Qdoba Mexican Grill’s chicken is one of our favorite meals to order at home.
The restaurant offers more than 500 different types of tacos, burritos, and enchiladas as options on its menu.
However, it is the juicy tender grilled chicken breast that we love most.
We have made this meal countless times at home and always come back for more because it tastes just like what you get when dining out.
But how do they make such delicious chicken without all the fat and calories?
Let us show you exactly how they do it!
What Are The Ingredients In Qdoba’s Chicken Recipe?
The first step to creating your own homemade version of Qdoba chicken is choosing the right ingredients.
There are several key things you need when following Qdoba’s chicken recipe.
They include boneless skinless breasts (or thighs) or both, fresh cilantro leaves, lime juice, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, black pepper, and olive oil.
You will also want to choose lean ground beef if you would rather use meat instead of poultry.
If you don’t want to spend too much money, you may be able to find a rotisserie chicken from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market that is already cooked and has been separated into individual pieces.
This way, you only need to cut up your own chicken and prepare it according to the instructions below.
How Does Qdoba Make Their Chicken So Flavorful?
There is no secret behind why Qdoba chicken tastes so good.
Many chefs and cooks know that flavor comes down to three main factors: seasoning, marinades, and sauces.
Seasoning is the backbone of any dish, whether it is chicken or not.
When preparing Qdoba chicken, you start by adding seasonings to the raw chicken.
These include garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cinnamon, thyme, and basil.
Then, you mix together these spices before applying them directly onto each piece of chicken.
Finally, you finish off with a splash of lime juice for extra flavor.
If you prefer, you could opt to add other herbs and spices like cumin, tarragon, ginger, turmeric, or curry depending on what you think sounds best.
Once the chicken is seasoned, you then proceed to marinate it using a mixture of avocado oil, orange juice, and honey.
Next, you let the chicken sit in the fridge overnight.
This allows the flavors to permeate throughout the chicken while keeping it juicy and moist.
And finally, you grill the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit which takes about 15 minutes per pound.
What Makes Qdoba’s Chicken Recipe Unique?
When looking through the ingredient list for Qdoba chicken, there are two items that stand out above everything else.
One item is the cilantro, and the second is the lime juice.
Both of these ingredients give the chicken its signature taste.
Cilantro adds a slight citrusy/spicy flavor while the lime juice brings out a sweet tanginess to the chicken.
In addition, the chicken itself is extremely juicy.
Not only that but it turns out perfectly every single time.
What Is The Cooking Time For Qdoba’s Chicken Recipe?
With a little bit of preparation, Qdoba chicken is easy enough to cook at home.
All you really need to remember is to allow 25-30 minutes per pound of chicken.
So for example, if you purchase four pounds of chicken you should plan on roughly 45 minutes to cook it.
How Many People Does Qdoba’s Chicken Recipe Serve?
Depending on how much chicken you buy, you should expect around 4 servings.
Each serving contains 1 ounce of shredded chicken, 3 tablespoons of salsa verde, 2 tablespoons of guacamole, 4 slices of jalapeño peppers, and 2 chips.
What Side Dishes Go Well With Qdoba’s Chicken Recipe?
You can pair Qdoba chicken with almost anything.
Some popular sides include tortilla chips, rice, refried beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, salsa, and quesadillas.
Of course, you can also enjoy the sauce alone over a bed of white rice.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Qdoba’s Chicken Recipe?
According to nutritiondata.self.com, a whole chicken breast serves 6 ounces of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and less than 100 milligrams of sodium.
For comparison purposes, a standard cup of plain yogurt provides 9 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 170 milligrams of sodium.
Also, a quarter cup of frozen corn provides 3 grams of protein, 0 grams of fiber, and 110 milligrams of sodium.
What Are Some Tips For Making Qdoba’s Chicken Recipe?
To ensure that your chicken is juicy and moist, you need to keep the meat away from direct heat sources.
To prevent burning, place the pan where you plan on grilling the chicken inside another pot filled with water.
As soon as the chicken goes on, transfer it to the larger pot.
Also, if possible, try to avoid placing the chicken near the flame on your stovetop.
Instead, put it somewhere else on the countertop to avoid flareups.
How Can I Make Qdoba’s Chicken Recipe Healthier?
While Qdoba’s chicken isn’t necessarily healthy, you can still create a tasty alternative to the original that fits within your diet restrictions.
By simply substituting ground turkey for the chicken you will reduce the amount of saturated fats and cholesterol.
You will still end up with a satisfyingly juicy piece of chicken though.
Another option is to switch out the chicken for shrimp instead.
Shrimp tend to be lower in fat and calories than chicken, but it doesn’t quite compare texture wise.
That said, you can easily substitute the shrimp for chicken in this recipe.
How can you save money eating at Qdoba?
Qdoba offers great deals on their website to help you save even more cash during your next visit.
Plus, there are discounts available for memberships and rewards points.
Just head over to qdobafood.com and click “Shop Now” under the “Menu & Deals” tab to see the current promotions.
For more recipes and information on cooking and entertaining, check out our guides here:
- Frying Pan
- 2 lbs chicken tenderloins
- 2 garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a sizable bowl, combine the chicken, garlic, olive oil, adobo sauce, and spice (or ziplock bag). Place in the refrigerator for up to two days.
- In a big pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. When the chicken is thoroughly cooked through (internal temperature 165°F), add it to the pan and cook, occasionally turning, for about 6-7 minutes per side.
- Put the chicken on a cutting board after removing it from the pan. After letting it rest for five minutes, cut or chop it. Dispense and savor!