Chili Lime Chicken

Chili Lime Chicken is wonderfully moist, tender and exploding with flavor from an EASY rub – perfect for salad, burritos, pasta, tacos etc. You will love having this on hand!

Chili Lime Chicken brings the flavor party to everything!  Serve this juicy, marinated, fiestalicious Chili Lime Chicken with your favorite Mexican Rice, pile it on your favorite Mexican Salad (like my Southwest Pepper Jack Salad – yes please!), as filling overflowing tacos, burritos, wraps fajitas, etc.  The possibilities are endless for this chicken and so is the flavor AND its as easy as rub, cook, eat! (Photos updated 6/1/202- same amazing recipe!)

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How to Make Chili Lime Chicken Video

showing how  to make Chili Lime Chicken by cutting the chicken on a wood cutting board

How to Make Chili Lime Chicken

The wet chili lime rub is what makes this Chili Lime Chicken.  It is wonderfully delicious but super simple.  is a simple mixture of olive oil and all my favorite Mexican flair spices: chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper all brightened by fresh lime juice and lime zest.  To make, combine these ingredients in a bowl which takes all but a couple minutes…

showing how  to make Chili Lime Chicken by whisking chili powder,  chipotle powder, garlic powder,  onion powder, brown sugar, lime juice and lime zest in a white bowl

Then slather your pounded and tenderized thin chicken with the rub to drink up the rainbow of chili lime spices.   At this point, if you are pressed for time, you can cook your chicken right away, or if you have 30 minutes, let your chicken rest while you prepare the rest of your meal to further tenderize the chicken and allow the flavors to develop OR for an even greater explosion of flavor, marinate the chicken with the rub for up to 8 hours.   A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

showing how  to make Chili Lime Chicken by slathering 3 chicken breasts on parchment paper  with the wet rub on pa

Add your chicken to your hot skillet for a few minutes on one side, flip, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden deliciousness is achieved. You can also use a grill pan or outdoor grill for extra smokey deliciousness.

showing how  to make Chili Lime Chicken by cooking in a grill  pan

Finally, let your Chili Lime Chicken rest for 5 minutes to reabsorb all of its juices…if you have the will power.

top view of showing  how to cook chili lime chicken  with three chicken breasts with grill marks on an indoor griill pan

Slice and devour a few strips for quality control…

top view of showing  how to make  chili lime chicken by thinly slicing on  a white plate  and squeezing with lime wedges

And continue to consume plain, or add Chili Lime Chicken to virtually anything to transform it into a meal almost instantly from my Mango Salad, Mexican Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice, Southwest Salad, Avocado Pasta, etc.

showing how to use chili lime chicken by adding to mango salad

This Top 5 Carlsbad Cravings Recipe (a must try) Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa.


Juicy fiestalicious Chili Lime Chicken.  An effortless party of flavors awaits!





©Carlsbad Cravings by

All Purpose Chili Lime Chicken Rub

Chili Lime Chicken is wonderfully moist, tender and exploding with flavor from an EASY rub – perfect for salad, burritos, pasta, tacos etc. You will love having this on hand!
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 pound chicken breasts pounded to ½ inch thickness

Chili Lime Rub


  • In a small bowl, whisk chicken rub ingredients together and rub evenly all over chicken breasts. Timer permitting, allow chicken to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 8 hours then bring to room temperature for before cooking.*
  • If chicken has been refrigerated, let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (time permitting).
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned (or blackened if you prefer) on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Garnish with extra fresh lime juice if desired.
  • If chicken has been refrigerated, let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (time permitting).
  • Meanwhile, grease and preheat the grill to medium heat, 375-450°F.
  • Grill chicken undisturbed for for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 165 degrees F.)
  • Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.



Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
*Chicken is still delicious even if cooked immediately but is more flavorful the longer the rub marinates.

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  1. [email protected] says

    Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! I’m loving all the different spices used, this sounds like delicious chicken.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Janette! And thank you for answering all my questions in the beginning and all your constant support! I am so grateful for your blogging friendship :)!

  2. Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says

    This chicken – and the rub! – looks amazing. And such a versatile thing to have on hand to top salads, toss in to pasta, etc. Yum!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Marissa! Yes, so versatile, I love this chicken! Hope you love it too 🙂

  3. Holly says

    I had some chicken breasts defrosted and not a clue what to do with it…UNTIL this gem of a recipe showed up in my inbox. I actually put it together in the morning, so it pretty much marinated all day. I didn’t have Chipotle Chili powder, but I used some Ancho chili powder and raw honey in place of brown sugar, everything else was as is. It was delicious! I served it with Mexican rice, corn, guacamole and homemade salsa. My family loved it! Thank you for all of your recipes, they get me out of the dinner time rut.

    • Jen says

      Hi Holly, so sorry for the delay in my response. I am SO happy to hear that your whole family loved this recipe – that is the ultimate compliment! Your whole dinner sounds delicious! and you are SO welcome for my recipes, I love hearing that they help get you out of the dinner rut. yay! I hope you continue to find more to love here!

  4. Hannah Miller says

    I have made this 4 times in two weeks! I don’t have all the spices but it’s still awesome! I cook it on the grill at about 350 for 10 minutes each side. I’ve also been marinading the chicken overnight. Served with some grilled peppers and zucchini, WINNER!

    • Jen says

      That is awesome Hannah, I am so happy you love it that much – yay! I am actually making grilled chili lime chicken tacos this week based on this recipe – sound like you are a step ahead of me 🙂 Thanks for making my day!

  5. Susan says

    I follow you on Pintrest because of the phenomenal variety of pins. Your recipes look amazing online and I have noted quite a few to try. I have an app titled “Out of Milk.” It is a grocery list, pantry list organizer, and recipe file all in one. I can click on some recipes in Pintrest to add to Out of Milk, and it gives me an option to automatically add the ingredients of the recipe to m grocery list as I pin it.

    I guess some bloggers set up their accounts in Out of Milk for this convenience. Do you have any plans to use Out of Milk for your recipes?

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Susan! I don’t have plans to use Out of Milk at this time but I will check it out and let you know. Thanks!

  6. Elizabeth says

    This is the first time that I have EVER commented on a recipe, and I find new ones to try a few times a week. This was so delicious and I will be making it many times this summer (I love grilling in the summer). It all tasted so refreshing and we really loved the flavors together. Even the chicken alone was great and I will be using that chili lime rub a lot! Thanks so much for this great recipe 🙂

    • Elizabeth says

      Oops meant to post that comment on the chili lime chicken tacos with grilled pineapple salsa, one of my favorite meals now!

      • Jen says

        I am SO glad you took the time to comment Elizabeth and SO glad you loved the chili lime tacos and the rub so much – wahoo! I love grilling too so I will keep grilling recipes coming 🙂 Hope you find more recipes to love here and happy grilling!

  7. Christine says

    Quick question: Does the olive oil go into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients or is it used in the pan to cook the chicken?

    • Jen says

      Sorry I didn’t see your comment until now – yes you add the olive oil the marinade. Hope that helps! enjoy!

  8. Sarah says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have been using it religiously over the past few months and fallen so in love with it that I made a large batch to keep in my fridge for meal prepping. This chicken tastes great in everything I have put it in, and the marinade is great on pork as well.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Sarah, Thank YOU for your wonderful comment! I am so happy to hear you love it enough to keep it stocked in your fridge – YAY! And it sounds delicious on pork – I am going to have to try that! Thanks again Sarah!

  9. Peachy says

    I usually only eat dark meat chicken because I find the white meat dryer and not as flavorful. But I usually have some boneless, skinless breasts in the freezer for casserole dishes. So I decided to try this. I made it exactly per the recipe except chipotle chili powder … I substituted ancho chili powder (because that’s what I have on hand). I marinated mine overnight and then cooked as directed.

    It was DELILCIOUS! So moist inside and loads of flavor. Plus it was so easy and quick. I can see purchasing much more white meat chicken in my future!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Jen says

      Awesome Peachy, I am so happy you found this flavorful, moist, quick and easy – what an awesome review- thank you so much!!!

  10. Lora says

    Just made this tonight…it’s fantastic! I can’t think of anything I’ve tried from your site that we haven’t loved. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lora, THANK YOU for making my day! I am so thrilled you loved this recipe and have loved my other recipes as well. I hope the trend continues 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  11. Beverley Press says

    Hi Jen , I’m just a huge fan of your blog and I don’t always get time to comment or stop by. So let me start by saying thank you and how much I love your recipes. This Chicken recipe is a real hit with me and my husband. Have a great weekend xoxo

    • Jen says

      Hi Beverly, thank you so much for taking time to comment, I really appreciate your kind words! I am so happy this chicken is a hit at your house – thank you and thank you for following my blog! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Traci Rush says

    Hey Jen!

    I love this chili lime chicken rub. Is this a recipe that can be used in the crock pot? My time in the evenings can be limited and I was thinking that if this simmered on low in a crock pot, it would be ready to eat when I got home. I could prep the chicken and let it soak in the marinade all night, then put in the crock pot in the morning.

    Have you tried this recipe in a crock pot yet? Or have any thoughts on this?

    Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Traci, I am so happy you love this chili lime chicken rub -thank you! I haven’t tried this in the crockpot but I bet it would be delicious! I would do it as you described and make sure you add about 2 tablespoons chicken broth just so the chicken doesn’t get dry. Let me know how it goes!

  13. madison stennett says

    will this work with chicken thighs?

    • Jen says

      Yes, it will be delicious!

  14. Tessa says

    I have made this chicken a few times now and I LOVE it! I eat it with big slices of avocado and a little sour cream on top. I’ve been exploring your website all night, and I have a few of your recipes I’ll be trying this week. Thanks so much for this great simple recipe!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Tessa! I’m so happy this has become a favorite of yours and it sounds like perfection the way you serve it with avocado and sour cream – yum! I hope you find many new favorites here!

  15. BellaWarner says

    This looks amazing. I’m going to make this tomorrow. I’m going to now look at your other recipes. Thanks & keep up the great work.

    • Jen says

      Thank you! I hope you love this chicken and have fun trying my other recipes!

  16. Lainie says

    Hi Jen,
    Wondering what kind/brand of pan you use to cook your chicken?
    This chicken looks so good!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lainie! I reall like the AllClad nonstick skillet 🙂

  17. desiree says

    Hi Jen,
    This is such a delicious recipe! There are usually leftovers when I make chicken for my family…”the sort of bland kind” my daughter pointed out to me tonight. 🙂 This one however, was gone in a flash and they were asking for more! So, so, so happy I’ve found your site. I’m using your recipes weekly! My problem is narrowing it down to which ones. They’re all so yummy looking!


    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Desiree and thank you so so much for your comment! I’m thrilled the chicken was such a hit and not the “bland kind!” I’m thrilled you are loving my recipes and using them weekly now! It definitely can be hard to narrow down – a few of my favs off the top of my head (but SO Many more not listed): Thai Red Curry, Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs, Beef and Broccoli, Cajun Honey Mustard Chicken, Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa, Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs, Greek Beef Kabobs, Brazilian Steak Kabobs, Pineapple Ginger Chicken, Million Dollar Penne, Honey Buffalo Meatballs…and on and on…but maybe that’s a place to start 🙂

  18. Amanda says

    Whoa I made this today (using boneless thighs because that’s all I had) and grilled it and it was the best grilled chicken I’ve ever made! I stuffed it in tortillas with guac and pickled onions and it just phenomenal. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Jen says

      Yesssss! Thank you Amanda, I love hearing this was the best grilled chicken you ever made! Thanks for making my day!

  19. Natalie says

    Good Lord oh, did I just die and go to heaven? This was the best chicken recipe I have made in a very very long time it might possibly top all of them. I followed the recipe to a T and use a grill pan, it was delectable. Thank you for posting such marvelous recipes.

    • Jen says

      I love your comment Natalie, thank you! I’m thrilled you love this chili lime chicken so much and honored it’s the “best chicken” you’ve made in some time!

  20. Natalie Frame says

    Made the chili lime chicken, salad & dressing! So good! You always have excellent recipes that are company worthy! Thank you? MWAAAAH!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Natalie! I love hearing you’re enjoying them, thanks so much!

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