Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro-Lime Chicken is a flavorful dish that’s simple to prepare. It can be enjoyed by itself, but I’ve included recipes for cilantro-lime rice and a delightful mango avocado salsa to elevate it into a delicious and nutritious meal. This combination is bound to be a crowd-pleaser.


How To Make Cilantro-Lime Chicken

Here are the steps for preparing Cilantro-Lime Chicken:

  1. Whisk together the marinade: Set aside about 1/2 cup of the marinade for later use.
  2. Prepare the chicken: Evenly pound the chicken breasts using a meat mallet to ensure they cook uniformly.
  3. Marinate: Place the chicken in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but you can marinate for up to 24 hours.
  4. Cook: Grill, bake, or sauté the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. (Using a digital meat thermometer removes any guesswork.)
  5. Baste: While cooking, occasionally brush the chicken with the reserved marinade mix for added flavor.

Recipe Tips

Here are some tips for preparing Cilantro-Lime Chicken:

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Slice the chicken in half or pound it to an even thickness before marinating. This helps the chicken absorb more flavor from the marinade and ensures even cooking.
  2. Oil the Grill Grates: If grilling, generously oil your grill grates. You can do this by rolling up a few paper towels, soaking them in oil (such as canola), and using tongs to rub the oiled paper towels along the grill grates. This prevents the chicken from sticking and promotes a nice sear.
  3. Preheat the Grill: If grilling, fully preheat your grill before adding the chicken. Cooking on a preheated grill sears the meat’s surface, resulting in juicier chicken and a beautiful char.
  4. Brush with Marinade: While the chicken is cooking, brush it with the reserved marinade. This enhances the flavor and keeps the chicken moist.
  5. Rest the Chicken: After cooking, allow the chicken to rest, tented with foil, for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This helps retain the juices and keeps the chicken tender.

By following these tips, you’ll create a delicious and perfectly cooked Cilantro-Lime Chicken dish.

Alternate Cooking Methods

Here are the cooking instructions for Baked and Sautéed Cilantro-Lime Chicken:

Baked Cilantro-Lime Chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and loosely cover the sheet pan with foil.
  5. Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Sautéed Cilantro-Lime Chicken:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the marinated chicken breast(s) to the pan.
  3. Cook the chicken for 4-6 minutes per side until it is cooked through, and the juices run clear.
  4. While sautéing the chicken, brush it generously with the reserved marinade to enhance the flavor.
  5. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean plate, loosely cover it with foil, and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F for safe consumption. Enjoy your Cilantro-Lime Chicken!




  • 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (can also use thighs)
  • ▢3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
  • ▢1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • ▢1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
  • ▢1 and 1/2 teaspoons lime zest, divided
  • ▢1 tablespoon honey
  • ▢1 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon cumin, divided
  • ▢2 and 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ▢2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ▢1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, divided


  • ripe mango
  • ▢1 ripe avocado
  • ▢1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • ▢1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • ▢1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno, optional
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Optional: cilantro-lime rice or quinoa (see recipe notes)


Here’s the recipe for Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa:


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the following marinade ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • Honey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
  1. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the marinade and set it aside.
  2. Pour the remaining marinade into a large resealable bag.


  1. Trim any fat from the chicken breasts and pound them to an even thickness. Alternatively, slice them in half to get evenly sized breasts.
  2. Place the chicken in the bag with the marinade.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, flipping the bag halfway through. Marinating for 2-8 hours is recommended.


  1. Grill the marinated chicken on a lightly oiled grill grate, grill ridges on a grill pan, or in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil.
  2. Discard the leftover marinade.
  3. Grill for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  4. Flip the chicken halfway through the grilling process and brush it generously with the reserved 1/2 cup of marinade.


  1. In a separate bowl, toss together the remaining salsa ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Remaining lime zest
  • Remaining 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Chopped mango and avocado
  • Finely chopped red onion, red pepper, and jalapeño
  • Season the salsa to taste with pepper, salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cumin. Stir to mix.


  1. Serve the grilled chicken over a bed of cilantro-lime rice or quinoa, if desired.
  2. Spoon generous portions of the mango avocado salsa on top.
  3. Enjoy your Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa!

Feel free to adjust the quantities and seasonings to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy your delicious meal!

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