This Tajin Grilled Chicken is an easy and delicious dish pairing the flavors of lime, chile, and sea salt with juicy, flavorful grilled chicken. This recipe can be served with rice, in tacos, on a salad, or used for your weekday meal prep!
- Why You'll Love Tajin Grilled Chicken
- What You'll Need for Grilled Tajín Chicken
- How to Make this Tajín Grilled Chicken Recipe
- Recommended Equipment
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Variations and Substitutions
- Storing Leftover Chicken with Lime Crema
- Expert Tips
- How to Serve Grilled Tajín Chicken
- More Summer Recipes to Try
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Why You'll Love Tajin Grilled Chicken
This Tajin chicken recipe was inspired by our local Mexican market where I shop every week. They have a whole section of ripe fruit with a big display of Tajín seasoning on top. The tangy, somewhat spicy seasoning makes the fruit taste exceptionally vibrant and fresh.
It serves the same purpose in this recipe. The chile, lime, and salt in the seasoning make the chicken so succulent and juicy when grilled!
And if you don't have a grill where you live, there's the option to use a grill pan. I'll provide directions here for a gas grill, a charcoal grill, and a grill pan so you're covered no matter what equipment you have.
For more flexibility, you have the option of whether or not the marinate the chicken, depending on how much time you have. If you do have the time to marinate, this delicious marinade has tangy lime juice, punchy garlic, and fresh cilantro that amplify the flavors of the Tajin.
Serve this up with your favorite sides and you'll have an incredibly easy and incredibly tasty dinner on the table!
What You'll Need for Grilled Tajín Chicken
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- Chicken Breasts I call for thinly sliced chicken breasts here. You can also slice a larger chicken breast in half lengthwise, or pound your chicken out using a rolling pin until it is about half an inch thick. Be sure to place the chicken in a plastic freezer bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap.
- Tajín Clásico Tajin seasoning is a combination of sea salt, chile and lime. It's a bright and tangy seasoning that adds tons of flavor to whatever you are cooking.
Optional Cilantro Lime Marinade
- Limes You'll need both the juice and the zest of the limes in this recipe.
- Cilantro I would not swap this for dried cilantro. If you can't find fresh cilantro, I'd omit the ingredient. A garlic-lime marinade is still extremely tasty.
- Garlic Use fresh garlic for this recipe. I do not recommend swapping this for garlic powder. If needed, you can buy jarred garlic.
- Olive Oil You can also swap in a neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.
- Salt All of my recipes use measurements for kosher salt, so if you're using table salt or sea salt, be sure to divide the salt by about half and taste for seasoning once the chicken is cooked.
- Pepper (optional) A bit of freshly ground black pepper is nice in the recipe if you'd like to add it.
How to Make this Tajín Grilled Chicken Recipe
Step One If using the marinade, mince the garlic. If you are not marinating the chicken, start at step 6 below.
Step Two Finely chop the cilantro.
Step Three Zest the lime into a bowl with the cilantro, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, and salt.
Step Four Mix well and taste for seasoning. It should be quite tart and fresh.
Step Five Place the chicken in the marinade in a gallon plastic bag, ensuring it's evenly coated on both sides, and move the chicken to the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
Step Six Once the chicken has finished marinating, pat it dry and remove any large pieces of garlic and cilantro. Discard the remaining marinade.
Step Seven Sprinkle the chicken generously with Tajín on both sides.
Step Eight For gas grill Preheat the grill to high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 2 to 3 minutes per side, covered, or until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
For charcoal grill Heat the grill to medium heat. Place the chicken on the hot side of the grate and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
For grill pan Heat the grill pan over high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.
Step Nine Let the chicken breast rest for 10 minutes.
Step Ten Slice and serve!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Tajín is a Mexican seasoning that's made from sea salt, dehydrated lime juice, and dried, ground chiles. It's tart, somewhat spicy, and extremely flavorful. You will most commonly see it on the rim of a margarita or sprinkled over cut fruit, but it is also a delicious seasoning for grilled meats and vegetables.
Grilled chicken should be cooked through and no longer pink in the center. The meat should instead be glistening and white. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be sure to watch your chicken closely when grilling it and remove it from the heat once it has reached 165 degrees F. Grilled chicken will also maintain its moisture better if it has been marinated in a mixture containing salt to increase moisture absorption.
Variations and Substitutions
Chicken Thighs Instead of boneless skinless chicken breast, use chicken thighs. If using chicken thighs, cook for 1 to 2 more minutes per side, and be sure to check the internal temperature before resting the chicken.
Sweeter Marinade Try adding some orange juice to your marinade for a sweeter result.
Skillet If you don't have access to a grill or a grill pan, you can easily cook this chicken up in a skillet!
Storing Leftover Chicken with Lime Crema
Fridge Store leftover grilled chicken for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freezer I do not recommend freezing this recipe. The texture of the crema won't be the same when it defrosts.
Reheating Grilled chicken can be reheated in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through.
- For a gas grill, closing the lid will increase the temperature For a charcoal grill, removing the lid will increase the temperature. So, to preheat a gas grill, keep the lid closed.
- For perfect grill marks, don't move the chicken around while cooking. Grill it on one side at a diagonal angle with the grill grates. Then, when you're ready to flip it, just flip it once to the opposite side and allow it to finish cooking.
- The cook time for your chicken will depend on the thickness of your chicken breast. If you have a particularly thick piece, it may take a few more minutes per side. A thinner piece will take less time.
How to Serve Grilled Tajín Chicken
This grilled Tajin lime chicken goes perfectly with a variety of side dishes. Try the suggestions below!
Other Mexican Dishes You could have a whole Mexican feast with friends and family. These slow-cooker chicken enchiladas are a favorite, as is this carne asada! They would also be spectacular as the main protein for fajitas.
Salads Add grilled chicken to your favorite salad for a perfect warm-weather meal.
Meal prep tip: Marinate several chicken breasts on a Saturday and cook them up Sunday to eat throughout the week in different preparations!
More Summer Recipes to Try
Tajín Grilled Chicken
- Measuring Cups
- Gas or Charcoal Grill or Grill Pan
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast thin-sliced or pound into ½-inch thickness
- 2 tablespoons Tajín seasoning about ½ tablespoon per chicken breast
- Zest the lime into a bowl with the cilantro, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, and salt. Mix well to create the marinade for the chicken.
- Spoon the marinade over the chicken in a gallon plastic bag, ensuring it's evenly coated on both sides, and move it to the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Once the chicken is done marinating, remove the chicken from the bag and pat as dry as possible, removing any pieces of garlic and large pieces of cilantro. Discard the remaining marinade.
- Sprinkle Tajin seasoning generously on both sides of the chicken breasts.
- For gas grill Preheat the grill to high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 2 to 3 minutes per side, covered, or until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.For charcoal grill Heat the grill to medium heat. Place the chicken on the hot side of the grate and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.For grill pan Heat the grill pan over high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.
- Let the chicken breast rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
- If using table salt, sea salt, or another salt that is not kosher salt, reduce the salt by half and taste for seasoning after you have cooked the chicken. Kosher salt is less salty per teaspoon than other types of salt.
- Estimated calories are for 4 ounces of chicken breast that has been marinated.
- I have used the marinade up to overnight with great results.
- This chicken is great for meal prep! Grill several chicken breasts on the weekend to use throughout the week.
- Fridge Store leftover grilled chicken for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freezer I do not recommend freezing this recipe. The texture of the crema won't be the same when it defrosts.
- Reheating Grilled chicken can be reheated in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through.