El Pollo Loco Chicken Recipe

Copycat El Pollo Loco Chicken Recipe

I want you to take a tasty adventure with an easy dish that will elevate your overall taste – try the el pollo loco chicken recipe.

In this blog post, we will discuss the complete process of preparation of el pollo loco chicken. Later, we will also look at variations, pro tips to level up the taste, storage and freezing tips and much more. 

El Pollo Loco Chicken

El Pollo Loco Chicken is a grilled chicken served at the El El Pollo Loco restaurant. It is marinated with spices, herbs, and citrus juice that gives it a unique taste. It is grilled over flames which results in juicy and tender meat.

El pollo loco chicken is popular for its Mexican-inspired cuisine and their grilled chicken is a popular dish enjoyed by a lot of customers.

El Pollo Loco Chicken Recipe Tips

  • Use high-quality ingredients: Make sure to go with the bone-in and skin-on chicken for better flavour. Drumsticks or thighs are generally chosen for el pollo loco chicken.
el pollo loco chicken recipe tips
  • Marinate: Marinating the chicken in a mix of citrus juices, oregano, garlic and spices will provide a great taste. Let it marinate for a few hours or overnight for better flavour.
  • Grill for authenticity: El pollo loco chicken is cooked over the flame, providing a charred flavour. For an original taste, make sure to cook it over an open flame or on a grill. In the absence of a grill, you can use a grill pan or broil in the oven.
el pollo loco chicken recipe tips
  • Season generously: Make sure to season the chicken generously. You can add salt, pepper, or any other spices for seasoning.
  • Baste with marinade: While grilling, brush the chicken with some leftover marinade. It makes the chicken juicy.
el pollo loco chicken recipe tips


  • Citrus-Herb chicken: This variation includes the citrus taste with herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano. Marinate the chicken in a mix of citrus juices, garlic and herbs for a refreshing twist.
el pollo loco chicken variation
  • Spicy chipotle chicken: You can improve the overall taste of the chicken by including the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce to the marinade.
  • Honey lime chicken: For a tangy and sweet flavour, add lime juice and honey to the marinade. The honey caramelizes on the grill, providing a sticky exterior and a moist, soft texture from the inside.
el pollo loco chicken variation
  • Adobo chicken: The marinade contains garlic, vinegar cumin, paprika, and oregano making it a delightful and fragrant dish.
  • Garlic lemon chicken: The variation includes a mixture of garlic and lemon. Just soak the chicken in a blend of crushed garlic, peel, olive oil and lemon juice for a better flavour.

What to Serve

  • Spanish rice: You can serve the el pollo loco chicken with the Spanish rice. The rice is cooked with onions, tomatoes, garlic, paprika and cumin which makes it perfect for serving.
el pollo loco chicken Spanish rice
  • Beans: You can also serve pinto beans or black beans with the el pollo loco chicken. You can prepare them with garlic, onions, spices and bacon.
  • Tortillas: You can serve tortillas with the el pollo loco chicken. It makes the dish interesting and allows customization with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.
el pollo loco chicken with Tortillas
  • Salsa and chips: You can serve chips, guacamole or salsa alongside the main dish. It not only makes the overall meal tasty but also more interesting.
  • Grilled vegetables: You can serve the grilled vegetables like zucchini, onions, bell peppers and squash with the meal. For a more flavorful twist, make sure to coat them with spices or olive oil.    
el pollo loco chicken with Grilled vegetables

Storing and freezing


  • If you are storing the leftover grilled chicken, make sure to put it in a resealable plastic bag or air-tight container in the refrigerator.
  • Storing it properly, the chicken can last up to 3-4 days.
  • Make sure to let the chicken cool at room temperature before putting it into the refrigerator.


  • For freezing the cooked chicken, make sure to wrap the individual pieces in aluminium foil. The cooked chicken can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  • For freezing the marinated chicken, make sure to place the chicken and marinade in a freezer bag.  You can also freeze the marinated chicken for up to 2-3 months.


Q1. Where does el pollo loco chicken come from?

El pollo loco chicken originated from Mexico, mainly from the streets of Sinaloa, where it was first frilled over an open flame. Later, it became popular through the El Pollo loco restaurant chain.

Q2. Why is El Pollo Loco chicken so small?

El pollo loco is generally smaller to maintain the juiciness and ensure even cooking. Small pieces absorb more surface area for seasoning and marinade.

Q3. What kind of chicken does El Pollo Loco use?

El Pollo loco uses fresh, bone-in chicken for its grilled chicken meals. For juicy and flavorful taste, Chicken drumsticks and thighs are generally used. The chicken is marinated in a mix of citrus juices, spices and herbs then cooked until perfect.

Q4. What is el pollo loco chicken marinated in?

El Pollo Loco chicken is generally marinated in a mix of citrus juices like orange or lemon, oregano, garlic and other spices.

Q5. Is el pollo loco chicken healthy?

El pollo loco chicken can be considered a healthy choice when grilled and served with fresh veggies and rice. However, the amount of food you consume and your choice of veggies and rice affect your health.


In conclusion, the el pollo loco chicken recipe provides a flavorful journey through Mexican cooking. Beginning in Mexico and becoming popular in the United States, this special chicken meal impressed a lot and encouraged a lot of home cooks.

So, whether you are planning for a regular dinner or a party with friends and family. El pollo loco chicken provides a delicious taste, even with rice, tortillas or beans.  

Read More:- The Best Chicken Murphy Recipe

El Pollo Loco Chicken Recipe

Copycat El Pollo Loco Chicken Recipe

ElPollo Loco Chicken is a grilled chicken served at the El El Pollo Loco restraunt.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 1000 kcal


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a bowl, mix lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, soysauce, chili powder, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.Mix everything well.   
  • Put the chicken breast in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring to coat evenly. Now, cover the dish or seal the bag and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or preferably overnight to allow marinating.  
  • Heat the grill over medium-high heat.
  • Now, you need to take the chicken out from the marinade anddiscard the extra marinade.
  • Grill the chicken breast for around 6-8 minutes each side, untilthey are cooked thoroughly and show grill marks. The internal temperatureshould reach 165 F (75 C).
  • After cooking, take the chicken out from the grill and allowit to rest for few minutes before serving.
  • It’s time to serve the chicken. You can serve it with rice, salad,beans and tortillas.
Keyword el pollo loco chicken bowl recipe, El Pollo Loco Chicken Recipe, el pollo loco chicken recipe easy, el pollo loco chicken recipe reddit
Rate this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.