Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe

This easy cilantro lime chicken recipe is quick and easy! The perfect marinade makes cilantro lime chicken thighs juicy and flavorful, with a crispy skin.

Full ingredients + instructions are on the recipe card at the end. Before you scroll or jump down, don’t miss the useful tips in the post!

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You’re going to love this cilantro lime chicken recipe! It’s easy, it’s flavorful, and it’s so versatile – you can serve it on its own or tuck it into tortillas, taco salads, or burrito bowls. Whip up the cilantro lime marinade for these chicken thighs in just a few minutes with basic ingredients.

It’s no secret that I LOVE chicken dinners! So, there’s no shortage of chicken recipes here on Wholesome Yum. While my juicy baked chicken is a staple around here, the pan-seared chicken breast is another versatile dish, and of course, buffalo chicken wings are always a HIT!

What Is Cilantro Lime Chicken?

This cilantro lime chicken recipe is made with bright and fresh flavors (lime and cilantro!) along with traditional Mexican spices – it’s a great addition to any Mexican meal.

Why You’ll Love This Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe

  • Bright, fresh lime and cilantro flavor
  • Juicy chicken with crispy skin
  • Made with basic, natural ingredients
  • Easy, healthy dinner
  • Takes just 5 minutes to prep (but plan ahead so you can marinate the chicken for about an hour)
Baked cilantro lime chicken on a plate

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs

This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for chicken thighs with cilantro and lime, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.

  • Chicken thighs – Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for best flavor. If you prefer, you can make the same recipe with chicken breasts as well.
  • Avocado oil – We’re using avocado oil in the cilantro lime chicken marinade. You could also use an extra light olive oil, we just need something with a high smoke point and neutral flavor.
  • Fresh cilantro – Look for bright green cilantro, without any brown leaves.
  • Lime juice – You can use fresh or bottled lime juice.
  • Garlic – Use fresh or jarred minced garlic.
  • Sea salt
  • Spices – Cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Use more or less of the cayenne, depending on how spicy you like things.
Ingredients to make cilantro lime chicken thighs

How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

This section shows how to make cilantro lime chicken thighs with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.

Marinade for cilantro lime chicken
  • Marinate chicken. Add chicken thighs to the marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 8 hours. (You can also marinate in a zip lock bag.)
Marinated chicken thighs
  • Preheat oven. Bring chicken to room temperature and preheat cast iron grill pan.
  • Brown chicken. Sear chicken skin side down until browned. Flip over and sear on the other side.
Cilantro lime chicken thighs on a grill pan
  • Bake. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.

TIP: Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. It’s the best way to know your chicken is cooked through, but not overcooked.

Cooked cilantro lime chicken thighs on grill pan

Storage Instructions

Store chicken thighs with lime and cilantro in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Can you freeze cilantro lime chicken thighs?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked chicken thighs for 2-3 months. Do not freeze them in the marinade, as they will be too mushy.

Reheating instructions:

Reheat chicken in a hot skillet or the oven, until heated through.

Cilantro lime chicken on cauliflower rice

What To Serve With Cilantro Lime Chicken

This quick lime cilantro chicken recipe just needs a side dish for a healthy and easy dinner. Here are a few to try:

More Easy Chicken Recipes


Reader Favorite Recipes

The recipe card is below! Readers that made this also viewed these recipes:

Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe

This easy cilantro lime chicken recipe is quick and easy! The perfect marinade makes cilantro lime chicken thighs juicy and flavorful, with a crispy skin.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Marinating Time 30 minutes

Total Time 55 minutes

Servings 4 servings


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Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together avocado oil, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sea salt, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne peper.

  2. Add marinade and chicken thighs to a zip lock bag and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 8 hours.

  3. Remove from refrigerator and allow chicken to come up to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

  5. Preheat a cast iron grill pan to medium-high heat. Add chicken skin side down and sear for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Flip chicken and sear on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

  6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1 chicken thigh

Nutrition info includes 1/4 of the marinade, as the rest is discarded.

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories 348

Fat 27.5g

Protein 23.6g

Total Carbs 0.8g

Net Carbs 0.7g

Fiber 0.1g

Sugar 0.1g

Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.

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Cilantro lime chicken recipe pin


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