If you’re feeling ho-hum about boneless, skinless chicken breast, this recipe is exactly what you need. Grilled chicken with pineapple avocado salsa is a full sensory experience. It looks and tastes so fabulous that you can easily forget that the main ingredient has a rep for being, let’s face it, tasteless.
Here’s what’s happening. Chicken breast marinated in lime, pineapple, garlic, and cumin that’s grilled to perfection. The grilling step adds a smoky layer atop the fresh components of the marinade. Then you top that beautifully grilled chicken with a bright pineapple avocado salsa. There’s simply no pineapple salsa chicken that’s better.
I’ll also go out on a limb and say this recipe is better than our enormously popular Greek grilled chicken recipe. Try both and let me know if you agree. You might also like artisan grilled chicken, Asian grilled chicken, and grilled chicken with watermelon salsa.
Ingredients for grilled chicken with pineapple avocado salsa
Get your shopping list out. You need these ingredients to prepare this dish:
- Fresh lime juice
- Pineapple juice
- Fresh pineapple
- Red onion
- Olive oil
- Fresh garlic
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Making grilled chicken with pineapple avocado salsa
Now, for the prep steps. Since there’s a marinade involved, you’ll want to start your prep several hours before you intend to serve the meal. I like the make the marinade in the morning. Shoot for leaving the chicken in the marinade for at least three hours — or 30 minutes as the bare minimum.
1. Mix the marinade
Juice your limes, chop your cilantro, and mince your garlic. I love using fresh pineapple juice for this recipe as it has such great flavor — but that’s only workable if you have a juicer. If you must, use canned pineapple juice (and then put a juicer on your birthday or holiday wish list, you know, in case someone asks what you want).
Now mix these ingredients in a small bowl:
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Measure 5 tablespoons of that mixture into a sealable plastic bag. Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast to that bag. Seal and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill.
Cover and refrigerator the remaining juice mixture. You’ll use it in the next step to make the salsa.
2. Make the pineapple avocado salsa
Cut fresh pineapple into small chunks, and do the same with 1 avocado. Also chop 1/4 of a red onion finely. You’re aiming for 1 1/2 cups of pineapple chunks and 2 tablespoons of chopped red onion.
This pineapple avocado salsa recipe isn’t complicated. Simply combine the pineapple chunks, avocado chunks, and chopped red onion in a bowl. Add the reserved lime juice mixture. Stir gently, taking care not to destroy the avocados.
3. Grill the marinated chicken
Wipe down your grill grates and turn on the flame. Heat the grill to a medium-high heat. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and place them on the hot grates. Close the lid of your BBQ and cook for 6 minutes. Throw away any remaining marinade.
Flip the chicken and keep cooking with the lid closed. After a total grilling time of 10 minutes, check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Keep grilling until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F or 74°C. Pull the breasts off the grill and let them rest for 3 minutes.
4. Serve and enjoy
To serve, top each breast with a healthy amount of pineapple avocado salsa. Add rice or cauliflower rice on the side and dig in.
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple, diced
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
- In a small bowl, combine lime juice, pineapple juice, cilantro, oil, ¼ teaspoon cumin and salt. Remove 5 tablespoons of the juice mixture to a sealable plastic bag. Set the bowl with the remaining juice aside. Add garlic, cumin, and chicken to the bag. Seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to several hours.
- Make the pineapple salsa by combining pineapple, avocado, and onion to a bowl with the remaining lime juice mixture. Toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to use.
- Clean and heat your BBQ. Remove chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill chicken breasts until they are cooked through, flipping once after 6 minutes. It should take 10 to 14 minutes, but use a meat thermometer to confirm that the internal temperature is 165°F or 74°C.
- Transfer chicken to plates and top with salsa.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 37g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Side dishes and drinks for pineapple avocado salsa chicken
The simplest side dish for this grilled chicken is rice or cauliflower rice. Its mild flavor allows the pineapple salsa to be the star of the show. You could also try a black bean salad, quinoa salad, or green salad. Roasted vegetables would be a good choice too — roasted zucchini and/or eggplant can stand in next to most entrees, and this one’s no exception.
You may want to have chips or toasted pita on hand, too. That way, you can scoop up any remaining salsa, since it doesn’t keep well.
As for drink pairings, a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would complement this chicken nicely. You could also go for cucumber water or a virgin mojito. If the mood is festive, try a mango margarita or pina colada.