The Gay Globetrotter

Cilantro Lime Chicken

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Cilantro lime chicken is such a flavorful, fresh main course. Chicken thighs are marinated in a homemade cilantro lime marinade and seared until crispy. Finish them off in the oven and serve with some cilantro lime rice for the ultimate Mexican inspired meal! 

Like old bay chicken, searing these chicken thighs before finishing them in the oven helps to seal in the juices and crisp up the skin nicely.

If you’re making grilled cilantro lime chicken, no need to sear first! Add them to a grill over medium heat and grill away.

An overhead shot of cilantro lime chicken in a cast iron pan surrounded by fresh limes and cilantro.

How To Make Cilantro Chicken Sauce

This cilantro lime chicken sauce couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is mix the following ingredients together in a small mixing bowl:

  • Olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Brown sugar
  • Cumin

This marinade works great on pork, chicken breasts, and even flank steak too. I love to make it on a couple types of meat if I am doing taco night!
A close up of a cilantro lime chicken thigh in a pan

How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

To make authentic cilantro lime chicken:

  1. Mix all of the cilantro lime marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Marinade the chicken thighs (or breasts) for about 30 minutes. Don’t marinade too long, the acidity from the lime can dry out the chicken.
  3. Place each chicken thigh skin down in a heated oven safe pan for about 4-5 minutes on high heat. I like to use a cast iron for this recipe. Flip, and sear for another 3-4 minutes. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked through at this point. 
  4. Place the pan in a 425°F oven for 20-25 minutes to finish cooking through or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Garnish with additional lime wedges and cilantro, and serve over rice or with a side salad like Greek salad!

A pan full of crispy cilantro lime chicken fresh from the oven.

What To Serve With Cilantro Lime Chicken

I love serving lime and cilantro chicken over a bed of rice (cilantro lime rice is a great addition). 

You could even chop or pull the chicken and create cilantro lime chicken tacos with other delicious toppings like pico de gallo! 

If you’re hoping to keep things healthy, a nice garden salad or steamed veggies make a great low carb option for this recipe. 

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An overhead shot of cilantro lime chicken in a cast iron pan surrounded by fresh limes and cilantro.
Rate this Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Marinating Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Bailey
Cilantro lime chicken is an easy meal that tastes SO fresh and delicious.
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Tried this recipe?I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and rating below!


Cilantro Lime Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Other Ingredients

  • 6-8 skin on chicken thighs (boneless or bone in)
  • lime wedges garnish
  • cilantro garnish
  • chopped parsley garnish


  • Mix ingredients for cilantro lime marinade in a mixing bowl. Add chicken thighs, toss to coat, and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. 
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F. Heat a cast iron or oven safe pan over high heat on the stovetop with a glug of olive oil.
  • Once chicken has marinated, place in heated pan for 5 minutes on each side to sear along with excess marinade. Chicken will finish cooking in the oven, so it doesn't need to be fully cooked. 
  • Once skin is crispy and chicken is browned, place dish in heated oven for an additional 20-25 minutes or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F. 
  • Garnish with lime, additional cilantro, and fresh chopped parsley.


If using chicken breasts, or bone out chicken thighs, cooking times will vary. Always cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165°F. If cooking with bone in, ensure you don't touch the bone with thermometer while reading the temperature.
Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 480mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 233IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

This recipe was inspired by Cafe Delites

Tried this recipe? Let me know how you liked it below!