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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)
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.
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, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Mix marinade. In a small bowl, whisk together avocado oil, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sea salt, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Reheat chicken in a hot skillet or the oven, until heated through.
What To Serve With Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Rice, Cauliflower Rice, or Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
- Cilantro Lime Taco Slaw
- Roasted Broccoli
- Sautéed Zucchini
More Easy Chicken Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Crispy Baked Chicken Legs
- Baked Basil Pesto Chicken
- Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breast
Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe
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.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a small bowl, whisk together avocado oil, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, sea salt, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne peper.
Add marinade and chicken thighs to a zip lock bag and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 8 hours.
Remove from refrigerator and allow chicken to come up to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
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.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
Serving size: 1 chicken thigh
Nutrition info includes 1/4 of the marinade, as the rest is discarded.
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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