Margarita Grilled Chicken

I used to love Thursday nights at Chilis! Or maybe it was Wednesdays...

Bottomless chips & salsa and my favorite chicken enchilada soup! Plus, they would have frozen margaritas for $2! Now, that is a college student's dream!

Then, I grew up and checked the nutrition facts- yowza! Chilis now offers some healthier options, but their margarita grilled chicken meal has over 600 calories. And a regular margarita will run you 300 calories and 38 grams of sugar. So, basically half your calories for the day and all of your sugar.

Or with a few simple ingredients, we can marinate our very own margarita chicken. Simple, healthy, delicious, and way less expensive than a night out!

Chicken Tenderloin Marinated with Tequila, Orange Juice, and Lime Juice

Ingredients in Margarita Grilled Chicken

  • Chicken Tenderloin or Breasts
  • Tequila
  • One Orange 
  • One Lime 
  • Olive Oil


Margarita Chicken Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with simple sides like grilled veggies for a light and wholesome meal.
  • Serve in a burrito bowl with cilantro-lime rice, salsa, and your favorite burrito toppings!
  • Slice and serve on a salad or inside tortillas!

Can you marinate chicken longer???

Orange juice and lime juice are acidic. So, it is best to limit the marinating time. Otherwise, the acid will begin to change the surface texture of the chicken. Eventually, it will become stringy and dry. Without an acid present, chicken could be marinated in the fridge for up to 24 hours.


What does a marinade do?

Marinades help to flavor the surface of meat. In addition, salt or sugar will help to tenderize the meat. Even just marinating for 10 minutes will add flavor to the surface of your meat.


What is the difference between chicken tenderloin and chicken breast?

Chicken tenderloin is NOT chicken breast cut into smaller pieces. Tenderloin comes from a small muscle that sits just beside the breast. It is not used very often (by the chicken) which accounts for its size and tenderness. Tenderloins are about half the size of a breast. Chicken breasts have less flavor and are more dry.

Simple Margarita Grilled Chicken Tenderloin on Serving Dish

Margarita Grilled Chicken

With just a little tequila, orange juice, and lime juice- this margarita grilled chicken is juicy, flavorful, and can easily be part of a healthy dinner!



  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 c. tequila
  • 8 chicken tenderloins (1 1/2 - 2 lbs.)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • In a small bowl, whisk the orange zest, orange juice, lime zest, lime juice, and tequila. Place the chicken in a Ziploc bag or glass container (I layer the chicken and marinade.) Then, pour the marinade over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, up to 4 hours.
  • Heat a large skillet with 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Save the remaining marinade. Brown the chicken, about 4-6 minutes per side. Next, add the leftover marinade to the skillet and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes.


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