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Escape to the tropics with a Quick and Easy Cuban Mojo Chicken that’s perfect on the grill or in a skillet! This simple and healthy weeknight dinner is ready in about 30 minutes.

A sliced Cuban Mojo Chicken is an easy and healthy dinner recipe in 30 minutes!

I’m always looking for new ways to make the same ole’ boring chicken breasts a bit more “zippy,” and this Mojo Chicken is exactly that — zippy!

Sliced grilled Cuban Mojo Chicken breasts for a healthy dinner in less than 30 minutes.

What is Mojo Chicken?

If you’ve never tasted mojo chicken, then it’s time to get excited. It sounds exotic, fancy, or fun (and it is), but it’s also very simple — and SO easy to make at home!

There are about a zillion versions of mojo sauce that have been used to season and marinate meat for years and years. Today, I’m focused on Mojo Chicken that is often found in Cuban cuisine, Caribbean fare, and has even found its way into recipes of the Southeastern United States.

These tropical mojo dishes often include a meat (such as chicken or pork) that has been marinated in a mojo sauce.

Tray of grilled Mojo Chicken breasts.

How do you Make Mojo Marinade?

According to my minimal knowledge and research, in Cuban cooking, mojo refers to any sauce that is made with garlic, olive oil or pork lard, and a citrus juice (such as bitter orange juice).

I used that same basic formula to create a simple mojo marinade that takes advantage of familiar ingredients that most Americans can easily find in their local grocery stores.

This Cuban Mojo Marinade includes:

  • Orange juice
  • Lime juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, garlic, cumin, oregano, and a garnish of fresh cilantro (if that’s your thing)

Just whisk it all together and in about 2 minutes your mojo marinade is ready!

Mojo Chicken marinade sauce.

Don’t forget to set aside about 1/4 cup of the sauce for basting later…

Basting grilled chicken breasts with mojo sauce.

If it’s warm and sunny where you live right now, this marinated Mojo Chicken is a great option to throw on the grill. I love that charred, crispy exterior that you get from a classic outdoor grill!

But if it’s easier for you to prepare the meal indoors, it will also work beautifully in a skillet or on a grill pan. I’ve included those instructions in the recipe below, so feel free to use whichever method you prefer.

Cuban Mojo Chicken is an easy and healthy dinner recipe with 5 minutes of prep!

What to serve with Mojo Chicken:

I like to serve our Mojo Chicken with rice and either fruit salad or a green salad on the side. If you can get your hands on some mango salsa (or make your own), that would be a delicious topping!

The sliced chicken is a great filling for tacos or quesadillas, and it also adds a nice protein boost to a big salad that’s full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Maybe my Strawberry Spinach Salad, for instance?! The citrus and berries in that salad pair beautifully with the mojo chicken!

Easy sliced grilled chicken breasts marinated in Cuban mojo sauce.

More easy chicken recipes that you might enjoy:

Quick and Easy Cuban Mojo Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Marinate 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 211.2 kcal
A fresh and bright citrus marinade creates a Quick and Easy Cuban Mojo Chicken that's perfect on the grill or in a skillet!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Mojo Sauce:

  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

Instructions

  • Place chicken in a large zip-top bag or container with a lid. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together Mojo Sauce ingredients until completely combined. Set aside ¼ cup of sauce to use for basting later.
  • Pour remaining sauce over chicken, seal bag, and marinate for 15 minutes on the counter (or up to 1 hour in the refrigerator).
  • When ready to cook, remove chicken from the marinade. Discard marinade in the bag.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet, grill pan, or outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Coat skillet or grill with cooking spray or oil to prevent sticking. Sear or grill chicken on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through (about 6-7 minutes per side, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F).* Baste with reserved marinade as the chicken cooks.
  • Allow meat to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Notes

*I used 5 small chicken breasts that were approximately 5 ounces each. If you are using larger chicken breasts, you can slice them in half so that they cook faster or just increase your cooking time.
Cooking Just for Two? Prepare just 3/4-lb. - 1 lb. of chicken breasts. You can create the same amount of marinade, and just set aside plenty of extra for basting. You can never have too much Mojo Sauce! The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ounces of chicken and 2 T mojo sauceCalories: 211.2kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 26.2gFat: 10.8gSaturated Fat: 1.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6.6gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 460.8mgPotassium: 320mgSugar: 1g
Keyword: chicken breasts, chicken marinade, easy dinner
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: International
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Looking so delicious!
    I’ll definitely try it. Thanks for sharing your awesome dish recipe with us.

    1. Hi, Kimberly! I don’t recommend marinating this chicken overnight, because this particular marinade has a high acid content (thanks to the citrus juices). The acid in the marinade will break down the meat and can make your chicken mushy if it’s left in the marinade too long.

      You can definitely bake the chicken in the oven — it just won’t have that grilled “char” that adds a lot of flavor. 🙂 The total baking time will depend on how thick your chicken breasts are, but I would suggest starting with about 40-45 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Hope that helps, and enjoy!

  2. This sounds delicious. Do you really need to discard the marinade if you’re cooking it in a pan or oven? or can you cook the chicken in the marinade for extra flavor and sauciness?

    1. Hi, Ria! No, you don’t need to discard the marinade if you’re cooking it. It’s just important that you don’t consume any marinade that has touched raw meat without cooking the marinade first. 🙂