Tajin Chicken Recipe

5 from 2 votes

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Delicious tajin chicken is a zesty, subtly spicy meal for two that you can prepare in only 30 minutes! Tender chicken thighs are thoroughly seasoned and marinated with Mexican tajin seasoning and fresh limes before they’re quickly pan-fried to juicy, golden-brown perfection.

closeup: a piece of tajin chicken on a ceramic plate with sides

Spend enough time cooking for others and it can be a struggle to make a small, delicious meal just for yourself or for two. On those cozy nights in, I often turn to my quick and easy tajin chicken recipe!

When you’re cooking with small portions of protein, you only need 15 minutes of marinating to get really tender, flavorful meat. And the marinade doesn’t need to be complicated — a bit of acid, a little spice, and you’re good to go.

closeup: a plateful of my tajin chicken recipe with rice

That’s really the secret to this chicken tajin. A lime juice marinade, a good coating of tajin seasoning, and less than 15 minutes in the frying pan is all it takes!

Tajin seasoning is one of my favorite homemade spice blends. In addition to tajin chicken, I use it on shrimp, beef, and even delicious snacks like Mexican peanuts and mango popsicles — yes, you read that right! Popsicles!

overhead: seasoned chciken with lime zest and wedges for pan fried chicken

Tip From Kevin

Meal Prep

This is one of those recipes I use as a meal prep. I purchase a large amount of boneless skinless chicken thighs on sale, season them up and make a large batch. I use then in a sandwich, with rice, seasoned vegetables, chopped over salads or dropped in soup. This recipe is so versatile!

overhead: a ceramic plate full of chicken tajin pieces with seasoned rice

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chicken – This tajin chicken recipe is for 1.5 lbs of chicken. I love pan-frying chicken thighs and usually go with boneless, skinless thighs just to make my life a little bit easier. But you can make tajin chicken with any cut! I talk about this a little bit more in the FAQ section below. 
  • Tajin Seasoning – While you could run to any grocery store and grab a bottle of tajin, why not try making it yourself? It’s a very simple blend made from three kinds of dried chiles, a bit of lime, a dash of salt, and a pinch of sugar. If need be, it can be substituted with regular chili powder.
  • Limes – When there are only 4 ingredients in a recipe, it’s important to use fresh, potent ingredients — so skip the bottled stuff and go straight to the produce aisle!
  • Olive Oil You can fry tajin chicken in any neutral oil.
closeup: several pieces of tajin chicken on a ceramic plate

How to Make Tajin Chicken

  1. Zest & Juice the Lime. Process just one of the limes into a bowl large enough to hold the chicken. 
  2. Season & Marinate Chicken. Generously season the chicken thighs with the tajin seasoning, rubbing the seasoning into each cut until all are covered on both sides. Transfer the meat to the bowl, toss with the zest and juice, and let sit for 15 minutes. 
  3. Pan Fry Chicken. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the tajin chicken and pan fry for 6 minutes on each side until golden brown. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F before removing from the pan.
  4. Rest & Serve. Let the pan fried chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before plating. Slice the remaining lime into wedges and serve a wedge with each piece, squeezing the fresh juice on top. Spoon the pan juices over the plated chicken tajin and serve.
  • Citrus Juicer – A citrus juicer, even a manual one, is the cleanest way to get the most juice possible out of your oranges, lemons, and limes. 
  • Zester or Grater Whatever you want to call it, make sure you have this kitchen tool handy. A good, sharp zester will quickly and easily zest the rind without getting down into the bitter pith. 
  • Digital Thermometer – You don’t want to play guessing games with chicken. Use an accurate thermometer to verify the meat reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F! 

Storing and Reheating

Allow any leftover chicken tajin to cool before transferring to an airtight container, along with any remaining pan sauce, and refrigerate. Eat within four days. 

Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with the juice. If no juice remains, quickly whip up some more with a bit of lime and tajin to keep it moist!

closeup: my tajin chicken recipe on a ceramic plate with rice

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does tajin taste like?

This very popular Mexican seasoning is made with dried chiles, lime powder, sugar, and salt. It’s zesty, citrusy, and refreshing. The heat is very subtle, and it contains just enough salt to balance and highlight the natural flavors of fruits and meats.

Do you pan-fry chicken on high or low heat?

You never want to use a high temperature to make pan fried chicken. If too hot, the exterior will cook and burn before the center has a chance to cook through. It’s a guaranteed way to get dry, rubbery chicken!

Opt for a medium temperature to fry tajin chicken while maintaining its moisture. If making multiple servings, take care that the pan doesn’t get too hot between batches!

What is the best cut of chicken for pan-frying?

Chicken thighs make excellent pan fried chicken because the dark meat is less likely to dry out while frying. Breasts can be great and delicious, but overcooking them even a tad will make them lose a lot of moisture very quickly. 

If you make this tajin chicken recipe with breasts, pay close attention to the temperature of the pan and remove from the heat once they come to temperature.

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Pan Fried Tajin Chicken Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Tajin chicken is a quick and easy pan fried recipe with just 4 ingredients. You’ll have juicy, crispy chili and lime chicken in 30 minutes!
Servings: 2
Prep: 18 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 30 minutes


  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs (4) boneless skinless
  • 2 tbsp tajin seasoning
  • 2 limes and zest separated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Zest 1 lime. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with the tajin seasoning. Transfer to a bowl and toss with zest and the juice from 1 lime. Let marinate 15 minutes.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Pan fry the chicken thighs for 6 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Internal temp should read 165°F.
  • Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes before serving with pan juices and remaining lime, cut into wedges, squeezing juice on top.


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 931IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinners
Cuisine: Mexican
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): pan fried tajin chicken recipe


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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