Cilantro Lime Chicken (Grill, Bake or Stovetop)

Cilantro Lime Chicken (Grill, Bake or Stovetop)

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This Cilantro Lime Chicken has incredible flavor thanks to a quick and easy marinade! The cilantro lime chicken marinade produces so much flavor and keeps the chicken wonderfully moist and outrageously delicious! This easy chicken marinade recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Great for grilling and baking!

Grilling tonight? Make sure to try my steak marinade and grilled potatoes too!

three chicken breasts in a cilantro lime marinade in a ziploc bag with a cilantro lime chicken label on the front.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade Recipe

One of the most popular recipes on my site is this chicken marinade recipe. I have had so many requests for more flavors and wanted to share this tasty cilantro lime chicken marinade with you as well.

It’s the perfect flavor combination and is delicious on it it’s own or served in tacos, burritos or over a bed of rice. I love leftovers sliced up and added to a taco salad – yum!

The lime juice does a terrific job tenderizing the chicken and adding tons of flavor at the same time.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Having a good grilled chicken breast marinade on hand is essential during the warmer summer months and if you life in a hot climate like I do, you’re probably hitting the grill even during the colder months of the year. I love that this cilantro lime chicken is so easy to make. The quick and delicious marinade gives the chicken so much flavor!

three grilled chicken breasts on white plate that were marinated in a cilantro lime marinade.

What To Serve With Cilantro Lime Chicken

Since we grill multiple times a week, particularly during the summer, I’ve become quite an expert at quickly whipping up one or two side dishes that pair perfectly with the flavors in the cilantro lime chicken marinade. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Pico de Gallo
  2. Homemade Tortillas
  3. Blueberry Corn Muffins
  4. Cucumber Salad
  5. Twice Baked Potato Casserole
  6. Coleslaw
  7. Grilled Potatoes
up close look at grilled chicken breast sliced into strips on a white plate.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Ingredients

While the list looks long, most if not all of these ingredients will likely be in your pantry. What we’re doing here is just building layers of flavor in this easy cilantro lime chicken marinade. Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need:

  • cilantro – one of the main flavors in this marinade, the cilantro adds a distinctive flavor to the chicken. 
  • olive oil – this is the base of the marinade and keeps the chicken so juicy and moist. You can use grapeseed, avocado or another vegetable oil here. I would not recommend coconut oil as it will harden if it gets too cool. 
  • lime juice –  about two large limes. Fresh is best for flavor but you can use bottled if you need to
  • taco seasoning  – this is an optional ingredient but it adds a nice blend of spices and really a fantastic depth of flavor to the chicken.
  • salt and pepper – to taste. Consider using lemon pepper for even more flavor.
  • boneless skinless chicken breasts – this marinade makes enough for 3 to 4 breasts or about 1 pound.

Double the cilantro lime chicken marinade and use it to baste the chicken while grilling or baking for the best flavor!

How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

  1. Season chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large ziploc bag.
  2. Add marinade ingredients. Add the cilantro, olive oil, lime juice and taco seasoning. Close the bag, removing any extra air, and gently massage marinade into the chicken.
  3. Marinate chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Grill chicken. Heat grill to 350°F to 400°F. Cook breasts on each side or until chicken reaches 165°F.
  5. Rest chicken. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
two image collage showing cilantro lime chicken marinade ingredients laid out and then also combined in a bag.

Cooking Methods

Marinated chicken can be cooked on the grill, in the oven or on the stovetop. Here are my tips for cooking it best:

  • Grilling: Preheat grill to medium high heat and lightly oil the grates. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  • Baking: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place marinated chicken on a shallow baking sheet or baking pan and cook for 18 to 22 minutes (or 450F for 15 to 18 minutes if you’re in a hurry) or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  • Stovetop: Preheat a skillet over medium high and and add a couple tablespoons of oil to the pan. Cook chicken for 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Use a stovetop grill pan for those pretty sear marks!

Trish’s Tip: Double the marinade and use it to baste the chicken while grilling or baking for the best flavor!

chicken breast being grilled with nice sear marks shown.

Storage Information

Refrigerator: Cooked cilantro lime chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Freezer: Chicken should be cooled and then transferred to an airtight, freezer safe ziploc bag and frozen for up to 2 months.

FAQs

What kind of chicken can I use?

Any kind of chicken you like. Breasts, thighs, drumsticks, tenders, skin on or off, bone in or out. Now, keep in mind that different cuts will take more or less time. Always check on the internal temperature to check doneness. Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

How long do I need to marinate the chicken?

A minimum of 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Have less time? Consider poking holes in the chicken with a fork to allow the marinade to penetrate quickly. If you marinate the chicken for too long, the lime juices may toughen up the chicken. If you would like to marinate overnight, don’t add the lime juice to the marinade. Add it to the marinade 30 minutes to 2 hours before cooking the chicken.  

Can I freeze marinated chicken?

Yes, absolutely. After adding the marinade to the chicken breast in a freezer safe resealable bag, freeze chicken for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

How should I cook the marinated chicken?

The chicken can be grilled, baked or cooked on the stovetop. See the previous section for more information or check out the recipe card below for instructions.

white plate with grilled chicken breasts cut into slices arranged in a circular pattern. Limes can be seen next to the plate.

More Chicken Recipes

  1. Honey Mustard Chicken
  2. Chicken Salad
  3. Homemade Chicken Nuggets
  4. Chicken Enchilada Soup
  5. Chicken Piccata 
  6. Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
  7. Greek Chicken – A Sheet Pan Dinner

How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken

This Cilantro Lime Chicken has incredible flavor thanks to a quick and easy marinade! The cilantro lime chicken marinade produces so much flavor and keeps the chicken wonderfully moist and outrageously delicious! This easy chicken marinade recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Great for grilling and baking!

Course Entree, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword cilantro lime chicken, cilantro lime chicken marinade, lime cilantro chicken
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Author Trish – Mom On Timeout

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup cilantro minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon lime juice about two large limes
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or lemon pepper for more flavor
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts 3 to 4 breasts

Instructions

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large ziploc bag.

  • Add the cilantro, olive oil, lime juice and taco seasoning. Close the bag, removing any extra air, and gently massage marinade into the chicken.

  • Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

  • Prepare the grill by heating it to roughly 350-400°F.

  • Place the chicken breasts on the grill and cook on each side for 6 minutes, until the core temperature of the chicken reads 165°F.

  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

See post above for baking and stovetop instructions. Storage Information Refrigerator: Cooked cilantro lime chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Freezer: Chicken should be cooled and then transferred to an airtight, freezer safe ziploc bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Trish’s Tip: Double the marinade and use it to baste the chicken while grilling or baking for the best flavor! If you marinate the chicken for too long, the lime juices may toughen up the chicken. If you would like to marinate overnight, don’t add the lime juice to the marinade. Add it to the marinade 30 minutes to 2 hours before cooking the chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 764mg | Potassium: 445mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg


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