grilled chicken tacos

Grilled Chicken Tacos Recipe

Grilled Chicken Tacos Recipe

Who doesn’t love tacos? I don’t know if I can remember ever having a bad one. For this recipe I’m using boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a cilantro lime marinade, seasoned and cooked fast over charcoal. It’s a simple recipe that is packed with flavor; and when you pair it with fresh toppings and a creamy sauce – you have something really special. I start with a pack of boneless, skinless thighs from the grocery store. You can use white meat if you want, but I highly suggest using the thighs. Dark chicken has more flavor and cooks up juicy. I bet your guests or family won’t even know it’s chicken thigh meat, but they’ll definitely ask for the recipe! grilled chicken tacos The thighs are trimmed – just remove any excess fat, and placed in a ziplock bag. I whip up a quick marinade using fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice (about 3 limes worth), the zest from one of the limes, garlic, onion, canola oil, water, and seasonings. Mix it all together and pour over the chicken thighs. Place the ziplock bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. grilled chicken tacos After the thighs marinate go ahead and fire up a charcoal grill. I used my Weber kettle set up for indirect cooking. Hot coals on one side and a void on the other to create a cooler cooking zone. grilled chicken tacos The thighs come out of the marinade and get seasoned with my favorite Mexican seasoning – Grande Gringo. Grilled Chicken Tacos Then they go on the cool side of the grill first. After 5 minutes flip them over and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. At this point they’re ready to sear over the hot coals and that only takes 2-3 minutes each side. Don’t walk away when you move them over the hot coals because the heat can burn them pretty quick. Once they hit 175°F internal, remove the thighs from the grill, rest for 5 minutes covered loosely with aluminum foil, and cut into bite size strips. grilled chicken tacos To make the tacos you’ll first need to make the creamy lime taco sauce. Combine sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, and Mexican style hot sauce in a bowl *the recipe is below. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the sauce reaches a smooth consistency and will slowly run off a spoon. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper and it’s ready to go. grilled chicken tacos While the grill is still hot place flour tortilla shells right on the grate. Flip after 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side. They’ll warm fast so don’t walk away once again. grilled chicken tacos To build the tacos I layer strips of the grilled thighs on the flour tortilla followed by a couple slices of fresh avocado, fresh pico de Gallo, and chopped cilantro. Squeeze a lime wedge over the taco, dress with a little creamy lime taco sauce, and a few drops of Mexican style hot sauce. Of course you could build these tacos using your favorite toppings as well. Any way you serve them these grilled chicken tacos will never let you down! Print
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grilled chicken tacos

Grilled Chicken Tacos


For this recipe I’m using boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a cilantro lime marinade, seasoned and cooked fast over charcoal. It’s a simple recipe that is packed with flavor; and when you pair it with fresh toppings and a creamy sauce – you have something really special.


Cilantro Lime Marinade:

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • Zest from one lime
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano

Creamy Lime Taco Sauce

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Zest from one lime
  • Fresh Juice from half lime
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican style hot sauce
  • Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper
  • Combine the sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, and hot sauce in a small bowl. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the sauce mixture reaches a thin consistency (about 2-3 teaspoons, it should run off the spoon slowly) Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.


  1. Trim any excess fat from the boneless, skinless chicken thighs and place the thighs in a gallon size zip top bag.
  2. Make the marinade using the ingredients above and pour over the thighs. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and close. Refrigerate the thighs in the marinade for 1-2 hours.
  3. Prepare a charcoal grill for 2 zone grilling. Hot coals on one side and a cool zone on the other.
  4. Remove the thighs from the marinade and allow any excess liquid to drip off. Season each side with Grande Gringo Mexican style seasoning.
  5. Place the chicken thighs on the cool side of the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the thighs and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Move the thighs over to the direct grilling side and sear each side (about 2-3 minuets each side). Thighs are done when the internal temperature reaches 175°F.
  7. Rest the chicken thighs for 5 minutes and slice into thin strips.

To build the Tacos:

  • 1 package of soft flour tortillas (taco size) warmed on the grill
  • ½ cup pico de Gallo
  • 1 ripe avocado sliced thin
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • Mexican style hot sauce
  • Creamy lime taco sauce* recipe above

Keywords: grilled chicken tacos

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10 responses to “Grilled Chicken Tacos Recipe”

  1. Steven Jones says:

    I made this recipe last night and dude, these tacos were insanely delicious!!!! My 13-month-old daughter kept making “mmmm” noises the whole time she was eating the chicken. We have added this recipe to our “go-to” list, which already includes some of your other recipes. Thanks again for the easy and delicious ideas!

  2. Steven Faulkner says:

    Just used your recipe for the grilled chicken tacos. Awesome flavor and the family is already asking for more. Your recipes are always a hit and I am anxiously awaiting your next video. Thanks again

  3. Rob says:

    I’ve tried this one too. Perfect!

  4. Chuck OBryan says:

    Awesome as always

  5. Mike Kasper says:

    Wow! I’ve made these three times in the last three weeks. My go-to grilled chicken tacos from now on!

  6. Jacob says:

    This is so good. I thought I didn’t like Chicken Thighs, I was wrong : ).

  7. Brandon says:


    This recipe has not only become almost a weekly staple for us, but I’ve learned that marinading the chicken the same way makes GREAT chicken for salads too. We make a bunch on Sunday and use it for a few days for a healthy lunch. Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe that’s a real winner here in this house.

  8. Trent says:

    Followed the recipe almost exactly and I’ll do it the same way again! What a great marinade. Instead of Grande Gringo seasoning, I used Tajin seasoning from the mexican aisle at the grocery. I used a pellet grill at 425F.

  9. Benny Blanco says:

    Just made these on rainy Saturday and they rocked!! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Eric says:

    Always love the Malcolm recipes, best tacos I’ve had and simple to make

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