The Best Healthy Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Kid FriendlyPaleo30 Minute MealsGluten Free
 

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.

grilled cilantro lime chicken topped with avocado salsa and sliced onions

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! 

marinading cilantro lime chicken and a bowl of avocado salsa

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:

  1. In a small bowl, add lime juice, olive oil, fresh cilantro, cumin and salt. Mix until it forms a sauce.
  2. Add boneless skinless chicken breasts to a ziplock bag and pour cilantro lime marinade in. Marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat grill to medium high heat (about 400 degrees F) or heat a large skillet to medium high heat.
  4. Cook chicken for 4-7 minutes per side until there is no more pink.
  5. 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.

grilled cilantro lime chicken on a plate topped with fresh cilantro

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. 

sliced cilantro lime chicken on a plate topped with avocado salsa

What Goes with Cilantro Lime Chicken?

  1. Serve cilantro lime chicken with black bean quinoa.
  2. Cilantro lime rice would also be a great light option to pair with this cilantro lime chicken.
  3. Top this flavorful cilantro lime chicken with a fresh chunky avocado salsa or homemade guacamole.
  4. Make a fresh mango salsa or pice de galo.
  5. 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!

grilled cilantro lime chicken with avocado salsa

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!

Bon Appetit!

side photo of sliced grilled cilantro lime chicken topped with avocado salsa and red onion

Print
side photo of sliced grilled cilantro lime chicken topped with avocado salsa and red onion

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 27 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

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. 

Scale

Ingredients

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

Avocado Salsa:

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Add chicken and marinade to a large ziplock bag. Let chicken marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Top Cilantro Lime Chicken with fresh Avocado Salsa.

Nutrition

  • 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

Keywords: cilantro lime chicken, grilled chicken recipes, easy chicken recipes, avocado salsa, paleo recipes, paleo chicken, gluten free dinners, easy dinner ideas, 30 minute meal, easy healthy recipes, kid friendly, how to grill chicken, the best grilled chicken, easy grilled chicken recipe

 

 

 

pinterest image with grilled cilantro lime chicken with avocado salsa

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }

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70 Responses
  1. Paige Gernander

    Made this tonight- added jalapeño, tomato and onion to the salsa and it was all delicious!! Usually I see cilantro lime with honey and never tried it without, definitely a keeper!! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Victoria

    Do you think I could use my broiler in lieu of a grill or would I be better off just cooking on my stove top in a cast iron pan? If so, do you think five minutes per side is good?

    Thank you for posting this recipe!

    1. Krista

      I think it would be better to cook it on the stove top with a cast iron pan, it will give a nice sear. 🙂 And yes about 5-7 minutes per side would be great!

  3. Susan Shortill

    I plan on adapting this to “finger food” size for my Oscar Party…cut the chicken to smaller pieces, a nice dollop of the avacado salsa with the red onion curl for a garnish, served on one of those swanky little bamboo skewers with the bow on the end…great recipe!!

  4. Kate B

    The avocado salsa on this is the freaking bomb. I don’t have a grill so I ended up pan searing the chicken. Really loved it. Adding the red onion for garnish (like you have in the picture) added a good snap in each bite. I usually end up altering recipes (pretty much always in one way or another) but this has such an awesome flavor profile that I wouldn’t change a thing. Great recipe!

    1. Krista

      Ohhh… thanks so much Kate so glad to hear it! And yes that avocado salsa is EVERYTHING! Totally addicted. i would just eat it out of the bowl! 🙂

  5. Dave

    I tried making this, and the salad came out tasting very tangy, not creamy at all. Any thoughts on what might have caused this. I went over the ingredients 4 times to make sure I put in the right amount of everything. I even used fresh cilantro out of my own garden. Could the avocado not being completely ripe have anything to do with it?

    1. Krista

      Hmmm… the avocado could definitely have something to do with it Dave because the flavor is probably not the same. You could try leaving out of the vinegar next time and see if that takes away some of the tang too. Fingers crossed it turns out for you next time, because this dish rocks! 🙂

    1. Krista

      You could definitely make it on the stove top, just seared it in about a tablespoon of grapeseed oil or olive oil for 5-7 minutes per side. I wouldn’t recommend doing it in the oven, your not going to get the same crust that you will with grilling or searing in a pan. 🙂

  6. julie kingsley

    I made this last night…yummy and certainly a keeper. The grill ran out of gas (sigh) and I finished it up on the stove in a very hot skillet.

    The Salsa is great!

  7. Eb Gargano

    Wow, Krista – this looks amazing! So many of my favourite flavours in one dish. Pinning this on my Must Make board 🙂

  8. Emily

    What exactly is the serving size you used for the salsa in the bottom nutrition panel? Thanks 🙂 P.S. I made this last week and i’m already wanting to make it again! I am training currently for a bikini contest and need the serving size for my macro calculations 🙂

    1. Krista

      I want to say it was around 1/2 cup of the avocado salsa per chicken. Woohoo go girl, bikini contest it up! 🙂 Honored your eating my food.

  9. Alyssa Lehto

    What side would you serve with this meal? My family are meat and potatoes people and I usually get comments like “Is this it” when I serve something like this on its own. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Krista

      Hey Alyssa, you could probably sure this with my Easy Garlic Ranch Potatoes and the Grilled Chili Lime Sweet Corn Salad. Your fam will be sure to love those! 🙂

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