Sheet Pan Mojo Chicken is the juiciest and most flavorful chicken and is a meal prep dream!
This recipe was originally published April 23, 2020. It was updated with new photos, a recipe video, and additional recipe tips on March 13, 2021.
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Make dinner this week in a cinch with this Juicy Cuban Mojo Chicken. Chicken thighs or breasts quickly marinate in a citrus and herb marinade before baking on a sheet pan.
You'll have enough chicken to last you a few dinners, making this dish a favorite meal prep recipe! Below I'll share my favorite ways to enjoy this chicken throughout the week and will supply all the tips to make this a no-fail recipe for you!
Do you ever look at the week ahead and wonder "what in the world am I going to feed my family for all these meals this week?!"
Yeah, me too! It can get so overwhelming -- and especially in this time of quarantine when we're all home for all the meals. Aside from ordering out, I've learned I have to get creative about making enough food for us while not being back slaving at the stove for every meal!
So last week it hit me-- now's the time to focus on getting my meal prep game in place! To create habits and recipes I can draw on now and in the future when life gets back to normal and we need to meal prep to keep up with and fueled for our busy lives.
One of my biggest meal prep takeaways is to make large batches of food we can then work into various meals throughout the week.
For example -- a large batch of barbecue chicken I can then serve with beans, on a rice bowl, in tacos, or on a salad later in the week. Or, a big tray of roasted vegetables I can add to any meal in the following days without having to reheat the oven.
I've been doing this for about two weeks now, and let me tell you-- it's been a game-changer! I can't recommend highly enough.
At first, I felt ridiculous-- cooking up huge sheets of chicken or full pressure cookers of shredded meat -- but then, on a following day when I was walking to the fridge to figure out what to eat for lunch, I felt a huge wash of relief when I realized that lunch was already taken care of for me!
Whaaa?! Who is this person who's finally getting ahead of the game?! It feels victorious, folks!
And you, too, can get ahead of the game with me with this easy Cuban chicken recipe. After whisking together a quick citrus, garlic, and dried herb marinade, we'll let the chicken (white and/or dark meat-- whichever you prefer!) soak in it for 30 minutes, before baking it in a hot oven.
Then, we'll have enough chicken for a few days, and victory will be ours! Below, I'll offer many ideas for how to serve it throughout the week, as well as helpful tips and pro-tips on how to make delightfully juicy & tender chicken every time!
So come along with me and we can say "goodbye" to dinner dread and "hello" to a week of yummy & stress-free meals ahead!
This Sheet Pan Mojo Chicken is...
- Perfect for meal prep
- Ready in under an hour
- Full of mouth-watering Cuban flavors!
You pretty much can't lose by making this juicy Cuban chicken!
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Table of contents
- This Sheet Pan Mojo Chicken is...
- What is mojo seasoning or mojo chicken?
- Recipe ingredients:
- Recipe substitutions:
- How do you make sheet pan Mojo chicken?
- Are chicken breasts or chicken thighs best for mojo chicken?
- How do you easily juice a lime?
- How do you zest a lime or orange?
- How do you zest citrus without a Microplane zester?
- How do you easily peel garlic?
- How can you serve this chicken for meal prep?
- What can you serve with this chicken?
- How long does this chicken last?
- Can you freeze this Mojo chicken?
- What tools do you need to make this chicken?
- Check out other healthy and easy chicken dinner recipes:
What is mojo seasoning or mojo chicken?
Mojo seasoning is a classic Cuban seasoning mix. It classically has a sour orange juice base, olive oil, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt.
It can be hard to find the sour oranges in the United States, so we get a similar flavor by using a mixture of lime and orange juices.
- Boneless & Skinless Chicken - I recommend thighs because they're super juicy, but you can also use chicken breast. Just cut the chicken in half length-wise before marinating so the breasts roast quickly and evenly
- Olive Oil
- Lime juice and zest
- Minced garlic - fresh is best!
- Orange juice and zest
- Distilled White Vinegar - adds some brightness to the marinade
- Cumin & Dried Oregano - classic Cuban seasonings that set this chicken dish apart!
- Onions - white or yellow onions work
- Garlic - bottled garlic can work in place of fresh, but doesn't offer as dimensional of a flavor
- Vinegar - white wine vinegar can substitute for the distilled white vinegar
- Juice- bottled lime and orange juice can replace fresh
- Oil - is a classic ingredient in Cuban Mojo chicken, but avocado oil can also work as a substitute
How do you make sheet pan Mojo chicken?
- Whisk the marinade ingredients together.
- Add the chicken to the marinade and toss it until covered. Let the chicken marinate for 10-30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cut an onion into thin half-moon pieces and scatter over the oil.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and place the pieces over the onion at least 1-2 inches apart. Spoon any remaining marinade over the chicken.
- Bake the chicken for 24-27 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and serve hot!
Are chicken breasts or chicken thighs better for this recipe?
I personally prefer chicken thighs for Mojo chicken because they are so juicy and have a richer flavor.
You can also use chicken breasts, though. Just cut the chicken in half length-wise through the widest part of the meat before marinating. This will help the marinade penetrate the best and for the chicken to cook the quickest.
How do you easily juice a lime?
If you have a hard time juicing the lime, here's a quick tip to loosen up the juices: just pop your lime in the microwave for 15-30 seconds before juicing.
To make juicing even easier, just use a citrus juicer to express every last drop of that juice!
How do you zest a lime or orange?
To most easily zest a lime or orange you will want a Microplane zester.
Lightly rub the lime or orange back and fort over the Microplane, rotating the fruit once you have the outside of the citrus skim zested off.
Pro-tip: don't zest off any of the pith underneath the skin. The pith is bitter and doesn't have a great flavor..
How do you zest citrus without a Microplane zester?
Though a Microplane zester is the easiest for zesting, you don't need one to make this dish!
To zest without one, just peel the zest off the citrus with a veggie peeler and then finely mince the skin with a knife.
How do you easily peel garlic?
Make peeling garlic a breeze by following the illustrated steps below:
- Separate the garlic bulb into cloves.
- Cut off the base of each clove.
- Laying the side of a chef's knife on the clove, press down on the blade with the palm of your hand to smash the garlic clove.
- Remove the garlic skin from the clove-- it should come off easily!
How can you serve this chicken for meal prep?
Here are my favorite ways to serve this chicken for meal prep!
- With Cuban black beans & rice
- In a burrito -with beans, cheese, and any of your other favorite burrito fillings
- On a salad - topped with my favorite cumin lime vinaigrette (recipe below)
- In tacos - with all your favorite fixings
- In quesadillas - I got this idea from my friend, Norine. Tuck the chicken with the cheese before toasting the quesadilla on the stovetop!
Either prepare and store your meals for the week as soon as the chicken is out of the oven or assemble your different meals as you go.
To make a quick lime cumin vinaigrette: combine ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons lime juice, a pinch salt, and ¼ teaspoon dried cumin and whisk!
What can you serve with this chicken?
All of these side dishes go perfectly with Mojo chicken:
- Steamed rice and black beans
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Roasted Broccoli
- Salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette (see my recipe above)
- Lager beer -- Dos Equis or Longboard Island are two of my favorites
- White wine - Vinho Verde or sauvignon blace are delicious
Storage and freezing directions:
This chicken lasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
You can also freeze this Mojo chicken in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. For best results, defrost the chicken in the refrigerator 24 hours or reheat on low heat in the microwave.
What tools do you need to make this chicken?
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- Microplane or zester
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Heat safe spatula
- Meat thermometer
Check out other healthy and easy chicken dinner recipes:
- Mexican Chicken Marinade
- Sweet & Spicy Chicken Marinade
- Sheet Pan Apricot Chicken and Potatoes
- Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Sweet Soy Sauce
- Pressure Cooker Pineapple Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Barbecue Chicken
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If you use chicken breasts in this recipe, cut them in half lengthwise through the wider part of the chicken before marinating.
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, DIVIDED
- 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
- ¼ cup (or about 6-8 cloves) minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lime -- zested and juiced (or about 1 ½ teaspoon lime zest and 2 tablespoons lime juice)
- 1 orange -- zested and juiced (or about 2 teaspoons orange zest and ¼ cup orange juice)
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch - ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your preference)
- 2 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts (see my note above for breasts)
- ½ yellow or white onion, sliced into thin half-moons
- In a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, orange and lime zest and juices, cumin, oregano, pepper, and cayenne.
- Add the chicken to the marinade and toss until all the chicken is covered. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 10-30 minutes.
- While the chicken marinates: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and oil a large rimmed cookie sheet with the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Scatter the onions on the oiled pan.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and place the pieces on top of the onions 1-2 inches apart. Spoon the remaining marinade over the chicken.
- Bake the chicken for 24-27 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through (or 165 degrees Fahrenheit) &, the garlic is turning golden brown,
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and place the plan on a wire cooling rack. Serve hot!
This chicken lasts covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months. For best results, thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator for 24 hours before reheating on low to medium heat.
Fresh minced garlic is best for this recipe, but pre-minced or jarred garlic can work in a pinch.
Marinate the chicken for only 10-30 minutes. The marinade is ultra acidic, so any longer marinating time ill start to over-marinate or "cook" the chicken.
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Serving Size⅛ recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 298Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 173mgSodium 517mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 35g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.