Kiwi Marinated Chicken with Maple Yogurt Sauce

Kiwi marinated chicken is a unique way to enjoy tender, juicy chicken. An enzyme found only in kiwi helps tenderize the chicken and add a subtly sweet flavor. Topped with maple yogurt sauce, this chicken recipe is impossible to beat! So. Kiwi. Don't you just love it? When I was presented the option to do a Recipe Redux challenge using Zespri Sun Gold kiwifruit I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to come up with a creative recipe using kiwi!

I really wanted to think of a savory, creative way to enjoy one of my favorite fruits. When I got the package of kiwi to try (samples received as part of the challenge), I saw a note about how kiwi is great for marinades because of an enzyme found in kiwi.

Now, I knew pineapple and papaya contain bromelian, a digestive enzyme but I had no idea kiwi also contained its own unique digestive enzyme! Don't you just love when you learn something new?!

Kiwifruit contains an enzyme that breaks down protein called actinidin. Actinidin occurs only in kiwifruit and improves digestive comfort by increasing the breakdown of proteins and facilitating digestion and emptying of the stomach. The actinidin can serve as a meat tenderizer, which is why I used it in today's recipe for marinated chicken!

Remember my recipe for kombucha marinated chicken? I have been all kinds of obsessed with marinating meat lately. Since I do a lot of food prep for the work week, I need the meat to stay tender, juicy and delicious throughout the week. I find marinating the meat before cooking it helps accomplish this!

The flavor combo for the marinade of the kiwi + lime + maple syrup + sea salt + red pepper flakes is perfection. It's slightly sweet from the kiwi and maple syrup, yet tangy from the lime and has just a hint of spice from the red pepper flakes. And when you top the chicken with the maple yogurt sauce (with lime zest)?! Flavor explosion!

Kiwi Marinated Chicken with Maple Yogurt Sauce


  • 2 lb. chicken breasts

  • 2 kiwi, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil

  • Juice of 1/2 lime

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup

  • Zest of 1 lime

  • Salt to taste


  1. Place chicken breasts in a large plastic bag and pound meat (with meat pounder or back of a mason jar) until meat is 1/4-1/2" inch thick. Set aside.

  2. In a small blender, place the kiwi, maple syrup, olive oil, lime juice, salt and red pepper flakes and blend until smooth. Pour blended marinade into plastic bag and thoroughly coat chicken in mixture. Set in refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.

  3. Once ready to cook, let plastic bag with chicken sit at room temperature for thirty minutes and preheat the grill to medium heat.

  4. Place chicken breasts on grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side. Chicken is thoroughly cooked when reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

  5. While chicken is cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, place the yogurt, maple syrup, lime zest ans salt to taste and mix until combined.

  6. Once chicken is done cooking, let sit for a couple minutes to cool down. Once ready to serve, pour maple yogurt sauce on top and serve with sides of choice.

I paired this chicken with sauteed cabbage and peppers the first day I tried it, and then packed it for lunch for a couple days on top of spinach with roasted broccoli, bell peppers and carrots. And then the last couple of days I enjoyed the chicken in a sandwich with roasted vegetables and dijon mustard (I had run out of the sauce by this point) on ciabatta bread...SO GOOD.

SunGold kiwifruit is some of the best kiwi I have ever had! It has a soft exterior, not fuzzy like most kiwi. It is also more yellow in color, than green, compared to other kiwi. I found it to be much sweeter in flavor and easier to peel! I highly recommend trying this type of kiwi!

I received free samples of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Zespri Kiwifruit and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

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