Low-Carb Mexican Grilled Chicken Marinade Recipe

Mexican Grilled Chicken
This chicken from central Mexico has an unusual and delicious combination of flavors. Felipex/E+/Getty Images
Total Time 10 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 0 min
Yield Enough for 3-4 pounds of Chicken

This low-carb Mexican Grilled Chicken Marinade recipe is one I've adapted from a sweet-and-spicy mixture used on grilled chicken in Central Mexico.

The marinade is richly spiced, and a bit sweet, but not very hot (although you can adjust the seasonings if you want it hotter). This marinade will coat 3 to 4 pounds of chicken and it can be used as a wet rub instead of a marinade.


  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons powdered ancho chiles or other mild chiles
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot powdered chile such as cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Pinch cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar substitute
  • 1/2 cup oil, olive or other


  1. In a nonreactive (plastic or ceramic) bowl large enough to accommodate the chicken you intend to grill, whisk together 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 1/4 cup water.
  2. Then whisk in 2 tablespoons powdered ancho chiles or other mild chiles, 1/4 teaspoon hot powdered chile such as cayenne, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, Pinch cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 3 tablespoons sugar substitute of choice, 1/2 cup olive oil or another oil.
  1. Place chicken into the container and let marinate, refrigerated and covered with plastic wrap, for 4 to 6 hours before grilling. Discard the leftover marinade and DO NOT baste the grilling chicken with it.

Note: It's so hard to know with a marinade how much of it actually ends up on what you're eating, but I can't imagine this adds significant carbohydrates to the chicken. Perhaps 1 gram per serving at the very most.

Accompany Mexican Grilled Chicken with These Sides

  • Low-Carb Mexican Refried Beans RecipeThis version of the Mexican classic is made with black soy beans, making it even lower in carbs than with traditional black beans.
  • Low-Carb Sugar-Free Margaritas: Traditional Margaritas are loaded with sugar. This recipe uses tequila, fresh lime juice, orange extract and sugar substitute for a delicious knock-off.

    Rate this Recipe

    You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!

    Continue Reading