Pollo Asado

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Mexican pollo asado is some of the juiciest, most flavorful grilled chicken you’ll ever taste. Each chicken thigh is marinated in a mix of tangy lime, orange, and a blend of spices for some kick. You’ll love each tender, flavor-packed bite!

If you love grilled chicken but you want to switch things up from the usual teriyaki, this pollo asado is the way to go. Serve it with some Mexican rice and refried beans for a complete meal that everyone will enjoy!

Mexican grilled chicken served over rice. It's garnished with fresh herbs and lime slices.

What is Pollo Asado?

Pollo asado is a tasty Mexican grilled chicken dish that’s all about big flavor. The name ‘Pollo Asado’ translates to ‘grilled chicken’, and that’s exactly what it is – chicken thighs soaked in a mix of lime juice, orange juice, garlic, and spices, then grilled until they’re super juicy with a tangy, smoky, and slightly spicy flavor. People love it! This is a great dish to make for those final barbecues as summer wraps up.

I really love this pollo asado recipe because it keeps things easy and delicious. The marinade is a mix of lime juice, orange juice, garlic, Mexican oregano, and spices that makes the chicken taste amazing. Letting the chicken soak in this tasty marinade for at least an hour will make sure it has the best flavor. When you throw that marinated chicken on the grill, the char and smokiness make it irresistible. Seriously one of the best grilled chicken recipes I’ve had in a while!

What You’ll Need to Make It

These ingredients team up to make your pollo asado taste wonderful. It’s the best combination of flavors! (Exact measurements are in the recipe card below.)

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs: Juicy chicken pieces that are going to soak up all the good stuff. Chicken breasts can also be used if you prefer!
  • Lime Juice: Adds a zingy and refreshing kick, making the pollo asado taste all bright and lively.
  • Orange Juice: Brings in a touch of sweetness and a hint of citrusy goodness for that extra yum.
  • Garlic: A must-add for any savory chicken dish!
  • Mexican Oregano: Oregano with a bright flavor that will make the chicken taste better overall.
  • Ground Cumin: Brings in a warm, nutty flavor.
  • Ancho Chili Powder: Adds a bit of heat and a nice red color!
  • Salt and Black Pepper: To add an extra layer of flavor to the pollo asado.

How to Make Pollo Asado

Time to fire up that grill! This pollo asado is going to take all of your backyard barbecues to the next level. Follow these steps to end up with the most tender and flavorful grilled chicken every time:

  1. Marinade Mixture: To make the pollo asado marinade, in a bowl add the lime juice, orange juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, achiote powder, salt, and pepper. Then whisk to combine.
  2. Marinate Chicken: To a large bowl, add the chicken thighs, pour the marinade over the thighs. Be sure to get each thigh coated in the marinade. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinade for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat Grill: While the chicken is marinating, heat a grill up to between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Cook: Once the chicken has marinated for at least an hour, place it on the preheated grill, cover and allow the chicken to grill until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 20-30 minutes. Turn the chicken halfway through cooking.
  5. Rest, Then Serve: Remove the cooked chicken and place them on a platter. Allow the chicken to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
3-photo collage of pollo asado being marinated and grilled.

Can I Bake Pollo Asado Instead?

Yes! This is a great way to enjoy pollo asado year-round. To bake the chicken, while the chicken is marinating, preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Once the chicken is ready, bake until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 30-40 minutes.

Tips and Variations

Want to make your pollo asado even more amazing? Check out these easy tips!

  • Marinate Longer for More Flavor: If possible, marinate your chicken for a few hours or even overnight. This way, pollo asado will be even tastier.
  • Use Wood Chips: If using a charcoal grill, throw in some soaked wood chips (like hickory or mesquite) to give your chicken a smokier flavor.
  • Make it Spicy: Add chopped jalapeño or red pepper flakes to the marinade for a spicier kick.
  • Use For: Once the chicken is grilled, slice it up or shred it and then use it as a delicious filling for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more! Top with your favorite toppings like salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and shredded lettuce. Pollo asado is also great for using in burrito bowls.

Closeup of pollo asado, garnished with herbs.

Storing Pollo Asado for Later

If you made too much pollo asado, here’s how you can keep it fresh and use it later. It’s so nice to have on hand! Use it for salads, wraps, rice bowls, you name it.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating: Transfer your chicken to a baking dish and warm in the oven for 15 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chicken cut into slices and served with rice.

More Recipes Inspired By Mexican Cuisine

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  • Make the marinade, in a bowl add the lime juice, orange juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, achiote powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.

  • To a large bowl, add the chicken thighs, pour the marinade over the thighs. Be sure to get each thigh coated in the marinade. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinade for at least 1 hour.

  • While the chicken is marinating, heat a grill up to between 350 and 400 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Once the chicken has marinated for at least an hour, place it on the preheated grill, cover and allow the chicken to grill until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees fahrenheit, about 20-30 minutes. Turn the chicken halfway through cooking.

  • Remove the cooked chicken and place them on a platter. Allow the chicken to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Calories: 305kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 45gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 215mgSodium: 1401mgPotassium: 724mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 750IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.


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