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Tequila BBQ Chicken with Citrus Avocado Salad

This chicken smells so good while it is grilling on the BBQ! If you like lime margarita cocktails, then you’ll enjoy making and eating this refreshing and aromatic chicken with an easy-to-assemble citrus avocado salad.

What type of tequila should be used?

In this recipe, I use white tequila, but if you only have gold tequila, this will work fine in the marinade. Although alcohol evaporates in cooking, I love how you can still taste the tequila together with the tangy lime, fresh coriander and garlic. The chillis are optional, but if you like spice, then throw them in.

Which chicken part is best?

As chicken is the star of this dish, I recommend using the best chicken breast (organic if possible) you can buy for that added flavour. If you prefer using thigh fillets, they barbecue just as well, but may not look as attractive as the breast meat when fanned across the plate.

To get a clean diagonal cut across the cooked chicken, remember to allow the chicken to rest covered for at least 5 minutes, before slicing and plating up.

Salad Dressing

The salad dressing is similar to a standard vinaigrette, except lime juice is used instead of lemon. Made to be served with the salad, it also tastes great drizzled on top of the cooked chicken.

How to serve the salad

Besides eating this recipe warm, it also makes a fantastic salad to serve at social gatherings by mixing the cold chicken with the citrus avocado salad on a large platter. Have the salad dressing on the side to pour at the time of serving.

An adobe photo of the tequila bbq chicken
A plate arranged with tequila bbq chicken and citrus avocado salad

Tequila BBQ Chicken

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
This chicken smells so good while it is grilling on the BBQ! If you like lime margarita cocktails, then you’ll enjoy making and eating this refreshing and aromatic chicken with an easy-to-assemble citrus avocado salad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Chicken Marinating Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 39 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings 5



  • 5 chicken breasts, with or without skin

Chicken Marinade

  • 80 ml tequila
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced & zest removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped finely (optional)
  • 1 fresh green chilli, chopped finely (optional)
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped roughly
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Salad Dressing

  • tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented
  • 2 ripe avocadoes, sliced thickly
  • 60 g fresh rocket/arugula leaves


  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, to decorate
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges, to serve



    Chicken Marinade

    • Gather and measure the chicken marinade ingredients together.
    • Mix the chicken marinade ingredients together in a glass or ceramic bowl large enough to hold the chicken breasts.
    • Add the chicken and prick with a fork several times. This will thoroughly infuse and marinate the chicken meat.
    • Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

    Grilling the Tequila BBQ Chicken

    • Bring the chicken to room temperature 20 minutes before grilling.
    • Preheat the skillet/grill plate on the BBQ to medium-high heat and brush it with some oil.
    • Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill each side for 7 minutes. Only turn the chicken over once the chicken has “released” itself naturally from the grill. Do not over-cook the chicken or it will end up being tough.
    • After 14 mins the chicken should be ready, test by touch or with a meat thermometer.
    • Season with salt and pepper and cover the chicken with foil to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it on the diagonal.

    Salad Dressing

    • Mix all the salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or jug. Set aside.


    • Gather and measure all the citrus salad ingredients together.
    • Slice the cucumber and red onion.  Peel and segment the grapefruit and orange. Using a citrus “grapefruit” knife will make this step easier to remove the fruit from the peel.
    • Remove the whole grapefruit segment and transfer them to a chopping board.
    • Cut the grapefruit segments out between each skin. Repeat this step with the orange/s.
    • Arrange the fresh rocket on a large platter and place the sliced vegetables and citrus segments on top of the rocket leaves.
    • Slice the avocado and add them to the citrus salad. Add some lime or lemon juice on top of the avocado pieces to prevent them from going brown. Set the salad aside.


    • Place the sliced chicken next to the salad. Drizzle the salad with the salad dressing.
    • Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves over the salad and chicken and serve with lime wedges. Serve warm immediately or cover and chill.


    • Keeps for 2 days
    • Can be eaten warm or cold
    • Unsuitable to freeze
    Keyword gluten-free barbecue, gluten-free healthy meals, gluten-free mexican
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Please mention @fun_without_gluten or tag #funwithoutgluten!


    • The chicken can also be cooked indoors on a stove-top skillet/grill plate. Use the ridged side to give those attractive chargrilled stripes.
    • The chicken can be substituted with either prawns or halloumi but reduce the marinating time to a maximum of one hour.


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