This Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Recipe 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 and the slight char from the grill really brings it all together.
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 grille 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!
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 like my Copper Top Weber Performer.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 4 oz can of chopped fire roasted green chiles
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 green onions ends trimmed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Add all ingredients except chicken to a blender or food processor and “Pulse” to combine.
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 grill to 425° F. Remove chicken from the bag and place directly on the grill grates. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill chicken 4-5 minutes on each side, flipping only once, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165° F with a meat thermometer. Allow the chicken to rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Leftovers are awesome in tacos and burritos, on salads, or in tortilla soup!