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Sharp Health News

Grilled tequila lime chicken with asparagus (recipe)

June 20, 2022

Grilled chicken with asparagus dinner

Cooking chicken on the grill is a quick and easy way to pack protein into your diet. A great substitute for red meat, chicken is a lean protein option that can help contribute to stronger bones and muscles, weight management and a healthy heart.

“Chicken is often a go-to food for maintaining a healthy weight, which in turn has other health benefits, such as preventing heart disease,” says Melissa Hughes, a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified wellness and health coach, and program manager for the Sharp Rees-Stealy Center for Health Management.

“Plus, chicken is versatile and can enhance everything from salads and grain bowls to tacos and pasta dishes. It’s important to note, however, that chicken contains a small amount of cholesterol, so be sure to limit consumption and eat realistic portions.”

Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken With Asparagus

Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 30 minutes (not including marinade refrigeration time)
Servings: 4
Nutrition facts per serving: Calories = 337; Fat = 12 grams; Sugar = 7 grams

If using tequila or mezcal in the marinade, take care when cooking on the grill, as flare-up from the residual alcohol could occur.


  • 1/4 cup tequila, mezcal or white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 to 6 limes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, visible fat discarded
  • 3 bunches asparagus spears, ends trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola or corn oil


Step 1: Make the Marinade

In a small bowl, combine the tequila (or mezcal or white vinegar, if using), lime zest, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag or baking dish. Add the chicken (seal the bag tightly if using), turning to coat. If using a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours.

Step 2: Prep the Grill and Asparagus

Lightly coat the grill grates with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, add the asparagus to a large dish. Sprinkle with salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Drizzle with oil. Turn over the asparagus to coat.

Step 3: Cook the Chicken

Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade and wiping most of it off the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper over the chicken. Grill for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center. Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.

Step 4: Grill the Greens and Serve

Put the asparagus on the grill, laying spears in the opposite direction of the grates (or use a grilling basket). Grill for 7 minutes, or until tender-crisp (cooked through but with crunch). Serve the asparagus with the chicken.

This recipe was adapted from the American Heart Association.

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