Grilled Basil Lime Chicken Breast

Easy grilled basil lime chicken that is packed with flavor in every bite. This delicious twist on classic grilled chicken will quickly become a favorite.

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When it comes to grilled chicken, this basil lime version is at the top of my list. The lime juice makes the chicken breast tender and the basil adds a pop of flavor that I love. Serve it with some grilled cauliflower or green beans for a meal on the grill every one will love.

Do you have certain flavor pairs that you always use? For example, I nearly always have to put lime juice with cumin. Or balsamic with honey, or hot fudge with vanilla ice cream. One of my favorites is basil and lemon juice. I almost always pair these two flavors together! They just work so well, whether in a scone or on grilled chicken.

However, while I almost always pair basil with lemon juice, lately I have changed my tune just a bit, as I've been loving using lime juice instead to mix things up. There's just something about the tart, slightly sweet lime juice mixed with the earthy, herbal basil that really works, whether it’s in simple salads, dressings or sauces, or a dish like this basil lime grilled chicken.

The marinade is incredibly simple (just a quick combination of lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper) but it adds great flavor to the chicken. And, as you may have guessed, it also makes for delicious leftovers. I especially love it in chicken salad for sandwiches and wraps.

Grilled chicken marinated in basil and lime with broccolini on the side.

How do you make Grilled Basil Lime Chicken Breast?

Making this grilled chicken is easy as can be!

First, pound the chicken breasts lightly until they are all of uniform thickness.

Next, combine lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper for the marinade in a bowl. Add the chicken to the marinade in a Ziplock bag or airtight container for 4 hours or overnight.

Grill the chicken breasts on the grill over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side or until it's done cooking (juices should run clear).

Can you make Basil Lime Chicken Breasts on the stove?

Yes! You can cook these indoors if you like. Simply follow steps 1 and 2 for pounding the chicken and marinating, then heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Spray the skillet with cooking spray and add chicken, cooking for 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through.

Serving Ideas

  • I love to serve this chicken right over the top of noodles or rice, but there are other healthy options out there too!
  • You can add this chicken (and any extra marinade you didn't use on the chicken) right over the top of cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, polenta, or any other grains you enjoy.
  • I also like to slice this basil chicken thin and place it right on top of a hearty side salad with peppers, tomatoes, avocado, and a little sprinkling of feta. The extra marinade works great as a dressing too!
  • Need a healthy sandwich option? This lime basil chicken works great inside a bun topped with arugula, tomato, and red onion. Add hummus as a spread instead of mayo.
  • You could also make tacos, wraps, or quesadillas featuring the chicken and lots of other craveable toppings.

What's the best way to chop basil?

When I'm getting ready to cut basil, first I wash the leaves and pat them dry. Then, I stack them up one on top of the other and roll them up the best I can lengthwise. From there, I take a knife and take little, thin slices from the rolled up basil and add the resulting thin ribbons to the marinade, dressing, salad, or whatever I'm making that requires basil.

What can be used instead of basil?

No basil? No problem. If you need to substitute another herb for basil, then the following are your best bets: oregano, thyme, cilantro, or mint.

While none of these herbs taste exactly like basil, they all go well with lime juice and will taste wonderful in the chicken marinade as well.

Basil Lime Chicken that has been grilled with broccolini, limes, and basil on the  side.

Tips and Tricks for Grilling Chicken

  • Clean any old meat or drippings that may have stuck on your grill from the previous meal with a wire brush before grilling anything new.
  • It's best to slice into chicken against the grain, for maximum tenderness and juiciness.
  • It is recommended that all meat "rest" after being cooked, even chicken. After you've taken the basil lime chicken off the grill or skillet, simply let it sit for about 5 minutes, untouched. Then you can carve into it. Letting meat rest allows the meat to reabsorb any juices and lock them in to keep them nice and moist.
  • Pound larger chicken breasts to ensure even thickness, and therefore, even cooking times on the grill or on the stovetop.
  • This chicken will keep for up to 3-4 days in the fridge, or 3-4 months in the freezer, provided it's kept in an airtight bag or container.

Side Dish Ideas

The Recipe
Grilled basil lime chicken breast with fresh basil, lime juice, lime zest, and broccoli on the side.

Grilled Basil Lime Chicken Breast

PREP TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 1.33 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 lime, juice and zest (or 2 for more lime flavor)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. basil, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

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Pound the chicken breasts lightly to uniform thickness. This will help them grill evenly.


Marinate the chicken in the lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper for at least 4 hours or overnight.


Grill for 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through.


Skillet: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 202
Calories from Fat 43
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 74mg
Sodium 644mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 32g

* 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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