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Cilantro Lime Chicken is full of flavor and an easy weeknight meal. Fresh lime juice and cilantro make a flavorful marinade!

This is a super quick and easy weeknight meal – perfect for enjoying on it’s own or in a Burrito Bowl, Taco Bowl or Taco Salad.

Grilled cilantro lime chicken on a plate with sliced limes.


Easy Flavorful Chicken!

With just a few simple ingredients, transform boring chicken into really flavorful chicken. Plus, it’s really healthy!

This Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe can be sliced and placed on top of salad greens, or paired with your favorite grilled vegetables, like Grilled Asparagus. Our favorite way to eat it is in Fajitas, or Tacos…..it’s so good!

However you decide to serve this easy Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken dish, I promise everyone will love it.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade

  1. MARINADE. Combine the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Place chicken in a bag with marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 8 hours.
  2. GRILL. When ready to grill, preheat to medium to medium-high heat (about 400°F). Lightly oil the grate. Place chicken on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F.
  3. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Cilantro lime chicken marinade in bowl.

Grilling Tips

Chicken prep. Use a kitchen mallet to pound the boneless chicken so that it is an even thickness throughout. This will help give an even cook. 

Easy cleanup. Add oil to the clean grill grates to help keep the chicken from sticking.

Grill bone-in chicken. Place the chicken over direct high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Then move the chicken away from the flame and cook for another 30 minutes. Flip the chicken every 10-15 minutes.

Bone-in chicken thighs only need about 20 minutes and flip halfway through.

Cilantro lime chicken recipe on white plate.

Recipe Tips

Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but the longer it marinades the more flavorful and tender it will be.

Chicken. For ultra-juicy and flavorful chicken, use thighs. If you are a grilling beginner, start with thighs as breasts can dry out easily if overcooked.

Temperature. Use a meat thermometer to check the chicken. Once they reach 160°F, remove them from the grill and let them rest for 10 minutes.

The internal temperature will rise 5 degrees giving you an optimal 165°F temperature. Tent with foil if you are worried about it cooling off too much.

Lime juice. Each medium-sized lime should produce about 2 tablespoons of juice. This recipe needs about 4 tablespoons all together. 

  • For extra lime flavor add in some lime zest. To zest a lime, shred the peel into small pieces using a zester or the small side of a cheese grater. 
Close up of cilantro lime chicken recipe on a white plate.

Recipe FAQ

What can I serve with cilantro lime chicken?

Cilantro Lime Rice is a perfect choice if you want to keep the lime flavor going, or serve it with Mexican Corn on the Cob and Jalapeno Cornbread. Honestly, any mexican side dish would be great!

How long should the chicken marinate?

The longer the better! If you have the time, over night in the fridge is preferred, but 30 minutes in the fridge will be just fine if you need to get dinner on the table quick.

Do I have to grill the chicken?

Absolutely not! You can add the marinated chicken to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until well-browned and cooked through.

For more delicious chicken recipes, try:

5 from 16 votes

Cilantro Lime Chicken

By: Lil’ Luna
Cilantro lime chicken is marinated with fresh lime and herbs, bursting with zesty flavor for an easy weeknight meal.
Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of two limes
  • cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs

Instructions 

  • Combine the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Place chicken in a bag with marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 8 hours.
  • When ready to grill preheat to medium to medium-high heat (about 400°F). Lightly oil the grate. Place chicken on the grill and grill for 5-7 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F.
  • Remove from grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Notes

If your chicken breasts are very large cut them in half horizontally for quicker cooking. 
Freezing in the marinade. Place the raw chicken and marinade in a freezer ziploc for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and grill.
STORE leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for 3-4 days.
FREEZE. Place chicken in a freezer bag and it will keep in the freezer for 3 months. Thaw in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 132mg, Potassium: 430mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 124IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This chicken tasted amazing and was so easy to make!! My family loved it so much, they can’t wait to have it again!

  2. 5 stars
    Cilantro lime chicken is a new addition to our meal rotation! It was so tender and delicious, kids can’t get enough of it!

  3. 5 stars
    This tastes like summer! So fresh and full of flavor. I will be making this one again for Cinco De Mayo!