These grilled cilantro-lime chicken breasts are fragrant, juicy, delicious, and easy to make. I like to serve them right off the grill with my favorite vegetables sides, but they also work beautifully in salads, wraps, and tacos.
These simple, brightly flavored grilled cilantro-lime chicken breasts are great for make-ahead meals, and they are my favorite go-to healthy option. If you are looking for a clean, low carb protein, these flavorful chicken breasts will do the trick!
Ingredients for grilled cilantro-lime chicken breasts:
- 4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- Fresh cilantro (sub with flat-leaf parsley if you’re not a cilantro fan)
- Olive oil
- Fresh lime juice, 3-4 limes
- Jalapeno, 1 medium-sized
- Salt and black pepper
The cilantro-lime marinade:
The cilantro-lime marinade is the first building block of flavor or these chicken breasts. It’s contains just six ingredients, and packs a delicious punch! You can further enhanced the flavors by adding 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. This will give the marinade an earthy depth. On occasion, I will add 1/2 tablespoon of honey to cut the sharpness of the cilantro-lime combination.
What can I use instead of cilantro? If you are not a fan of cilantro, you can substitute it with flat-leaf (Italian) parsley.
Preparing the marinade: This marinade is easy to prepare. Add the ingredients into your blender or food processor, and blend the mixture. Some folks like to blend it smooth, while I prefer a little texture. Either way works great.
Marinate your chicken for 2-4 hours or up to 8 hours if needed. I don’t recommend marinating these chicken breasts longer than 8 hours.
Prepping the chicken:
I recommend flattening the chicken breasts or this recipe. This will allow the chicken to absorb the marinade evenly and cook quickly on the grill. It’s best to flatten the chicken breasts by half of its original thickness. No more than that!
Place a 10″ piece of plastic wrap on your counter. Place 1-2 chicken breasts on top, then set another piece of plastic wrap right on top. Using the flat side of a kitchen mallet, lightly strike the chicken breast(s) from the center, moving outward to create a uniform shape. Aim for ¾” thickness. Repeat the process with the remaining breasts.
Grilling Cilantro-Lime Chicken Breasts:
Cook over medium-high heat, or about 375 degrees F. Oil the grill grates once the grill comes up to temperature. Have a reliable instant-read thermometer handy!
Place the marinated chicken breast on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 5-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Reduce heat if needed, or move the chicken off to a cooler part of the grill, and continue cooking over indirect heat.
Store your leftover grilled chicken breasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days after preparation.
Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken Breasts
- 4 medium chicken breasts skinless and boneless
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 medium jalapeno stems and seeds removed
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- For even thickness, set down a 10” piece of plastic wrap on your counter. Place 1-2 chicken breasts on top, then set another piece of plastic wrap right on top. Using a kitchen mallet, lightly strike the chicken breast(s) from the center, moving outward to form a uniform piece of meat. Strive for ¾” to 1” thickness. Repeat the process with the remaining breasts.
- Move flattened chicken into a glass baking dish or resealable freezer bag.
- Place all marinade ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse 10 times to create a nice thick mixture. If the marinade is too thick, add a little more olive oil. The mixture should not be a puree but rather a fine chop.
- Pour marinade over chicken breasts and toss to coat. Cover dish with plastic wrap or seal bag, and place into the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
- Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Once up to temperature, oil the grill grates.
- Place marinated chicken breast on the grill, close the lid and cook for 5-7 minutes. Turn chicken breasts over, close the lid, cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Reduce heat if needed, or move chicken off to a cooler part of the grill. Continue cooking over indirect heat.
- Once cooked through, remove chicken breasts from the grill and place them onto a serving platter. Hit with a little extra fresh lime juice, and garnish with cilantro.
- *Substitutions: Not a fan of cilantro? You can substitute it with a mixture of Italian parsley and fresh oregano. It will change the flavor, but the chicken breasts will be delicious. Garnish with chopped green onion or parsley.
- *Purchase about four limes for this recipe.