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grilled chicken recipe

Easy and healthy grilled chicken recipe, just in time for the grilling season and hot weather!

Meaty chicken thighs marinated in sweet zesty marinade of coconut milk, lime juice and fresh cilantro. Jalapeno pepper adds a tiny spicy kick to the chicken that is still kid friendly. Feel free to add more jalapenos for a spicier version.

The recipe is so easy, you can marinate the chicken the day before and grill it on a weeknight after work.

grilled chicken recipe

Onions are great for meat marinades: they tenderize the meat and start “cooking” it. You won’t taste the onion much and your chicken will cook faster and will be softer.

For this grilled chicken recipe I chose chicken thighs with bone in because they are juicier than chicken breasts. I also left the skin on on some pieces. Feel free to use boneless and completely skinless chicken thighs.

grilled chicken recipe

If you are really watching the calories, choose chicken breasts sliced in half and cut in smaller pieces for proper cooking. I’m OK eating all kinds of chicken meat because it is real food, I cook it healthy and it doesn’t happen every day.:)

Enjoy with any healthy whole grain side like quinoa or brown rice and salad. To cut down on carbs, skip the grains and serve with a large salad on a side.

Coconut Cilantro Grilled Chicken

Coconut Cilantro Grilled Chicken


  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, skinless, bone in (boneless)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, light
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 1/4 red onion, medium
  • Handful cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Jalapeño to taste (I used 1/3 of a medium one)
  • Cooking spray


  1. To make marinade: In a food processor (Magic Bullet) combine all ingredients except chicken and process until smooth mixture is formed.
  2. Wash chicken thighs under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels and pierce randomly with a small knife. Add to a medium bowl or any container that can be covered. Pour marinade over chicken, mix with your hands to coat the meat evenly, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard marinade before cooking.
  3. Preheat the grill on high using both burners. After preheating, turn the left burner off leaving the right burner on. Place marinated chicken on a left burner side (indirect heat) sprayed with cooking spray. Close the grill lid and cook for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, close the lid and cook for another 20 minutes. Place on a right burner side (direct heat) to get some cool grill marks. Serve warm.
  4. Note: Grills vary so check your chicken often. I have a powerful new Coleman grill.

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 7 thighs

Amount Per Serving = 1 thigh:
Calories: 89
Total Fat: 4.8 g
Cholesterol: 48.5 mg
Sodium: 198 mg
Total Carbs: 0.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 11.8 g
WW Points+: 2

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  1. mercy

    this looks delicious!! but i am out of a grill right now :/ would this work in the oven too?

    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      For sure! Preheat oven to 425 F degrees and place chicken on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake boneless skinless chicken for 20 minutes or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F. Ovens vary so check and if necessary cook a bit longer. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5-10 mins covered with foil. This makes meat more tender.:) Hope this helps.

    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      We just had a perfect day today for this recipe and I did cleaning and laundry. I’m bad!!!

  2. Debi

    You had me at cilantro! Wondering if I need to drain the marinade before cooking in the oven?

  3. Meredith

    What would be a good side to accompany this dish? I love the idea of the chicken, but I can’t think of how to make it a complete meal.

  4. katrina m

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was very tasty!! I used boneless thighs and it was great on the grill. My whole family loves it. The only alternation I did was add fresh garlic and like zest. Loved it, will repeat

  5. Jesse Jade

    Made this for friends the other night. and it was extremely tasty. I opted to used the chicken breast halves (always trying to stay trim) and shallots because I didn’t have any red onion on hand. It was a big hit with everyone, and really easy to make. I served it with corn grilled in their husks and Cajun seasoning, and roasted bell peppers with lemon pepper and goat cheese. Excellent!

  6. Aura

    I made this today, but changed the recipe a little bit: I chose the chicken breasts sliced in half and cut in smaller pieces and cooked them in a wok (like stir frying) at med-hi with the marinade. Added some garlic and coconut oil to the marinade too. When the chicken was completely cooked and golden, I added more coconut milk (1/4 cup) with 1 tsp of cornstarch for a creamy sauce. Complete success! Thank you!


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