a sheet pan with citrus herb marinated grilled chicken with basil and orange slices

Citrus Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken.

  • Author: Bet
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes to prep, plus at least 2 hours to marinate chicken
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2.5 hours
  • Method: Grilling


1/2 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

1/4 cup basil leaves (or cilantro)

2 cloves garlic

1.5 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime, depending on size)

1/2 of a large orange, juiced

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (breasts work too!)


To make the marinade, add jalapeño, basil, and garlic to a food processor or blender and pulse to finely chop (or you can use an immersion blender to blend it after liquid ingredients have been added). Add lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, cumin, a couple of big pinches of salt, and lots of freshly ground pepper. Blend together until fairly smooth. To marinate chicken, pour half of the marinade into a gallon-sized zip top bag and add chicken. Marinate for 2-12 hours, then grill the chicken until done.


If you don’t have a blender or food processor option, you can just chop the pepper, garlic, and herbs as fine as you can and mix with the liquid ingredients by hand!

I like to make a double batch of marinade and freeze half of it for later (it works out well to use a whole jalapeño and orange, too!). A double batch makes about 1-1/4 cups of marinade, so put a splash over 1/2 cup in a labeled gallon-sized zip top bag. Squeeze the air out and fold the bag in half, so that the marinade is just in half of the bag. Lay it flat in the freezer and it will make a skinny little package when frozen! It thaws within minutes in a bowl of warm water.