Our Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe creates a is zesty, tender, moist and juicy chicken bursting with yummy fresh flavors. It’s wonderful served as a main dish or sliced on top of salads or chopped as a taco filling.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Summer is here and that means it is time to grill my Cilantro Lime Chicken.

Gosh, I love grilling. I love the process of prepping and heating the grill, I love being able to cook outside, and I love, love the smell of grilling meat.

Burgers and hot dogs are, of course, the grilling standard.

But I’ve always been a huge fan of grilled chicken.

I wanted to post this recipe because it’s one of my favorite grilled chicken recipes and I think a lot of us forget just how easy, fresh and delicious grilled chicken can be to prepare.

But give this recipe for cilantro lime chicken a try, and you’ll wonder why you aren’t grilling chicken every night. I’m not saying you will throw out your burgers and hot dogs; I’m just saying you might not need them anymore.

The star of this awesome recipe is the marinade.

This zesty cilantro lime chicken marinade is quick to prep and incredibly flavorful.

Marinating the chicken in cilantro, lime, and garlic yields a really full, robust flavor that’s only enhanced by a good, smoky charcoal grill. (You can use a gas grill with the recipe no problem, I just prefer charcoal in general. Or try using the oven for a delicious baked cilantro lime chicken. You can also use a GRILL PAN– to cook the chicken indoors.)




Cilantro Lime Chicken

Once you’ve grilled up this juicy chicken recipe, you’ll understand why I prefer grilled chicken to plain ol’ burgers.

The cilantro lime marinade is a Southwest classic—and tastes like it. However, it’s not incredibly spicy.

Though my recipe doesn’t call for it, feel free to add some crushed red pepper flakes to up the spice a little.  Be careful, though. A little red pepper goes a long way.

As with many Southwestern recipes, this grilled cilantro lime chicken is Mexican-inspired.

It’s easy to put together and doesn’t have an overly complicated recipe list.

Basically, it’s just lime, garlic, honey, and (of course) cilantro. But these simple ingredients combine to produce HUGE flavor.

The honey makes the chicken a little sweet and also balances the acidity of the fresh lime juice. Using cilantro and lime for this recipe is especially awesome because they add so much flavor, but don’t add a ton of extra calories.

Another reason I adore this recipe is it makes a delicious chicken that flavors are versatile to use in other dishes.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

It makes fabulous chicken tacos.

I just marinate and grill the chicken as normal, then chop it into chunks, and serve it on a warmed corn tortilla with my favorite salsa and other taco garnishes. This recipe is perfect for Taco Tuesday night at home and is a huge improvement over the standard ground meat tacos mixed with a taco flavor spice envelope.

Another favorite variation is cilantro lime chicken kabobs.  Cut the chicken into kabob-sized pieces and skewer them alongside your favorite kabob ingredients—cherry tomatoes, peppers, pineapple, and the like, then marinate the chicken as normal.

The delicious marinade will soak into your vegetables/fruits, and the chicken will take on some of their flavors as well.

Often, when I’m making this Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken, I make a few more pieces of extra chicken to use throughout the week in salads and sandwiches.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken
5 from 2 votes

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Our Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe creates a is zesty, tender, moist and juicy chicken bursting with yummy fresh flavors. It's wonderful served as a main dish or sliced on top of salads or chopped as a taco filling.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Calories 513 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 6-8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts-Trimmed of Any Fat


  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Zest
  • 6 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Cup Cilantro Leaves Chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Coriander


  1. Place chicken breasts in a 1-gallon ziplock bag.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade and store in the refrigerator. Pour the rest of the marinade over chicken and seal the bag. Place the bag on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate 24 hours.
  3. Remove chicken breast from marinade (discard marinade), shaking off any extra, and cook on a preheated grill, about 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken and the temperature of your grill, or until cooked through.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Cilantro Lime Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 /6 of the recipe)
Calories 513 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 230mg 77%
Sodium 244mg 10%
Potassium 1376mg 39%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Sugars 1g
Protein 82g 164%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 1.3%
Calcium 2%
Iron 11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes:


My recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can choose to leave the skin on if you like, but it will give the chicken a different texture. It will be crisper. I choose skinless chicken breasts because I prefer their lower fat content and I, personally,  find it easier to cook on the grill.  Now, I know a lot of people swear by grilling the chicken with the skin on to protect it from drying out during the grilling process. I agree that that technique does indeed help out a lot. But for me, it comes down to the issue of picking my battles. Over the grill, as the fat from the skin melt, it causes flare-ups. For me, managing the flare-ups is a bigger pain in the neck!

You can also substitute chicken thighs for the chicken breast if you prefer dark meat.


As any regular grill-master knows, grilled chicken is a hard thing to keep moist. It tends to char and dry out on the edges before it’s even cooked through. That’s why it’s critical to preheat the grill. Don’t put the chicken on until the grill is heated up.

If you choose to cut your chicken breasts into thinner slices (which I sometimes do if I’m planning to use them for kabobs or tacos), transfer them directly from the fridge to the grill. Don’t leave them sitting out on the counter. This will make sure the chicken doesn’t overcook before it can develop a nice, grilled texture.

With a little extra marinade for your cilantro lime chicken, crockpots can be your friend. Whisk up the marinade (something like a double or 2.5x recipe) in the crockpot itself, and add about 3 pounds of chicken. Cook until the chicken is very tender. This isn’t my preferred method though, because the chicken doesn’t get to absorb any of that great grill flavor.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Side Dishes:

Choosing a good side for this dish depends on how you’re serving it. If you choose to serve cilantro lime chicken tacos, consider a lime corn dish or even just plain old tortilla chips as a side.

If the chicken is “going solo” as the entrée, I really recommend some roasted or grilled potatoes. ( Tip: try cooking the potatoes in the same marinade as the chicken for a really unique potato dish that will mesh well with the chicken.) You can also serve cilantro lime rice with either variation of the dish.


When you make the marinade, remember to reserve 1/4 cup to pour over the chicken after it’s been cooked.

This is a “day ahead” recipe. Letting the chicken marinate overnight really ensures that the delicious flavor will be fully soaked into the chicken. In a pinch, the time can be reduced to 8 or even 6 hours. However, the chicken won’t be quite as flavorful. I really recommend using the whole 24 hours.

The beauty of this marinade is that it can be stored in a Ziploc bag and frozen for another use. Once the raw chicken has been in the marinade, you won’t want to use it again-through it out! I like to make big batches of the marinade and set some aside to freeze and keep around. It gives me the option for a cilantro lime chicken freezer meal.

More Chicken Recipes!

Brown Sugar Crock Pot Chicken–  One of those crock pot recipes that are super delicious, family-friendly, and super easy to make!
Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe– Sticky sweet and savory, surely have you battling for the last piece!
White Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce-These are easy to make and off the charts delicious! Super Cheesy, Lots of Chicken and a Creamy Rich Sauce
Parmesan Crusted Chicken – One of the most delicious, quick and easy chicken recipes EVER!
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe-This bubbling beauty is everything you want in a creamy, cheesy casserole and a dazzling dinner dish!
Chicken Gyro – My Chicken Gyro with tender chicken breast and lemony tzatziki sauce will open your eyes to the ease and simplicity of classic Greek cuisine!
Greek Chicken – With a 24-hour marinade Greek Chicken infuses chicken breasts with vibrant Greek flavors. Juicy & tender Greek chicken has been a family favorite for years!


Looking for More Grilled Recipe?

Beer Brats Fire up the grill for these amazing Beer Brats! Crispy, grilled sausages infused with mustard, beer, and caramelized onions. Perfect for Home or Tailgating!

Source: Gonna Want Seconds

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken-This chicken is marinated in a zesty combo of fresh lime juice, garlic and cilantro. The flavors are refreshingly delicious and really permeate the chicken. It's also the perfect chicken to use in tacos or in a salad!