Marinated and grilled, this Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe makes chicken that is juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside!

Cilantro lime chicken is marinated in zesty lime, lots of garlic, and fresh cilantro. This easy recipe needs little prep and few ingredients but it’s loaded with big flavor.

plated Cilantro Lime Chicken

An Easy Grilled Chicken Recipe

We love grilled chicken breasts or thighs and this cilantro chicken is next level for flavor. Quick and simple, perfect for those busy nights or summer barbeques!

  • With just a few ingredients, this recipe has big flavor.
  • No grill? No Problem! This dish can also be made in the oven as well making it the perfect meal all year.
  • Double up the marinade and use it to dress as salad as well.
  • It has lots of flavor and the leftover chicken is great in tacos or even added to a tossed salad.
marinade for cilantro lime chicken

Easy Fresh Ingredients

ChickenBoneless skinless chicken thighs are juicy and flavorful when grilled. This recipe can also be made with chicken breasts or bone-in chicken thighs or breasts, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Cilantro Lime Chicken MarinadeMarinades serve to tenderize as well as flavor the meat, and this marinade is as easy as it gets! It’s a simple combination of lime juice, lime zest, cilantro leaves, and a hint of seasonings. Toss in some jalapenos or extra red pepper flakes for a spicy kick!

cilantro lime marinade over chicken thighs

How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

This recipe is crazy easy.

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

Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.

Serving Suggestions

Cilantro lime chicken on a plate with seasonings

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
4.98 from 80 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Cilantro Lime Chicken

Marinated and grilled, this Cilantro Lime Chicken is juicy and full of flavor!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinate 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 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
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Pour marinade over chicken and let marinate 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

To Grill

  • Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  • Cook chicken on an oiled grate for 7-8 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional 7-8 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lime slices and additional chopped cilantro.


  • The marinade can also 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.
4.98 from 80 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 149 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 428IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 24mg | 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
marinating chicken and plated Cilantro Lime Chicken with a title
cooked Cilantro Lime Chicken on a plate with a title
Cilantro Lime Chicken with lime slices on a plate with writing
close up of Cilantro Lime Chicken 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, 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!

  2. 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

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

  4. 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