Grilled Chicken Marinade

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This grilled chicken marinade is bursting with authentic summer flavors! This yummy citrus marinade is often used to make grilled chicken for Mexican chicken tacos. It’s quick and easy to whisk together, and will have your taste buds dancing!

Grilled Chicken Marinade


This chicken marinade channels the citrus flavor of Mexican-style grilled chicken from restaurant chain El Pollo Loco. This Mexican restaurant marinates and grills chicken with the skin on. However, boneless skinless chicken will be able to absorb more of the yummy marinade. This recipe produces chicken that’s super juicy. It’s the highlight of any backyard BBQ!

Citrus Marinade for Chicken Street Tacos


These are the ingredients for making a delicious chicken marinade!

  • Orange juice or pineapple juice
  • Fresh lime juice
  • White vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Cloves of garlic
  • Dried oregano
  • Turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chili powder or mild chili peppers

Citrus Marinade for Chicken Street Tacos


It’s quick and simple to make a delicious citrus marinade!

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk everything together until well combined.
  3. Reserve one-fourth of the marinade for basting.
  4. Cover the chicken in marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain off marinade, discarding all excess liquid.
  5. The chicken is ready for grilling! Use the reserved marinade for basting, as needed.

Grilled Chicken Marinade


Make your chicken grill ready with these expert tips!

  • TIP #1: THICKNESS MATTERS: The thickness of the chicken makes a big difference when grilling juicy evenly-cooked chicken. HPound down skinless, boneless chicken breasts until they’re the same thickness overall – about 3/4 inch. This will allow the chicken to cook evenly on the grill which will result in juicier chicken. When chicken is not pounded down this is what you’ll experience: by the time the thick mid-section of the breasts are cooked through the rest of the chicken breast is dried out. However, be careful not to pound out the chicken too thinly or it may easily dry out on the grill.
  • TIP #2 – HOW TO ACHIEVE JUICY CHICKEN: To achieve juicy chicken every time, grill over a medium-high fire (375-450 degrees). Don’t walk away from the BBQ when cooking boneless chicken breasts. Your chicken should take just a few minutes per side until it’s fully cooked. Baste your chicken with marinade, as needed. For food safety always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The chicken is perfectly cooked when it reaches 155-165F, the juices run clear, and there is absolutely no more pink.


These helpful BBQ tools, along with this tasty grilled chicken marinade, will yield excellent results for novice and expert grillers alike!

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Citrus Marinade for Chicken Street Tacos

Grilled Chicken Marinade


This grilled chicken marinade is perfect for backyard BBQs. The sparkling citrus flavors are similar to those used in Mexico for making delicious chicken tacos.


  • 12 ounces orange juice or pineapple juice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or mild chili peppers, finely minced
  • 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts


    1. Add all ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade for basting. Refrigerate.
    2. Rinse off chicken breasts under running water then pat dry with paper towels. In an even layer, add chicken to two ziplock bags and remove excess air. Pound down the center of the breasts with a meat pounder. Transfer all of the semi-flattened chicken over to one fresh ziplock bag.
    3. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken. Carefully close the ziplock while squeezing out excess air. Gently turn the ziplock from side to side to ensure chicken is well coated.
    4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    5. Drain off the chicken marinade, discarding the used liquid.  Grill the chicken over a medium-high fire (375-450 degrees). Flip the chicken while grilling. Baste with the reserved 1/4 cup marinade, as needed.


    RECIPE YIELD: This grilled chicken marinade is perfect for 4 pounds of chicken (approximately 6-8 skinless, boneless breasts).

    USE A MEAT THERMOMETER: When grilling chicken, check for doneness using a meat thermometer!

    • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
    • Category: Dinner
    • Method: Grilling
    • Cuisine: Amercian

    Keywords: grilling recipes, chicken marinade, grilled chicken marinade, marinade recipes, chicken dinner

    Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com


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    Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com


    Would you like to try this grilled chicken marinade? Do you have tips for grilling juicy chicken? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    38 thoughts on “Grilled Chicken Marinade”

      • Isn’t Pampered Chef great? At one point in time, years ago, I almost had their full line of products! Friends of mine were always throwing Pampered Chef parties. I hope you’ll enjoy this fabulous chicken marinade.

      • Hello Rae. I agree! Pineapple juice is the best for citrus marinades. For this recipe though I had a new gallon of OJ on hand so I easily swapped it out for the usual pineapple juice.

    1. I love the flavors in this marinade. We grill often, can’t wait to give your recipe a try.

        • I made this for my girlfriend and I. I made it into soft tacos and she said this was the best tacos she’s ever had! I felt the same way! LOVED THEM!

    2. This was amazing!!! I love that this recipe uses pineapple juice. So yummy!

    3. Wow, this looks fantastic! Definitely pinning now and trying soon. Have you tried freezing this and putting it in the crock pot?

      • Thank you so much Shani for pinning this recipe. I’ve never tried freezing it before, but that sounds like an excellent idea! Thank you for sharing a bit of crock pot inspiration. :-)

    4. This looks so delicious! I love that the weather is nice now and I can enjoy grilling again!

      • Oh Kristen, I feel so blessed to have Ashley right around the corner from me. She walks back and forth through the backyard gate several times a day. She spends a lot of time here with us in her childhood home.

      • Allison you are so sweet! Thank you for pinning and sharing the love. I really appreciate it. I send good wishes your way for a fabulous weekend. :-)

      • Yes! Great minds think alike. This chicken is absolutely fabulous for making Mexican street tacos. Stay tuned on the blog. A post using this recipe for tacos is coming soon… :-)

    5. Yum! I love a good citrus marinade and never thought to swap OJ for pineapple! Def going to try this! Pinning for later!

      • Hi Candy! Either type of juice is fabulous in this recipe. Thanks so much for popping by for a visit. I love getting to know you.


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