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!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE CHILI CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN
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!
HOW LONG TO MARINATE LIME CHICKEN?
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!).
HOW TO MAKE CHILI CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN
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!
Grilled Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken
- 4 medium chicken breasts boneless, skin-less (or thighs)
- 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!
A favorite of our family jow
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.
Can you do this in the slow cooker/crockpot?
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!!!!
This was delicious! The lime flavor is amazing and our entire family really liked it. I will be using this marinade and recipe again and again! I followed the recipe exactly as it is and only added a bit more cilantro as we love it.
I doubled the marinade and set half aside as recommended. Served sliced chicken over jasmine rice and spooned the reserved marinade over the chicken and rice and it was delicious!!
Has aNyone triEd baking or broiling the chicken to Cold for grilling here
This might be the best chicken marinade I’ve ever made! Thank you!
The chicken is moist and delicious! I have used the chicken for tacos and on salads.
This recipe is fantastic and it has become a weekly recipe in my home! I was curious if anyone has ever marinated the chicken in big batches and froze it into separate servings so that when you are ready to make it, you can just thaw and cook it. Would the cilantro get mucky? I have a foodsaver and was hoping vacuum sealing it would keep it fresher!
I used dried cilantro for freezing purposes and the flavors were on point.
alexis supan says
Your nutrition facts are wrong. There is way less fat per serving than what is listed.
Oh my, this has to be one of the most delicious marinades I have ever made- cooked great on the grill! I reccommend laying down foil for the first rotation of 10 minutes, and then removing the foil and placing the chicken directly on the grill. Grill marks came out great that way and it didn’t burn. Thanks for the recipe!!
This soinds amazing. Has anyone tried this wothout the added sugar? I try not to use honey or sugar in my cooking at home.
Soooo good! We will Definitely be making this again.
I just tried it and omg it was delicious.
This has seriously become my fav matinade—- its so good. I like to serve it like a rice bowl with avaca
Judy Goldin says
How long would it take in a pan on the gas? I don’t grill.
I’m surprised the nutrition info says fat is 23g. Based on the ingredients, that seems high.
Most of the fat is good fat from the olive oil!
So, I followed recipe to spec. I tasted marinade before pouring it over chicken and decided to add another 1/2 tspn salt to marinade. Everything else was the perfect balance. Not too sour, sweet, salty or spicey. Will definitely add this into the rotation!!! Adding this to rice would require more sauce than recipe renders. Adding chicken to salad is a great idea, but this chicken can go into tacos, sandwiches and pasta dishes!
Tammie Koehnen says
This was so delicious! Going to add this to my regular rotation of meals. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.
Thank you for sharing this delightful recipie! It makes me look like a capable cook as there are never any leftovers!!!!
I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
Have you (or anyone else) tried it for tofu or tempeh?
This was good but a little on the salty side for me. I would reduce the salt to 1/2 tsp.
Boyan Minchev says
I love this recipe and the lime match perfectly with the chicken, thank you.
Frankie Perez says
How did you figure out the calories?
We use a nutritional calculator!
Can i do this recipe with mutton?
I can’t say because I haven’t tried this recipe with lamb but I guess it would depend on what cut you use.
Fantastic recipe! I marinated the chicken for 24h – and was rewarded with a super soft and delicious meat. Thank you very much!
Has anyone left it in the marinade overnight? Did it effect the texture of the chicken? Make it a bit mush? Wondering how long to marinade, diff want more than a half hour.
The general rule is the longer you marinate the chicken the better. Enjoy! 🙂
GEnerally that’s not the case with chicken. Especially in a marinade that contains so much acid. The acid will make the chicken mushy