Grilled Mexican Chicken Thighs

Tender and juicy, Grilled Mexican Chicken Thighs are perfect for tacos or serving over rice. These thighs are  bursting with Mexican-inspired flavours. These will be sure to please at your next BBQ.

Plate of sliced grilled Mexican chicken with cilantro pieces on top

Chicken thighs are great for the BBQ. They are easy to grill and versatile. The marinade for this recipe is perfect for chicken thighs because they can be used in tacos, fajitas, or to serve over rice.

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Ingredients For Grilled Mexican Chicken Thighs

This recipe has everything that makes a good marinade. Acid, oil and spices combine to make the marinade that helps to make the chicken juicy and tender.

  • White vinegar. Used to create a paste with the spices before adding the rest of the liquid.
  • Lime Juice. This juice complements the Mexican flavours in the marinade.
  • Avocado Oil. We use this oil because of the high smoke point it has.
  • Smoked Paprika. This spice goes well in any BBQ recipe, but can be replaced with regular paprika.
  • Mexican Oregano. This type of oregano is more savory than regular oregano and it doesn’t have a lemony taste to it.
  • Garlic.
  • Cumin.
  • Chili Powder.
  • Onion Powder.
  • Garlic Powder.
  • Salt.
  • Chicken Thighs.
  • Cilantro. In our opinion, not many Mexican-inspired dishes are complete without cilantro. But if you are one of the unlucky ones who finds it tastes like soap, it can be omitted.

Can Chicken Breasts Be Used Instead Of Thighs?

Yes, chicken breasts can be used in this recipe. The cooking time will change since breasts are thicker and bigger than thighs. But they are still delicious.

Does This Recipe Have To Be Grilled?

Grilling is our favourite way to make these thighs, but they can also be made in other ways.

They can be cooked on a flat top like a Blackstone. Because they are boneless, they are easy to cook this way. This is also a great way to cook them when you’re cooking for a crowd.

These chicken thighs are also great for camping. We make the marinade and place it and the chicken in a freezer bag and then freeze it. Then the chicken will marinade while it thaws in the cooler and can be cooked over the campfire.

If the weather is miserable and we can’t get outside to cook, we have made these chicken thighs in the air fryer. They take about 15 minutes at 425 to cook, depending on your air fryer. Our air fryer is the type with French doors that also can be used as an oven. The basket type air fryer will cook differently.

How To Serve Grilled Mexican Chicken Thighs

There are many ways to serve this chicken.

  • Tacos. Slice the thighs into strips and serve on soft tortillas with your favourite taco toppings.
  • Salad. This chicken is perfect to serve on top of a garden salad for a quick lunch or dinner.
  • Fajitas. Serve sliced chicken with grilled peppers and onions.
  • Rice. Place slices of chicken on plain or cilantro lime rice. Serve with grilled corn on the cob on the side.

For more ways to grill chicken check out our Tequila Lime Chicken Thighs or Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts.

Plate of sliced grilled Mexican chicken with cilantro pieces on top

Grilled Mexican Chicken Thighs

Tender and juicy, Grilled Mexican Chicken Thighs are perfect for tacos or serving over rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
marinading time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dinner


  • tsp white vinegar
  • tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • tsp cumin
  • tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro


  • In a large bowl, whisk white vinegar with smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, minced garlic, cumin and onion powder to form a paste.
  • Stir in salt, garlic powder, and chili powder.
  • Whisk in lime juice and avocado oil.
  • Add chicken and using tongs, cover chicken completely with marinade.
  • Cover and refrigerate minimum 1 hour.
  • Preheat BBQ to 375℉
  • Place chicken thighs on BBQ.
  • Close lid and allow to cook about 6-7 minutes.
  • Flip chicken thighs and cook additional 4-5 minutes or until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165℉.
  • Place chicken on a plate and top with the chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot in tacos or over rice.
Keyword Chicken


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