Grilled Salsa Verde Pepper Jack Chicken
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Grilled Salsa Verde Pepper Jack Chicken – 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!!
What Does The Salsa Verde Pepper Jack Chicken Taste Like?
If you’re a fan of salsa verde, you’re going to love this chicken. 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 awesome 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 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
How Long To Marinate
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.
Pro Grilling Tips
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.
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.
- 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 ziptop 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
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