Tequila Lime Baked Chicken

This baked tequila lime chicken recipe is a quick chicken dinner that’s easy to make yet gives a gourmet restaurant quality dish fit for a fancy meal. Also known as margarita chicken, it is marinated in tequila, lime, garlic, and a few other seasonings making a savory and distinct flavor you won’t ever forget. Serve this to your friends with cilantro lime rice or mango salsa when you invite them over for a weeknight dinner. Moreover, you can use the chicken to make fajitas or chicken tacos!

Tips on Making Tequila Lime Chicken

Cooking with tequila easily upgrades the flavor of a dish to something extraordinary. And don’t worry, the alcohol cooks off so it is totally safe for kids! Here are the best tips for making it:

  • You don’t need to use expensive tequila. Save your top rack ones for drinking, and feel free to use the average ones instead for this tequila chicken recipe.
  • Use your preferred cut of chicken. Boneless chicken breast cooks faster, but you can use chicken thighs or legs. You will just need to add 15-25 minutes to the cooking time.
  • Marinate the chicken in a freezer bag. You get most of the delicious tequila lime marinade by doing so because all of the surfaces of the chicken are covered in it, rather than putting the chicken and marinade in a bowl. Also, do not marinate the chicken beyond 48 hours. Otherwise, the texture of the meat will unpleasantly change.
  • Add other delicious ingredients to this recipe like oregano, basil, or rosemary, for instance. You can also bake some chopped potatoes and carrots along with the chicken to make it a complete meal. Lastly, you can add cheddar or mozzarella cheese in the last 5 minutes of cooking. It’ll turn into a gooey melty topping!
  • Alternatively, if you don’t have an oven, you can cook this tequila lime chicken on the grill or stove top using a cast iron pan.

More Quick and Easy Chicken Recipes to Try

Here are more easy chicken recipes you can whip up in your kitchen! Feel free to include these in your dinner menu rotation:

  • Chicken Burrito Bowl — For the health buffs out there, our take on the chicken burrito bowl is fresh, filling, and light at the same time. It’s complete with the black beans, cheese, corn, yogurt sauce, ancho chili, and quinoa. It also comes with a quick tomato avocado salsa.
  • Chicken Salad Sandwich — The combination of mayonnaise, mustard, and celery makes the chicken salad filling both creamy and fresh-tasting. Feel free to use leftover rotisserie chicken and whatever bread you have on hand.
  • Sweet Island Teriyaki Chicken — Sweet, smokey, and savory is what this teriyaki chicken is all about. The teriyaki sauce will surely be one of your go-to’s. 
  • Chicken, Broccoli and Red Bell Pepper Casserole  — This vibrant chicken casserole dish is made with boneless chicken breast, vegetables, mushroom and onion soup, and cheese. It’s one of those chicken dishes that you can easily customize by adding your preferred vegetables like potatoes and corn.
  • Spatchcock Chicken — Slicing the chicken this way helps it tenderize faster and absorb the seasoning ingredients better. It has vegetables, which makes the baked butterflied chicken dish a complete meal in itself.
Tequila Lime Baked Chicken

How To Make Baked Tequila Lime Chicken

This tequila lime chicken features the best tequila lime marinade with garlic, honey, orange juice, and chili powder. It tenderizes the chicken and gives it a remarkable savory taste.

Prep: 5 mins
Marinate: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 1 hr 5 mins
Serves:

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, pounded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder, optional, or chili flakes
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice, squeezed from 2 medium limes
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • lime wedges, optional for garnish
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp orange juice, optional
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in a ziploc or freezer bag.

  2. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder or flakes, tequila, lime juice and zest, honey, orange juice, and olive oil.

  3. Seal the bag and massage the chicken with all the ingredients. Chill in the fridge and let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  5. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a greased baking dish, keeping all the pieces in a single even layer. Save the marinade.

  6. Bake chicken for 25 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F when measured using an instant read thermometer.

  7. Meanwhile, transfer the marinade into a sauce pan. Let it come to a simmer.

  8. Lower the heat and reduce until it has thickened, about 8 minutes.

  9. Transfer the chicken onto a serving plate. Drizzle the sauce and garnish with lime wedges on the side. Serve and enjoy your tequila lime chicken!

Nutrition

  • Sugar: 6g
  • :
  • Calcium: 23mg
  • Calories: 377kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 97mg
  • Fat: 19g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 9g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g
  • Potassium: 371mg
  • Protein: 32g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 487mg
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Vitamin A: 192IU
  • Vitamin C: 6mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

What does lime juice do to chicken?

Aside from giving it a citrusy flavor, the acidity of lime juice tenderizes the chicken. For the same reason, other citrus fruits like lemon and orange give the same effect.

How long to let chicken marinate?

If you’re in a rush, you can marinate the chicken in as quick as 1 hour. But the sweet spot is between 12 to 48 hours for the flavor of the lime chicken marinade to really infuse the chicken. Longer than that, the protein will start to break and give you an unpleasant texture.

Baked Dishes Recipes

Conclusion

With this easy tequila lime chicken recipe, you’ll realize that you can make a restaurant-quality dish right at your own kitchen! The chicken is moist, tender, juicy, and just deliciously savory.
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