Marinated and grilled, this Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe is so easy to make.

Tender pieces of boneless chicken are marinated in zesty cilantro, lime, and garlic marinade for chicken that’s juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside!

This easy recipe needs little prep and few ingredients, but it’s loaded with big flavor.

A Zesty Chicken Favorite

We love grilled chicken breasts or thighs and this cilantro chicken is next level for a great marinade.

  • With just a few ingredients, this recipe has big flavor.
  • Quick and simple, perfect for those busy nights or summer barbeques!
  • No grill? No problem! This dish can also be made in the oven as well, making it the perfect meal all year.
  • Serve it with rice, in tacos, or chopped on a salad.
marinade for cilantro lime chicken

Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • ChickenFor this recipe, I love boneless skinless chicken thighs as they’re juicy and flavorful. You can use chicken breasts or bone-in chicken thighs or breasts, just adjust the cooking time as needed.
  • MarinadeMarinades add flavor but also help to tenderize the meat. This marinade is a simple combination of lime juice, lime zest, cilantro leaves, and of seasonings. Feel free to add in jalapenos or extra red pepper flakes for a spicy kick!
cilantro lime marinade over chicken thighs

How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

  1. Mix the marinade in a bowl or freezer bag per the recipe below.
  2. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  3. Broil, bake, or grill.

Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.

Don’t marinate longer than 2 hours or the lime juice can make the chicken mushy.

Serving Suggestions

Tips for Success

  • Allow chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Fresh lime juice is best in this recipe, the flavor of bottled lime can be bitter.
  • The best way to tell if the chicken is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer, it should reach 165°F.
  • Leftover chicken is great in a sandwich or sliced over a bed of lettuce for a tasty next-day-at-work salad!

More Grilled Chicken Favorites

Did you make this grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken?  Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

plated Cilantro Lime Chicken
4.99 from 103 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Cilantro Lime Chicken

Marinated Cilantro Lime Chicken is juicy and bursting with zesty flavor.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinate 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 lime for serving


  • ¼ cup cilantro fresh, minced plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice fresh
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • In a medium bowl, combine all marinade ingredients.
  • Add the chicken and toss well to combine. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

To Grill

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (375°F). Lightly oil the grill.
  • Place the chicken on the preheated grill and cook for 7-8 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional 6-8 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lime slices and additional chopped cilantro.


  • The marinade can be pulsed in a blender a couple of times if you prefer.
  • Allow chicken to marinate at least 30 minutes. Due to the high amount of citrus in this recipe, don’t marinate longer than 2 hours. 
  • Fresh lime is best in this recipe, the flavor of bottled lime can be bitter.
  • Optional add-ins: add 1 teaspoon of chili powder and/or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper to the marinade to add a little bit of heat. 
To Bake
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Place chicken on a baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F.
3. Rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lime slices and additional chopped cilantro.
To Broil Chicken
1. Place on a grate or rack on a foil lined pan.
2. Broil chicken 4-inches from the element for 5-6 minutes per side.
To Cook Bone-In Chicken Thighs or Breasts
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Add the chicken skin side down (reserve the marinade) and cook 3-4 minutes or until browned. Flip over and cook 2 minutes more.
3. Add remaining marinade to the pan. Bake 25-27 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F. Broil 2-3 minutes to crisp if desired.
4.99 from 103 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 565 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 222mg | Sodium: 621mg | Potassium: 528mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex Mex
Cilantro Lime Chicken with a title
marinated and grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with writing
easy Cilantro Lime Chicken with writing
Cilantro Lime Chicken on a plate and close up photo with writing


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Absolutely delicious! I didn’t change anything. It was perfect as it was. Served it with my version of Mexican rice and a salad. I will definitely be making it again.5 stars

  2. Great recipe. I just served this over rice, but felt it would be a good recipe for chicken fajitas, served with sauteed onions and peppers. I grilled it and it was very moist and flavorful. I will be making this again.5 stars

    1. Yes, you can freeze this marinated chicken for later. Just put it in a sealed bag, remove any excess air, and pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook, thaw it in the fridge and cook it within a day.

  3. Absolutely delicious, and will be making again for sure! The description talks about using lime zest, though it wasn’t included in the recipe. Will definitely add it next time for a bit more zing. Thank you!

  4. Delicious. Definitely making this one again. The chicken turned out very soft with a bit of a bite. Good enough for my 1-year-old. He loved it. Thank you!5 stars

  5. Absolutely love this recipe! Omitted the salt, and couldn’t tell – still delicious! Fresh and refreshing!5 stars

  6. This must be a good recipe! As I gathered all the ingredients, I realized I was out cumin. Too tired to go to the store, I left it out. Hubby put the chicken on the grill, got a business call, forgot about the chicken and it burned. We discarded the burned skin, ate the chicken and it was yummy. I’m going to try it again after I purchase more cumin. Stay tuned…..5 stars