This easy Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe is zesty and delicious! With a fresh cilantro lime marinade that is simple to make, this chicken recipe is a juicy, flavorful favorite!
Simple suppers are some of my favorites and are often a necessity around my house! Quick, easy chicken recipes that are tasty and packed full of flavor are some of my favorites! And this easy Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe certainly does not disappoint. This chicken is perfect for a quick meal, made with a simple cilantro lime marinade and then grilled to perfection, so perfect for busy nights and a crowd favorite for casual entertaining too.
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How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken
The key to this delicious chicken recipe begins with the cilantro lime marinade. It’s simple but gives the chicken the most amazing flavor. Here’s how to make it:
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.
- Chicken – boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can substitute with boneless chicken thighs but the thighs will cook faster than the chicken breasts, so watch them carefully.
- Cilantro – Use chopped fresh cilantro, including the stems, for the marinade. The stems have a lot of flavor in them. Use more chopped fresh cilantro once the chicken has finished cooking. You’ll need a large bunch of fresh cilantro for the whole recipe. If you do not care for cilantro, you can use fresh flat-leaf parsley.
- Limes – Use fresh limes for their juice and zest for the marinade, as well as limes for final preparation of the chicken before serving.
- Cumin – Use ground cumin. Cilantro and cumin are so flavorful together in this recipe.
- Cayenne pepper – A bit of cayenne pepper adds the perfect amount of spice to this marinade without being overpowering. You can substitute with paprika for the color without the heat if you aren’t a fan of cayenne!
- Stone House Seasoning – My homemade seasoning blend is perfect in this mariande.
- Olive Oil – Use a bit of extra virgin olive oil in the marinade and a bit for brushing the grill or grill pan.
- Prep. Add the chicken to a large zip-top freezer bag or baking dish.
- Mix the marinade. In a large mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup (I use my 4-cup), whisk together the ingredients to make the marinade according to the recipe.
- Marinate the chicken. Pour the marinade over the chicken. If using a bag, remove as much air as possible as you seal it and then place it onto a baking sheet. If using a baking dish to marinate, then cover it well with wrap or an airtight lid. Place the marinade-covered chicken in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Grill or bake. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place chicken on the grill or a grill pan and grill as instructed. You can also bake in the oven until done. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165º F when checked with an internal meat thermometer, then remove it from the grill or oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes.
- Top and serve. Add fresh lime juice and cilantro to the cooked chicken for serving. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
Make Ahead! To meal prep, you can quickly whisk the marinade together in the morning and let the chicken marinate all day so that it is ready to cook when you get home in the evening.
Grill or bake! If you don’t have a grill, this dish is delicious cooked in a grill pan on the stove or in the oven too!
- Once cooked, allow to cool completely. Portion into a freezer-safe container(s) and freeze up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, reheat, and serve.
- Alternately, prep the cilantro lime chicken without cooking, portion it into a freezer-safe container(s), and freeze for up to 3 months. To cook, remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, cook as instructed.
Ways to Serve Cilantro Lime Chicken
Large Salad – I love to cut my chicken into pieces and serve as a part of a large salad platter. The salad is delicious with mixed greens, green onions, avocado, tomatoes, and homemade ranch dressing.
Wrap – Grill some tortillas and pair the chicken with some salad greens, black beans, and avocado for a delicious wrap.
Main Dish with Sides – Pair with sides like rice, black beans, or a grilled corn salad. Make some nachos by placing chicken on top of tortilla chips and other favorite ingredients like salsa and queso. It is also delicious topped with a bit of avocado salsa and served with a favorite side dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s a good idea to keep the marinating time under 24 hours, but two days is the maximum. The fibers in the chicken can begin to break down after two days, making it taste mushy.
Don’t use metal containers for marinating. The metal can react to the acid in the marinade. Use glass or plastic instead.
Raw chicken is good for one to two days in kept in the refrigerator. If you aren’t able to cook it on day two, your best bet is to go ahead and wrap it properly and freeze it.
Use a meat thermometer and make sure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t guess whether chicken is done or not – give it a quick check with the thermometer!
More Cilantro Lime Recipes
Here’s my quick Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe. I think you’ll love it!
Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped and divided
- 5 limes, juice and zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 teaspoon Stone House Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, + more if brushing grill or grill pan
- If using oven, preheat to 375 degrees.
- Add chicken to a zip top freezer bag or large baking dish.
- Whisk together 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime zest, 1/4 cup lime juice, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, Stone House Seasoning, and olive oil. Pour over the chicken. Remove as much air as possible as you seal the bag and place on a baking sheet to catch any drips; or if using a baking dish to marinate, cover with wrap. Store the marinade-covered chicken in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but no more than 24 hours to marinate.
- To cook, preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Brush with olive oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade, and place onto the grill or grill pan. Cook for 3 minutes on one side and then turn and cook 3 additional minutes, turning the chicken to grill if necessary until it's done. Don't crowd the chicken in the grill pan as want it to cook quickly and not be so much that it steams. If using oven, place baking dish with chicken (having discarded the marinade) and cook at 375 degrees about 20 minutes or until done.Cook until the chicken reaches 165º F when checked with an internal meat thermometer.
- Transfer the chicken to a platter and top with 1 tablespoon more of lime juice and remaining chopped cilantro. Serve.
- Once cooked, allow to cool completely. Portion into freezer-safe container(s) and freeze up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, reheat and serve.
- Alternately, prep the cilantro lime chicken without cooking, portion into freezer-safe container(s) and freeze up to 3 months. To cook, remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, cook as instructed.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.