El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe [At Home]

Welcome to the ultimate culinary adventure, where we unlock the secrets behind one of the most iconic dishes from the famed El Pollo Loco restaurant.

El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken Copycat Recipe will have you savoring the essence of the beloved restaurant’s grilled chicken right in the comfort of your own home. So, let’s dive into the details and recreate the magic of El Pollo Loco’s Grilled Chicken together!

In this blog post, We understand the allure of restaurant favorites and the desire to replicate them at home, which is why we’re excited to share this fantastic copycat recipe with you.

What is the El pollo loco Grilled chicken?

El Pollo Loco’s Grilled Chicken is a delectable dish known for its mouthwatering flavor and tender texture.

Prepared with a unique blend of marinade and seasonings, the chicken is grilled to perfection, creating a delightful combination of smoky, savory, and tangy notes.

It is a signature item at El Pollo Loco restaurants, beloved by customers for its authentic Mexican-inspired taste and wholesome appeal.

El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe
El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe

How Long Will It Take To Prepare?

  • Preparing the marinade and marinating the chicken: 10-15 minutes
  • Marinating time (ideally 2 hours to overnight): 2 hours to 12 hours
  • Preheating the grill: 10-15 minutes
  • Grilling the chicken: 20-25 minutes
  • Total time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings

How To Make El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe?

Essential Ingredients For El pollo loco Grilled chicken:

  • Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Two tablespoons of lime juice
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two cloves garlic, minced
  • One teaspoon cumin
  • One teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Essential Instructions For El Pollo loco Grilled chicken:

Step 1

Mix the orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, black pepper, and salt in a bowl. This will be the marinade for the chicken.

Step 2

Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure it is evenly coated.

El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe
El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe

Step 3

Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or ideally, overnight. This will allow the flavors to infuse into the chicken.

Step 4

When ready to cook, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. You can use a stovetop grill pan or a regular skillet if you don’t have a grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade and let any excess marinade drip off.

Step 5

Grill the chicken for about 5-7 minutes per side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.

Step 6

Once the chicken is fully cooked, please remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving.

Step 7

Serve the El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken with your favorite sides like rice, beans, salad, or tortillas, and enjoy the flavorful and tender goodness of this restaurant-inspired dish!

El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe
El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe

Additional Tips for El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken:

  • Use Fresh Citrus: Opt for freshly squeezed orange and lime juices rather than bottled ones for the best flavor. Fresh citrus’s natural acidity and brightness will enhance the marinade’s taste.
  • Adjust Seasonings to Taste: Feel free to adjust the amount of oregano, cumin, paprika, and black pepper in the marinade to suit your preferences. If desired, add a chili powder for a hint of spiciness.
  • Pat Dry Before Grilling: Before placing the marinated chicken on the grill, pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess marinade. This prevents flare-ups and ensures even grilling.
  • Monitor Grill Temperature: Maintain medium-high heat on the grill throughout the cooking process. This helps to achieve that perfect char on the chicken without drying it out.
  • Keep an Eye on Cooking Time: Cooking time may vary based on the size and thickness of the chicken pieces. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Let it Rest: Once the chicken is grilled, rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier and more flavorful meat.

Precautions for El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken:

  • Cross-Contamination: Be mindful of cross-contamination when handling raw chicken. Clean and sanitize any surfaces, utensils, or dishes that come into contact with the raw chicken to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Safe Storage: Always refrigerate the chicken in a covered container or resealable bag while marinating it. Keep it chilled until you’re ready to grill to avoid foodborne illnesses.
  • Grilling Safety: When using a grill, follow standard safety precautions. Ensure proper ventilation, keep children and pets away from the grill, and have a fire extinguisher nearby in emergencies.

Nutrition Facts of El pollo loco Grilled Chicken

Calories 165 kcal
Protein 31 grams
Total Fat 3.6 grams
Saturated Fat 1 gram
Trans Fa Negligible
Cholesterol 85 milligrams
Carbohydrates Negligible
Fiber Negligible
Sugars Negligible
Sodium 75 milligrams
El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe

Please note that the nutritional content can vary based on the specific chicken cut, whether it includes the skin and any additional seasonings or sauces used in the preparation.

 If you need precise nutrition facts for El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken, I recommend checking their official website or contacting the restaurant directly.

Additionally, you can find nutrition information for similar grilled chicken recipes from reputable sources or nutrition databases.

5 best Variations El pollo loco Grilled Chicken

1. Citrus-Herb Infusion

Enhance the citrusy flavors by adding fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or cilantro to the marinade. The combination of tangy citrus and aromatic herbs will elevate the taste of the chicken.

2. Spicy Chipotle Marinade

Incorporate chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into the marinade for those who enjoy some heat. The smoky and spicy notes will add a fiery kick to the grilled chicken.

3. Pineapple-Jalapeño Glaze

Create a sweet and spicy glaze by combining pineapple juice, jalapeño, and honey or brown sugar. Brush this glaze on the chicken while grilling to infuse it with a tropical punch.

4. Mediterranean-inspired Twist

Replace the traditional Mexican flavors with Mediterranean ones. For a delightful Mediterranean grilled chicken, use olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a blend of oregano, thyme, and paprika in the marinade.

5. Korean Bulgogi-style Marinade

Give your chicken a Korean-inspired makeover by marinating it in soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and a hint of brown sugar. This will create a savory and slightly sweet profile reminiscent of Bulgogi.

El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe
El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe

Best 5 Serving Ideas for El Pollo Loco Grilled chicken

1. Chicken Tacos

Fill soft corn or flour tortillas with slices of El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken, and top it with your favorite taco toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, avocado slices, and a drizzle of lime crema or chipotle sauce.

2. Grilled Chicken Salad

Slice the grilled chicken and serve it over a bed of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and avocado. Add a tangy vinaigrette or a creamy cilantro lime dressing to combine all the flavors.

3. Chicken Burrito Bowl

Create a hearty burrito bowl by layering cilantro lime rice, black beans, grilled chicken, sautéed bell peppers and onions, pico de gallo, guacamole, and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Top it off with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

4. Chicken Quesadillas

Place sliced El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken between two flour tortillas with a generous amount of shredded cheese. Cook until the cheese melts and the tortillas are golden brown. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for dipping.

5. Chicken Fajitas

Sauté strips of grilled chicken with colorful bell peppers and onions. Serve them sizzling hot with warm flour tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream, and your favorite salsa for a delicious and interactive fajita night.

El pollo loco Grilled chicken Copycat Recipe


In conclusion, with our copycat recipe for El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken, you can now savor the irresistible flavors of this iconic dish right in the comfort of your home.

By following the simple steps and incorporating some creative variations, you can recreate the essence of the beloved restaurant’s grilled chicken and enjoy a taste of Mexico on your plate.

So fire up the grill, embrace the culinary adventure, and delight your taste buds with the mouthwatering magic of El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken!

People Frequently Ask Questions

Does El Pollo Loco use oil on chicken?

El Pollo Loco does use oil on its chicken during the cooking process. The oil helps achieve the desired texture and flavor of their Grilled Chicken. It also assists in preventing the chicken from sticking to the grill and adds a nice charred exterior.

Does El Pollo Loco use chicken breast?

El Pollo Loco uses chicken breast as one of the options for their Grilled Chicken. While they may offer other chicken cuts like thighs or drumsticks, chicken breast is famous for its lean and tender meat.

What is in Pollo Loco chicken?

The ingredients in El Pollo Loco’s Grilled Chicken include a special marinade consisting of citrus juices (orange and lime), soy sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and olive oil. The marinade infuses the chicken with the signature flavors that make El Pollo Loco’s Grilled Chicken so delicious and unique.

Is Pollo Loco chicken processed?

El Pollo Loco’s chicken is not considered “processed” in the sense of heavily processed foods. The chicken is typically fresh and marinated on-site with natural ingredients. It doesn’t undergo extensive chemical or artificial treatments before being cooked and served.

How many calories are in El Pollo Loco grilled chicken?

The number of calories in El Pollo Loco’s grilled chicken can vary depending on the specific cut of chicken and any additional sauces or sides accompanying it. Generally, a serving of grilled chicken breast without other sauces or sides contains approximately 150-200 calories per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). However, checking with El Pollo Loco’s official nutrition guide or website for the most accurate information is best.

What is in Pollo Loco chicken?

In summary, El Pollo Loco uses a flavorful marinade with citrus juices and spices on its chicken, including chicken breast as one of the options. The chicken is not heavily processed, and the calorie content may vary based on the specific serving and accompaniments.

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