Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts

Vibrant and flavourful, Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts combine the zesty flavour of limes with the aromatic flavours of cilantro. The marinade makes the chicken so tender and juicy.

Plate of grilled cilantro lime chicken breasts on a plate with a sprig of fresh cilantro

Grilled chicken breasts are perfect for hot summer days, but after a while, you may run out of ideas for flavouring chicken. These Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts are great for a quick weeknight barbecue.

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The Marinade for Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts

The cilantro lime marinade for this recipe takes only minutes to make and has only seven ingredients, making this easy to make. It takes only 1 hour for the marinade to flavour the chicken breasts, but the chicken can marinate for up to 4 hours. (any longer than 4 hours and the lime will break down the meat too much)

The marinade also makes a great sauce for pouring over the chicken after it’s grilled. The recipe for the marinade can be doubled and reserve half of it in a mason jar or covered bowl in the fridge for use as a sauce. Heat it in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until heated through and drizzle over the chicken after grilling.

Equipment Used To Make This Recipe

When making this marinade, a food processor or blender is used to make this marinade creamy. I use a small personal blender that works well for the small number of ingredients used.

I cook these chicken breasts on the barbecue. Gas or charcoal barbecues can be used to make this recipe. If you don’t have a barbecue, these chicken breasts can be grilled indoors using a grill pan.

One of the most important tools you can have when grilling chicken is a thermometer for testing the chicken. You don’t want to overcook the chicken or it will be dry. But most importantly, you do not want to undercook chicken, which can lead to food poisoning. Chicken should be cooked to 165°F internally. A good thermometer will help you to make sure you cook the chicken to the right temperature. You don’t need a fancy thermometer. I use a small pen-sized thermometer for cooking chicken on the grill.

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts

fresh cilantroCilantro is one of the main ingredients in this recipe. I like to use fresh cilantro from my garden. Now I know that for some people cilantro tastes like soap. Our daughter is one of those people. But there really is no substitute for the cilantro in this recipe, and for some reason, she doesn’t taste soap when eating this chicken. I have read that it may be because of the processing in a blender and then grilling, which is thought to remove the soapy taste.

Lime is the other main ingredient. I use one whole lime and use a manual citrus juicer to get every last drop of juice from the lime. The lime should be a prominent flavour along with the cilantro.

Avocado Oil is used as the oil to hold the marinade together. It can withstand the high heat of the grill, whether it’s gas or charcoal. It also has a mild flavour that compliments the cilantro and lime flavours.

Cilantro Lime chicken breasts on the grillGarlic, onion powder, and kosher salt and pepper round out the marinade ingredient list.

As for the chicken breasts, I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The marinade helps keep them juicy while grilling, so they don’t dry out. I have also used boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe with great results. If you prefer bone-in chicken, that works as well. I do find this marinade works better with skinless chicken.

Serving Ideas

One of our favourite ways to eat this chicken is sliced and used in fajitas, topped with grilled peppers and onions and avocado cream. The Avocado Lime Crema we serve with fish tacos also tastes great with this chicken.

I also like to pair Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Grilled Corn Salad. The flavours of the cilantro and lime go well with the chipotle in the corn salad.

This grilled chicken can also be used as a topping for a fresh salad. And since the marinade in this recipe will cover six to eight chicken breasts, you can have leftovers to use in meal prepping for a couple of days.

For another great BBQ chicken recipe try our BBQ Pineapple Chicken.

Plate of grilled cilantro lime chicken breasts on a plate with a sprig of fresh cilantro

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • BBQ or Grill
  • Blender or Food Processor


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper for seasoning


  • cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  • Add all marinade ingredients to blender or food processor
  • Pulse until cilantro is broken down and mixture is creamy
  • Add chicken to a large bowl or freezer bag
  • Pour marinade over chicken and toss to coat
  • Cover or seal and refrigerate for 1-4 hours
  • Preheat grill to 350°F
  • Remove chicken from fridge and allow to rest at room temperature while grill preheats
  • Place chicken on preheated grill and season with salt and pepper
  • Close lid and allow chicken to cook for 7-10 minutes
  • Flip chicken and allow to cook for additional 7 minutes.
  • Check temperature of chicken. If it is at 165°F remove from heat. If it is below 165°F continue to cook with lid closed for additional 3-4 minutes, checking again.
  • When chicken reaches 165°F, remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.


  1. 5 stars
    What a great recipe! We always buy the pre-packaged flavoring packets to marinate our chicken in, but this is easy and I’m sure tastes amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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