Cilantro Lime Chicken

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Cilantro Lime Chicken made with just six ingredients is full of bright and bold flavors. They are quickly marinated and then cooked right in a skillet for a quick and easy meal.

248 CAL 2g CARBS 12g FAT 29g PROTEIN
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The next time you are cooking a Mexican-themed dinner, try making this Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe! Seasoned with cumin, lime juice, and fresh cilantro, this juicy, marinated chicken only takes 10 minutes to cook- Perfect for a quick dinner on a busy weeknight!

One of my favorite meals to order when I go out is cilantro lime chicken. It's just so juicy and perfectly seasoned. It goes with everything, like rice, tacos, or even a salad!

The chicken dish is really bright- both in flavor and color. If you are not the biggest fan of cilantro, then this recipe probably isn't for you. If you love the leafy green herb, add this chicken recipe to your meal plan next week!

Chicken with cilantro and lime marinade cooked and served in a skillet with fresh lime juice and cilantro on top.

Key Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Chicken

Use the ingredients listed below to make a delicious chicken marinade. You can also make extra to marinate a piece of pork at the same time!

Here's what I used in this easy chicken recipe:

  • Chicken Thighs: You can use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs, as long as it is boneless and skinless.
  • Cilantro: This green herb gives the chicken its intense flavor, but it can be optional. If you think cilantro tastes like soap, you can just omit it from this recipe and swap in another fresh herb like parsley, basil, or a combination of fresh herbs.
  • Garlic: If you don't have fresh garlic cloves, you can use garlic powder.
  • Lime Juice: Use fresh-squeezed lime juice because it will have the best flavor!
  • Olive Oil: If you don't have olive oil, use avocado or grapeseed oil instead.
  • Cumin: Ground coriander is a perfect substitute for cumin.

Note: For a complete list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make this cilantro lime chicken, take a look at the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

What To Serve With Cilantro Chicken

There are so many different ways you can enjoy this dish!

You can:

Recipe Tips And Ideas 

Follow these tips to make sure that this chicken turns out juicy every single time!

  • Marinate the chicken overnight. If you don't have time, at least give it a 4-hour rest time. The longer you allow it to marinate, the more flavor it will have.
  • If you marinate the chicken in a shallow dish, turn it over once halfway through the marinating time so that all sides have a chance to soak up the spices!
  • Use a meat thermometer when you are cooking chicken. It should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • If you want the chicken to cook faster, slice it thin.

Cilantro chicken thighs cooked brown and crispy on a white plate with fresh cilantro and lime juice on top.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some questions I frequently get asked about by some readers…

Can I use bone-in chicken?

This recipe works with bone-in or boneless chicken thighs. Bone-in chicken will take slightly longer to cook so make sure to adjust the cooking time. For a lower calorie option, remove the skin from the chicken thighs before cooking them. You can also make these with the skin, just make sure to let it fully crisp up in the pan.

Does this recipe work with chicken breast?

This recipe will work great with chicken breast as well. Make sure to cut the chicken into pieces that are the same thickness so that they cook evenly. Chicken breast cooks more quickly so make sure to pay attention as it cooks so it doesn't dry out.

Can this chicken be cooked on the grill?

Absolutely! This chicken is delicious on the grill. Marinate the chicken in the same way and then simply grill it for 4-6 minutes per side for boneless chicken. 

How do you store leftover chicken?

The best way to store leftover cooked chicken is in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days.

You can also use it in your meal prep by storing it in individual containers.

Can I freeze this cilantro lime chicken?

Yes, this chicken recipe freezes really well! Let it cool off completely before you place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. This chicken will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you are ready to eat it again, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Can I make it in the slow cooker?

Yes, this is an easy recipe to make in the slow cooker as well.

In addition to the marinade ingredients, add about 1/2 a cup of chicken broth to the slow cooker. Then, cook the chicken on low for 6-8 hours or on high for about 4 hours. You will know it is finished cooking when it shreds easily with a fork.

How do I make this chicken recipe taste spicier?

There are lots of ways to add some heat to your cilantro lime chicken. My favorite is to add some cayenne pepper. Another popular choice is to add some jalapeno slices to the marinade!

If you want it to have a mild amount of spice, then just sprinkle some paprika on top.

What is the fastest way to shred cooked chicken?

While using two forks is the tried and true way to do it, it isn't the fastest way. After you cook all of the chicken breasts, I recommend placing them in a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer on low. It will shred the chicken in just a few seconds!

Chicken cooked in cilantro lime marinade and cooked in a skillet served on a plate with a fork and knife.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes:

The Recipe
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Cilantro Lime Chicken

248 CAL 2g CARBS 12g FAT 29g PROTEIN
PREP TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 1.33 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper

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In a small bowl, combine the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, olive oil. cumin, salt, and pepper.

Cilantro lime chicken marinade with garlic, fresh cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and olive oil.

Add to a shallow dish or ziploc bag along with the chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours in the fridge. Turn the chicken once if marinating in a shallow dish.

Raw chicken thighs being marinated with cilantro and lime.

When ready to cook, add the chicken to a heavy skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for about 4-6 minutes per side until browned and cooked through. Serve with fresh cilantro and lime juice.

Chicken thighs cooking in a skillet until browned and crispy.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 248
Calories from Fat 61
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 131mg
Sodium 238mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 29g

* 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.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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