Grilled Chicken Tacos with Fruit Salsa

Grilled chicken tacos with fruit salsa are exactly what you need come summer. Easy. Unexpected. And unthinkably addictive. Hurry because you're going to want to make these as often as you can before stone fruits go out of season.

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Fruit Salsa Recipe

These grilled chicken tacos with fruit salsa are a nifty detour from your usual taco night. And in fact they may make you rethink your go-to salsa recipe. And although succulent stone fruits of summer are arguably most magnificent enjoyed out of hand, juices dribbling down your face and arm and elbow, trust us when we say that as you face that inevitable glut of ripe stone fruits on your counter from not being able to resist everything at the farmer’s market, you’re going to want these grilled chicken tacos with fruit salsa at the top of your to do list. You won’t be sorry. We certainly weren’t.–Angie Zoobkoff

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Fruit Salsa Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 6 H
  • Serves 3 to 4


  • For the marinated chicken
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (60 ml)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (about 20 g)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (4 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, chipotle, or ancho chile (1 g)
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds large chicken leg quarters (454 to 567 g)
  • For the plum salsa
  • 1 to 2 large stone fruits, such as plums, peaches, nectarines, or pluots, pitted and chopped (about 4 ounces or 113 g)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion (about 2 1/2 ounces or 70 g)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper (optional) (about 1 1/2 ounces or 40 g)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (about 1 ounce or 28 g)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (60 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (4 g)
  • For the spice rub
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (4 g)
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried oregano (2 g)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (3 g)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (2 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (1 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder (1 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (1 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (15 ml)
  • For serving
  • About 12 corn or flour tortillas (6-inch or 15-cm)
  • About 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 ounce queso fresco, crumbled (28 g)


  • Marinate the chicken
  • 1. In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper until combined. Empty the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag along with the chicken leg quarters. Press as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing, then gently massage the bag to evenly coat the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Make the fruit salsa
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the plum, red onion, bell pepper (if using), cilantro, lime juice, and salt together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This salsa tastes better after sitting for a few hours, so go ahead and whip it up right after you get your chicken marinating. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Make the spice rub
  • 3. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ancho chile, chipotle chile, and cayenne pepper until combined.
  • 4. Preheat a charcoal grill by heating the coals until they’re pale grey and glowing orange, about 20 minutes, or preheat a gas grill to medium.
  • 5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry. Coat it with the olive oil and then the spice rub.
  • 6. Move the hot coals to one side of the grill, or turn off the burner on one side of your gas grill. Place the chicken on the opposite side of the grill from the coals or flame. Grill until the skin is crisp and the chicken is cooked through, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, flipping about 4 times. Allow the chicken to cool slightly before removing the meat from the bones, coarsely chopping the meat.
  • Serve
  • 7. Warm each tortilla in a skillet over medium heat, allowing it to toast for about 1 minute on each side. Place a handful of the chicken down the center of each tortilla, then 1 tablespoon of the salsa on top. Top with a handful of cabbage and the queso fresco and serve.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Jenny Latreille

Jun 06, 2017

We really enjoyed these grilled chicken tacos. I made the marinade in the morning and left the chicken in it for about 7 hours. The spice rub is just hot enough and made more than enough for 2 legs and I would imagine it would be fine for 4. I was able to find red plums and they made a really delicious salsa. The plums I had were quite firm and not as flavorful as they could have been so obviously this would be even better during peak plum season. The combination of stone fruit, cilantro, and red onion is crunchy, fresh, and just sweet enough. I rinsed the red onion first, just because I'm not a huge fan of raw onion. I made this in the morning as well and the flavors were even better after 8 hours and it helped to soften up the plum and onion a little. I used a cast iron grill in the oven as we currently have about 4 feet of snow and I can't get to the barbeque for a few more months. It took just over an hour at 350°F, turning it twice. The skin was beautifully crispy with nice dark grill marks. I served the chicken with fresh corn tortillas, dry feta (queso is expensive and hard to find here), sliced red cabbage, plum salsa, crema, and pickled red onions with lime and cilantro. I look forward to making it outside for real, with fresh plums!

Mario Pileggi

Jun 06, 2017

The lovely rich balance in these grilled chicken tacos among savory, sweet, and tart was able to transport me to a warmer setting as I sat grilling with the snow coming down. The depth of flavor that the plum salsa provides against the juicy chicken makes this a go-to in our taco arsenal. For those of you who typically shy away from dark meat, it truly shines in this dish and really allows the dish to develop deep flavor over the grill while not drying out. I opted to briefly grill the plums as well to bring out their natural sweetness and add another layer of smokiness to the dish. If this dish lifts the palate this much during winter, I can't wait to try this one out when summer hits. I don't have a charcoal grill so I used my gas grill and the smoker box which turned out nice. As I would have done on a charcoal grill, I kept one end of the grill much hotter so the chicken was cooking indirectly and had enough time to cook through without the skin becoming overly charred.

Paula D.

Jun 06, 2017

Amazing! The grilled chicken was almost gobbled before I could put it in the tortillas! I used 3 chicken quarters and doubled the marinade and the rub. Full of flavor and very moist. The plum salsa is a refreshing change and went well with the chicken. If your plums aren’t real sweet, cut back on the lime juice. This chicken was so moist and flavorful! Amazing! We warmed tortillas in a skillet and then added chicken, plum salsa, cabbage and queso fresco. I love tacos with a passion but...this chicken was so tasty on its own, I felt bad putting salsa and other taco components on it. It was delicious but it totally masked the chicken. The leftover chicken never made it into tortillas. It was used it in a salad and just on its own. It's that good. Next time I would probably do 6 chicken quarters. Or just use thighs because the quarters were unwieldy.

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