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Cilantro Lime Chicken – Tender, Juicy, And Flavorful

Cilantro lime chicken – Juicy baked chicken thighs marinated with cilantro and lime juice, then pan-seared in olive oil. This chicken recipe is spicy, savory, and tangy all at the same time and it’s quick, easy, and bursting with flavor!!

Cilantro lime chicken garnished with lime and cilantro

Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe

This Mexican-inspired recipe is nothing short of an awesome meal. It is an all-time winner you can always trust. The ingredients are easy to source, and the marinades are mouthwatering. Juicy chicken with bursting flavors, there is no better way to spend your weeknight’s dinner.

The marinades encompass simple ingredients that give a super tasty outcome. Easy to prepare and absolutely delicious to eat. You can serve it with rice, veggies, salads, and other meals.

Chicken served with broccoli

Chicken thigh or breast?

You can use any of the two options. For this recipe, some people love bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh, while others like skinless and boneless chicken breast. The difference is in the cooking time. What determines the cooking time includes but is not limited to the thickness and size of the chicken.

Cilantro lime chicken ingredients

Ingredients for making cilantro lime chicken
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Limes
  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Minced garlic
  • Cumin
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to make cilantro lime chicken

Let’s see the step-by-step direction on how you can make a delicious cilantro-lime chicken.

  • Prepare the marinade: The key to making this cilantro lime chicken is the marinade. It’s simple but it’s packed with fresh flavors like cilantro, lime, lime zest, and spices, which turn plain chicken into a delicious meal.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to get maximum flavor!
  • Sear on the skin side until it becomes crispyyyy! Then you can sear on the flip side for another 2 minutes before baking.
  • Bake:
  • Enjoy: Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and much more!
How to make cilantro lime chicken

How long should I marinate my chicken?

I recommend at least marinating it for 30 minutes up to 24 hours. If you have time, try to marinate it overnight for better flavor.

What to serve with cilantro lime chicken?

You can serve it by the side with almost any dish:

Cilantro lime chicken served over brown rice

Cooking tips

  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to allow your chicken to absorb the flavors from the ingredients.
  • Use fresh lime instead of bottled lime for added fresh flavor.
  • Avoid overcooking the chicken. Your chicken should be moist and juicy.
  • You can use the meat thermometer to check when the chicken is done. When the center of the chicken is 165 degrees, it is done and ready.

Storing and reheating leftovers

If you have excess cilantro lime chicken, you can keep it in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator. It can last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Ensure that the chicken is cool before transferring it to the refrigerator. To reheat, you can microwave it for 2-3minutes before you serve it. While microwaving, ensure that you keep an eye on it to avoid burning or drying out.

Try out our other delicious Chicken recipes

Cilantro lime chicken garnished with lime and cilantro

Cilantro lime chicken

Cilantro lime chicken – Juicy baked chicken thighs marinated with cilantro and lime juice, then pan-seared in olive oil. Quick, easy, and bursting with flavor!!
4.50 from 2 votes
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Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 Chicken thighs
Calories: 284.5kcal


  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 c. freshly cilantro chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper Freshly ground


  • In a large bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons of oil, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  • Place the chicken thighs inside the bowl and and toss to coat. Leave the chicken to marinate marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours (if you have the time). Turn it once or twice as it marinates.
  • When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425°. Then, place a cast iron pan or a large heavy bottom pan over over medium-high heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil into the pan.
  • Once the oil is hot, place the chicken with the remaing marinade in the pan add to skillet skin side down. Sear until skin is golden and crispy, about 5 to 6 minutes then flip to the other side and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and bake until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes or till the thighs reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.


Calories: 284.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.9g | Protein: 23.7g | Fat: 20.2g | Saturated Fat: 4.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 67.7mg | Potassium: 450.4mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 677.3IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 33.8mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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