Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken

5 from 1 vote

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Fresh Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken is perfect for a summer BBQ cookout! This Mexican dinner recipe is full of fresh and bright flavors. Use chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks legs. Gluten free, dairy free, keto low carb.
Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken breasts on a plate with cilantro and avocado around it

Mexican cuisine is renowned for its vibrant flavors, and this recipe for Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken is no exception. The combination of zesty lime juice, aromatic cilantro, and perfectly grilled chicken creates a mouthwatering dish that will transport your taste buds to the streets of Mexico.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken breasts on a plate with cilantro and avocado around it

Why You Will Love This Recipe

This chicken breast recipe is full of so much flavor!

Just a few simple ingredients makes this chicken perfect to use with any Mexican recipe, such as our Mexican Cobb Salad, or on its own.

With its bold flavors and simple preparation, this recipe for Mexican grilled chicken with cilantro and lime is a crowd-pleasing dish that brings the taste of Mexico to your backyard.

The tangy lime juice, fragrant cilantro, and perfectly grilled chicken create a culinary experience that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Mexico.

So fire up the grill, gather your loved ones, and get ready to indulge in this tantalizing Mexican delight!


These are the ingredients you need to make this Mexican chicken recipe:

  • Chicken Breasts – you can use any cut of chicken!
  • Olive Oil
  • Lime Juice – fresh is best as bottled can be bitter
  • Paprika
  • Honey
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ground Cumin
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
The marinade ingredients in a bowl


Instruction Overview

Prepare the marinade:

  • In a bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients. Mix well to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Marinate the chicken:

  • Place the chicken breasts in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure each breast is coated evenly.
  • Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse into the chicken. For best results, marinate for 2 to 4 hours.
The raw meat with marinade in a bag

Preheat the grill:

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Make sure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent the chicken from sticking.

Grill the chicken:

  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off.
  • Place the chicken on the preheated grill and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
  • While grilling, occasionally brush the chicken with the remaining marinade to keep it moist and enhance the flavors.
The chicken being grilled on a grill pan

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in tender and juicy chicken.

Serve the Mexican grilled chicken hot, garnished with additional fresh cilantro leaves for added freshness. You can also squeeze some extra lime juice over the chicken for an extra tangy kick.

Serving Options

Serve the grilled chicken alongside traditional Mexican sides such as rice, black beans, and guacamole.

Slice the chicken and use it as a filling for tacos or fajitas, accompanied by warm tortillas, salsa, and your favorite toppings.

Enjoy the chicken on a bed of crisp lettuce with avocado slices and a drizzle of our homemade lime-cilantro dressing for a refreshing salad option.

This chicken is also great added to our Mexican Cobb Salad!

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken on a bed of Mexican Cobb Salad close up
The Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken on our Mexican Cobb Salad

Modifications and Substitutions

You can also use chicken thighs or legs! If you use bone in meat, it might take a little longer to cook than boneless.

This chicken can also be baked. Bake at 400F for approximately 25 minutes. Add 5-10 minutes more for bone in chicken breasts or thighs.

Chicken legs will take approximately the same amount of time as boneless chicken breasts.

Kim’s Tips

I like to cut my chicken breasts in half to make thinner pieces of meat with more of that great char. They also cook faster!

Know your chicken is done by using a meat thermometer! This helps make sure the chicken is cooked through but not dry. If your chicken has bones in, just be sure to take the temperature away from the bone.


What goes with cilantro lime chicken?

You can use Cilantro Lime Chicken in any Mexican recipe that you love! It works well with burritos, tacos, nachos, and our Mexican Cobb Salad!

What does soaking chicken in lime juice do?

Lime juice is acidic which means it will help tenderize the meat while bringing flavor. Because of this, do not let it marinate too long as the acid will start to cook the chicken and become mealy!

Does lime tenderize chicken?

Yes! Lime juice is acidic and helps to tenderize meat.

Can you marinate chicken too long in lime?

Yes! If you let it marinate too long, the acid starts to cook the meat and gives it a weird texture.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken on a white plate with cilantro and avocado around it
Pin of Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken with title at top
Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken breasts on a plate with cilantro and avocado around it

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken

Fresh Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken is perfect for a summer BBQ cookout! This Mexican dinner recipe is full of fresh and bright flavors. Use chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks legs. Gluten free, dairy free, keto low carb.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: BBQ, Chicken/Turkey, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Keto/Low Carb
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinate Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 216kcal




  • Combine your marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
    2 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons lime juice, 1 Tablespoon honey, ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Add the marinade to the chicken in a large resealable bag or shallow dish. Move the chicken around to ensure it is fully coated.
    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Refrigerate the chicken with marinade at least 30 minutes, ideally 2-4 hours.
  • Preheat your grill (or grill pan) to medium heat and coat with oil.
    vegetable oil
  • Add your chicken and grill for approximately 7-9 minutes, until the chicken is seared, starting to turn white/cooked about half way up.
  • Flip and continue cooking approximately 7-10 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through and registers 165℉ internally.
  • Remove from the grill and let rest 5-10 minutes. Serve.


Nutrition information includes the entire marinade, even if not consumed.
  1. You can also substitute other cuts of chicken as desired. Cook any cut until it registers 165F internally to ensure it is cooked through.
  2. Do not marinate longer than 4 hours as the acidic marinade will start to cook the chicken and it will become mealy.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 717mg | Potassium: 472mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 419IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

More Main Course Grilling Recipes

BBQ and Grilling Main Courses

Main course ideas to go along with your favorite BBQ and grilling sides!

By on June 5th, 2023

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

More posts by this author.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Three Olives Branch