Step-by-Step Guide: Mouthwatering Pollo Asado Made Easy

Are you looking for a flavorful and easy dinner recipe that will transport your taste buds south of the border? Look no further than this pollo asado recipe! This authentic Mexican grilled chicken is marinated in a mixture of citrus juices, spices like cumin and paprika (notably achiote powder), garlic, and olive oil to create a dish that is bursting with bold flavors.

I’ve always been a fan of grilled chicken, but this pollo asado recipe takes it to the next level. The marinade not only adds incredible flavor, but it also tenderizes the chicken so it comes off the grill perfectly juicy and tender. Plus, with just a handful of ingredients that are probably already in your pantry, this is an incredibly easy recipe to throw together even on a busy weeknight.

So get ready to fire up the grill and enjoy some delicious and authentic pollo asado – your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pollo Asado
Pollo Asado

Are you tired of the same old chicken dishes? Do you crave bold and flavorful meals that will awaken your taste buds? Look no further than this Pollo Asado recipe.

This dish is perfect for those who love Mexican cuisine or are looking to try something new. The blend of citrus juices, garlic, and spices like cumin and oregano make for a mouthwatering marinade that infuses the chicken with flavor down to its very bone. The addition of achiote powder gives it an authentic touch that transports your taste buds straight to the heart of Mexico.

But what truly sets this recipe apart is its versatility. Serve it as a main dish with some rice and beans, or shred the chicken and use it as a filling for tacos or burritos. Its bold flavor also pairs well with carne asada or Cuban-style black beans.

And don’t worry about being tied to the grill – while Pollo Asado is traditionally grilled, this recipe offers alternative cooking methods like roasting in the oven or on a stovetop grill pan for convenience.

In short, this recipe is an easy way to add some excitement to your kitchen and impress your dinner guests without breaking the bank. From its bold flavors to its versatility, there’s a lot to love about Pollo Asado. Give it a try and see why it’s a favorite amongst Mexican cuisine lovers everywhere.

Ingredient List

 Sizzling hot and juicy Pollo Asado straight from the grill
Sizzling hot and juicy Pollo Asado straight from the grill

Before starting with the recipe, you need to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Don’t worry; these are commonly found in most kitchens or grocery stores. Pollo asado is a flavorful chicken dish that is typically grilled, roasted, or cooked on a horno (clay oven). The marinade for pollo asado consists of citrus juices, spices like cumin and oregano, and a touch of chili heat. Here’s what you’ll need to make this authentic Mexican dish:

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs.
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice.
  • Juice of 1 orange.
  • Juice of 2 limes.
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced.
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano.
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin.
  • A pinch of achiote powder (you can find it in most Latin markets).
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Note that bone-in chicken thighs would work too for more flavor. Also, remember to adjust salt and chili quantities to your personal preference. Now let’s get started on making this delicious polo asado recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 Crispy golden brown skin with a tantalizing aroma
Crispy golden brown skin with a tantalizing aroma

Now, let’s dive in and create some magic! Here’s how you’ll make the Pollo Asado:

Preparing the Chicken

  • Firstly, clean your chicken well with cool water and cut off any excess fat.
  • Then, pat dry it with a paper towel and place it into a large mixing bowl.

Making the Marinade

  • Add the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, garlic, achiote powder, salt, pepper, dried oregano, ground cumin and paprika in another bowl.
  • Mix all ingredients evenly to create a well-combined marinade mixture.

Marinating the Chicken

  • Now, pour marinade mixture all over your chicken.
  • Using clean hands, gently rub chicken pieces with the mixture until they’re completely coated.
  • Cover the mixing bowl using aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight to let the meat absorb all of the flavors and become even more tender.

Cooking the Chicken

  • After marinating for enough time, bake your chicken at 375°F for about 45 minutes or until it’s fully cooked.
  • Grill the chicken for an additional 5-10 minutes until slightly charred.

And there you have it, flavorful and delectable homemade Pollo Asado ready to impress your guests as a main meal or sliced up for tacos.

Substitutions and Variations

 Tender and flavorful chicken marinated in a zesty blend of spices
Tender and flavorful chicken marinated in a zesty blend of spices

Not everyone has access to all of the ingredients listed in a recipe. But don’t worry, there are always substitutions that you can use in its place. Here are some recommendations to switch things up and give your Pollo Asado recipe a unique twist:

– Lime juice: If fresh lime juice is not available, you can use bottled lime juice instead, or another citrusy juice such as lemon or orange juice.

– Garlic: Use garlic powder in place of fresh garlic or omit it altogether if you’re not a fan of garlic.

– Dried oregano: Fresh oregano can be used, but use 3 times the amount of dried oregano listed. Another herb such as thyme or rosemary could also be used in place of oregano.

– Salt: Table salt can be used instead of sea salt or kosher salt.

– Ground cumin: Cumin seeds can be ground manually using a mortar and pestle or spices like dry coriander and fennel seed.

– Olive oil: Canola oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil can be used as an alternative to olive oil.

Feel free to mix it up and try new things with your marinade! You can add other spices like paprika, chipotle, or chili powder to give it an extra kick. The possibilities for seasonings are endless.

If you prefer beef over chicken, feel free to swap in carne asada instead. And if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, try marinating portobello mushrooms or tofu in the same mixture.

Experimenting with the marinade will give you an opportunity to make every meal unique while staying authentic to the Pollo Asado recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 This Pollo Asado recipe will make your taste buds dance!
This Pollo Asado recipe will make your taste buds dance!

Now that you have prepared this delicious pollo asado recipe, let’s talk about serving and pairing. The flavorful chicken marinated in a mixture of citrus juices, spices like cumin, oregano, paprika, notably achiote powder is an incredibly versatile protein that pairs well with many different dishes.

One classic way to serve pollo asado is to simply slice it up and savor it on its own for a flavorful and satisfying meal. Or, try serving it up in tacos or making an authentic Cuban sandwich with the succulent grilled chicken. This Mexican grilled roasted chicken also pairs well with South American carne asada or even seafood preparations.

To complement the bold flavors of the pollo asado, consider serving it with a side of traditional Latin-American rice and beans or refreshing guacamole salad. You can also opt for lighter sides like jalapeno slaw, roasted corn salsa or healthy grilled vegetables seasoned with lime juice and garlic.

For beverage pairing options, think about choosing light and refreshing drinks such as margaritas or mojitos filled with fresh lime juice to balance out the bold flavors. Alternatively, you might enjoy serving up icy cold beverages such as horchata (creamy rice milk beverage), tamarindo (tamarind sweet tea) or jamaica (hibiscus iced tea).

Overall, the easy pollo asado recipe provides a fantastic base for all kinds of Latin American-inspired dishes that you can enjoy with family and friends!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfectly charred and seasoned chicken for a fiesta in your mouth
Perfectly charred and seasoned chicken for a fiesta in your mouth

One of the great things about this Pollo Asado recipe is that it can easily be made ahead of time! The chicken can marinate for up to 24 hours in the fridge, allowing the flavors to really sink in. This makes it perfect for busy weeknights or meal prepping.

When it comes to storing your leftovers, they will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you plan on freezing the chicken, let it cool completely before placing it in a freezer-safe bag or container. The frozen chicken should be consumed within 2-3 months.

When it’s time to reheat, there are a few different methods you can use depending on your preference. You can reheat the chicken in the oven by preheating it to 350°F and placing the chicken into an oven-safe dish. Reheat for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Or, you can reheat it in the microwave by placing individual portions on a microwave-safe plate and heating for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Remember to let the chicken sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before reheating. This will allow it to come up to room temperature and prevent uneven cooking. When reheating, brush with additional marinade or sprinkle with extra lime juice and salt to keep that delicious flavor.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Fire up the grill and get ready for a taste of Brazil
Fire up the grill and get ready for a taste of Brazil

After making this delicious pollo asado recipe several times, I’ve come up with some great tips to ensure that your end result is perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor. Here are some additional tips to help you make the best pollo asado possible:

1. Marinate the Chicken for at Least 4 Hours

The key to getting a flavorful chicken is letting it marinate in the mixture of citrus juices, garlic, and spices like cumin and oregano for at least 4 hours. This will help impart the flavors into the meat and create a juicy texture when cooking.

2. Use Boneless Chicken Thighs

Boneless chicken thighs work best for this recipe as they are juicy, flavorful, and cook evenly on the grill. If you prefer using chicken breasts, just make sure to pound them lightly so they cook evenly.

3. Preheat Your Grill or Oven

Make sure to preheat your grill or oven before cooking your marinated chicken. This will ensure that your chicken cooks evenly and gives it those beautiful grill marks.

4. Cook Over Medium-High Heat

To achieve a perfectly cooked and tender chicken, cook it over medium-high heat for about 6-7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

5. Keep an Eye on That Chicken!

Don’t leave your chicken unattended while it’s cooking! Keep an eye on it to prevent charring or overcooking. If necessary, move it around on the grill to prevent any hot spots.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to create an authentic tasting pollo asado right in your own kitchen or backyard. So grab your friends and family and get ready to enjoy some delicious tacos filled with this flavorful grilled chicken!


Now that you have learned how to make this delicious pollo asado recipe, you may have some questions regarding the preparation or the ingredients. Therefore, in this section, I will give my expert answers to some commonly asked questions. These tips will help you achieve perfect results every time and will guarantee a successful cooking experience. So let’s dive into the FAQ section and clear up any confusion you might have.

What is pollo asado seasoning made of?

The recipe calls for a mix of flavorful ingredients including garlic, onion, salt, sugar, and a combination of spices such as turmeric, paprika, cumin, white pepper, black pepper, and annatto. Additionally, yeast extract and extractives of paprika are also needed to create a delectable blend of flavors.

What are the ingredients in a Chipotle pollo asado?

This recipe features tender grilled chicken seasoned with garlic, zesty lime, fiery guajillo peppers, and aromatic cilantro that has been chopped by hand.

What’s the difference between pollo asado and chicken?

When it comes to chicken dishes, there are different marination techniques used for different flavors. For instance, the pollo asado is typically prepared using chunkier cuts of chicken that are infused with the taste of lime juice, garlic, and guajillo peppers. On the other hand, Chipotle’s chicken is usually cut into smaller pieces and marinated in a mixture of chipotle chili, vinegar, sunflower oil, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper for a distinct flavor.

What is pollo asado good for?

This recipe is incredibly flexible, offering a wide range of serving options. You can pair the chicken with a refreshing salad and some fluffy rice, making it a satisfying meal on its own. Or, you can use it as a filling for delicious tacos or burritos, or even elevate it to a wholesome burrito bowl. The possibilities are endless!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Pollo Asado recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves flavorful and juicy grilled chicken. This recipe uses a combination of traditional Mexican spices and citrus juices to give your taste buds a delicious kick of flavor. The marinade is easy to make and can be customized to suit personal preferences.

Whether you’re looking to spice up your usual chicken dinner or trying to impress your friends and family at a backyard barbecue, this dish is perfect for any occasion. With simple substitutions and variations, you can easily create authentic Pollo Asado tacos or pair the chicken with other side dishes.

To achieve the best results, make sure to follow the tips and recommendations provided and marinate the chicken for at least three hours. It’s also important to grill the chicken until it’s cooked through but still juicy.

Overall, this recipe is an excellent way to introduce new flavors into your cooking repertoire and impress your guests with an authentic Mexican dish. So why not give it a try today? Your taste buds will thank you!

Pollo Asado

Pollo Asado Recipe

This is my family's recipe for grilled chicken, mexican-style. It is very similar to what you would get at El Pollo Loco fast food restaurants - although we were eating this way before they ever existed! Achiote powder should be available in most grocery stores' mexican spice section, but is easily found at mexican grocers or online. It imparts a subtle flavor that is definitely hispanic, and it also gives the chicken it's wonderful golden color. Prep time does not include marinating time. To cut calories, use skinless chicken, but it doesn't taste as good!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 507.1 kcal


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon achiote powder
  • 4 whole boneless chicken breasts, skin attached


  • Cut chicken breasts into two halves.
  • Heat oil in small saucepan over medium high heat until very hot.
  • While oil heats, mash cumin, salt, oregano, garlic and achiote powder into a paste with a mortar and pestle. Place the paste in a heat-proof bowl.
  • Whisk hot oil into the garlic paste. Allow to cool slightly then add lime and orange juice, stirring well to combine.
  • Pour marinade into a large ziploc bag, add chicken breast halves. Shake or knead to spread marinade throughout chicken.
  • Refrigerate at least four hours to overnight.
  • Grill over medium heat, turning, until chicken reaches internal temperature of 180 degrees.
  • Place chicken on cutting board and let rest several minutes.
  • Serve individually, or cut into bite sized pieces for making tacos or burritos.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 243gCalories: 507.1kcalCarbohydrates: 3.8gProtein: 40.7gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 7.6gCholesterol: 123.7mgSodium: 705mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 1.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.