Mango Chicken

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Mango Chicken is easy to throw together and mega flavorful! This delicious recipe starts with marinated chicken (either breast or thighs) and is topped with cilantro-lime mango salsa.  

Pair Mango Chicken with coconut rice or cilantro-lime rice for a complete meal. You can also serve it alongside some roasted carrots or roasted brussels sprouts.

Overhead photo of finished Mango Chicken with sliced avocado and fresh lime.

With a bright citrus chicken marinade, luscious mango salsa, and a creamy avocado bringing everything together, this Mango Chicken tastes incredible!

It’s also relatively simple to make and you’ll be amazed at how just a few ingredients tossed together can taste this good.

Since this recipe requires relatively few ingredients, the ingredients – and the way you prepare them – matter. While I recommend grilling the chicken on an outdoor grill, a grill pan also works well. And I’ve included baking and sautéing instructions just in case you’re in a pinch. Above all, wait to make this meal until your mango and avocado are at peak ripeness for the best flavor and texture.

Showing how to dice a mango for the salsa.

How to make Mango Chicken

  • Whisk together the chicken marinade ingredients: This marinade is the perfect complement to fresh mango! Reserve some of the marinade to brush over the chicken as it grills.
  • Marinate: Place the chicken in the marinade mixture and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours. Why not longer? The acidity from the lime begins to “cook” the chicken.
  • Cook: Grill, bake, or sauté the chicken until it reaches 165 degrees F. (I like to take the guesswork out by using a digital meat thermometer.)
    • Cooking times will vary depending on several factors, so I always recommend using a thermometer to test your chicken as it cooks. Aim to hit 165 degrees Fahrenheit (Undercooked = unsafe; Overcooked = dry chicken).
  • Baste: As you grill the chicken, brush it occasionally with the reserved marinade. This is going to amp up the flavor!
  • Mango salsa: While the chicken is cooking, it’s the perfect time to whip together the salsa (and rice if you’re making some).

QUICK TIP

Whenever using a marinade to brush over the chicken as it cooks, never use marinade that has touched raw chicken. Always save some marinade in a separate bowl before the chicken goes in the mixture–uncooked chicken is a source of salmonella bacteria that causes food poisoning!

Process shots of making the topping for Mango Chicken.

When it’s a busy weeknight, I’m all about making dinner prep easier! One of the nice things about this recipe is that the prep time is broken up a bit — the marinade can be made earlier in the day and the salsa and rice later in the day. Below are a few other tips.

Time-saving tips for Mango Chicken

  • Jarred garlic: Yes, real garlic is better, but in a marinade you can’t tell too much of a difference. Jarred garlic will make the marinade fast and simple.
  • Juicer: Mango Chicken requires fresh lime juice, so invest in a juicer or citrus reamer. You don’t need anything special or crazy expensive; this one is pretty cheap and is a great investment if you juice a lot of citrus. 
  • Check out this guide for how to cut a mango. Using the tips from this guide will make prep faster and easier.

View of the finished mango salsa.

Mango Chicken is easy to adjust to your personal preference or desired cooking method. Below are some ideas for adjusting this recipe.

Recipe Notes and variations

  • Healthy Mango Chicken: As written, this dish is very nutritious. But, to make it even healthier, serve it over quinoa, brown rice, or another similar whole grain.
  • Mango Chicken bake: This recipe can be baked instead of grilled. To do so: preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for approximately 18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway. Remove from the oven, and loosely cover a sheet pan with foil.  Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve mango salsa over the baked chicken.
  • Sautéed Mango Chicken: This recipe can be sautéed instead of grilled! To do so, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken breast and cook for 4-6 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. As you sauté the chicken, brush it generously with the reserved marinade. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate, and loosely cover with foil. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve mango salsa on top of the chicken.
  • Spicy Mango Chicken: If you’re looking to amp up the spice, add some cayenne pepper (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) to the marinade. You can also add some red pepper flakes to the finished dish!
  • Mango Chicken thighs: You can switch out boneless skinless thighs for breasts in this recipe. 

Chicken being prepped -- pounded to even thickness and added to the chicken marinade.

Recipe tips

  • Make sure to slice the chicken in half, and/or pound the breasts (this is best accomplished with a meat mallet) into an even thickness before marinating. This allows the chicken to soak up more flavor from the marinade (improving the taste), and the even thickness will allow the pieces to cook evenly.
  • As the chicken is cooking, brush the reserved marinade on the meat. This will enhance the chicken’s flavor. You can even leave some marinade (untouched by the meat) to drizzle over everything after it’s finished, as a sort of dressing.
  • Once it’s finished, let the cooked chicken rest, tented with foil, for 5-10 minutes before cutting in. This allows the juices to redistribute. (Here’s the science on that.)

Up-close finished Mango Chicken bowls with avocado and lime wedges.

Serve this mango chicken over

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Mango Chicken

5 from 16 votes
Mango Chicken is easy to throw together and mega flavorful! Delicious and simple marinated chicken (breast or thighs) is topped with cilantro-lime mango salsa.
Print Recipe

Mango Chicken

5 from 16 votes
Mango Chicken is easy to throw together and mega flavorful! Delicious and simple marinated chicken (breast or thighs) is topped with cilantro-lime mango salsa.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword mango chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 456kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1.5 pounds (4 breasts) chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice + 1 teaspoon zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Mango Salsa (Note 1)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups diced ripe mango (make sure it's ripe for best flavor/sweetness)
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed, finely chopped (measure 1/3 cup then chop)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 large ripe avocado chopped or thinly sliced
  • Optional: additional fresh lime wedges

Instructions

  • Trim the chicken breasts of fat and then slice large breasts evenly in half widthwise. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a skillet, pound breasts to even thickness (you don't want the meat flat, just even in thickness). Place the prepared chicken in a large sealable plastic bag and set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, honey, minced garlic, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and salt + pepper (I use about 1/2 of each; add to preference). Once the mixture is well combined, remove 3 tablespoons of the mixture and reserve in the fridge for later.
  • Add the chicken to the marinade in the bag. Seal the bag and then knead with your hands to ensure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 30 minutes and no longer than 6 hours. (Acid from lime begins to "cook" the chicken.)
  • Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F.) Generously oil the grill. (I drench a roll-up paper towel in vegetable oil and, holding it with tongs, rub it over the grill grates. Don't skip this step.) 
  • Remove chicken from marinade and discard any remaining marinade. Grill the chicken, turning once halfway through grilling, about 4-6 minutes per side (until the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees F and juices run clear). Baste the chicken with the reserved marinade as you grill and after flipping (if there is any remaining reserved marinade, you can serve it as a "dressing" over finished chicken). Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes so the juices can re-distribute. Slice thinly or cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • While the chicken cooks, prepare the salsa. Dice the mango, jalapeno, red onion, and finely chop the cilantro. Toss everything together in a large bowl with the freshly squeezed lime juice, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. (I add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, but add to preference.) Gently toss together, taste, and then adjust seasoning if needed. Spoon generously over the grilled chicken. Thinly slice or chop the avocado and serve alongside chicken and salsa. Serve with fresh lime wedges and a few squeezes of fresh lime over everything.
  • We like to prepare coconut rice or cilantro-lime rice to serve with the chicken and salsa. Those recipe links are right above this recipe card.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you like a LOT of salsa, you may want to double the salsa recipe.
Note 2: A good, ripe avocado adds a delicious creamy element to this dish. If you don't add avocado and want a creamy element, I'd recommend the jalapeno sauce from this recipe

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 1048mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1048IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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Recipe Rating




34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the perfect summer recipe! I absolutely love mango salsa and love the idea of serving it over chicken. Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    Soo delicious!! Took me a lot longer than 30 minutes but I am a beginner cook! Plus I spent $21 on all of the ingredients for this and have a lot of leftovers!!

  3. 5 stars
    Very tasty and easy to make. Love when I find a simple recipe and my husband can cook it on the grill. The only thing I changed was no jalapeño. Added one teaspoon of hibey to the salsa mix to sweeten it up a pinch. Awesome recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    Great meal! This chicken would be fabulous in tacos or burrito bowls too. We grilled it in a pan on the stove and it was still delicious! I also had extra marinade so we’re going to try it in the sous vide tomorrow. I think the marinade could use some salt.

    1. So glad this was a hit! 🙂 Thanks so much for the comment and review 🙂 And agreed! I suggest adding 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in the directions, but salt to personal preference

  5. This was delicious the first night, and the leftovers were wonderful in a salad the next day! I added a little oil with lime and cilantro to the salsa for the dressing.

    1. I’m so happy to hear you loved this Mango Chicken! Thanks so much for sharing Anne! 🙂

  6. Trying to decide whether to make this or your “Cilantro Lime Chicken”. I see there are small differences, one contains soy sauce and cilantro in the marinade, the other different spices, and the mango salsa for one is a little different than the other. How would you describe the difference between these two recipes? I’m sure I can’t go wrong!

  7. 5 stars
    Loved this! Made half Mahi Mahi and half chicken following this recipe and it was delicious. Served over your coconut rice. Delicious!

  8. 5 stars
    Wow! Your recipe is easy and delicious!
    I had some chicken tenders and a ripe mango and wanted some ideas. Your recipe came out at the top when searching for “Recipe chicken with mango.” It looked so good I never bothered to look at any others. So, planning to saute the chicken, I cut it into bite-sized pieces before marinating for 40 min. Then, I cooked the chicken in the marinade and added some breadcrumbs to brown and crisp along with it.
    For the salsa, with no red onion on hand, I diced several scallions, the mango of course, lots of lime and cilantro, and a dash of cayenne. No avocado this time, but I’ll be sure to have one next time.
    Served it over brown and wild rice cooked in mushroom broth. Salsa around it on the plate and salad on the side — it was a big hit!!!

    1. So glad to hear this was a hit! 🙂 And your version sounds amazing! Thanks for the comment Lyn 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    This is my favorite meal I have ever cooked for my family! Made it with plain brown rice and the savory roasted carrots, and it was perfection 🙂

  10. It was delicious!
    Made a few minor adjust based on my pantry and tastes but seriously good!!

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