With the bold flavors of chile and lime, this grilled Tajin Chicken recipe has a vibrant taste you won't forget! You will never believe how easy it is to make perfect grilled chicken tenderloins.
Last summer was the first time we tried Tajin seasoning and we totally fell in love with it. Good friends of ours brought Mexican street corn to a barbecue and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever tasted. From the sweet grilled corn to the crema and cotija cheese and finally to a generous sprinkling of Tajin seasoning we were hooked.
I do try to eat low carb most of the time so we decided the try that chile-lime seasoning on chicken instead. This tajin chicken recipe was just as good! Most of the time we keep it simple and just use the seasoning on chicken breasts or chicken tenders but if you want to also add some Mexican crema and cotija cheese go for it! You will not be disappointed.
This recipe is also low carb, keto, grain-free, paleo, THM, and whole30.
Chicken Tenderloins - We enjoy chicken tenders because of how tender they are. But you can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Tajin Seasoning - A mild seasoning with flavors of salt, lime, and chili pepper.
How to Make Tajin Chicken
You won't believe how easy this Tajin grilled chicken recipe is. Just two ingredients to the best chicken you've ever tasted!
Step One: This first step is just to liberally coat the chicken with the seasoning blend. I use one tablespoon per pound of chicken.
Step Two: The next step is to simply cook your tajín chicken until it is 160 degrees. You can saute, bake, grill outside or in a grill pan, cook it in an Instant Pot, or even air fry the chicken tenderloins in your air fryer. The great flavor of the chile lime chicken will shine through no matter which cooking method you choose.
You can use more or less depending on your preferences but remember that this blend does contain salt. It is better to slightly under-season it and then add more Tajin later on instead of making it too salty.
Tajin - This comes in different varieties. You can try it with other types than the classic flavor.
Marinade - Try marinating the chicken in a combination of orange juice, olive oil, salt, and garlic powder before adding the dry rub.
What is Tajin?
Tajin is a seasoning blend with mild chiles, lime, and salt. With such simple ingredients, it is perfect for just about any diet plan or way of eating. It is excellent on vegetables, mixed into guacamole, and even sprinkled onto pineapple and other fruits.
Just a note that the keyword here is mild chiles. Most people think anything with chiles has to be spicy. This is not the case. You get wonderful flavors without the heat.
If you want to make your own blend try this recipe.
How do I know when grilled chicken is done?
The easiest way to know if the grilled chicken is fully cooked is to use an instead read meat thermometer. This takes the guesswork out of it entirely. Another way to tell is to cut a piece of chicken in half and see if the juice runs clear. If the juice is still pink the chicken is not done. Cooked chicken will also feel firmer to the touch than raw chicken.
How do I grill chicken tenderloins so they don't dry out?
My method for grilling chicken is to heat the grill to very hot before adding it. After you add the chicken turn the heat to medium and close the grill. Cook it for 3 minutes and then flip it. By heating the grill to very hot before moving the chili lime chicken around you allow a crust to form and the chicken to get nice looking grill lines.
Chicken tenderloins cook quickly and only need about 6-7 minutes on a hot grill to reach an internal temperature of 160. They are also more forgiving than chicken breasts and don't dry out as fast if you forget about them. Since they are small pieces they work well for meal prep if you want to make some lunches in advance.
Can I use chicken thighs?
Of course! The cooking times I have listed for grilled chicken won't apply but you are welcome to cook using your favorite method for chicken thighs. We prefer chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. I just cook them on manual high pressure for 15 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. With this method, tajin chicken thighs come out perfect every time.
What should I serve with Tajin Chicken?
This Mexican grilled chicken tenderloin recipe pairs well with a simple salad or other grilled vegetable recipes like grilled broccoli. Or use this as a base for tajin chicken tacos as a fun main course! If you go for tacos make a spicy skinny margarita to serve along with them.
The yellow squash you see was simply drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and then grilled on medium heat for about 4 minutes per side until it was tender.
I also made a quick corn salsa with just thawed frozen corn, diced tomato, chopped onion, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a drizzle of avocado oil, and salt. It was perfect with this on top of lettuce with some fresh cilantro and a bit of ranch dressing.
- 3 lb chicken tenderloins
- 3 tablespoon tajin seasoning
- Preheat grill to high.
- Coat the chicken evenly with the seasoning.
- Place the chicken tenderloins on the hot grill. Reduce heat to medium. Grill for 3 minutes and then flip.
- Grill the second side for 3 minutes.
- At this point, the chicken should be cooked through. It really depends on the size of the chicken tenderloins. If needed cook for an additional minute or two until the internal temperature reaches 160.
Originally Published May 14, 2021. Revised and Republished January 23, 2024.