This cilantro lime chicken recipe is marinated with flavor-packed ingredients then seared for a crispy outside and baked to perfection so the chicken is tender and delicious. This healthy dinner is done in under 30 minutes!
Jazz up your typical chicken dinner night with a few special ingredients. The zip from the limes and fresh flavor from the cilantro brings so much punch to any bland chicken. You will put this recipe on repeat, I promise!
Ingredients for cilantro lime chicken marinade:
- Olive oil
- Juice and zest from 2 limes
- Raw honey
- Chili powder
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh cilantro
Don't skip the marinading step! Even though it's tempting, these 30 minutes to an hour allow all that amazing flavor from the marinade seep into the chicken and skin. You can even marinade overnight if you want to prep this in advance.
Can you use chicken breast or boneless thighs?
This recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because the bone and skin gives it so much flavor. However, you can swap out boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast if that's what you have on hand. See the recipe notes for varied cook times! When in doubt, chicken always needs to be cooked to 165°F.
What to serve with cilantro lime chicken:
- Summer corn salad
- White or brown rice
- Kansas caviar
- Avocado pasta salad
- Chipotle roasted sweet potato and kale salad
This recipe is also great for meal prep! Make it in advance and serve it over salads or rice bowls.
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More recipes made with chicken thighs:
Watch how to make cilantro lime chicken:
Crispy Cilantro Lime Chicken
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 1/3 cup lime juice (about 2 limes) plus more to garnish
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves plus more to garnish
- 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (see notes for chicken breast)
- Add all of the ingredients, except the chicken, to a shallow bowl or ziplock bag and whisk or shake well to combine. Add the chicken thighs and turn to fully coat the chicken. If you used a bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap then place the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to marinade (or up to 8 hours if you want to make it in advance).
- When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425°F and heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Use tongs to transfer the marinated chicken to the hot pan. You do not need to grease or oil the pan because there’s enough oil in the marinade. Discard remaining marinade.
- Sear on each side for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Try not to move the chicken at all so it can sear and the outsides of the chicken get really brown and crispy. Once both sides are crispy, carefully transfer the chicken to the preheated oven and bake for 14-16 minutes. The best way to determine if they’re done is by using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. I recommend checking the temp around 14 minutes to ensure the chicken doesn’t overcook. To do this, place the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken (not touching any bone). If it reads 160°F it is done. Allow for 5° of carry-over cooking (chicken should reach 165°F total). Serve with a fresh squeeze of lime juice and additional cilantro.