Quick & Easy Cilantro Lime Marinated Chicken Tacos

Kid FriendlyGluten Free
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins

These Quick & Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos are the perfect weeknight meal. Made with a 15 minute chicken marinade, grilled then served on a warm tortilla with avocado crema and fresh pico de gallo for the ultimate bite.

If you’re like me and love Cilantro Lime flavors then you need to try my Lettuce Wrapped Ground Turkey Tacos with Cilantro Lime Crema or my Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa.

Overhead view of Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

So you know how most people starting prepping for their Thanksgiving Menu in August? I start prepping for my Cinco de Mayo menu around February/March. I absolutely LOVE Mexican flavors but  most of all I love cooking with Mexican flavors.

It’s funny that I grew up in Wisconsin, the land of beer, cheese, brats and goulash and didn’t try a good enchilada till I moved down south. Let’s be honest, Chi-Chi’s restaurant is NOT the end all be all of Mexican food. Come down by me and I’ll so you some real Mexican food or better yet Tex-Mex! 

Overhead view of Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Ingredients you’ll need for these marinated chicken tacos:

To me, tex-mex food is all about layering multiple flavors – sweet, salty, tangy and creamy.  Each layer adds to the ultimate bite. The first step for these epic cilantro lime chicken tacos is a marinating the chicken to infuse flavor and tender the meat. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the cilantro lime chicken marinade.

  • Chicken – I marinade the chicken in whole form, grill it and then cut it up into small bites or shred it for the tacos. Just makes it easier to manage on the grill.
  • Lime Juice – Fresh lime juice is always a must. The acid from the citrus will break down the chicken and tenderize it.
  • Olive Oil – You could also use canola or avocado oil if you’d like.
  • Cilantro: Fresh is best in this recipe, it brightens everything up.
  • Spices: Keep it simple. Salt and pepper are a must and then I add in ground cumin for a some depth of flavor.

Overhead view of Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo

How to make Marinated Cilantro Lime Chicken?

The marinated chicken in these tacos is the key to all the flavor – it’s light fresh and vibrant. This cilantro lime marinade only requires 5 ingredients but packs a ton of flavor. Here’s how to make it:

  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 and internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. When ready roughly chop chicken into small dices or cubes. Set aside.

How long to marinate chicken?

When marinating chicken, the longer the better. It allows all those flavors to really soak into the chicken. For this cilantro lime chicken, I do a quick 15 minute marinade. However, if you have time you could definitely let it sit for 24 hours.

Overhead view of Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Our Favorite Toppings for Tacos:

I mean. Let’s be honest. Tacos are like an empty canvas. You can basically add anything you want on top, put it in a tortilla and call it a day. That being said, our family still has some favorite toppings that we continually go back to.

  • Avocado: There are a couple options here. We love just putting fresh slices of avocado on top. But if you’re up for a little fun flavor, top your taco with some bacon guacamole or my personal favorite a zesty avocado crema. (the recipe is below)
  • Salsa: I love a fresh pico de gallo, which is what is on these tacos. But I’ve also been known to change it up and put a homemade restaurant style salsa on top or this Avocado Salsa Verde.
  • Cheese: In this house, crumbled queso freso is our go to. But you could definitely use shredded Mexican cheese as well.
  • Onions: You can go the classic route with finely diced yellow onion or my personal favorite – pickled onions.
  • Creams – My kids love t,o top theirs with sour cream. I love a good zesty cilantro lime crema or chipotle crema to spice things up.
  • Veg it Up – I love adding “crunch” to my tacos, so things like shredded lettuce, sliced radish or a good cabbage slaw are awesome!
  • Fruit – Some of my favorite fruits to use, especially in the summer when I feel like fruits are more fresh and available are mango, peach, pineapple and strawberry. These juicy sweet fruits add a nice twist to your otherwise plain taco.

Overhead view of Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo

What to serve with Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos?

Overhead view of Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo

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taco filled with cilantro lime chicken

Easy Cilantro Lime Marinated Chicken Tacos

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 35 minutes
  • yield Yield: 10 - 12 tacos 1x
  • category Category: Chicken
  • method Method: Grill
  • cuisine Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These Quick & Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos are the perfect weeknight meal. Made with a 15 minute chicken marinade, grilled then served on a warm tortilla with avocado crema and fresh pico de gallo for the ultimate bite.

Scale

Ingredients

Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • 1.5 lbs. of boneless skinless 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

Pico de Gallo:

  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 12 tablespoons diced jalapeño
  • juice of 1 lime (12 tablespoons)
  • salt to taste

Avocado Crema:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt to taste

Tacos:

  • 10 corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • optional: pickled onions and fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

Cilantro Lime Chicken:

  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 and internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. When ready roughly chop chicken into small dices or cubes. Set aside.

Pico de Gallo:

  1. To a medium bowl add roma tomato, red onion, fresh cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and salt to taste. Gently toss together and set aside.

Avocado Crema:

  1. To a food processor add, avocado, garlic, 1/4 cup cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes, 1.5 tablespoons of lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt. Blend until smooth and looks like a puree or dressing. Set aside.

Assemble Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos:

  1. To heat corn tortillas: heat a skillet to medium high heat, spray both sides of tortilla with cooking spray and cook for 1-2 minutes on either side until browned.
  2. Assemble Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos: To one heated corn tortilla add 2 tablespoons of avocado crema, chopped chicken, pico de gallo and crumbled queso fresco.
  3. Serve.

Keywords: cilantro lime chicken, chicken taco marinade, cilantro lime chicken tacos

pinterest collage for cilantro lime chicken tacos

pinterest collage for easy cilantro lime chicken tacos

pinterest collage for easy cilantro lime marinated chicken tacos

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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!

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