This flavorful Southwest Chicken recipe is tender and juicy with a warm, smoky heat. It is perfect for tacos, burritos, salads, and pasta!
One of my favorite things about chicken is how versatile it is. The chicken you end up with can vary greatly depending on which flavors you season it with. Southwest chicken is so easy to make, and it brings a lot of flavor to your dishes.
What You’ll Find In This Post
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
We are going to make this Southwest chicken recipe on rotation this summer. It is our go-to chicken when we want to make chicken fajitas, chicken tacos, and southwest salad. The flavors in the seasoning really shine in Mexican dishes, and they pair well with cowboy caviar, corn salsa, and pineapple salsa.
Ingredients Needed and Substitutions
- Chicken: For this recipe, we used one pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you want to make more chicken, simply increase the amount of marinade you prepare.
- Southwest Seasoning: We make our own southwest spice blend and use it to make the marinade. You can also use a store-bought mix if you can find it.
- Oil: This recipe calls for vegetable oil, but you could also use canola or olive oil.
- Vinegar: For an acid, we used distilled white vinegar. Lime juice or lemon juice also works and offers a different flavor profile.
How To Make Southwest Chicken
- Marinade: Combine the vegetable oil, vinegar, and seasonings in a small bowl.
- Prep: Flatten the boneless, skinless chicken breasts to an even thickness and then place them in a gallon-sized ziptop bag (or use a shallow container.) Add the marinade, seal the bag, and turn to coat the chicken.
- Marinate: Place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
- Cook: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grease the grill grate, add the chicken breasts, and discard the marinade. Cook for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.
Other Ways To Prepare
Baked Southwest Chicken
You can make baked southwest chicken in the oven if you prefer not to use the grill!
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- Place the chicken on a greased, rimmed baking sheet.
- You can add sliced red and green bell peppers, onions, squash, and corn as well!
- Bake for 18-23 minutes or until cooked through.
Southwest Chicken Skillet
Another great option is to cook chicken on the stovetop! You can add southwest veggies to the skillet so that they can cook at the same time.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the chicken breasts and cook for 12-14 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165˚F, flipping them over halfway through cooking.
Make Ahead and Storage
- Make Ahead: To prepare ahead of time, mix up the marinade and store it in the refrigerator. Then, add the chicken to the marinade 20-30 minutes before you plan to cook it. You don’t want to leave the chicken in the marinade for longer than 30 minutes.
- Refrigerator: Allow the leftover southwest chicken to cool completely and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Freezer: You can freeze leftovers in a sealed, airtight, freezer-safe container for 3-4 months.
- Reheating: Reheat leftovers in the microwave, oven, air fryer, or stovetop.
Ways To Use Southwest Chicken
Slice the cooked chicken and serve it on a bed of lettuce with black beans, corn, sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, diced green and red bell peppers, and chipotle ranch dressing.
Toast street-sized tortillas and fill them with sliced southwest chicken, shredded lettuce, pineapple pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
Make a burrito bowl with southwestern chicken! Serve over rice with black beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and shredded cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is made with chicken breasts, southwest seasoning, vegetable oil, and vinegar.
After marinating the chicken, bake it on a greased, rimmed baking sheet or dish at 400˚F for 18-23 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.
Yes, you can use this recipe to make pork instead of chicken. You can marinate pork longer than chicken, and you will need to adjust the cooking time depending on the cut of pork you choose. Keep in mind that you only cook pork to an internal temperature of 145˚F.
More Grilling Recipes
- Spicy Pineapple Chicken Kabobs
- Grilled Pizza
- Garlic Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
- Corn on the Cob with the Husks
- 3 tablespoon southwest spice blend
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, vinegar, and southwest spice blend.
- Flatten the chicken breasts to an even thickness and then place them in a gallon-sized ziptop bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken, seal the bag, and turn to coat. Place in the fridge to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grease the grill grates before adding the chicken. Cook the chicken for 10-12 minutes, turning it over halfway through cooking or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.
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