delicious recipe. I had a lot of compliments from this recipe. I will make it again. It’s easy and flavorful.

  19. I used chicken thighs, loved it it. I used it for burrito bowls. The kids are picky but they loved it!

    1. Absolutely the best recipe I’ve tried so far for chicken tacos. I only changed one thing and that was to use smoked paprika. I put the leftovers on ciabatta buns with peppered bacon and spicy jack cheese slices. Sooo good!