Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken (skillet or grilled) is seeping with flavor and is a meal in itself or instantly transforms salads, tacos, burritos, wraps, etc into the most epic meal EVER!   

This Cilantro Lime Chicken is wonderfully versatile, healthy and prep ahead so you so you can throw your marinated cilantro lime chicken on the grill or stove the second you are craving dinner.  Just be prepared for a satisfyingly delicious punch of tangy, garlicky, fiestalicious flavor!

How to make Cilantro Lime Chicken Video

Cilantro Lime Chicken

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How to Serve Cilantro Lime Chicken

If you are reading this post, then you are probably a cilantro lover which means you are going to LOVE this Cilantro Lime Chicken!  Serve this fiesta chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice,or Mexican Rice, Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing or Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Lime Butter, Southwest Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing or Southwest Orzo Salad with Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette and you have a fabulous fiesta meal in your very own home!

Additionally, this Cilantro Lime Chicken makes fabulous chicken for burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, enchiladas, and of course salads!

Cilantro Lime Chicken on the skillet.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe

If know people who can’t stand cilantro, studies show it is actually a genetic predisposition!  All those haters out there (4-14% of the population) who insist cilantro tastes like, soap, dirt or bugs actually have a gene called  OR6A2 that enables them to smell certain unpleasant chemicals, one of which is  E-(2)-Decenal, a primary constituent of cilantro.  The rest of us who can’t detect aldehyde chemicals are left with the pleasant aroma of fresh, zesty, citrusy cilantro.  Sometimes not knowing is better :).

So for the cilantro lovers, this Cilantro Lime Chicken is for you.  It joins the cast of my other Mexican inspired marinades of Chipotle Chicken and Chili Lime Chicken, and this my friends, is a keeper.  Its tangy, garlicky with just the right kick of spice and is healthy and versatile too.   You’ll also want to check out my Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa that were inspired by this sensational chicken.

Showing how to make Cilantro Lime Chicken marinade.

Can I make Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs?

You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this Cilantro Lime Chicken – totally your preference.  The dark meat of chicken thighs will always be more tender but with this glorious marinade, chickens breasts also emerge incredibly juicy.

Cilantro Lime Chicken marinading in a bowl.

How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

This Cilantro Lime Chicken starts with a marinade bursting with simple, fresh aromatic ingredients.  We add our 1 cup loosely packed cilantro (stems and all), plenty of garlic, lime juice, olive oil and then our fiestalicious seasonings to a food processor and process until chopped fine.  Reserve 2 tablespoons for basting and the rest bathes your chicken for 2 hours up to 10 – the longer the marinating time, the bigger the flavor.

Cilantro Lime Chicken skillet grilled.

You can grill or pan fry this Cilantro Lime Chicken, so is fresh and summery flavor can be devoured year round.

Sliced Cilantro Lime Chicken.

And you are going to want to devour this tangy, savory, garlicky goodness year round especially in this Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad with Baja Catalina Dressing!

Looking for More easy Chicken Marinades?

Cilantro Lime Chicken with dressing being poured over.

Want to try this Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade?

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Easy, juicy, flavorful Cilantro Lime Chicken seeping with flavor is a meal in itself or instantly transforms salads, tacos, burritos, wraps, etc into the most epic meal EVER! I love having this chicken on hand!

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken (skillet or grilled) is seeping with flavor and is a meal in itself or instantly transforms salads, tacos, burritos, wraps, etc into the most epic meal EVER!  This Cilantro Lime Chicken is wonderfully versatile, healthy and prep ahead so you so you can throw your marinated cilantro lime chicken on the grill or stove the second you are craving dinner.  Just be prepared for a satisfyingly delicious punch of tangy, garlicky, fiestalicious flavor!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts pounded to an even thickness

Cilantro Lime Marinade

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp EACH chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, salt, pepper, sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

  • Add all marinade ingredients to your food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping down sides several times. Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons for basting (if making salad, you will use 1 tablespoon for basting, 1 tablespoon for dressing).
  • Add the remaining marinade to a shallow dish or large freezer bag. Add chicken and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 2-10 hours.
  • When ready to cook, remove chicken from fridge and let sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes.

SKILLET DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Once very hot, drain chicken from marinade, pat off excess and add to skillet.
  • Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 4-6 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to cutting board and baste with reserved 2 tablespoons marinade. Garnish with additional lime juice to taste if desired. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

GRILL DIRECTIONS:

  • Grease and preheat the grill to medium heat, 375-450°F.
  • Drain chicken from marinade, pat off excess and add to grill. Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 165 degrees F.)
  • Remove chicken to cutting board and baste with reserved 2 tablespoons marinade. Garnish with additional lime juice to taste if desired. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!

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47 Comments

  1. jeannie says

    I was looking for a recipe with cilantro and lime without using honey….honey ruins everything. 🙂 So this was perfect!

    Loved it! So easy and flavorful….fresh tasting. This will be on a regular rotation for me! Sent the recipe to my Mom and she also loved it.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for the awesome review Jeannie, I’m so pleased it is a new repeat favorite!

  2. Ramona says

    Made this today. We grilled it. It was so good. The whole family love it. Served it with white rice, black beans and salad with a vinaigrette.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Ramona, I’m so pleased it was a hit! Your entire meal sounds delicious!

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