Perk up your dinner table with this delicious Mango Chicken recipe! A homemade marinade full of ripe mangoes, fresh lime, garlic, ginger and more make an exciting meal on busy weeknights.
Anyone who thinks chicken is boring will change their mind after tasting this. Perfectly cooked chicken in a spicy-sweet sauce. It’s the perfect balance of flavor done in the easiest way.
The tender chicken can be prepared in three ways: grilled mango chicken, roasted in the oven or done in a grill pan or skillet on the stove top and the chicken finishes in the oven.
Delicious Mango Chicken
This recipe is a winner. The homemade marinade is easy to make with all ingredients added to a blender or food processor. It’s whipped up in minutes.
The chicken marinates for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours. This makes it easy to put together in the morning and cook it for dinner.
Fresh mangoes set the flavor with tangy, salty, sweet ingredients rounding out the delicious marinade.
Some of the marinade is reserved and brushed on for a final punch of flavor while the chicken cooks. It can also be reserved and used as a sauce.
It’s easy to change up the marinade by adding a half cup coconut milk, some curry powder maybe a bit of cayenne pepper or even tomato paste. It’s a simple recipe to modify.
This is a favorite of the chicken recipes and will be a favorite choice of your dinner recipes too.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Chicken thighs. Use bone-in skin-on thighs for this recipe. Both the bone and skin add to the flavor and effect the cooking time.
Mango. You’ll need one medium ripe mango. Once cut up it should yield around 1 1/4 cups.
Lime juice. Use freshly squeezed lime juice for the best results. It can be hand squeezed or use a hand held juicer for great results.
Vegetable oil. Some oil is added to the marinade. Oil is needed to convey the marinade flavors to the chicken.
Soy sauce. Regular or gluten-free soy sauce or tamari can be used. Fish sauce can be swapped in if preferred.
Light brown sugar. This adds a delicious sweet flavor note to the mango sauce.
Garlic cloves. You’ll use two cloves minced.
Cilantro. Fresh cilantro is blended into the marinade.
Fresh ginger. Minced ginger is added to to the marinade.
Crushed Red Chili Flakes. Just a little bit of red pepper flakes perks up the flavor of the chicken without making it overly spicy.
Chicken Thigh sizes
Chicken thighs can vary incredibly in size. Two pounds can be 6 to 8 thighs or just 4.
The cooking times here are based on medium size thighs, about 6 for two pounds.
Using an instant read cooking thermometer to determine the doneness of the chicken is key to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
How to Make Mango Chicken – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Make the marinade + marinating (all cooking methods)
Combine marinade ingredients in a blender pitcher: mango chunks, lime juice, oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and cilantro (photos 1-5).
Blend until smooth (photo 6). Should yield about 1 ¼ cups.
Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade for later (photo 7).
Place the chicken thighs in a gallon plastic bag or container. Pour in the remaining marinade and coat the chicken (photo 8).
Seal (or cover) and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours minimum to 12 hours.
STEP 2. Cook it – cast iron skillet or grill pan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat grill pan or large skillet (cast iron) on medium high heat on the stove top.
Spray lightly with cooking oil.
Place chicken skin side down. Sear for 5 minutes. Using tongs flip and sear for 5 more minutes.
Brush the remaining marinade onto the top to the chicken.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
The mango chicken can be grilled on a traditional grill or roasted in the oven on a baking sheet. Instructions in the recipe card below.
Select the same size chicken thighs. It doesn’t matter as much whether they are larger or small, as it does that they are all around the same size.
This ensures they will all cook in the same amount of time.
What to serve with Mango Chicken
It’s a great partner with rice. We love coconut rice but regular jasmine rice, basmati rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice all work great.
Frequently asked questions
It can! The cooking time is for bone-in chicken thighs so the cooking time would need to be adjusted for breasts or boneless chicken thighs. Using an instant ready thermometer will always ensure the chicken is cooked perfectly. It needs to cook to reach 165 degrees F internal temperature.
Resting after cooking lets the juices in the chicken redistribute to create the best chicken texture. The temperature will also continue to rise a few degrees while the chicken rests.
How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It’s even better the next day !
More recipes you’ll love!
- 1 medium ripe mango peeled and diced (yield should be 1+ cups)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce regular or gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1.5-2 Pounds chicken thighs bone-in and with the skin on
Marinating the chicken (all cooking methods)
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a blender: mango, lime juice, oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and cilantro. Blend until smooth. Should yield about 1 ¼ cups.
- Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade for later.
- Place the chicken thighs in a gallon plastic bag or container. Pour in the remaining marinade (1 cup) and coat the chicken. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours minimum and up to 12 hours.
Skillet or grill pan on stove top to oven
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat grill pan or cast iron skillet on medium high heat on the stove top. Spray the grill pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade (and discard the mariade from the container). Place chicken skin side down. Sear for 5 minutes.
- Flip over with tongs and sear for 5 more minutes.
- Brush the remaining 1/4 cup of marinade onto the top to the chicken.
- Place the pan in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
- Preheat gas grill to high. When the grill is hot brush it well and run a paper towel quartered with some vegetable oil on it over the grates to oil them. NOTE: I use the grill brush to push the paper towel over the grates.
- Place chicken thighs, skin side down on heated grill for two minutes to sear them. Turn off half of the grill and move thighs to this side, skin side up, for indirect cooking.
- Close the grill and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reaches 165 degrees. Baste with the 1/4 cup marinade (top of the thighs only) during grilling. The thighs do not need to be flipped during cooking. Estimated grilling times: For smaller chicken thighs approximately 25-30 minutes, larger thighs can take 45-50 minutes. Juices should run clear and there should be no pink but the flesh will be moist and juicy.
- Remove the chicken thighs and allow them to rest 10 minutes before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a cooking rack in a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Quick clean up tip: Line the baking sheet with foil and discard when done cooking.
- Place on the prepared rack skin side down. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.Turn the chicken thighs over, baste with the remaining 1/4 cup of marinade and bake another 30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.
Chicken Thighs tips: select thighs similar in size to ensure they’ll cook in the same amount of time use an instant read thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches 165 degrees F (done temperature). Variations It’s easy to change up the marinade by adding a half cup coconut milk, some curry powder maybe a bit of cayenne pepper or even tomato paste. It’s a simple recipe to modify. Storing leftovers Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.