Updated: Apr 12
It’s Grilling Season!
You know what that means... I have a fun new recipe to share with you! This Lemon Chicken Taco Dinner can be as easy or homemade as you want. This is a no-shell taco dinner (but of course you easily put it all in a taco shell and it would also be AMAZING). I have included the recipes for each element of this dinner, but if you prefer, you can simply buy everything pre-made (except the chicken), and just assemble after you grill the chicken.
I remember what it was like coming home from work and just wanting dinner done. So of course, I don’t want this to be daunting for you. If you happen to have the time to make it completely from scratch, I promise you won't regret it. Price-wise, it is cheaper to make everything instead of buying it pre-made; but do what is best for you, your family, and your sanity.
Let’s get started!
Here’s Everything you’ll need to make the dinner
3lbs of chicken
Guacamole (store-bought or use the recipe below)
Pico de Gallo (store-bought or use the recipe below)
2 Cups Rice [white/brown] (instant or you can cook)
1 can Black Beans (Can or dried-cooked)
1 batch Tortilla strips (store-bought or use the recipe below)
First… the marinade
1/2 cup light tasting olive oil
5 T lemon juice
3 dashed of Worcestershire sauce
2 T homemade taco seasoning
Whisk together until combined
Pour over meat in a plastic bag. Squeeze all the air out of the bag and let sit (2-3 hours or overnight).
Next… the chiken
Marinade chicken for about 2/3hrs or overnight.Preheat grill to about 400°F.
Place chicken on the grill for about 10 min or so. Flip and continue to cook.
Chicken should cook until internal temp hits 160°F. Top with cheese mixture, let sit with tented foil for about 5/10 min. Internal temp will hit 165°F
Pico de Gallo Ingredients:
2 large Roma tomatoes
15-20 sprigs of cilantro
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
Give the tomatoes, jalapeno, and cilantro a good rinse. Peel the onion and de-stem the tomatoes and jalapeno. I twist off and discard the bottom, thicker portions of the cilantro stems, but keep the upper portion of the stems that hold the leaves.
Finely chop the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno into about 1/4″ sized chunks. Finely dice the cilantro. For a milder version, you can start by using only 1/2 of the jalapeno and adding more incrementally if you want more heat.
Combine the tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the juice of a single lime. Mix together well and taste for seasoning. Add additional salt and lime if necessary.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Next... the Tortilla Strips (again, unless you bought them)
Cut corn tortillas into strips (size is up to you)
Cover the strips in olive oil, seasoning salt and pepper.
Lay on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 350ºF for 5-10 minutes or until crunchy & golden brown.
And then, Grill the Chicken
Preheat grill to about 400°F.
Place chicken on grill for about 10 min or so. Flip and continue to cook.
Cook the chicken to 160°F.
Remove it from the grill (I like to line my pan with foil for easy clean up, but not necessary).
Place the cheese on top of each breast and tent aluminum foil over the chicken.
Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Last, the Guacamole (once again, unless you bought it)
There are some special tools you need for guacamole.
Molcajete (a large mortar and pestle made from volcanic stone)
Bowl and spoon for serving
3 ripe avocados
1/4 cup of the Pico de Gallo
2-3 Tablespoons minced Cilantro
Salt to taste usually about ¾ of a teaspoon
Add the avocados to the molcajete and grind until slightly chunky.
Add the Pico de Gallo to the molcajete and incorporate. Do not grind the Pico de Gallo (I slightly smash it, but leave chunks).
add cilantro (start with about 2 Tablespoons because the pico also has cilantro. add more if necessary)
Add salt if necessary
Guacamole should be served as soon as you make it. Don’t make it in advance. It turns brown very quickly, I have tried putting the pit in to keep it green, but that doesn’t seem to work for me.
Don’t chill the guacamole. It should be served at room temperature.
And NOW…. to Assemble the Lemon Chicken Taco Dinner
Slice all the chicken.
Place a scoop of rice in the middle of the plate. Push it with the back of the spoon (Making a flat-ish rice bowl)
Then a spoonful of black beans in the middle of the rice.
Place sliced chicken on top of the rice and beans.
Top with guacamole, pico, and tortilla strips.
Serve and Enjoy!
In case you wnt to change it up a bit… Make a taco bar
Cut up the chicken
Set the cheese on the side instead of melting it on top of the chicken.
Get some different shells ready (crunchy, flour, corn, etc)
Have everything set up and ready for self serve
When you’re done putting everything together;
It will look like something out of a restaurant or magazine, but you made it!
So go ahead, take a picture! Share it, brag about it! You just made an amazing dinner and masterpiece! 🙂
When you share your culinary masterpiece
Make sure to tag #thesmithcountry or @thesmithcountry on Facebook or Instagram! I would love to see your Lemon Chicken Taco Dinner works of art, and you enjoy this amazing dinner with friends, family, or just for yourself!
All images © 2020 Jenn Smith of Smith Country, LLC
All rights reserved. You may not sell, trade, share (outside of sharing the link) or redistribute this recipe in any way or claim as your own. You may NOT use any of my photographs for your site. You may link this post to a list of recipes, giving credit for the recipe to myself and my site. ©2020 Jenn Smith of Smith Country, LLC