If you are looking for an awesome grilled chicken recipe for your next taco meal, let me help you with that. The Best Grilled Chicken Tacos Recipe is just that and I cannot wait to share it with you!
What Makes These Tacos So Good?
There are several things that make these the best grilled chicken tacos. For one, the marinade is the perfect blend of fresh spices and lemon juice. Another thing that makes these so good is the type of chicken I used, which I will discuss later. The grilling time also is very important in this recipe.
Toppings also matter a lot to making the best tacos. I will give my recommendations but feel free to use whatever you would like.
- Chicken thighs
- Minced garlic
- Olive oil
- Chili powder- My favorite is Mexene
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper
What Is In The Marinade?
The marinade is very important for these chicken tacos. You can see in the ingredients above that I used olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne.
This is an extensive list, but I promise that all of these herbs work together so well you're not going to want to leave any of them out.
The marinade time for this is at least 12 hours, so I would recommend starting in the morning if you are planning on using it for that evening, or you could even start it the night before if you are planning this for lunch.
The marinade not only adds flavor to the chicken, but it tenderizes it as well.
What Type Of Chicken Is Best For Tacos
I used to be a white meat lover, but slowly over the past couple of years, I have been making the switch to use more variety in my recipes, especially when it comes to grilling.
There are so many reasons to love chicken thighs. They are great with this marinade, they stay tender, are much harder to dry out, and they are relatively inexpensive.
On another note, I do not remove the fat when it comes to boneless skinless chicken thighs until after they are grilled. I love the flavor that the fat adds.
Just remember, if you grill like I do with the fat on, you will need to trim it after it is done. This is especially important if it has a lot fat on the thighs.
Tips For Grilling Chicken For Tacos
- This chicken should be grilled hot and fast. The boneless skinless chicken thighs are fairly thin, so they will cook quickly.
- They do still have the fat on them, so you will have to watch for flare-ups. A few ways to avoid this are keeping the lid open, keeping the grill away from the wind if possible, and moving the chicken quickly if it does flare up.
- These should only take about 5 minutes per side. It might change slightly depending on how hot your grill is and how thin the chicken is, so watch carefully.
Best Tortillas To Use
The simple answer for this is whatever kind of tortilla you like best. I prefer corn tortillas myself. When we lived in Texas we had access to fresh corn tortillas, which are the best! We haven't been able to find them in Idaho, but I still prefer corn tortillas.
However, if you like flour tortillas, then use those. This recipe will taste great either way, so go with what you are comfortable with!
Toppings For The Best Grilled Chicken Tacos
Topping options are endless and personal. I like to keep mine simple, with lime-marinated cabbage and onions, avocados, cilantro, and tomatoes. Occasionally I'll add cotija as well.
There are plenty of people who like cheese on their tacos, or lettuce. If this applies to you, go for it! Both of those are delicious toppings for these tacos.
This is a great grilled chicken for meal prep. I like to make large batches of this chicken at a time, and use it throughout the week. This meat can be reheated not only for tacos but also in budha bowls or salad.
It can be reheated because of the thighs. They are higher in fat and retain that moisture even when reheated. As a note, do not reheat too much.
Yes, you totally can! Follow the directions almost exactly the same, except make sure to not grill your chicken breasts too much. They have a tendency to dry out as it's leaner meat, so make sure to not cook them for too long.
Yes. You can slice your pork tenderloin or loin into quarter-inch pieces, marinate them, and then grill in a cast-iron pan. When it comes to beef I would recommend using this marinade with a skirt steak or flank steak. Marinate it, grill it, and slice it.
Whichever you prefer. I love a charcoal grill, but I also love the convenience of a gas grill as well, and that's what we have in our home. Either works really well.
Yes, absolutely! I do prefer shredded chicken instead of grilled chicken in my enchiladas, but you do you and go with whatever you prefer. This chicken is versatile and can be used in so many ways!
With this marinade I recommend at least 3-4 hours, but longer is even better. This marinade time is not only for the flavors to meld together, but it also works for to tenderize the chicken even more. The lime juice is what tenderizes, but it takes a little time. This is not a quick marinade, but I promise it is well worth it!
- Strawberry mango agua fresca
- Strawberry pineapple agua fresca
- Summertime virgin sangria
- Classic perfect lemonade
- Blueberry lemonade
- Cherry limeade
- Rhubarb lemonade
The Best Grilled Chicken Tacos
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs you can also use boneless skinless breast, just make sure when you are grilling that you don't overcook them.
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- favorite tortillas
- toppings of choice I used lime marinated cabbage, avocados, and tomatoes. You can use whatever you like!
Lime Marinated Cabbage
- 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos optional if you want a little spice.
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the marinade ingredients into a ziplock bag and mix well.
- Add in your chicken thighs and close the bag.
- Gently massage the chicken until all the chicken has been covered in the marinade.
- Place in the fridge and let this marinate at least 12 hours.
- When you are ready to grill, bring the chicken out to room temp.
- Heat your grill to 500 degrees.
- Place the chicken on the grill.
- Grill for about 5-7 minutes per side. If you are getting flareups, let the lid open and make sure and move the chicken to a cooler spot.
- Remove the chicken.
- Cube the chicken, cutting off all the fat. I wait to the end to do this as the fat adds so much flavor when grilling.
- Now, make your tacos as you like.
- IF you have extra meat, it holds well in the fridge (airtight container) for up to 7 days. It is delicious for tacos, but also on buddha bowls, salads, etc.
- I like to make the cabbage early so it has time to marinate. Mix all ingredients then add salt and pepper to taste. It is really simple to do!