Tender Cilantro Lime Chicken made with a quick marinade then grilled to lock in all the flavors. This paleo chicken recipe is topped with a fresh zesty Avocado Salsa – a healthy, easy, 30 minute meal you’ll love.
The Perfect Grilled Chicken Recipe
It’s time. This Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe has been on my site now for over 3 years. It was in need of a desperate facelift to be lighter and brighter! But honestly that’s what this recipe tastes like too. Fresh and light with a pop of flavor in your mouth.
There’s a reason it has over 771,000 pins on Pinterest y’all! It’s because the recipe is that amazing!
The key to my version of cilantro lime chicken is a quick marinade.
Ingredients you’ll need to make Cilantro Lime Chicken:
- Chicken: For a leaner meat, use boneless skinless chicken breast. However, if you want richer flavor use boneless skinless chicken thighs – just know that thighs tend to be “fattier” than breast meat.
- Olive Oil: I use Olive Oil because it has more flavor than an oil like grape seed or avocado.
- Lime Juice: I highly recommend using fresh lime juice, not the juice from concentrate. The lime juice is key for that lime flavor and will tenderize the meat.
- Cilantro: Use fresh cilantro for the marinade, however if you don’t have fresh you can sub with dry – just use half the amount called for in the recipe.
- Spices: For this marinade I use cumin and salt.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken:
- In a small bowl, add lime juice, olive oil, fresh cilantro, cumin and salt. Mix until it forms a sauce.
- Add boneless skinless chicken breasts to a ziplock bag and pour cilantro lime marinade in. Marinate for 15 minutes.
- Heat grill to medium high heat (about 400 degrees F) or heat a large skillet to medium high heat.
- Cook chicken for 4-7 minutes per side until there is no more pink.
- Remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
The lime juice in this marinade recipe helps tenderize the meat. Which is how it keeps the chicken so juicy, tender and filled with lime flavor.
How to know Chicken Breast is done?
According the FDA poultry must reach 165°F to be considered “done” or fully cooked. Poultry is one of the few proteins that needs to be cooked all the way through in order to avoid salmonella. I recommend using a meat thermometer to check doneness, remove chicken from the grill when it reaches 165°F. They will be perfectly cooked through and still juicy and tender! If you want more details be sure to check out my guide on how to grill chicken breast.
Tips for the BEST Grilled Chicken:
- Even chicken breast are key! Make sure to either cut your chicken breasts in half or pound them out to be the same size thickness. This will help ensure the marinade soaks into the meat AND that they will cook evenly!
- Generously oil your grill grates. Either spray with cooking spray or soak a rag with olive oil and rub down your grill grates. Doing so will help the chicken not stick.
- Bring chicken to room temperature before place on the grill. When you place protein on the grill or any heat source, it will seize up. But if you place a room temperature protein on the grill, it will cook more evenly through and through. (I usually bring my chicken out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before cooking.)
- Before placing the chicken on the grill. Make sure your grill is hot. (usually 375-400°F) The hotter the grill the better the sear marks, which will give you a crispy outside and tender juicy chicken on the inside.
- Once cooked through, about 4-7 minutes per side. Remove chicken from the grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into it. This allows the juices to redistribute.
As long as you follow those easy steps you’ll be a grill master in no time!
Just remember. Once the chicken or any protein is on the grill, DO NOT FUSS WITH IT! Leave it alone and let it cook. It will do it’s thing.
What Goes with Cilantro Lime Chicken?
- Serve cilantro lime chicken with black bean quinoa.
- Cilantro lime rice would also be a great light option to pair with this cilantro lime chicken.
- Top this flavorful cilantro lime chicken with a fresh chunky avocado salsa or homemade guacamole.
- Make a fresh mango salsa or pice de galo.
- A fresh homemade classic Margarita is a must whenever you’re making anything tex-mex inspired.
This Cilantro Lime Chicken is marinated with fresh zesty lime juice, earthy ground cumin, and fresh cilantro. You could pan sear the chicken if you’re under 2 feet of snow or if you want a real delicious juicy chicken, grill it to create a charcoaled taste.
While the Chicken itself is amazing, the kicker and part that takes this dish over the top is the avocado salsa on top!
Holy Hannah is this stuff good! Although, can anything with avocado in it be bad? I think not!
The Avocado Salsa is creamy, zesty from the lime juice and red wine vinegar, slightly spicy from the red pepper flakes, and absolutely addicting! The combo of the Grilled Chicken with the Avocado Salsa will blow your taste buds out of the water!
I could eat this stuff by the bowlful!
I hope this quick flavorful dinner recipe makes you think of summer! Enjoy my sweet friends and happy Monday!
Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 12 mins
- Total Time: 27 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: Mexican
Tender Juicy Cilantro Lime Chicken made with a quick marinade then grilled to lock in all the flavors. This paleo chicken recipe is topped with a fresh zesty Avocado Salsa – a healthy, easy, 30 minute meal you’ll love.
Cilantro Lime Chicken:
- 1.5 lb. boneless chicken breast
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 avocados, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, diced
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt to taste
- To a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of lime juice, olive oil, 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk until mixed.
- Add chicken and marinade to a large ziplock bag. Let chicken marinate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat (about 400°F). Place chicken on grill and grill each side for 4-6 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink. Remove and let sit.
- To make the avocado salsa: add avocado, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 3 tablespoons lime juice, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic clove, and salt to a small bowl. Gently toss to mix.
- Top Cilantro Lime Chicken with fresh Avocado Salsa.
- Serving Size: 4 oz. chicken + salsa
- Calories: 317
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 239 mg
- Fat: 22 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 11 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 24 g
- Cholesterol: 55 mg
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As a Newbie, I am permanently searching online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe!
This is so incredibly delicious. We eat it once a week! The whole family likes it, and every time we make it for company they ask for the recipe!!
That is a huge hit when you find a recipe to add to the rotation! I am so happy the fam loved it!
any substitution for cilantro and red wine vinegar?
Hey Mia, you could leave the cilantro out if you don’t like it or use parsley. As far as the red wine you can omit or substitute with regular vinegar or more lime juice.
Looks amazing! I love avocadoes and am always looking for new ways to enjoy them. Can’t wait to try this out, and thanks for your recipe, your beautiful pictures and your heart.
Thank you for the sweet compliments! I hope you try this recipe soon! The Avocado Salsa is sooo good!
I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can claim pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your site.
Omg! This is an amazing recipe! I don’t comment on recipes at all! But man this one was too good to not talk about it! Love love it! I was low on lime so I switched it to lemon and it was equally good!
So happy you loved it!
Would you recommend marinating the chicken for longer? Does that help at all?
Marinating for longer always infuses more flavor. If you have time, do so. But you’ll still taste the flavor even if you marinate for 15 minutes. 🙂
The recipe is just so well made and it tastes so refreshing, I really like the components of the dish. A really nice recipe.
Thank you so much!