This easy cilantro lime chicken cooks in only 20 minutes and is full of fresh, bold flavors. The secret to this recipe is a mouthwateringly delicious marinade that cooks with the tender, crispy chicken.
About This Recipe
The best part of this cilantro lime chicken is its FLAVOR. If you're craving a quick dinner with big taste, this recipe is a must-try.
The secret to this recipe is the marinade: it's full of fresh cilantro and lime juice, a Mexican-inspired mix of seasonings, plus a little honey for sweetness and red chili flakes for spice. It's a mouth-watering mix of flavors that coats the tender, crispy chicken.
This recipe will easily become a favorite in your household because it's simple to make, healthy, and delicious! It's ideal as a weeknight dinner or as a festive meal for a special occasion.
Cilantro Lime Chicken Ingredients
The full recipe is at the bottom of this page, but here's a quick overview of what you'll need and how to make it:
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken
Step 1: Make the marinade
In a medium bowl, mix together the marinade: lime juice, cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Step 2: Marinade chicken
Add the chicken to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
Step 3: Cook chicken
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and sear for 2 - 3 minutes on each side. Don’t move the chicken around while searing. Leave the marinade in the bowl. One seared, remove the chicken from the pan.
Step 4: Add marinade to skillet
Pour the marinade into the pan over medium heat and bring it to a boil, raising the temperature if needed.
Step 5: Add chicken
Add the chicken into the pan, smooth side down. Cover and cook for 7 - 10 minutes, until cooked through. Check and move the chicken around a couple times while cooking.
Step 6: Serve & Enjoy!
Serve immediately. Add additional chopped cilantro on top of the chicken and squeeze fresh lime juice over the chicken before serving. Optionally, serve over rice.
Honey: honey adds a hint of sweetness to this recipe. You can swap this out for your preferred sweetener (like sugar or maple syrup).
Chicken: chicken thighs work best for this recipe but you could also use chicken breasts (just be sure to cook your chicken all the way through). If your chicken breasts are large, slice them horizontally into cutlets before cooking.
Red pepper flakes: these add a low level of spice to the recipe. Leave them out for an even milder recipe, or add more to make it spicier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful and tender it will be.
Rice is the most popular side dish for cilantro lime chicken. You could also serve it with other traditional Mexican sides, like beans or pico de gallo.
Yes, you could also cook this recipe on the grill. Marinate your chicken and then cook it for 7 - 8 minutes on the grill, until cooked through to 165°F.
If you have leftovers, cool and store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 - 4 days.