Juicy, tender and so simple, this Authentic Pollo Asado recipe will be a hit on your grill this season! Packed with fresh, citrusy flavors and achiote paste, it is addictively delicious. Serve in tacos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, or salads! Perfect for Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo!
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Authentic Mexican Pollo Asado
This Pollo Asado recipe is one you’ll keep coming back to all season! These tender, juicy chicken thighs are loaded with amazing flavor: achiote paste (which is earthy and nutty), orange juice for citrusy sweetness, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, and lime. It is so delicious and really easy to make!
To make this Pollo Asado, you, first of all, make a marinade for the chicken and allow the chicken to sit in it for a couple of hours. After that, you just grill it, slice it and serve it with some lime and cilantro. SO simple and has so much flavor!
I like serving Pollo Asado as tacos with corn tortillas and some salsa verde, however, you could also add it to burrito bowls, salads, loaded nachos, or quesadillas. This Pollo Asado is also perfect for meal prep! Make a double batch and save it for lunches throughout the week, or freeze it for later.
Ingredients for Mexican Pollo Asado
- Chicken: I opted for chicken thighs with this Mexican chicken recipe because the thighs stay nice and juicy when they’re grilled. You can also use chicken breasts, just take care to not overcook them as they will dry out.
- Achiote Paste: Your new favorite pantry staple! Achiote paste is a mixture of annatto seeds, spices, garlic, and orange juice. It’s sweet, spicy, garlicky and a little smoky thanks to the annatto seeds. You can find this paste in your local Mexican grocery store, online, or you can make your own.
- Orange juice: Orange juice adds citrusy sweetness, and helps to tenderize the meat. You can also use lime juice instead if that’s what you have on hand.
- Onion & garlic: Onion and garlic provide a ton of flavor to the Pollo Asado marinade.
- Seasoning: Cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper pack in even more amazing flavors to the marinade!
- Lime: A squeeze of fresh lime over the chicken is the perfect balance to this recipe.
- Cilantro: To finish, I sprinkled fresh cilantro over the chicken as a garnish. It’s refreshing and goes so well with all of the other aromas.
How to make this authentic Pollo Asado recipe
1. Begin by adding achiote paste, orange juice, onion, garlic, oil, and seasonings to a blender.
2. Pulse the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. This mixture will be the marinade for the chicken thighs.
3. Add the marinade and chicken to a large ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
4. It’s time to grill! Preheat the grill to 425°F and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Grill the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side. Tip: use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken. I choose the thickest piece of chicken and insert the end of the thermometer into the middle. It will read at least 165°F when the chicken is done.
5. Finally, remove the pollo asado from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. This keeps the juices in the chicken and not on your cutting board! Juice 1 whole lime over the chicken, sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro then slice and serve!
Storage & Reheating Instructions
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in the microwave or oven until it’s heated through. Alternatively, you can also serve this Pollo Asado cold, straight from the fridge. It’s great on salads!
- Freeze in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 4 months. Thaw completely before reheating.
What can I serve Pollo Asado with?
- Burrito bowls
- Rice: Green Rice (Arroz Verde), Spanish Rice, or Enchilada Rice would be so good!
- Vegetables (roasted, grilled, or air fried)
What is Achiote paste?
Achiote Paste (annatto) is a mixture of annatto seeds (that are earthy, nutty, and a little bitter), oregano, cumin, cilantro, cloves, black pepper, garlic, a chili pepper (like jalapeno, serrano, or habanero) and bitter orange juice. The flavor is powerful and perfect for marinades like this pollo asado marinade.
What is a good substitute for achiote paste?
Make achiote paste at home! All you need is paprika, white vinegar, oregano, garlic, olive oil, and cumin. It’s a great substitute if you’re unable to get your hands on achiote paste itself.
More Mexican Chicken Recipes to try
- Crockpot Mexican Chicken
- Whole Roasted Mexican Chicken
- Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- One Pan Chicken and Rice Bake
- Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Add achiote paste, orange juice, onion, garlic, oil and seasonings to a blender. Pulse until smooth.
- Add the marinade and chicken to a large ziplock bag and refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
- Preheat grill to 425 degrees. Spray the grill with non stick cooking spray.Grill chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side.
- Remove from the grill and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Juice 1 whole lime over the chicken then slice and serve!