Lime Cilantro Chicken Marinade

Lime Cilantro Marinade

Make this Lime Cilantro Marinade with boneless or bone-in whole chicken thighs or breasts, because FLAVOR.  Serve with fresh grilled veggies and mango cauliflower rice from Eat Happy Too.

It’s 90 degrees here in SoCal, and the grill is getting non-stop usage to keep the house cool.

You’ll love the tang of the lime, the herbal cilantro, and the salt seasoning that works perfectly on chicken. Lime Cilantro Marinade is great to make well in advance, or you can make it right before grilling and the chicken will still be super flavorful.

I made chicken breasts with lime cilantro marinade for our extended family vacation. It was so popular, this dish was requested by both the kids and adults twice more during the vacay week!

You can use Lime Cilantro Marinade with chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Or, feel free to change out the protein and make this marinade for pork loin, flank steak, and any kind of fish or shrimp. The marinade keeps the meat so juicy and tender, almost as if it tenderizes the meat with the lime juice while it’s marinating. I love to serve this chicken cold or hot. You can also use a meat hammer (also known as a meat tenderizer) to pound out the chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper to a 1/2″ thickness. The thinner chicken will grill faster, so be aware so that you don’t overdo the chicken.

Easy stuff.  I’m marinating chicken breasts in it right now…gonna put the chicken smack dab on top of my new recipe for Thai Cold Noodle Salad with Creamy Peanut Dressing.

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Lime Cilantro Chicken Marinade

(Serves 4-6)
Course Main Dishes, Sauces/Dressings/Marinades
Cuisine Carnivore, Keto, Low Carb, NSNG, Paleo


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in or boneless


  • Whisk together all marinade ingredients, dump into a plastic bag with chicken thighs. Marinate 1-3 hours. The exterior of the chicken might begin to turn white as the lime juice is a cooking agent. Discard marinade upon grilling.
  • GRILLING INSTRUCTIONS: Heat up grill to 450 degrees. Grill each side of chicken thighs, about 3-5 minutes per side for boneless, or 10-12 minutes per side for bone-in.
  • OVEN INSTRUCTIONS: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place thighs evenly in pyrex or metal baking pan, not overlapping. Bake for 25-30 minutes for boneless and 30-40 minutes for bone-in.
  • Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted at thickest part reads 180 degrees.
Keyword celiac
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!




  • Thanks Anna! This was delicious!! Even our 14 year-old liked it and said he would definitely eat it again!!! That’s high praise, Anna! 🙂

    • Jen, it’s honestly my favorite when a compliment comes from the kids–they have the real discerning palates!!

  • Can I marinate overnight?

    • you absolutely can–but keep in mind lime juice will “cook” the edges of the chicken. But I’ve done it and it just makes that chicken extra flavorful!

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