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 104 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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Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 lime for serving

Marinade

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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 104 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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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.99 from 104 votes (83 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. One of my very favorite recipes so far!! Added extra lime juice and an extra clove of garlic, along with some smoked paprika and chipotle chili powder to the marinade. These were incredibly flavorful and juicy!! Made it alongside Hollie’s recipes for Cilantro Lime Rice and Mexican Elote!! Talk about a wonderful Tex-Mex meal straight off the grill!!5 stars

  2. Delicious! Although I cooked mine in the air fryer. I shredded it up after and made hardshell tacos. And with leftovers the next day I made a nice salad definitely tasty and easy clean up5 stars

  3. Tangy-tasty and juicy, Holly! I did ours in the air fryer due to summer heat. Came out great. Used your suggestion of serving with boiled corn on the cob, a perfect side. It was a nice summer dinner to have out on the patio with a glass of pinot grigio :) Thank you!!5 stars

  4. I have just made the coriander lime chickend for the past two days, and my comuniments go to the cook! It is absolutely beautiful and very moreish and I will definitely make this again!

  5. This is so full of flavor. Eating low carb, so I used monk fruit instead of the honey. Absolutely delish and I will be adding this to my meal planning. Yum5 stars

    1. Hi Bee, we have only made this recipe as listed but you could maybe maple syrup in place of the honey. We would love to hear how it turns out for you!

  6. I’ve used this recipe about 40 times so I decided it’s time to leave a review! My kids call this Mexican chicken and it’s one of their favorites. Chicken is juicy and tender, so good.5 stars

  7. This is so GOOD!!! It is our new favorite recipe.
    I added extra honey and used chili powder.
    I can’t wait to make it again. 5 stars

  8. The marinade was tasty; however, there wasn’t enough marinade for 2 lb chicken. I would also use way more than 2 tbsp lime juice. I grilled the chicken after marinading 2+ hrs. I’ll make it again.3 stars

  9. This chicken recipe is delicious! It was easy to marinade and from the grill, it was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Very flavorful! I served it with Jasmine rice and corn on the cob.5 stars

  10. This is amazingly good…and very easy.

    Thank you so much for your continued efforts – Spend With Pennies is a joy to visit…I’m here every day for inspiration and ideas!

    Keep up the good work.5 stars