Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs

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Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs are full of bright flavors for a healthy, quick dinner that's Paleo, Whole30, and low carb friendly. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down

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Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs can be made on the grill or in the oven and are packed with flavor from a delicious homemade marinade with fresh cilantro, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and paprika. Pair it with this Watermelon and Avocado Salad or make these as meal prep to serve with this Mexican Chopped Salad

When it comes to weekend entertaining, I absolutely love firing up the grill and preparing our meal outside. Now to be totally honest, a big part of this is because it means I don't have to do all the cooking. There is always someone happy to take on the grilling duties and I can sit back and relax, preferably with a glass of wine.

So this past weekend when we had some friends over for, I purposely prepped these kabobs ahead of time along with a simple corn salad, guacamole, and baked chips. This guaranteed that once things got started, I could sit back and enjoy instead of running around the kitchen.

When it comes to outdoor entertaining, kabobs really are one of the best options. Not only can they be prepped ahead of time, they feel a little fancier than simple grilled chicken and don't take that much extra work. Just marinate your favorite, add some veggies, and you are ready for a delicious meal. Now when it comes to these kabobs, they are kind of reminiscent of chicken fajitas but packed with more lime and cilantro. To keep the flavors mild for everyone, I didn't add any chili pepper, but you could add a jalapeno or some chili powder to the marinade as well.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs marinated and ready to cooked.

How long to cook chicken kabobs?

Generally speaking, when you are cooking chicken kabobs on the grill, they will take 7-10 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through cooking so that it cooks evenly. This could vary slightly depending on how the size of the pieces of chicken.

If you are going to make your chicken kabobs with vegetables as well, make sure to choose vegetables that will cook in the same amount of time. Some good choices are peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, or tomatoes. Veggies that take longer to cook like potatoes, should be par-cooked so that they are ready at the same time.

How to make cilantro lime marinade for chicken?

Cilantro lime marinade is one of my favorite things to use for adding flavor to chicken, pork, and fish. It also works great for tofu. Here is the basic recipe:

  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 limes, juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Directions: Add everything to a good processor and blend until well combined. For a spicy marinade, add some red pepper flakes or jalapeno pepper. For a sweet marinade, add some honey or brown sugar. For the most delicious sweet and spicy marinade, add both.

Recipe Ideas

  • Chicken breast is a popular choice when it comes to protein but you can definitely use chicken thighs, beef, or even pork for these kabobs. I imagine tofu would work as well, just make sure to press it first to remove any extra moisture.
  • Since I knew a few of our guests aren't the biggest vegetable eaters, I kept things simple with bell peppers and onions. However, you can pack in more veggies to make it even tastier. Consider adding zucchini, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, or asparagus.
  • For a little sweetness, throw some fresh pineapple in the mix. Just thread it on the skewers along with the other ingredients and prepare to fall in love with the grilled sweet pineapple flavor.
  • To make things spicier, add some chili powder or a fresh jalapeno to the marinade. If you like a sweeter marinade, you can also add some honey or brown sugar.
  • If you have time, marinate these kabobs for 4 hours or more before cooking them. This really gives the chicken time to soak up the marinade and it will lead to a more tender cooked chicken.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs with a marinade of fresh lime, cilantro, and garlic.

What to serve with Cilantro Lime Chicken

For a dish like this, there are lots of different directions you can take when it comes to side dishes. These are some of our favorites.

  • Serve these kabobs over a bed of brown or white rice. Double up the marinade so you can drizzle some on top of the rice before serving. This works with cauliflower rice as well.
  • Throw some corn on the cob on the grill as well and cut up some sweet watermelon for a summer inspired meal.
  • Use this recipe for meal prep with your favorite cooked grain, black beans, and a quick green salad.
  • Make tacos! Use your chicken to make delicious tacos topped with avocado and a nice green salsa.
  • This Cilantro Lime Chicken makes a great salad protein. Grab a big bowl of greens. Add corn, black beans, tomatoes, the cooked chicken, and make some extra marinade to use as the dressing.

Looking for more kabob recipes:

Here are some products and tools I used when making these Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs

  • If you don't have a gas or charcoal grill at home, a grill pan is a great option for grilling indoors. I used one for years when I lived in an apartment that didn't allow grills. The two that I use most often are this nonstick version and this cast iron version. The nonstick is great for easy clean-up but the cast iron will give you deeper grill marks and more smoky flavor.
  • When it comes to food processors, I absolutely love mine and have had it for years without a single problem. The blades stay nice and sharp and it works for everything including being an awesome slicer. I wasn't sure about investing in a more expensive model but it has been worth every penny.
The Recipe
Cilantro lime chicken on skewers with peppers and onions.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Kabobs

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  • 1.33 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 U limes, juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 U garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 U bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 U onion, chipped

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Add the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, paprika, and pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.


Add to chicken and marinate in a container or ziploc bag for at least 30 minutes. If you can marinate the night before for maximum flavor.


When ready to cook, remove the chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off. Thread onto skewers with the bell pepper and onion. If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak in water beforehand.


To grill: Cook for a total of 7-10 minutes at medium high heat, flipping halfway through. Cooking time may vary based on the size and thickness of the chicke.


To cook in the oven: Turn the oven on to broil. Broil 10-12 minutes, flipping 1-2 times during cooking to prevent burning.

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2 Blue
2 Purple
MyWW® SmartPoints™ New!
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 kabob
Amount Per Serving
Calories 265
Calories from Fat 75
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 74mg
Sodium 649mg
Total Carbohydrate 11g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 3g
Protein 33g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

Cilantro lime chicken kabobs with onions and peppers with fresh limes on the side.
† SmartPoints™ calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
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