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Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs Recipe

Want to serve a hungry crowd without too much effort? Try grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs. This recipe uses boneless, skinless thighs — they pack a huge flavor punch and they’re super easy to make. Serve them with a simple green salad, roasted baby potatoes, or grilled vegetables.

How to make cilantro lime chicken thighs

This recipe is perfect for backyard parties, as you’ll do most of the work ahead of time. When your guests arrive, your only task is manning (or womanning as it may be) the grill. And yes, you can absolutely fulfill that duty with a cocktail in one hand and a smile on your face.

Close up view of grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs.

1. Make your marinade

First, you’ll make the marinade. Start by chopping your cilantro and mincing the fresh garlic. Don’t use powdered or dried versions of either ingredient — you’ll find the flavor will be lacking.

In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup lime juice with 1/2 cup honey, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil (I use olive), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and your chopped cilantro (1/2 cup) and 2 cloves of minced garlic.

2. Marinate your chicken thighs

Now place your chicken and the marinade in a container and pop it in the fridge for at least three hours. Overnight works too. I like to use a resealable bag for easy cleanup and start the marinating process in the morning on grilling day.

3. Grill the chicken thighs

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs on the grill.

Oil your grates and fire up that grill. Once it’s hot, grill the chicken for 4 or 5 minutes on each side. Use your meat thermometer to verify the temperature has reached 165F or 74C.

Guess what? You’re done. Let the thighs rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve them to a salivating crowd.

Grilled cilantro lime chicken thigh FAQs

Can I use a chicken breast instead with this recipe?

You can but the end result will be less flavorful. Chicken breast is very lean and has far less flavor than a chicken thigh. It’s also very easy to overcook boneless, skinless breast on the grill, so watch it carefully.

Can I use bone-in chicken thighs with skin?

Yes, you can. Grill them skin-side down first to develop a crispy exterior. That should take about 5 minutes. Then, flip them over and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until they are done.

Do I have to grill the chicken?

If you don’t have a grill, use your broiler instead. You’ll miss the charcoal flavor, but you’ll still get some of the crispy, burned edges that add so much texture.

What do I serve grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs?

A green salad or roasted potatoes works. If you want something fancier, try grilling some corn, zucchini, eggplant, or sweet potato slices. AllRecipes has some fun ideas, too.

What can I do with leftover grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs?

I doubt you’ll have leftovers, but use them to make chicken tacos, a grilled chicken salad, or a grilled chicken sandwich.

Cilantro lime chicken thighs.
Yield: 4 Servings

Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs Recipe

Close up of cilantro lime chicken thighs.

So much flavor and so easy to make. Remember to start marinating your chicken in the morning or the night before.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Inactive Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 20 minutes


  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ½ cup cilantro (finely chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl combine the lime juice, honey, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Put the chicken thighs into a resealable bag.
  2. Pour the marinade over the chicken and seal the bag. Place into the refrigerator and allow the chicken to marinate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Lightly grease the grates of an outdoor grill. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place onto the grill.
  4. Grill the chicken thighs on each side for about 4 to 5 minutes or until fully cooked (the internal temperature has reached 165F or 74C).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 542Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 277mgSodium: 1107mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 0gSugar: 35gProtein: 56g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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