Grilled Mexican Chicken Thighs are a delicious and flavorful option for your next cookout. Using a tangy lime marinade, the meat turns out juicy and tender, bursting with vibrant, Mexican-inspired flavors. Whether you are serving a crowd or simply feeding your family, these boneless skinless chicken thighs are sure to become a hit.
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Boneless skinless chicken thighs might be my favorite meat to grill – and they should be yours too.
- they rarely dry out,
- they cook up quickly, and
- they easily take on the flavor you give them.
I have grilled a lot of chicken. A LOT of chicken. I’ve done spice rubs (like this Greek grilled chicken breast), super simple marinated chicken (using this 4 ingredient chicken marinade), and even a whole smoked chicken. Suffice it to say, I know grilled chicken.
So when I tell you this grilled chicken is a family favorite, I mean it. My husband LOVES this chicken, and it’s mild enough for my kids to gobble up too.
It’s also gluten free, paleo, and Whole30 compatible, which I love because not only can I eat it as someone who’s gluten free, but it’s also pretty safe to serve if we’re hosting people with food allergies.
So if you want a delicious Mexican marinade for chicken thighs, then read on for your next great meal idea.
Grab these ingredients
(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Chicken thighs – this recipe calls for 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts, which is roughly 8 thighs.
- Lime juice – I like to use fresh lime juice from 1 or 2 limes, but you can also use bottled lime juice.
- Coconut aminos – not to be confused with liquid aminos or soy aminos, coconut aminos are essentially nectar (or sap) from a coconut tree.
- Oil – use a high heat oil here. I like to use avocado oil.
- Spices – you’ll need ground cumin and ground coriander. Make sure they haven’t gone stale as they will be less flavorful if they have.
- Kosher salt – this recipe uses Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If you’re using a different brand or type, check out the salt conversion chart in this post to convert to how much you’ll need to use.
- Garlic cloves – I use medium-sized cloves in this recipe. If you’ve got really small or really large ones, you should adjust the amount you use up or down, respectively.
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN MARINATED CHICKEN THIGHS
(Note: please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the complete written instructions.)
These Mexican style chicken thighs only need an hour of marinating time before they’re ready for grilling, making them a great weeknight dinner option. Look through the photos and read through the captions to see how easy they are to make.
MARINATING THE CHICKEN
First up you want to get the meat in the Mexican chicken thigh marinade.
START GRILLING THE CHICKEN THIGHS
Next, get the raw marinated chicken thighs on the preheated grill after they’re done marinating.
TURN THE MARINADE INTO A GLAZE
Don’t throw out the used marinade in the bag! Turn it into a glaze to add even more flavor to the grilled chicken.
FINISH GRILLING THE CHICKEN THIGHS
Flip the boneless chicken thighs over and finish them off with a swipe of glaze.
If the boneless skinless chicken thighs finish cooking on the grill before you’ve been cooking the marinade for at least 5 minutes, you can brush it on each thigh after removing it from the grill. You can also brush additional glaze on the chicken after slicing.
BUT IS IT SAFE TO REUSE MARINADE?
In this case, yes, because we’re boiling it for at least 5 minutes before reusing it – which is what’s needed, according to the USDA.
I would not recommend reusing it to marinate other pieces of raw chicken, but boiling it and turning it into a glaze is a great way to add flavor to your grilled protein.
SIDES FOR GRILLED MEXICAN CHICKEN THIGHS
If you’re wondering what sides would be good with these chicken thighs, look no further! I’ve got some great ideas, including:
- Grilled veggies are a great start, like these grilled bell peppers.
- Fruit would be fun with this chicken – try some grilled pineapple!
- If carbs are your thing, this corn tomato avocado salad would be super good.
To see more options, check out this list of side dishes for grilled chicken!
If you like these chicken thighs Mexican style, then please leave a 5-star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!
Grilled Mexican Chicken Thighs
- 1 mason jar (optional)
- 1 Ziploc plastic bag
- 1 Pair of tongs
- 1 Small saucepan
- 1 Small whisk
- 1 Basting brush
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice from 1 large or 2 small limes
- 2 tbsp high heat oil avocado oil
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 3 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 5-6 mediums-sized garlic cloves pressed or minced
- Measure out the marinade ingredients and place them in a container that has a lid (like a mason jar). Secure the lid onto the jar and shake it with your hand(s) until the ingredients are combined. Set the jar aside for a moment.
- Place the raw boneless skinless chicken thighs in a sealable plastic bag and pour the marinade in it. Press any air as best you can out of the plastic bag, then seal it. Squish everything together in the bag to help cover the chicken with the marinade, then place in the fridge for 40 minutes, flipping it over halfway through to help distribute the marinade.
- After the 40 minutes are up, remove the bag with the chicken thighs from the fridge and place on the counter to warm slightly for 20 minutes. When the chicken has been warming on the counter for 10 or so minutes, turn your grill on to a medium heat and let it get to a temperature of around 375 to 400 degrees F.
- Once the 20 minutes of resting on the counter are up and the grill is up to temperature, use a pair of tongs to remove each chicken thigh from the bag and place all of them on the grill grates. Seal the bag, keeping the marinade inside – don’t throw it away. Close the lid and let the thighs cook for 5 minutes.
- While the chicken thighs are cooking, turn the used marinade into a glaze. Take out a small saucepan and pour the used marinade from the plastic bag into it. Set it on the stove and turn the burner to high heat. Let the marinade come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it cook at a low boil for at least 5 minutes while stirring it often with a small whisk to prevent burning.
- When the chicken thighs have cooked on the grill for 5 minutes, open the lid and flip them over with a pair of tongs. Let them cook another 3 to 5 minutes.
- The marinade mixture likely won’t be done cooking before you need to flip the chicken breasts. Just remove the sauce pan from the burner, turn the burner off, go flip the chicken breasts on the grill, then come back and turn the burner back on and continue cooking the marinade. It should start to boil again very quickly as it will only be off the heat for a minute.
- Once your marinade has cooked for 5 minutes, take it off the heat and out to the grill. Open the lid and use a basting brush to spread the glaze on the surface of each chicken thigh. You may not use all the glaze and that’s fine.
- Close the lid and continue cooking the chicken thighs until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Once they are done cooking, open the grill lid and use tongs to remove the meat from the grill. Set the grilled chicken thighs on a platter or cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes then slice and serve! You can also brush on a little additional of the reserved marinade if desired.