Tequila Lime Chicken Tacos

Tequila lime chicken tacos make an easy and delish taco fix. Essentially just margarita marinated grilled chicken with a hint of heat from jalapeno and a cooling mayo sauce.

Wood bowl with tequila-lime chicken tacos, charred limes, radishes, sour cream

These grilled chicken tacos get a little tipsy after being doused with tequila then take a cold shower in the form of a squeeze of lime and a soothing mayo sauce.–Renee Schettler

Tequila-Lime Chicken Tacos

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 40 M
  • Makes 12 tacos
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  • For the marinated tequila lime chicken
  • For the sauce (optional)
  • For serving the tequila lime chicken tacos


Make the marinated tequila lime chicken

In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, tequila, Triple Sec, oil, chile or chile seasoning, and salt. Place the chicken breasts in a zippered plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag, and toss back and forth to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Up to 1 hour before grilling, place the lime sections on a plate, sprinkle them with the tequila, and rub lightly with oil. Let sit at room temperature.

Tester tip: If you don’t have the time to fuss with the limes, you can simply serve lime wedges with the tacos for squeezing.
Make the sauce (optional)

In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Make the tequila lime chicken tacos

When you’re ready to grill the chicken, drain and discard the marinade.

Fire up the grill to medium heat.

Grill the chicken and limes, uncovered, over direct heat. Cook, turning the chicken and limes a few times. Grill the limes until they’ve softened somewhat and developed a bit of char, 4 to 6 minutes. Grill the chicken until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the tortillas along the perimeter of the grill and then wrap them in a towel or foil to keep warm.

Working quickly, coarsely chop or shred the chicken and pile it on a platter. Surround it with the grilled limes and bowls of cilantro and onion, if desired. Serve with the wrapped tortillas and, if using, the sauce. Serve immediately. Originally published June 15, 2004.

Tester tip: For a heartier meal, you can add a spoonful of cooked white or Spanish rice to each taco.
Print RecipeBuy the Chicken on the Grill cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This taco recipe has a nice tang of citrus and, when mixed with the sauce on the taco, it’s a very pleasing taste on the palate. I started marinating my chicken the night before because I wanted the flavors to penetrate throughout the chicken. I also used green chile powder instead of the jalapeños.

The one thing I’d do differently next time is to heat the corn tortillas in the microwave. When cooked on the grill, they tended to be dry and hard to roll. We microwaved the rest and wrapped them in plastic wrap, and they were very soft, moist, and perfect for rolling. The combination of chicken, sauce, tortilla, and a squeeze of lime will leave you wanting more.

So many marinated grilled chicken breast recipes end up being bland, but this one actually had a flavorful punch because the thinness of the pounded breasts actually allows the marinade to permeate and the shredding made it extra appealing to sink our teeth into. Plus the flavors themselves are bright and bold.

I used Patron Silver tequila and Cointreau (it's a little less sweet than triple sec). I used 2 fresh jalapeños in the marinade and 1 tablespoon of minced pickled jalapeño for the sauce. I marinated the chicken for about 24 hours.

After shredding the chicken I poured the accumulated juices from the cutting board back over the chicken. Next time I won't discard the marinade but will bring it to a boil and pour that over the shredded chicken too. Or just add another good drizzle of olive oil, another few squeezes of fresh lime and another waft of salt over the shredded chicken, because why not?

We served 6 people with two tortillas each.

These were a huge hit with our dinner guests and will now go on repeat.


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