This Grilled Mojo Chicken recipe has the BEST citrusy marinade. With a little meal prep, this makes the perfect easy weeknight meal.
Oh my, the marinade in this grilled mojo chicken is everything! Oranges, limes, lemons and garlic come together to impart so much flavor to this simple chicken dish. I love serving it with an easy black bean, corn and tomato salad because it comes together SO quickly. If you eat more along paleo lines, you could serve with a simple green salad or grilled veggies instead – just as good!
I'm also partial to this recipe because it works so well with one of my favorite meal prep methods, freezer marinades.
To start, you'll make the Mojo Chicken marinade. You'll mince the garlic, juice the citrus, and mix with olive oil, salt and pepper. You'll also cube the chicken breast into one inch pieces. Then, if you're planning to make the chicken within the next day or so, you'll add the chicken to the marinade and refrigerate. If you'd like to save the chicken for later in the week or month, place the chicken in the marinade and freeze. I love this strategy for busy nights and emergency dinner needs!
When you're ready to cook, you'll simply skewer the chicken pieces on wooden or metal skewers and grill until they reach an internal temperature of 165 F.
While the chicken grills, you can throw together the black bean, corn and tomato salad, which could not be easier.
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Grilled Mojo Chicken
Mojo Chicken Skewers
- 2 oranges
- 2 limes
- 2 lemons
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- wooden or metal skewers
- 1 # boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 15 oz black beans
- 10 oz frozen corn
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 lime
- 4 oz crumbled feta
Mojo Chicken Skewers
- Mince 3 cloves garlic
- Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces.
- Whisk together: 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (~2 oranges), 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (~2 limes), 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (~2 lemons), 3 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 tsp salt & 1/8tsp ground black pepper.
- Place chicken pieces in a large container and pour mojo sauce to coat well. Marinate chicken overnight.
- Skewer chicken pieces onto soaked wooden or metal skewers. Grill ~3-4 mins per side until cooked through, 165 F.
Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad
- Halve 1 pint cherry tomatoes.
- In a large serving bowl combine: 15oz drained & rinsed black beans, 2 cups corn, tomatoes, 1 T olive oil, juice of 1 lime, 4 oz crumbled feta & salt to taste.
Can you meal prep Grilled Mojo Chicken?
Absolutely! Grilled mojo chicken is perfect for meal prep. As I mentioned above, you can freeze this chicken in the marinade to cook at a later date. I personally love doubling recipes like this. Make two batches and stick one in the fridge and one in the freezer! This is exactly the kind of “work smarter not harder” life hack I love.
At a bare minimum, you'll want to make the marinade ahead of time. In a dinnertime emergency, you can marinate the chicken for just an hour, though overnight will result in more flavor.
What's the nutrition like for this Mojo Chicken recipe?
This Mojo Chicken recipe is full of protein and also has plenty of vitamins from the citrus-packed marinade. Here are a few of the nutritional highlights:
Chicken (Selenium, Zinc, B Vitamins)
In addition to being packed with protein, chicken is a good source of several vitamins and nutrients. Selenium is beneficial for both your immune system and your thyroid. B vitamins promote a healthy brain and high energy levels. Chicken is also considered a good food for weight loss due to its high protein content and relatively low calories, depending on the cut of chicken.
Limes (Vitamin C, Antioxidants)
The combination of vitamin C and antioxidants makes limes great for your immune system. Vitamin C is also highly beneficial for your skin, with anti-aging effects. In addition, limes are good for your heart, beneficial for preventing kidney stones and may even help prevent certain types of cancer.
Oranges (Vitamin C, Folate, Thiamine, Vitamin B1, Potassium)
While oranges are famous for their vitamin C, they're also rich in folate, thiamine (vitamin B1) and potassium. In addition, the flavonoids found in oranges may protect against heart disease.
Lemons (Vitamin C, Citric Acid)
Just one lemon provides 51% of the daily recommended vitamin C. This is important not only to fight colds, but for long term health as studies show consuming produce with vitamin C helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Consuming lemons may also help protect against anemia and kidney stones, likely due to their citric acid content.
Garlic (Beneficial Sulfur Compounds, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium)
Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some types of cancer. Eating garlic may also help prevent colds and other minor illnesses.
Scientists believe these substantial health benefits may stem primarily from garlic's sulfur compounds such as allicin, diallyl disulfide and sallyl cysteine.
Olive Oil (Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Monounsaturated Fats, Antioxidants)
Due to the type of fat it contains, olive oil may reduce inflammation. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer's, stroke and heart disease. Make sure to get high quality extra virgin olive oil, as it retains more antioxidants and nutrients.
Tomatoes (Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin K, Folate, Lycopene)
Tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene is believed to be the reason that tomatoes are linked to lower rates of certain types of cancers. Eating tomatoes along with a source of fat, like the olive oil in this recipe, significantly increases how much lycopene your body absorbs.
Corn (Fiber, Folate, Vitamin B6, Potassium)
While corn is mostly carbohydrates, it ranks low-medium on the glycemic index, so won't spike your blood sugar as much as some carbs. Corn is also high in fiber, folate, Vitamin B6 and Potassium.
High in folate, protein and fiber, black beans are super filling and nutritious. If beans don't agree with your stomach, try soaking and cooking them yourself rather than buying canned, as soaking can aid in digestion.
Feta cheese is quite high in calcium and thus can be good for your bones. Feta also contains lactobacillus plantarum, which is beneficial for gut health. It also offers conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has numerous health benefits, including potentially helping to fight cancer.
However, on the flip side, feta is high in sodium and also high in lactose and thus may not work well for those who need to watch their salt intake or are sensitive to lactose.
FAQ – Everything You Need to Know About Grilled Mojo Chicken
What is Mojo chicken?
Mojo chicken is a citrusy, garlicky chicken dish, originating in Cuba.
Can you use Mojo chicken marinade for other meats?
Sure! While chicken is delicious here, the Mojo marinade would be just as good on shrimp, fish or pork as well. Just make sure not to marinade for more than 30 minutes for seafood.
What else can I serve with this easy chicken kebab recipe?
You can never go wrong with a simple green salad! I also love this chicken with grilled fruit, grilled veggies like zucchini, or my watermelon, feta and arugula salad. If you need a low carb side, sauteed radishes are also quite tasty.
How long should you marinate chicken?
You can marinate chicken anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours. Do not marinate longer than 24 hours, especially with an acidic marinade like Mojo, as the texture of the meat will start to change.
Can I make this chicken paleo?
Yes! The Mojo Chicken recipe itself is paleo as-written. All you'll need to do is switch up the side. I recommend tossing your favorite veggies on the grill for a side dish that's both simple and delicious.
I want more simple grilled chicken recipes!
Grilled chicken is so versatile, not to mention healthy and delicious. I love experimenting with different ways to prepare it. Here are two of my favorites:
Coated in spices, these grilled chicken skewers pair SO well with the simple yogurt mint sauce.
This sauce is everything! Sweet, salty, tangy and tinged with garlic, you'll want to put it on everything. The actual chicken is kept quite simple to let the sauce shine through.