Grilled Salsa Verde Chicken with Pepper Jack — The EASIEST salsa verde marinade keeps this chicken so juicy and tender!! Melted pepper Jack cheese on top takes an already awesome piece of chicken and makes it that much BETTER!!
Easy Grilled Chicken Dinner Idea
If you’re a fan of salsa verde, you’re going to love this salsa verde chicken recipe. Since the salsa has green tomatillos, onions, garlic, and I added lime juice, those Mexican-inspired flavors are imparted into this tender and juicy chicken.
Because of the salt content in salsa, it does an awesome job to help keep the chicken moist.
The chicken itself is delicious, but I couldn’t resist putting slices of pepper Jack cheese on top. That melty, gooey cheese locks in even more flavor and drives home a Tex-Mex vibe that you won’t be able to resist.
Mexican-meets-Tex-Mex with salsa verde and melted pepper Jack — count me in all the way!
What’s in the Salsa Verde Chicken Marinade?
With marinades, I like to keep things simple, fast, and easy. After all, that’s what grilling should be about.
And this one is no exception, especially thanks to a jar of store-bought salsa, which delivers tons of flavor and no work on my part.
This marinade simply includes:
- Salsa verde (I use Trader Joe’s)
- Olive oil
- Lime juice
Do I Have To Add Cheese?
In a word, no. But why not is what immediately comes to mind.
If it’s a dairy allergy or you just don’t like cheese, of course feel free to omit it. However, it’s worth noting that the recipe as written is naturally gluten-free.
I used pepper Jack slices from Trader Joe’s but if you can’t find sliced pepper Jack, feel free to use regular Monterrey Jack or sliced mozzarella will also melt nicely.
How to Make Grilled Salsa Verde Chicken
- Add the marinade ingredients to a large zip-top bag.
- Place the chicken in the bag and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Then, fire up the grill and cook the chicken until done. Make sure to discard the marinade in the bag; since it had raw chicken in it, you can NOT reuse it.
- Top it with cheese, let it melt, and serve it up!
How Long to Marinate Chicken Before Grilling?
I like to marinate my chicken overnight for the full and tenderizing effects, but if you’re running short on time, even 30 to 60 minutes will do.
What Temperature & How Long Do You Grill Chicken?
The grilled salsa chicken needs to cook for about 9 minutes over medium-high heat.
Flip the chicken about halfway through to ensure even cooking.
My Favorite Sides for Grill Chicken
Serve this grilled salsa verde chicken with your favorite Mexican sides! A few of my go-to’s are:
Tips for Making Salsa Verde Chicken on the Grill
Use Thin-Sliced Chicken Breasts – As a shortcut, I used thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts. Their thinner size makes for faster grilling times and much more even cooking.
This recipe would be even faster with chicken breast tenders or sometimes called breast cutlets or medallions, but as it is with the thin-sliced breasts I only needed to grill them five minutes per side and they were done.
Many times with large chicken breasts on the grill, I struggle to keep the outside from becoming overly dark before the interior is fully cooked through but with either thin-sliced or breast tenders, you don’t have to worry about that.
You can see that the inside is perfectly cooked, without being overcooked.
Pound It – If you’re using chicken breasts that are normal thickness, then use a meat tenderizer mallet to pound the chicken to a uniform thickness. I cannot stress how important this is so the thicker side of the chicken breast isn’t still raw and the other thinner side is charred.
No Grill? – If you love the sounds of this recipe but don’t have a grill, follow the basic oven baking instructions that I do for my 20-Minute Oven Baked Lime Cilantro Chicken.
Top it with cheese after it’s cooked, return it to the oven for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts, garnish, and serve!
- 1 1/2 pounds thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (I had 4 breasts)
- 12 ounces salsa verde (I use Trader Joe’s)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices pepper Jack cheese, or as desired
- fresh cilantro finely minced, optional for garnishing
- lime wedges, optional for serving
- To a large zip-top plastic bag, add all ingredients except the cheese and cilantro, seal, and smoosh around to evenly coat chicken.
- Place bag in fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, to marinate.
- Lightly oil grill grates and preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken, place chicken on grill, and grill for about 5 minutes on the first side with lid closed, flip and cook for about 4 minutes on the second side with lid closed, or until chicken is cooked through
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, add one slice of cheese to the top of each chicken breast, or as necessary, close the lid, and wait for about 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
- Optionally garnish with cilantro and optionally serve with lime wedges.
Chicken will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 517Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 806mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 61g
More Grilled Chicken Dinner Ideas:
Grilled Sriracha Lime Chicken – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is SPICY, tender, and juicy!! Put this HEALTHY chicken recipe on your summer menu when you want to kick things up a notch!!
Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is so TENDER, juicy, and full of Mexican-inspired flavor!! Put this HEALTHY chicken recipe on your summer menu rotation and it’ll be a hit with everyone!!
Spicy Garlic Grilled Chicken – An EASY homemade marinade made with everyday ingredients that produces super FLAVORFUL, juicy chicken!! If you’re looking for a NEW marinade to jazz up grilled chicken, this is the one!!
Grilled Lemon Chicken – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is so TENDER, juicy, and full of LEMON flavor!! With grilled broccoli on the side, this is a HEALTHY recipe perfect for swimsuit season that tastes AMAZING!!
Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken – Tender, juicy, and full of flavor from the sweet chili sauce! Easy, healthy, ready in 10 minutes, zero cleanup, perfect for backyard barbecues or easy weeknight dinners!
Peach Chili Grilled Chicken – Tender, juicy, and full of flavor from the sweet peach preserves and chili garlic sauce! The perfect contrast! Easy, healthy, ready in 10 minutes, zero cleanup, perfect for backyard barbecues or easy weeknight dinners!
Foil Pack Barbecue Chicken – Ready in 15 minutes and such an easy way to enjoy barbecue chicken on the grill! A delish and healthy meal made in a foil pack with zero cleanup!
Grilled Chicken With Watermelon Mango Mint Salsa – The chicken is tender, juicy, and the EASY salsa made with watermelon, mango, and mint adds so much fresh FLAVOR!! Healthy, FAST, EASY, zero cleanup, perfect for backyard barbecues or easy weeknight dinners!!
Grilled Tandoori Chicken – Recreate this Indian favorite QUICKLY and EASILY at home!! If you’re looking for a new spin on grilled chicken, this is THE recipe to try! Super juicy, flavorful, and you’ll LOVE IT!!
Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs – Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables coated in a sweet-and-tangy sauce! Great for parties or easy weeknight dinners! Everything tastes better grilled!
Originally posted May 18, 2020 and reposted with updated text May 26, 2023.