Grilled Chicken With Tex-Mex Marinade

Grilled chicken thighs with a side salad

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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Marinate: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
184 Calories
14g Fat
3g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 184
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 290mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 103mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Whether dinner for the family or a gathering with friends, including a dish with Tex-Mex flavors always seems to please everyone at the table. The beauty of this recipe is that it is super quick to make and requires only a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. As an added bonus, this chicken is quite versatile—it can be served as is with a vegetable and rice, cut up to fill tacos, or sliced and placed over a salad.


  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1 (1-ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts (halves or cutlets)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine oil, water, and seasonings in a food storage bag.

  3. Add chicken pieces, seal the bag, and marinate for 2 to 4 hours, turning occasionally to keep the chicken coated. 

  4. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Chicken is done when juices run clear when pricked with a fork.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


  • This recipe calls for boneless chicken, but feel free to use this marinade with bone-in chicken parts—just adjust the cooking time as needed (chicken on the bone takes longer than boneless and often cooks better over indirect heat).
  • This recipe makes about 3/4 cup of marinade and is perfect for both grilling and broiling chicken. If you wish to use the leftover marinade as a basting sauce, bring it to a full boil in a saucepan on the stovetop before brushing on the chicken. 
  • Setting up a make-your-own taco bar is not only a fun way to serve dinner but perfect when you're short on time or having guests over. Feel free to double or triple this marinade recipe and use for steak and shrimp or fish in addition to the chicken. Grill everything up and place on a large tray with a variety of toppings including a cabbage slaw, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, roasted peppers and onions, cubed avocado, pico de gallo, and lime-cilantro crema. Of course include soft taco shells and a side of Spanish rice if you like. 

Recipe Variations

  • Most taco seasoning mixes come in a few different varieties, from the level of spiciness to lower sodium, even one that is made specifically for chicken. Choose the one that appeals to you—no matter which you pick this marinade will be delicious.
  • If you are looking for something a little more streamlined, a Southwest salad is a delicious way to serve this Tex-Mex grilled chicken. Place sliced breasts over a mixture of salad greens tossed with roasted corn, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and sliced olives. Top with crushed tortilla chips and drizzle with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette.

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