Grilled Tequila Chicken with Orange, Avocado and Pepita Salad & Giveaway

Grilled Tequila Chicken with Orange, Avocado and Pepita Salad is a fresh and easy meal. Chicken is marinated in a tequila-lime sauce, grilled and then served over a bed of watercress with oranges, pepitas, and grilled avocado!

Grilled Tequila Chicken with Orange, Avocado and Pepita Salad – marinated Tequila chicken with a fresh green salad!

Yes, you read that correctly. Chicken is marinated in tequila-lime sauce and grilled to perfection. It is layered over a bed of fresh watercress, shallots, pepitas, oranges and grilled avocado. This salad is a taste of spring and is perfect for Cinco de Mayo. After all, the best part of Cinco de Mayo is the food, right?

I was so excited to get my hands on The Best Mexican Recipes book by Ameria’s Test Kitchen. With endless recipes and special features including Chiles 101, the building blocks of Mexican Cooking and more, I couldn’t wait to start reading. And I never turn down the opportunity to make fresh stuffed jalapenos, empanadas, tacos or fresh margaritas. The newest book by America’s Test Kitchen is packed with these recipes and more. In fact, since the day I received the book I’ve made seared shrimp with tomatoes, lime and avocado, easy chipotle chicken tacos and this grilled tequila chicken with orange, avocado and pepita salad that I am sharing with you today.

Grilled Tequila Chicken with Orange, Avocado and Pepita Salad – marinated Tequila chicken with a fresh green salad!

I love America’s Test Kitchen because they not only provide the best recipes tested by experienced chefs, but their books also include the best resources to find the ingredients and equipment to create the best meal. Have you ever heard of a Cascabel chile? What about epazote or queso de oaxaca? Everything you need to know about cooking Mexican food in your own kitchen is provided in this book.

Crunchy toasted pepitas, juicy oranges, grilled avocados and tequila-lime marinade make this salad extra special. Heat your grill, grab a margarita and enjoy the taste of Mexican cooking in your own home.

Grilled Tequila Chicken with Orange, Avocado and Pepita Salad – marinated Tequila chicken with a fresh green salad!

Grilled Tequila Chicken with Orange, Avocado and Pepita Salad
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    For the chicken:
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (6 to 8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • For the salad:
  • 3 oranges, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ripe but firm avocados, halved and pitted
  • 6 ounces (6 cups) watercress, chopped coarse
  • 1/3 cup pepitas, toasted
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin


  1. To make the marinade, in a small bowl, add the tequila, water, 3 tablespoons lime juice, garlic and salt. Whisk until well blended. Transfer 1/2 cup marinade to a small saucepan. Pour remaining marinade into 1 gallon zipper-lock bag, add chicken and toss to coast. Seal bag, pressing out any air and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, flipping bag occasionally.
  2. Drain oranges in colander set over a large bowl, reserving juice. In another large bowl, whisk 1/4 cup oil, lime juice, honey, cayenne, salt and pepper; set aside for salad.
  3. Brush avocado halves with remaining tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper, as desired. Remove chicken from marinade, let excess marinade drip off and transfer to plate.
  4. To cook using a gas grill, turn all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn other burner(s) to medium. Oil cooking grate and place chicken on hotter side of grill. Cook, turning as needed, until chicken is nicely charred and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 8 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, place avocados cut side down on cooler side of grill and cook until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer chicken and avocados to plate and tent with aluminum foil.
  5. Add drained orange juice to reserved marinade in saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, 3 to 5 minutes; set aside.
  6. Whisk dressing to recombine, then add watercress, pepitas, shallots, and drained oranges and toss gently to coat. Arrange salad on a plate. Peel grilled avocado, slice thin and lay on top of salad. Slice chicken on bias into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Layer chicken over the top and drizzle with reduced marinade. Serve immediately.

Source: The Best Mexican Recipes by America’s Test Kitchen

Grilled Tequila Chicken with Orange, Avocado and Pepita Salad – marinated Tequila chicken with a fresh green salad!

I was not compensated to write this post. I received a copy of The Best Mexican Recipes to review. This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own. 


  1. Julie | This Gal Cooks

    Oh I need to get my hands on that cookbook, too! Mexican food is my fav and this salad is a must try! Great recipe, Ashley!

  2. Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven

    Oh my, this salad is stunning, Ashley! That chicken sounds so boldly-flavored and combined with the greens, the perfect summer salad! Awesome giveaway too—I loooove ATK and have been meaning to get my hands on that cookbook!

  3. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Oh this chicken sounds just perfect, Ashley! I love marinated chicken and this tequila lime sauce sounds perfect! What a great idea to through this in a salad. Sounds delicious!

  4. Sues

    This salad looks so fresh and perfect!

  5. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Ashley, this salad is GORGEOUS!!! and yes! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!!!! love it and I want this cookbook! 😛

  6. Kelly

    This salad looks so fresh and pretty! Love the sound of the tequila-lime dressing! That cookbook sounds amazing, love ATK!

  7. Danae @ Recipe Runner

    Love America’s Test Kitchen! I was just reading through one of their books yesterday afternoon, but I need to get my hands on this one! Love how the chicken is marinated in tequila, perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

  8. Lily Lau

    What a salad… I think I’m going to discard mine just to try yours! 😉

  9. Justine | Cooking and Beer

    I am seriously obsessed with all thing ATK. I listen to their podcast religiously. 😉 I also just bought their cooking for two book (which is amazing). I LOVE this salad! Definitely pinning for later!

  10. Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze

    Ashley this looks great! I love Americas Test Kitchen cookbooks and this salad is amazing! Perfect!!

  11. Beth @ bethcakes

    Grilled tequila chicken, count me in! I absolutely love Mexican food. I totally need to get a copy of that cookbook! This looks amazing, Ashley! 🙂

  12. Jess @ whatjessicabakednext

    Love this tequila chicken, Ashley! Love how fresh this salad is and all those beautiful flavours are divine!

  13. Zainab

    I LOVE test kitchen cookbooks!! This is such a fresh and colorful salad 🙂

  14. Marissa | Pinch and Swirl

    This is a perfect recipe for Cinco de Mayo or ANY day for that matter. I love all of the flavors and your photography is stunning!

  15. Travel Animal Doctor

    Yum. These recipes all look very amazing. I can’t wait to try this recipe, your quinoa bowl, and the asparagus, strawberry salad. What a wonderful website you have.

  16. ashley

    There are so many different flavors that I love about this recipe! It sounds like the perfect Summer salad, too. Pinning to make soon!

  17. Felicia

    This looks so good. What a great summer dish to make. Thanks for sharing over at the Snickerdoodle Sunday.

  18. Paula Kiger

    Looks delicious! Stopping by from #SITS.

  19. Mrs. AOK

    I want this NOW!!!
    Thank you for sharing with us at Mommy Monday!!

  20. Carolsue

    I’m not finding a Widget to enter with, but I sure would love to win this cookbook! I love Mexican food.

    • Ashley

      Hi! I’m not sure why the widget wasn’t displaying. But you should be able to see it and enter. Giveaway ends today.

  21. Kristen from The Road to Domestication

    OH! This looks amazing! Thanks so much for taking the time to link up with us over at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again next week! Feel free to bring a friend 🙂

  22. Lou Lou Girls

    I’m loving this! I’m always so impressed by your masterpieces. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you taking the time to party with us. I hope to see you on Monday at 7. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

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  24. Allison

    Excited to feature you on A Little Bird Told Me Link Party!

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