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Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken is full of flavor. Marinated overnight, then grilled to tender juicy perfection.  Excellent for summer entertaining!

Tray of tender juicy Chili Lime chicken with a sauce to dip into!

It’s BBQ season and today I’m sharing a recipe for Grilled Chili Lime Chicken.  It is based on a salad from Central City Cafe in Los Angeles.  The menu item is long gone from their menu, but the flavors of this chili lime marinade have stuck with me over the years.

The sauce for this chili lime Grilled Chicken marinade has several flavor boosts but together they give a balanced profile, sweet, salty, citrusy with a wee bit of heat. (you can adjust the heat by the amount of pepper flakes you add.)

Chili Lime Sauce/marinade for Grilled Chicken

Points of Interest for the Grilled Chili Lime Chicken:

  • This recipe alternatively can be prepared in a skillet on the stovetop.  Heat pan to medium-high, cook until cooked through.  While the chicken is resting, pour the rest of the marinade into the skillet and boil on for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serving suggestions:
    • Grilled chili lime chicken is great on its own, but you can also use it as the protein in a salad.  Use the extra marinade by adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of vinegar for a dressing.
    • It also works well over pasta, using the extra marinade as the sauce.
    • Slice up the leftover chicken and serve it with tortillas for tacos.
  • Make a double batch of the marinade, I can almost guarantee you will LOVE it for salad dressings.
  • You can also include small diced peppers (red, yellow and green) in the dish you serve.  It makes it quite colorful.
  • A great dish for entertaining as you have the chicken marinated and ready to grill ahead of time so more time is spent with your guests.
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Grilled Chili Lime Chicken is full of flavor AND still healthy, marinated overnight, grilled to tender juicy perfection. Excellent for summer entertaining!

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Yield: 4 6 ozportions

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken

Close up of Chili Lime Chicken, flavorful, tender chicken perfect for grilling!

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken is full of flavor AND still healthy, marinated overnight, grilled to tender juicy perfection. Excellent for summer entertaining!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 4 6 oz pieces chicken breast, skinless and boneless, (I cut mine into smaller strips for faster grilling)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, minced finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons onion, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1-2 teaspoons red chili flakes, (adjust according to your heat pref)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a small bowl, stir all ingredients except the chicken until well combined.
  2. In a plastic bag, place all chicken pieces and dump about 1/2 of the marinade in with them.  Remove as much air as possible from the bag, then make sure to move the chicken around to coat all surfaces of the chicken.  Leave in fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours ahead of time.  Save the reserved marinade to pour over the top once grilled. 
  3. Preheat grill to medium high. Remove chicken from the bag.  If you want to use this leftover marinade you will have to BOIL it to cook the raw chicken juices.  You only need boil it for a couple of minutes.  Otherwise, only use the one you reserved.
  4. Grill chicken about 5 minutes on each side, makes sure center is fully cooked thru. The chicken will char where it touches the grill. To get the "pretty markings" you need to set the chicken down, then resist the urge to move it around. Only touch the chicken once to turn it.
  5. Once Grilled, allow to rest for 5-7 minutes.  You can brush some of the reserved marinade onto the chicken.  Serve immediately.  Leftovers are great for use on a salad the next day!   


  • I usually make double the marinade because it is a great salad dressing. 
  • Note that the times in recipe card do not include resting time for marinating.

All recipe calorie information was calculated on what I purchased to make this recipe in My Fitness Pal. When you make the recipe, the calorie content could vary depending on what specific ingredients/brands you actually use. Please take that into consideration if you are following a strict diet.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

4 6 ozportions

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Carbohydrates: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 42g

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Diana Johnson

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

I would love this as a salad! It sounds delicious :)


Friday 9th of June 2017

Its perfect on a salad I agree! :)

Debra C.

Monday 5th of June 2017

That marinade does look amazing, you're right it would make a delicious salad dressing also a double-batch is definitely in order! Looks delicious and your pictures are amazing!


Tuesday 6th of June 2017

Thank you Debra! ~m

sara | belly rumbles

Monday 5th of June 2017

Perfect for entertaining, but also a great recipe to prepare the night before during the work week. Makes for an easy dinner, and a tasty one too.


Tuesday 6th of June 2017

Sara~ Exactly! ~m


Monday 5th of June 2017

Love this marinade, so simple and delicious. I will try it over the weekend for our barbecue!

Lynn | The Road to Honey

Monday 5th of June 2017

Hip, hip hooray for grilling season. And what a way to kick it off than with this chili lime chicken. It looks amazing! So good that I would love to have it on everything you mentioned. Definitely going on my list of things to grill this summer.


Tuesday 6th of June 2017

I LOVE grilling season! It is so nice when its hot outside to not use the stove/oven! Hope you like it! ~m

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