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.
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
- Brown sugar
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!
How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken
To make authentic cilantro lime chicken:
- Mix all of the cilantro lime marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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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Cilantro Lime Chicken
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
- 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.
This recipe was inspired by Cafe Delites
Tried this recipe? Let me know how you liked it below!