This pollo a la plancha is truly bursting with flavors! Tender chicken breasts marinated with simply hearty spices and a touch of tanginess. Cooked to perfection on a skillet, this chicken dish is perfect for a quick and healthy meal any day of the week.

Pollo a la plancha is a popular recipe in Spanish-speaking countries, it consists of chicken marinated with various seasonings and then cooked on a hot flat surface, such as a griddle or a skillet.

In Mexico and other Latin American countries is often served with a side of rice, beans, or ensalada verde (simple green salad). Is one of those dishes that are a staple in many homes because:

  • Is quick & easy: Making it ideal for busy weeknight dinners or impromptu gatherings. With the right preparation and marinating, you can have a tasty meal ready in a short amount of time.
  • Is flavorful & healthy: When marinated with spices, the chicken can be incredibly flavorful. Additionally, the cooking method is healthy because it requires minimal added fats and retains the chicken’s natural juices.
Close-up of pollo a la plancha.

How to Make Pollo a la Plancha

Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to gently flatten the chicken breasts until they reach a thickness of about 1/4 inch.

Chicken breasts slices placed on a plate.

In a medium bowl add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika, a pinch of cumin powder, oregano, freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of salt.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of a lime (about 1 tablespoon). Mix until nicely combined.

Mixing the chicken marinade in a bowl.

Add chicken breasts to the bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover and allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Chicken breasts coated with the marinade in a bowl.

Heat a grill pan, griddle, or skillet over medium-high heat. You want the surface to be hot enough to sear the chicken.

Place the marinated chicken pieces onto the hot cooking surface. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Top Tip: Avoid pressing down on the chicken with a spatula, as this can release juices and result in drier meat.

Cooked pollo a la plancha on a cast-iron skillet.

Remove the chicken from heat and place on a serving platter. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro or parsley for presentation and your favorite sides.

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • You can customize the chicken marinade to your taste, adding spices or other seasonings you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs, spices, and marinades to create variations of this pollo a la plancha recipe that suit your taste preferences.
  • For the best flavor, you can allow the chicken to marinate for at least 15-30 minutes. For even more flavor, marinate it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  • Make sure your grill is preheated to medium-high heat. This will help create a nice seal on the chicken outside while keeping it moist on the inside.
  • To prevent sticking, brush the griddle or skillet with a bit of oil or use a paper towel dipped in oil to grease them before placing the chicken.
  • The exact cooking time for pollo a la plancha will depend on the thickness of your chicken pieces. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and is no longer pink in the center.

Ways to Serve

Pollo a la plancha pairs well with a range of side dishes. Here are my favorite sides to serve with…

  • Rice: Serve the chicken with flavorful Spanish rice or this tangy cilantro lime rice.
  • Beans: A side of beans, whether black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans, is a common accompaniment.
  • Vegetables: Try a side of champiñones (sautéed mushrooms) or pair it with my delicious cebollitas asadas (grilled onions).
  • Salad: A simple green salad or for a robust meal, a pasta salad like this ensalada de coditos.
  • Salsas: A spoonful of salsa verde (green salsa) can add a tangy and spicy kick to your chicken.
  • Serving sauces: My husband loves pollo a la plancha served with dipping sauces or condiments like this chimichurri. But other sauces like aioli or tzatziki sauce can add extra flavor to this meal too.
  • Bread or tortillas: I recommend serving with bread, blue tortillas, or flatbreads. With those, you can make sandwiches, tacos, or wraps with chicken and various condiments.
Grilled chicken breasts, known as pechugas de pollo a la plancha, on a plate with green salad.

Store & Reheat

I love this pollo a a plancha recipe because is perfect to make ahead or enjoy leftovers to make other dishes.

Store leftovers for up to 3 days in the fridge. Allow chicken to cool down to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator.

Reheat on an oiled pan or griddle, but take in mind that chicken that has been reheated can sometimes become slightly drier or less juicy than when it was freshly grilled.

I recommend using your leftovers to make other dishes, such as chicken tostadas or flautas.

FAQ

Can I use chicken thighs instead?

Yes! Besides chicken breasts (pechugas de pollo in Spanish), you can use boneless thighs to make this recipe.

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick): Similar to chicken breasts, boneless thighs of this thickness will also take approximately 6-8 minutes per side on a medium-high grill. Use a meat thermometer to confirm the chicken’s internal temperature.

More Chicken Recipes

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Pollo a la plancha recipe.

Pollo a la Plancha

4 servings
This pollo a la plancha is perfect for a quick and healthy meal any day of the week. Tender chicken breasts marinated with simply hearty spices and a touch of lime then cooked to perfection on a skillet.
prep 10 minutes
cook 8 minutes
marinating 10 minutes
total 28 minutes

Equipment

  • griddle or skillet

Ingredients 

  • 4 large chicken cutlets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to slightly flatten the chicken breasts.
  • In a medium bowl add garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika, cumin, oregano, freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of salt.
  • Add olive oil and lime juice then mix to combine. Allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add chicken breasts to the bowl and turn to coat on all sides (read notes).
  • Heat a grill pan, griddle, or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Place the marinated chicken pieces onto the hot cooking surface. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked and nicely brown.
  • Serve with chopped cilantro or parsley for presentation and your favorite sides.

Notes

  • For best flavor, you can allow the chicken to marinate for at least 15-30 minutes or overnight.
  • Make sure your grill is preheated to medium-high heat. 
  • To prevent sticking, brush the griddle or skillet with a bit of oil or use a paper towel dipped in oil to grease them before placing the chicken.
  • The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken pieces. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and is no longer pink in the center.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 305IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe so much! It makes my days easier, so easy to prepare and so nutritious. Perfect for my meal prep!