The latest and greatest chicken recipe to grace your dinner tables. In the summer you can usually find Tony and I making all of our dinners on the grill. We love to pair his famous grilled brussels sprouts with juicy burgers, salmon, and deliciously marinated chicken.
I made this incredible jalapeño cilantro chicken last summer to pair with our favorite sides and it turned out even more amazing than I expected. The marinade is the perfect balance of spicy, creamy and fresh, and it makes the chicken incredibly juicy and flavorful.
The chicken is great for pairing with salads, dipping in homemade sauces, adding to tacos and enchiladas, and more. I included tons of different ways that you can serve it, but be sure to let me know your favorite way to enjoy it in the comments!
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The formula for a perfect chicken marinade
Every chicken marinade needs 3 components to give you perfectly juicy, flavorful chicken every time:
- Fat: from oil or even full fat yogurt or buttermilk
- Acid: from vinegar or citrus fruit
- Plenty of seasonings: like spices and fresh or dried herbs
As you’ll see, this jalapeño cilantro chicken marinade has all of these components, plus some great flavor add-ins. Get even more tips & marinades here!
Ingredients in this jalapeño cilantro chicken
You’re going to LOVE the flavors in this jalapeño cilantro chicken recipe. It has the perfect amount of spice, sweetness & fresh flavor, making it extremely versatile to use in tons of different recipes. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Chicken: feel free use to boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs in this recipe.
- Produce: you’ll need cilantro, garlic, lime juice and jalapeño in the marinade to give it the perfect amount of freshness and spice.
- Yogurt: a little greek yogurt makes the marinade super creamy.
- Oil: we’re using olive oil or avocado oil for the fat component of the marinade.
- Sweetener: we’ll cut the spice and acidity with a little sweetness from brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup.
- Seasonings: finish off your marinade with plenty of salt and pepper.
How to make a jalapeño cilantro chicken marinade
This jalapeño cilantro yogurt marinade couldn’t be easier to make! You’ll simply:
- Add all of the marinade ingredients to a blender or a food processor and blend it until smooth.
- Add your chicken to a bowl, large bag or baking dish, then pour the marinade over the chicken and stir to coat it.
- Let the chicken marinate for 15 minutes to an hour before grilling or baking it!
Bake or grill your jalapeño cilantro chicken
- To bake: you’ll want to bake your chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a baking dish at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until the internal temp reads 165 degrees F. Get all of my tips for baking perfect chicken here!
- To grill: we love grilled jalapeño cilantro chicken! You’ll grill your chicken at 400 degrees F for about 6-8 minutes on each side. Check out this guide to grilling perfectly juicy chicken every time.
Delicious ways to serve this chicken
- Dip your chicken in a creamy feta yogurt dip, delicious avocado lime sauce, or this jalapeño green tahini sauce
- Chop your chicken and add it to this chicken bacon ranch pasta salad, a fresh chopped chicken cabbage salad,
- Make an easy sandwich like these, or add it to tacos or these incredible refried bean chicken enchiladas
- Serve it with flavorful green rice or my creamy coconut rice
You can always keep it simple by serving the juicy jalapeño cilantro chicken as is with your favorite salad or side dish!
You can actually store the jalapeño cilantro chicken in the marinade before cooking, or store the fully cooked chicken:
- Before cooking: store the chicken and the marinade together in an airtight container or bag in the refrigerator one day ahead of time. Then cook as directed the next day.
- After cooking: make sure the cooked chicken has cooled completely, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
More amazing chicken recipes
- BBQ Ranch Chicken Quinoa Bowls
- Sweet and Sour Pineapple Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry
- Greek Chicken Kabobs
- Pesto Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- One Pan Sazon Skillet Chicken
Get all of my delicious chicken recipes here!
I hope you love this jalapeño cilantro chicken recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Grilled Jalapeño Cilantro Chicken
Flavorful grilled jalapeño cilantro chicken made with an easy, spicy jalapeño cilantro yogurt marinade. Use this incredible marinade in baked or grilled chicken recipes to keep your chicken juicy and delicious! Serve this chicken with your fav sides and sauces for the perfect simple weeknight dinner.
- For the chicken:
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Spicy jalapeno cilantro yogurt marinade:
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro (a big handful)
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small jalapeno (do not seed if you want it spicy)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
Make the marinade: add ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend/process until well combined and smooth.
In a large bowl, baking dish or large reusable bag (such as a stasher bag), add chicken and pour the marinade over; stir well to coat the chicken in the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Grill or bake chicken however you’d like and discard excess marinade.
To grill chicken: Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Once preheated, place your chicken on your grill, and close the lid. It’s important to keep the lid of your grill closed while your chicken is cooking so that no heat escapes. Cook your chicken on the grill for 6-8 minutes on one side. After 6-8 minutes open your grill lid and flip your chicken with tongs. A great tip is to only flip your chicken breast once so that it stays nice and juicy (and creates delicious grill marks!). Cook your chicken breast for 6-8 minutes more. Cook time will vary a bit depending on the size of your chicken and what type of cut, so be sure to check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken breast using a meat thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, your chicken is done and can be transferred to a clean plate or cutting board. Immediately cover chicken with foil to seal in the juices and allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. This will help you achieve that juicy, chicken breast you’re looking for!
To bake your chicken: preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
See the full post for dipping ideas and delicious ways to serve this chicken!
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on July 14th, 2022, and republished on May 23rd, 2023.
Omg this chicken marinade is amazing!! It was so easy to make and we don’t have a grill so I made the thighs in an air fryer for 18 minutes and they turned out so delicious. My husband’s face literally lit up when he tried it lol. I set aside some of the marinade before putting it on the chicken to later drizzle over the cooked chicken and it was great. Definitely going in our regular dinner rotation!
I’m SO happy you both loved it, Melissa! Great to know they worked well in the air fryer. And love the idea of reserving some marinade for drizzling 🙂
I baked it and had it with the Street Corn Pasta Salad. These two dishes went perfectly well together. Next time i’m going to grill the chicken !
Ahh that’s such a great pairing! So happy you enjoyed both of them 🙂
This is a great marinade to have on hand!! Pairs with a lot of sides. We had a jalapeño plant in the garden and I was running out of ideas! It was super easy, just combine all the ingredients and go! I will definitely add this to the rotation.
I’m so happy you loved it, Julia! Thanks so much for commenting 🙂
Loved this! One jalapeño fresh out of the garden made the chicken spicy on the outside & it was perfect! Def making again
So fresh and summery — I love it! So glad you did, too 🙂
Loved this marinade. I saved some and used it as a salad dressing. I ate the chicken in the salad with black beans, avocado, red onion, grilled red bell pepper, grilled corn, and cheddar cheese! It would have been perfect with tomato but I didn’t have any. So tasty!
Okay that sounds like the perfect combo!!
I adore Mexican flavours, this is totally my kind of recipe!! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.
My husband couldn’t stop saying how good it was as he was devouring it! I made the avocado lime sauce to plop on top and then saved half of the marinade before pouring it all over the chicken (as additional dipping sauce). Served it with Street corn and tortilla chips. So incredibly delicious.
Haha LOVE THAT!! And yummm I bet it was delish with the avocado lime sauce + street corn. Such a great summer dinner!
This is such a great cake I didn’t think it was so easy to make.
I followed the recipe but doubled it as I had three large chicken breasts. My grill is snowed in so I browned the breasts in a cast iron after I patted them dry. I threw them in the oven in the cast iron at 400 until they reached temperature. My family licked their plates! Great flavor, beautiful color. I was very pleased with this and will make again as the marinade came together in a flash.
This is the best! So glad this recipe is a hit for you and your family 🙂