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These Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs are incredibly juicy and flavorful. The easy chicken marinade is quick to throw together and the tender chicken is so zesty and fresh that you will want to make this all year long!
Have you ever made chicken thighs on the grill? Marinated grilled chicken is basically a summer staple for us and we make it at least once a week all summer long using all sorts of different marinades, which are a great secret weapon to have in your culinary arsenal.
If you love these grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs as much as we do, you can do year-round grilling with an indoor grill like the Hamilton Beach® Indoor Searing Grill (affiliate link) that I used here since our winter seems to be never-ending this year! At least with the Hamilton Beach Indoor Searing Grill I can get that awesome outdoor grilled flavor anytime I want, regardless of the weather. Because honestly, sometimes even in the summer I don’t want to stand outside in the blazing heat to grill either!
These grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs are packed with flavor and can be used in any number of ways. Cilantro lime chicken with guacamole and fresh tortillas make simple tacos that are just as good for a weekend cookout with friends as they are for Taco Tuesday with the fam.
Or throw sliced cilantro lime chicken into burritos, salads, wraps, burrito bowls, etc. for some extra protein. This is a great chicken recipe to double so you can meal prep or have leftovers for other meals later in the week, which is what I like to do!
Can I use chicken breast meat instead of thighs?
Yes, you can substitute chicken breasts for thighs in most recipes, and this one is no exception. But remember that you might need to adjust your cooking time for chicken breasts.
I often share chicken thigh recipes on here because I just really love thigh meat. That didn’t use to be the case, but it’s become my favorite to eat and cook with over the years and if you don’t love it yet, give this recipe a try and I think you will be convinced otherwise.
Chicken thighs tend to be more tender and juicy, but if done right, chicken breasts, even boneless skinless ones, can also stay incredibly juicy and be amazing.
Proper grilling or cooking technique and a killer marinade like this cilantro lime chicken marinade will get you the results you want every time, whether you are using breasts or thighs.
What goes with Cilantro Lime Chicken?
There are so many fantastic dishes that go well with this grilled cilantro lime chicken. When I’m already cooking on the grill, I often like to serve grilled veggies or a nice salad alongside our main dish. And I think cilantro lime rice or coconut rice are perfect carb choices with almost any grilled chicken. Here are some of our favorite dishes that we serve with this easy chicken recipe:
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn
- Charro Beans
- Authentic Pico de Gallo
- Baked Greek Feta Fries
- Watermelon Basil Feta Salad
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Dressing
How to Make Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
- Combine the cilantro, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, honey, chili powder, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the marinade and reserve for later.
- Add the chicken to a large ziploc bag and pour the remaining marinade over it. Seal and squish to make sure the chicken is evenly coated, then refrigerate for 2 to 10 hours.
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat, then remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
- Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through and an instant read meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken. Remove from grill.
- Drizzle with the reserved marinade. Let the grilled chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. with lime wedges and additional chopped cilantro for garnish.
Tips for the Best Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Use a grilling thermometer! We have the BBQGuys iGrill mini grilling thermometer which pairs with my phone and even sends me messages when the chicken is getting close to temperature, and then another message when it’s ready to take off the grill, which takes all the guesswork out of grilling and makes sure I get the juiciest chicken thighs every time!
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade before adding the chicken so you can drizzle it over the cooked chicken for even more flavor!
- Marinate for 2 to 10 hours or even go ahead and freeze the chicken in the marinade to have it on hand so all you have to do is thaw it and throw it on the grill!
- Swap out the cilantro for parsley or basil or other herbs if you can’t stand the flavor of cilantro! Did you know that it’s a genetic thing that makes some people think cilantro taste like soap? I would say it’s weird, but I have a similar reaction to bleu cheese, so I totally get it if cilantro is not your thing!
More Chicken Recipes Your Family Will Love!
- Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs
- Rhubarb BBQ Sauce Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma Wraps
- Cast Iron Blood Orange Chicken
- Creamy Apple Cider Chicken Skillet
- Skillet Lemon Chicken and Rice
- Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches
- Spicy Honey Chicken
- Yakitori (Japanese Chicken Skewers)
- Or see all my chicken recipes
- 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 limes, juice and zest
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl, combine the cilantro, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, honey, chili powder, salt, cumin, and black pepper. Remove two tablespoons of the marinade and reserve for later.
- In a large Ziploc bag, combine the chicken and the remaining marinade. Seal and squish to make sure the chicken is evenly coated in the cilantro lime marinade, then refrigerate for 2 to 10 hours to marinate.
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat, then remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade, and grill for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through and an instant read meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
- Remove chicken from grill and drizzle with the reserved marinade. Let the grilled chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. with lime wedges and additional chopped cilantro for garnish.
If you prefer, you could add all the marinade ingredients to a food process and blend for 1 minute to create a slightly different marinade, then proceed as normal.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 598Saturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 222mgSodium: 569mgCarbohydrates: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 37g