Achiote Chicken

You will love this delicious Achiote Chicken! If you are looking for a healthy, easy and inexpensive recipe, this mexican chicken marinade recipe is for you. You can eat it with white rice and salad or make some tacos, my kids love them!

What’s Achiote Chicken

It’s also known as pibil chicken and is prepared with an Achiote sauce. This is a mexican red sauce used to marinade different types of meat.

There are lots of recipes to make this sauce, and this is my easy, fast and healthy version of it.

I’m sure you and your family will love this achiote marinated chicken!

So, what is Achiote?

Achiote is the mexican name we give to the Annatto Seeds. You can find different presentations on the market, such Achiote Powder and Achiote paste.

The Achiote Powder comes from ground Annatto seeds. While the Achiote paste has also another condiments and ingredients to make it a paste.

So is basically just a condiment. Well, not exactly, because it’s not only delicious; it’s also healthy for you:

  • It helps regulate the digestive system.
  • Fights intestinal parasites.
  • And it’s good to counteract bronchitis.

Is Achiote Spicy?

I know most of the mexican food is spicy, but not the Achiote marinade. You can always add some chili if you want to, but the Achiote sauce itself is not spicy, but is full of flavor.

How long to marinade Achiote Chicken?

I highly recommend to marinate the chicken in this sauce for at least three hours. But if you don’t have time for that, you can make it right away. You just need to know that if you let it rest on the fridge overnight, the flavor is going to intensify.

What is pibil?

Pibil is a mayan word that means «underground». So why is it called chicken pibil? Well that’s because of the Cochinita pibil or pibil pork.

On the traditional recipe, they marinade the pork on the «recado rojo»; a mexican red sauce where they use Achiote. And then cook it underground, steaming it on banana leaves.

Since whenever you use Achiote, the flavor could be similar, a lot of people tend to call as «pibil» any recipe that uses the annatto seeds.

Achiote Chicken

5 from 1 vote
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Plato: Dinner, lunch
Cocina: Mexican
Keyword: Achiote Chicken, Annato Seeds, Pibil Chicken
Tiempo de preparación: 15 minutos
Tiempo de cocción: 40 minutos
Raciones: 4
Calorías: 270kcal


  • Blender
  • 1 Sealable bag or bowl
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Cutting board
  • Aluminium Foil
  • Steamer



  • 1 tbsp Achiote paste (Annato Seeds paste)
  • 1 ts Salt
  • 1/2 Orange (the juice)
  • 1/4 C White Vinegar
  • 1 Garlic Clove (big or 2 small ones)


  • 4 Pieces Chicken
  • 1 Carrot cut in slices
  • 1/4 Onion cut in slices
  • 1 jalapeno pepper cut in strips (optional)

Elaboración paso a paso

  • Blend the marinade ingredients all together.
  • Do a few cuts on your chicken pieces to help it marinate better.
  • Put your chicken pieces into a sealable bag or bow, adding the marinade.
  • Let it rest on the fridge for at least three hours. (If you don't have time, you can cook it right away, but I highly recomend to let it rest to intensify the flavors).
  • Cut two pieces of aluminium foil. Place all your vegetables in one of them. Add your chicken and the marinade at the top of your vegetables.
  • Cover with the other piece of aluminium foil and seal it.
  • Steam it for around 40 to 50 minutes.


Calorías: 270kcal | Carbohidratos: 5g | Proteina: 22g | Grasa: 17g | Grasa saturada: 5g | Grasa polinsaturada: 4g | Grasa monosaturada: 7g | Grasa Transgénica: 0.1g | Colesterol: 87mg | Sodio: 674mg | Potasio: 319mg | Fibra: 1g | Azúcar: 3g | Vitamina A: 2784IU | Vitamina C: 16mg | Calcio: 29mg | Hierro: 1mg

If you liked this recipe, please let me know on the comments. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram! ❤Laura

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