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Jar of grilled taco marinade with oranges, limes, and cilantro on the counter
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5 from 3 votes

The Ultimate Grilled Taco Marinade

Fresh ingredients, unbelievable flavor, and an easy blender process - this truly is The Ultimate Grilled Taco Marinade! Great on chicken or skirt steak, the final result makes for top notch tacos, burritos, Mexican bowls, nachos, and more.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 48kcal


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar or substitute white vinegar
  • cup lime juice freshly squeezed
  • cup orange juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoon garlic minced
  • ½ head of cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion yellow
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped in large chunks
  • 1-2 jalapenos use 2 if you prefer spicier food
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until mostly smooth (marinade will still have texture, but should not have any large chunks).
    ¼ cup vegetable oil, ½ cup red wine vinegar, ⅓ cup lime juice, ⅓ cup orange juice, 2 tablespoon garlic, ½ head of cilantro, 1 medium onion, ½ red bell pepper, 1-2 jalapenos, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, 1½ tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon pepper
  • Marinate chicken or skirt steak for 8 hours or overnight. Makes enough marinade for 5-6 lbs of meat. Grill and serve in tacos, burritos, bowls, or nachos.
  • Freezer option: Pour marinade over meat and freeze in ziptop bag. Thaw meat overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for several hours the day of serving. Grill and serve.
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Tips & Tricks
  • Use the freshest ingredients possible for the best flavor. Freshly juiced limes and oranges, especially, make a big impact on the end result. 
  • Although you can marinate the meat for only 8 hours, it becomes significantly more flavorful when you marinate it overnight. Shoot for overnight if possible. 
***Marinade lasts for up to 1 week in the fridge. 
My tips for grilling juicy taco meat:
The best way to cook chicken for tacos is to use an outdoor grill. It is great on either a charcoal grill or a gas grill. For juicy chicken and nice grill marks start with a hot grill between medium heat and high heat, leaving some of the surface area without any heat for indirect cooking. Start by placing the pieces chicken on the hot side of the grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes a side. Then move to the indirect side of the grill. Allow it to finish cooking until a meat thermometer registers the internal temperature at 165º.
Follow the same procedure for cooking skirt steak. Remove when meat is done to your likeness


Serving: 4tablespoon | Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 709mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 314IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg