Easy Grilled Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken is salty, sweet, sour, and spicy and is great on salads, with rice, or in burritos and wraps! 

This easy grilled chili lime chicken is just one of a whole bunch of healthy recipes I will be sharing with you in the upcoming weeks. It’s easy to make, healthy, spicy, and delicious.

The chicken is marinated in a lime, chili, and spice marinade then grilled to perfection. You can make the chicken on the stovetop in a pan or griddle or grill it outside on a grill. Either way, this chicken is simply incredible!


This recipe is super simple and only requires a few fresh ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry.

  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breast is my favorite cut of meat to grill because it’s lean and healthy. This recipe also works for boneless skinless chicken thighs and just about any other cut of meat although the cooking time will vary.
  • Lime: Because this is an essential ingredient in this dish, we HIGHLY recommend using freshly squeezed lime juice. Tip: you can easily replace the lime with lemon juice if desired!
  • Lime zest: the lime zest really takes this chicken up a notch and adds a zesty punch of flavor that is to die for. If using lemons, simply replace the lime zest with lemon zest.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is great for grilling because it’s loaded with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. It can also be replaced with avocado, or vegetable oil of choice if desired.
  • Cilantro: cilantro is the hero of this dish and when combined with lime, is a marriage made in heaven. We know some people out there can no stand the taste of cilantro so if you’re on of those people, simply replace it with freshly chopped parsley, basil, or fresh herbs of choice.
  • Garlic: garlic adds a pungent and spicy flavor that will mellow as it cooks and is delicious when charred!
  • Brown Sugar: brown sugar will help balance the acidity of the lime juice and spice of the chili pepper. It can be easily replaced with honey, coconut sugar, or a low-carb sweetener if desired.
  • Red chili flakes: Also known as crushed red pepper, red pepper flakes, or crushed pepper, this spicy pepper is the perfect way to spice up this dish and add texture!


The chicken can be used right away or marinated for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. You don’t want to marinate it more than 24 hours because the lime juice will start to break down the chicken and make it mushy in texture (although the flavor will still be delicious!).


This recipe is as easy as whisking all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and marinating the chicken.

Next, grill the chicken until it’s dark and charred on the outside and the internal temperature reaches 165F. This can be done on an outdoor grill or on the stovetop in a grill pan or skillet.

Be sure to rest it for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing to lock in the juices.

I like to serve it on a salad and double the marinade and save half as a dressing for later. You can brush the remaining marinade on the chicken as it cooks and just after it’s done cooking for extra flavor!

This chili lime chicken also goes great on noodles, rice, or burritos!

4.87 from 30 votes

Grilled Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken

By: Layla
Easy Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken is salty, sweet, sour, and spicy and is great on salads, with rice, or in burritos and wraps! 
Prep5 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Total15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 medium chicken breasts, boneless, skin-less (or thighs)
  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • zest of one lime, or 1 tsp
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar, or honey
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes, adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cumin


  • Whisk the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large plastic bag or bowl and add the marinade to the chicken. Mix to combine. Seal bag or cover bowl with plastic bag and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

  • Pre-heat grill, pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Grill chicken fillets for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through and the skin is golden and lightly charred. Rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve on salad, rice, noodles, or tortillas. Garnish with chopped cilantro and Enjoy!


If you will be making this chicken for a salad, double the marinade and reserve half for the dressing. Be sure to reserve it before adding the marinade to the chicken in order to avoid contamination.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 203kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 723mg, Potassium: 447mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 196IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cilantro, grilled chicken, lime
like this recipe? Rate & Comment below!

You May Also Like

Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

The maximum upload file size: 800 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here


  1. My favorite grilled chicken recipe out of all the ones I have tried over the years. I eat low salt, leave the salt out of this, and it is still very flavorful.

  2. I made this today, and it was delicious! I didn’t have cilantro, so I used 1/2 tsp of ground coriander seed instead (gives the same flavor) and used monk fruit sugar substitute in place of the brown sugar. I pounded the breasts so they were all about 3/4 inch thick. Baked at 425 F for about 18-20 minutes since I don’t have a grill, and let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Perfectly juicy and flavorful! Served over black beans with a little cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, chopped red onion, and topped with sliced avocado. Definitely saving this recipe!

  3. I only changed 2 things, honey for the brown sugar and Ancho Chile Powder for the Chile flakes. But it was absolutely amazing, everyone loved it. I served it with fresh green beans with chopped Pecans and olive oil. Thank You

  4. This marinade is the BEST!! I use it all the time. Idea for leftovers-this chicken turns into the best chicken salad!! Thank you so so much for this.

  5. Fabulous!!!! I used chipotle flakes instead of regular red pepper because that’s what I had. We loved it!!! Hope to have time to let it marinate a little longer next time!!!!