Grilled or Baked Avocado Fiesta Chicken

Grilled or Baked Avocado Fiesta Chicken

Juicy marinated chicken topped with spicy pepper jack cheese and cool avocado makes for a healthy yet flavorful dish perfect any time of year.

 

Whether you decide to bake or grill this chicken, I assure you it comes out so juicy and packed with just the right amount of heat. The spice combo for the marinade has become my go-to flavor booster for chicken as well as eggs (and hopefully soon, shrimp or white fish). Instead of making just enough of the spice for this recipe, I highly recommend doubling or tripling the batch and storing it along with your other spices – you won’t be sorry!

This recipe, except for the marinade, is another basic dinner Bry and I would grill during college. While we kept it simpler back then with just a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper on the chicken, the combo of grilled (or baked) chicken with melted pepper jack cheese and fresh avocado is so satisfying. While I’m sure there were times where we only made the chicken, it goes great with a side of grilled or roasted vegetables for a low-carb summer time meal.

Grilled avocado fiesta chicken sandwich

However, if you aren’t concerned about trying to lower your cab intake, I HIGHLY recommend making this into a grilled chicken sandwich (on sourdough bread of course ;)). To do so, instead of adding the cheese on top of the chicken, place the cheese on a slice of sourdough bread (be sure to lightly cover the other side of the bread with olive oil, butter, or mayo so it doesn’t stick to your pan or grill) and cook like you would a grilled cheese. Once the chicken is cooked, simply place it on top of the melted cheese, add sliced avocado, and top with additional slice of grilled/toasted bread.

While I’m getting excited to do more grilling with the weather finally warming up, I’ve also been working on perfecting my cast-iron skillet chicken cooking skills. And I think I have it down! The key is to heat your skillet on high until it is very hot and almost smoking (if you have a hood fan I recommend turning it on or opening a window just in case). Once it’s smokin’ hot, add in the marinated chicken (along with the excess marinade) and sear each side, about 1 minute per side. Immediately transfer skillet into a preheated 350F oven and cook for 10 minutes. Let the chicken rest for a couple minutes then bite into your juicy piece of chicken.

Starting to work on spring cleaning? Be sure to check back on Friday for some tips to spring clean your diet and fridge for this month’s Recipe Redux Challenge!

So here’s a toast to getting a little toasty this spring!

Baked avocado fiesta chicken in cast iron skillet

Grilled or Baked Avocado Fiesta Chicken

Juicy marinated chicken topped with spicy pepper jack cheese and cool avocado makes for a healthy yet flavorful dish perfect any time of year.
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time4 hrs 12 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Avocado Chicken, Cast Iron Chicken, Grilled Chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 327kcal
Author: Kelli

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts about 1 lb total
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1 avocado peeled and sliced
  • 2-4 slices pepper jack cheese depending on how cheesy you like it
  • Optional: bread to make into a grilled sandwich

Instructions

Prepare Chicken:

  • Combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, paprika, cumin, thyme, and onion powder in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container. Place thinly cut chicken breasts in container with marinade and toss well to coat each breast. Allow chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To Bake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Meanwhile, place cast iron skillet on stove and heat on high. Once smoking, add chicken breasts.
  • Cook 1 minute on each side, or until lightly browned. Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and cook 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Remove pan from oven and immediately top each breast with slice of cheese. Plate each breast and top with avocado slices. Enjoy!

To Grill:

  • Heat grill on medium-high heat. Place chicken on grill and cook about 5 minutes/side or until cooked through. Before removing from grill, place 1 slice of cheese over chicken and allow to cook another minute until cheese is starting to melt.
  • Remove chicken from grill and top with sliced avocado.

Notes

These also make for a great grilled chicken sandwich, simply place between two slices of grilled or toasted bread. See instructions in post. Nutrition for ¼ of recipe (using 1 slice of cheese per chicken breast; not including bread for optional sandwich): 327 calories, 19 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 5 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 31 g protein

[sp_recipe]

Grilled or Baked Avocado Fiesta Chicken
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About
About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Hi, I’m Kelli McGrane MS, RD! My mission is to show you that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. I believe getting to know your food is the first step to a healthy relationship with it. Follow along in my journey to learn all I can about ingredients and cooking with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

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