Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs

Story by Holly
Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
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Run, don’t walk, and make these Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs for dinner tonight! Made with lots of garlic, lime, cilantro, and a touch of honey for a little sweetness, this flavorful main dish is an ideal start to the perfect summer meal

Along with more garlic, we’ve included the lime zest along with the juice for a flavor that can’t be beat.

These delicious Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs are sure to have your family begging for more. They are so flavorful and are a cinch to make. It’s a recipe you and your kids will love making together and it’s an easy one to pull off for your next dinner party. 

What’s so different about this chicken recipe?

You’re right, there are a million recipes out there for cilantro lime chicken. So why recreate it? Well, I am here to tell you that we have added even more flavor to this weeknight favorite. Want to know how? Along with more garlic, we’ve included the lime zest along with the juice for a flavor that can’t be beat. This chicken is tender and savory with a hit of brightness and sweetness that put it over the top. 

Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs

Bone in or boneless? Skin on or skinless?

While you could use any type of chicken thigh, for this recipe we chose to use skinless-boneless thighs. They marinate quickly and reheat beautifully the next day. Choosing boneless-skinless thighs also makes them a breeze to add to so many recipes! Need some inspiration?

How about...

  • Cilantro lime chicken thighs with rice and beans  
  • Cilantro lime chicken tacos with a mexican style slaw
  • Cilantro lime chicken salad with avocado and a lime vinaigrette

Or you could even…

  • Add them to a soup with some corn and beans 
  • Add them to some chips and cheese for an amped up nacho

I hope these ideas show you how truly versatile this chicken can be. I love making big batches of it and using it throughout the week on salads and in quesadillas and wraps.

How do you cook cilantro lime chicken thighs?

This recipe can be cooked up in so many different ways. After marinating for at least 30 minutes, you could... 

  • Grill the thighs over a gas or charcoal grill
  • Bake the thighs in an oven until cooked through
  • Toss it in the crockpot on low until cooked through get the idea. The flavor so thoroughly saturates the chicken after marinating that there’s really no wrong way to cook it! 

Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs

What’s in the marinade?

This cilantro lime marinade is made with honey and lots of garlic. The honey is for sweetness and to balance the chili powder that gives the marinade a slightly smoky flavor. Besides chicken, this marinade can be used for so many things. You can enjoy it rubbed on a whole chicken for a citrusy bird or pair it with pork or fish for tender and flavorful results. 

Here’s some things I like to serve with cilantro lime chicken...

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Fish Sauce Dressing

Sweet and Smokey Bean and Corn Dip

Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw 

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Chipotle Crema

Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs

If you make this dish, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and be sure to tell your friends where you discovered the recipe!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs


3 lbs chicken thighs, bloneless, skinless
⅓ cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp honey
2 limes juice and zest
¼ cup cilantro, finely minced
2 tbs chili powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper


  1. In a large bowl mix the olive oil, garlic, honey, zest and juice of limes, cilantro, chili powder, salt pepper and olive oil.
  2. Add the chicken to the marinade, stir to coat well. Marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours covered in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat a large cast iron pan, non-stick frying pan or a griddle over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the chicken thighs in a single layer, so they are not touching.
  5. Cook for 6 minutes on each side until the chicken thighs are cooked through, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. and no longer pink in the center.