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posted January 04, 2021

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

This Grilled Chili Lime Chicken is up there on our weekly menu rotation all year long. Bright flavors of lime, chili powder, green chile, and fresh cilantro make the most delicious marinade. Add in a slight char from the grill, and you’ve got a flavor marriage for the books.

Sliced grilled chili lime chicken on a wooden cutting board with lime wedges and a whole grilled chicken breast in the background. Text overlay reads: Grilled Chili Lime Chicken.

Chili Lime Chicken

This chili lime chicken is a great recipe for just about any occasion. It’s the perfect family meal for any day of the week, but it also makes for a great crowd pleaser as well. Double or triple the recipe for those big family parties or summer BBQs, and you’ll have all your guests satisfied.

The chicken packs an incredible punch of flavor. It’s super zesty from the lime with a great kiss of spice. This chicken can be sliced and enjoyed as-is, or sliced and served in a variety of ways. It’s totally awesome in tacos, quesadillas, tortillas soups and more! Serve this chicken with rice, beans, tortillas, Smoked Salsa, and some lime wedges and you have a whole dinner ready to go!

A few other notes about this chicken: It freezes great so it’s perfect for meal prep. It’s also very diet friendly. There’s no sugar in the marinade making it great for those doing whole30, keto, paleo, etc.

Chili Lime Chicken Marinade in a food processor surrounded by whole limes, garlic cloves, leeks, and cilantro.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

Some notes on the grilling process for this chicken: grill hot and fast! Most of the time I like to cook my chicken over indirect heat for a majority of the cook and then transfer to direct heat for the last few minutes to get a little char on the outside (you can read my full recipe for that particular cooking method HERE).

For this chicken, however, I find the best flavor comes from cooking at full heat the whole time. There is no sugar in the marinade, so you don’t have to stress too much about the seasoning burning before the chicken cooks. The chicken itself cooks relatively quickly at the higher temperature and that added char and crust on the outside contributes so much to the final flavor profile. I really love the flavor charcoal adds, so I recommend cooking this on a charcoal grill.

Chili lime chicken marinade being poured into a zip top plastic bag surrounded by whole limes and garlic.

Chili Lime Chicken Marinade

The chili lime marinade came from my Dad’s recipe archives and as soon as I made it, all of these childhood memories of backyard dinners came flooding back! He would make this grilled chili lime chicken in huge quantities for our big family Sunday suppers and we would piece on the leftovers all week long in tacos, salads, enchiladas, and tortilla soup.

Dad also included a healthy dose of tequila in his version, and if you are so inclined, I would recommend following the recipe as written but adding in at least 1/4 cup of your favorite tequila. I don’t super love tequila flavor, so I left it out, but the tequila lovers think it is an absolutely awesome addition!

Chili Lime Marinade Ingredients

Have I convinced you yet to try this amazing chicken? If not, check out these fresh ingredients that go into the marinade:

  • 4-ounce can of fire roasted green chiles
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a food process or blender until smooth. Pour all ingredients into a gallon-sized zip top bag and smoosh (that’s right, smoosh) to thoroughly coat the chicken. Place the marinating chicken in the fridge and allow to marinate for 6-8 hours. 

Two grilled chicken breasts on a wood cutting board between a bowl of salsa and a bowl of salad.

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

You simply can’t go wrong with grilled chicken. Whether you’re cooking it on a gas or charcoal grill, 

Chili Lime Chicken Recipe

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

This Grilled Chili Lime Chicken is up there on our weekly menu rotation all year long. Bright flavors of lime, chili powder, green chile, and fresh cilantro make the most delicious marinade. Add in a slight char from the grill, and you've got a flavor marriage for the books.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 15 mins
Marinate Time : 6 hrs
Total Time : 6 hrs 25 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 142kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Chili Lime Marinade

  • 1 4-oz can chopped fire roasted green chiles
  • 2 green onions (ends trimmed)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Make the marinade. Add all ingredients for the chili lime marinade to a blender or food processor or blender and pulse to combine.
  • Marinate the chicken. Place the chicken in a gallon zip-top bag and pour the chile lime marinade on top. Turn the bag over a few times to coat well. Refrigerate and allow the chicken to marinate for 6-8 hours.
  • Preheat the grill. Preheat grill to 425 degrees F. I cooked these on a charcoal grill, but you can use whatever you have available.
  • Grill the marinated chicken. Remove chicken from the marinade and place the breasts directly on the grill grates. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, flipping only once, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165° F with a meat thermometer.
  • Rest, slice, and serve. Remove the chicken promptly from the grill when it has reached temperature. Allow the chicken to rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Store and enjoy leftovers. Leftovers are awesome in tacos and burritos, on salads, or in tortilla soup!

Nutrition

Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 470mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 106IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
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**This post was originally published in January 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken BreastChili Lime Chicken Marinade Recipegrilled chili lime chicken marinade recipe

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