This light & refreshing Cilantro Lime Chicken is a quick and delicious weeknight meal that will quickly become a new family favorite! Serve them any way you want be we highly recommend some homemade guacamole – so good!
The Best Cilantro Lime Chicken
Calling all cilantro lovers! This is a tried-and-true grilled cilantro lime chicken recipe that our family has been making for years! They are so simple that you could make this easy dinner on a busy weeknight, no problem. The kiddos LOVE it and we always make extra because the leftovers can be used in chicken tacos, salads or just reheated for a quick lunch. It is simple, easy and full of delicious fresh ingredients.
Ever tried grilling some chicken burgers? If not, you should! Our Juicy Chicken Burgers are amazing!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Fresh Flavors: That fresh lime juice and cilantro just make me think of summer dinner on the patio, the perfect time of year!
- Meal Prep: these would make a great option for meal prep at the beginning of the week.
- Grilled: Eating grilled food is such a quick and easy weeknight dinner, with minimal clean up!
What You Will Need
- boneless chicken breasts – we love using fresh chicken breasts for this recipe, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs or bone-in chicken thighs!
- lime juice – option to use freshly squeezed lime juice or lime juice from concentrate, up to you.
- extra virgin olive oil – every homemade marinade recipe needs a little oil!
- fresh cilantro leaves – our favorite fresh herb because it has so much flavor that is still light & refreshing.
- kosher salt – a simple seasoning that is always a must when cooking any type of meat.
How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken
The first steps to making the best cilantro lime chicken are to make the marinade. Just put all the cilantro lime chicken marinade ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to combine, and pour the quick marinade over the chicken. Rub all those amazing flavors into the chicken and let it sit for a maximum of 30 minutes. Then carefully place chicken breasts on the hot grill to cook over direct heat for 4-5 minutes. Next, move them to indirect heat to cook for 5-7 more minutes of cook time or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees F.
What Pairs Well With Cilantro Lime Chicken
These juicy chicken breasts are a great recipe that can be served with just about anything! We love to keep those classic Mexican-inspired flavors going with some fresh, homemade guacamole and for side dishes – cilantro lime rice (or cilantro lime cauliflower rice) or grilled potato wedges. Of course, we always have some lime wedges on the side for a fresh squeeze of lime juice!
- cooking methods – in the recipe card below we use the grill to cook our cilantro-lime chicken, but you can also use this recipe and cook your chicken in the slow cooker, on the smoker, or in the air fryer.
- storage – it’s always a good idea to make more than you need – the leftovers are amazing! Just place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- freezing – this marinated chicken is a great option for freezing! Just place the chicken and marinade in a freezer-safe bag (ziplock bag), squeeze out as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then they will be ready to grill.
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Cilantro Lime Chicken – a quick and delicious weeknight meal that’s full of light and refreshing flavors – the whole family will love it!
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs
Cilantro Lime Marinade:
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped and loosely packed
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (avocado oil would work too)
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- Marinate Chicken: Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place chicken in either a large plastic bag or storage container and pour marinade over top. Use your hands and gently massage the marinade into the chicken so every crevice is coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator for a max of 30 minutes.
- Prep Grill: Clean grill grates and preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F).
- Chicken Thighs: Grill chicken on direct heat (directly over flame) for 3-4 minutes per side (the bigger the thigh the longer you will need to cook it), flipping once. Remove from grill once the internal temp has reached 160/165 degrees F (use a meat thermometer).
- Chicken Breasts: Place chicken on direct heat (directly over flame) and cook at medium heat for 4-5 minutes per side. Move chicken away from the direct heat (direct flame) so that it is cooking on indirect heat (maintaining the same grill temp) and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes (you don’t need to flip at this point because the chicken will cook as if it is in an oven) or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reads 160 degrees F on your meat thermometer.
- Remove from grill and let rest at least 5 minutes; internal temp will continue to rise as it rests (up to 10 degrees). Chicken is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees F at its thickest part.
- Bone-In Chicken Thighs or Breasts: you can use bone-in chicken thighs or breasts, just adjust your cooking time accordingly – they will take longer because they are bone-in.
- Serving Suggestion: we highly recommend serving with fresh guacamole for best results!
Keywords: cilantro lime chicken, grilled cilantro lime chicken