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Chili Lime Chicken

Chili lime chicken - moist and delicious chicken marinated with chili and lime and grill to perfection. Easy recipe that takes 30 mins |


Chili Lime Chicken Recipe

Serves 4 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Marinating Time: 2 hours | Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Adapted from: Katie Rosen Kitchens


2 – 2.5 lbs skin on chicken thighs


1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons fresh lime zest
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped finely
2 jalapeño, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste


1. Rinse the chicken thighs, remove the bones, leave the skin on, and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
2. Get a big bowl, mixing  all the ingredients of the Marinade together using a whisk. Make sure the Marinade is well combined together.
3. Add chicken to the Marinade, make sure to stir and coat the chicken evenly. Marinate for 2 hours.
4. Fire up the grill, brush a little bit of oil on the surface. Add a little bit of the garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno from the Marinade on top of the chicken and grill them until they turn golden brown and charred on both sides. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note: 

You can make this chili lime chicken with a cast-iron grill pan or regular skillet, or bake in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400F and bake it for about 20-25 minutes or until the skin becomes brown and charred.

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43 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. simplyshimona

    Marinated yesterday afternoon and grilled this evening. So succulent and delish! Thanks for sharing!!


    when you say chili powder, do you mean chili as in tex-mex or as in pure cayenne powder?

  3. Stephen

    We tried this last weekend. The chicken was literally SWIMMING in marinade. Perhaps a cup of liquid is just too much for just 2 lbs of meat. Also, there was no lime or chili taste to the chicken — it was all quite bland.

    I’m sure we did something wrong because it should not be bland.

    • Hi Stephen, I am so sorry to hear that. Some readers tried the recipe with no problem. Did you pat dry the chicken thighs? I think what might have happened is that the olive oil coated the chicken and the marinade didn’t get through to the meat. Did you marinate the chicken overnight? If so, water tends to come out from the chicken. I marinated mine for two hours. I have updated my recipe to whisk the Marinade ingredients so they are well combined. Also, I reduced the olive oil to 1/4 cup as the chicken thighs are already quite moist to begin with. The chicken thigh was very flavorful with a nice tangy taste of the lime juice and the cilantro and garlic really add to the taste.

  4. DanielH

    Made this tonight and it will definitely be making a return appearance on future summer menus! I have to admit that after tasting the marinade, I was dubious. I’d like to use this opportunity to take back my doubts.

    I was too lazy to bone the thighs I had, so I just left them in. Marinated about four or five hours and served with grilled baby zucchini and corn.

    High five to you, sister!

  5. Jean Chan

    Made this to the “T” as per your recipe for 12 people and it was a hit! All guests commented on the refreshing taste of lime! Thank you!

  6. I opened my BBQ season with this recipe. Very very good. I have double the marinate and used 1/2 to marinate the chicken for 3 hours and then the other half I used it to brush the chicken on both side at the end of the cooking. Made wraps with the leftover, lunch was as delicious as yesterday night dinner. Love your recipes!

  7. Heather

    This was absolutely delicious! I didn’t have the BBQ option available so just used the oven. I’m sure these flavours would be good with any cut of chicken. I used what I had; chicken legs/quarters and baked for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees. This dish had such a wonderful, fresh lime flavour and I used the marinade left in the baking dish to spoon over steamed broccoli… so, so great. I cannot wait to try this on the BBQ because I’m sure that a little char will just put this chicken over the top! I have to say, I’ve had nothing but success with each recipe I’ve tried from this site. Thanks, Bee :)

  8. HelenG

    I made this recipe tonight with only 1 hour of marinating. It was absolutely delicious!
    I used skinless bonless thighs and thinly slided breasts. This recipe still is great without
    the skin. I wouldn’t change anything about the marinade. Next time I will save a little of
    it before putting the chicken in to marinate so that I can baste a little on before serving.
    Excellent recipe!

  9. Vicky B.

    I made the chicken this weekend and it was a huge hit. I baked it in the oven as it was raining all weekend so we didn’t BBQ, but I can’t wait to make this marinade again and get the chicken on the grill.

  10. Janna

    I made this last week with mango salsa over quinoa and it was awesome!! We are having it again this week, because there weren’t any leftovers :) Thanks for this great recipe!

  11. Tanya

    Thank you for sharing this. I made it last night for my family. And it was a huge hit. So delicious. I’m now following your blog.

  12. Mimi Wan

    Thank you for this delicious recipe! I made the marinade this morning, marinated my chicken throughout the day, about 6 hours, baked it in the oven (it was raining in my neck of the woods today) and it was hands down delicious. I used pepper flakes but followed everything else. I’ll be looking for other recipes on your site for sure.

  13. nancy keenan

    Please don’t tell people to rinse chicken. It is a foolproof way to spread chicken spooge all over the sink and adjacent areas. This can lead to contamination and sickness. There is no reason to rinse chicken for any reason. You are cooking it at a high temperature and killing anything on the surface.

    • It’s my personal preference. Even though you are killing all potential germs during the cooking process but there are always some dirty bits on the surface…feathers…blood…etc.

  14. Heather

    hi! I tried this dish at a girl friends house. I loved it! I wonder, can I be marinated longer than 2 hours? For instance while I’m at work?

  15. I pinned this recipe and decided to cook it as a part of my Pinterest Cooking challenge and it was absolutely amazing. So juicy and citrusy that neither me nor my boyfriend could get enough :-) I used chicken supremes, baked them in the oven and the result was superb. Will definitely be making it again and again. Thank you so much for this wonderful dish! It was in fact so yummy, that I added it to my blog –

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