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A delicious recipe for Cuban Mojo Chicken. Thighs and legs roasted in the oven with a citrusy mojo marinade alongside yams and peppers. An easy sheet pan dinner!
This Cuban Mojo Chicken is SO zesty and bright! The chicken’s amazing flavor is from a Cuban-style marinade called Mojo (pronounced moho), made with fresh oranges and lime, juice and zest, fresh cilantro, garlic cloves and cumin seeds. Colorful bell peppers, onions and yams are roasted alongside thighs and drumsticks.
Mojo is made traditionally made with Seville oranges. They have a very sour, bitter profile-great for cooking but are often hard to find. The lime combined with fresh orange mimics this flavor.
To get the best flavor start the chicken marinating in the morning or the night before, and while you’re at it, soak some black beans and make Cuban Black Beans for the perfect accompaniment. If pressed for time, marinating for at least an hour will work.
Table of Contents
Ingredients In Mojo Chicken
Oranges and Lime– traditional mojo is made with Seville oranges, very sour, bitter oranges that are great for cooking but often hard to find. The lime mimics this flavor.
Chicken- thighs and legs, bone-in and skin-on for the most flavor, succulent texture and golden brown exterior.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How To Make Mojo Chicken
Make marinade: Zest oranges and lime add to a food processor or a blender along with juice from lime and orange, cilantro, mint, garlic, oil, salt, pepper, cumin. Blend together until mostly smooth.
Pour the larger portion of the marinade over the chicken in a sealable container, making sure it is well distributed.
Whip the marinade up in the morning, and it will be ready by dinner! It is best if marinated 6 hours or overnight and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, at the minimum, marinate for at least one hour.
After the chicken marinates, scrape the marinade off of the top skin side of the chicken. Lay it on a parchment-lined sheet pan and pat the top of the pieces dry with a paper towel. This is to ensure a crisp golden brown exterior!
Toss the peppers, onions, and yams with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt (if desired), and arrange around the chicken on the pan. Bake in the top third of the oven for 30 minutes.
Brush the reserved marinade over the chicken and veggies and bake for another 15 minutes until the chicken golden brown registering 185 (175 is safe, but 185 will be more tender).
Garnish with more zest, lime juice and fresh cilantro.
Mojo Chicken FAQS
Cuban food is very mild. The flavors are simple and fresh, relying on seasonings such as citrus, garlic, bay, cumin and oregano.
Mojo (pronounced mo-ho) is a Cuban marinade made from citrus, garlic and herbs.
Yes, you can use chicken breasts, skin off- they will not get as brown. Start checking the temperature after 30 minutes. For utmost juiciness, keep them around 165F. Grilling is also an option for chicken breasts to give them more flavor.
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A delicious recipe for Mojo Chicken. Thighs and legs roasted in the oven with a citrusy mojo marinade alongside yams and peppers. An easy sheet pan dinner!
- 3 pounds bone in chicken thighs and legs
- 1/2 cup cilantro stems and leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves (optional)
- 2 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 2 tablespoons orange zest, about 2 oranges
- 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1 limes worth
- 1/2 cup fresh juice- orange & lime combined (juice the zested orange and the lime)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste, we use mineral salt. Table salt will be saltier)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, ground
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 yam, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, about 3 cups chopped
- 1 large onion- cut in large wedges
- 2 bell peppers- sliced into 1 inch thick pieces
- Garnish: cilantro, lime wedges, zest
- Make marinade: Zest oranges and lime add to a food processor or a blender along with juice from lime and orange, cilantro, mint, garlic, oil, salt, pepper, cumin. Blend together until mostly smooth. **Set aside 1/4 cup of the marinade to use on the chicken while baking.
- Pour the larger portion of marinade over the chicken in a sealable container, making sure it is well distributed. It is best if marinated 6 hours or overnight and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, at the minimum marinate for at least one hour. Whip the marinade up in the morning and it will be ready by dinner!
- Heat the oven to 425F.
- Take the pieces of chicken out of the marinade. Scrape the marinade off of the skin side of the chicken. Lay on a parchment lined sheet pan, skin side up and pat the top of the pieces dry with a paper towel. (This is to ensure a crisp golden brown exterior). Brush the bare chicken with a light coating of olive oil.
- Toss the peppers, onions and yams with a little oil and sprinkle of salt, arrange around the chicken on the pan. Bake in the top third of the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and brush the reserved 1/4 cup of marinade over the chicken and veggies and bake for another 15 minutes until chicken golden brown registering 185 (175 is safe but 185 will be more tender and higher is ok too. Thighs and legs will retain their juicy goodness).
Garnish with more zest and lime juice, fresh cilantro.
Note: Best to marinate chicken for 6 hours or overnight or at least 1 hour. 12 hours refrigerated will enhance the tenderness, juiciness and flavor.
- Serving Size: 1 piece of chicken and 1 cup veggies
- Calories: 375
- Sugar: 5.5 g
- Sodium: 570.2 mg
- Fat: 15.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 24.4 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 33.8 g
- Cholesterol: 151.2 mg
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