by Olena

Chili Lime Chicken

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 6 votes

Flavorful Mexican Chili Lime Chicken in as little as 30 minutes. Bake, grill or fry and use in tacos, salads or fajitas year round.

Check out other fresh flavored chicken recipes like lemon chicken and coconut lime grilled chicken thighs. chili lime chicken on a plate with limes

How to Make Chili Lime Chicken

This chili lime chicken is just wonderful. Juicy, easy and healthy. We make it all summer long alternating with cilantro lime chicken.

I like to double the recipe and use in salads throughout the week.

Best Chicken to Use

chicken breasts, spices, limes

The best chicken to use to make chili lime chicken are boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Depends whether you are white or dark meat person.

Thighs are more juicy but higher in fat than more lean chicken breasts. I do not find chicken breast dry because I cook it properly. There is a trick.

You can use bone in and skin on chicken. You will want to cook it low and slow on the grill and on the pan. In the oven, same baking temperature just longer cooking time.

Chili Lime Chicken Marinade

chili lime chicken marinade in a bowl with chicken breasts

For the chicken marinade, I use a bit of olive oil mixed with a lot of lime juice and my favorite simple Mexican spices like chili powder and cumin.

Lime gives the most fresh, summer-y flavor in this recipe and others like cilantro lime cauliflower, zucchini noodles with cilantro chicken and lime, and lime iced tea.

I even use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic to make marinade recipe quicker and to prevent garlic from overpowering other spices.

Whisk marinade in the bowl and then place chicken in it. Because chili lime marinade contain a lot of lime juice, you can marinate chicken for as little as 30 minutes and as long as 48 hours.

It literally takes 5-10 minutes to combine everything in a bowl.

Bake, Grill or Fry

chili lime chicken on a grill

I cook chili lime chicken using all methods depending on my life situation. Right now we do not have an outdoor grill because we moved. I cooked chicken on an indoor grill because who doesn’t love grilled chicken in the summer. In winter, I would crave more baked or fried chicken.

No matter how you cook your chili lime chicken, you have to let meat rest. Resting chicken means to cover a dish with cooked chicken with a tin foil, towel or silicone lid. Let it sit like that for 5-10 minutes. That allows juices to settle back in a meat.

chili lime chicken grilled on an indoor grill

What to Serve Chili Lime Chicken With?

My absolute favorite way to serve any chicken is with a side of whole grain and veggies like quinoa and Mexican kale salad. I just love simple and quick meals. My family does too. It took 30 minutes for all of this goodness.

And cut up and serve in chicken tacos or a grilled chicken salad. Don’t forget to try it along with black bean salsa or mango salsa.

sliced chili lime chicken served with salad and quinoa

More Healthy Chicken Recipes

chili lime chicken sliced on a plate

Chili Lime Chicken

Chili Lime Chicken

Flavorful Mexican Chili Lime Chicken in as little as 30 minutes. Bake, grill or fry and use in tacos, salads or fajitas year round.
5 from 6 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 221kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs boneless
  • 3 limes juice of
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl, add lime juice, oil, maple syrup, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork.
  • Add chicken to the bowl, poking and tossing with a fork. This will allow marinade to penetrate the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins - 48 hours. The longer you marinate, the deeper the flavor.
  • To pan fry: Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl a bit of oil to coat. Add chicken, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the thickest part juices run clear when poked with a knife or fork. Discard marinade.
  • To grill: Preheat grill on medium-high (450-500 degrees F) and rub with oiled paper towel. Place chicken on the grill, close the lid and grill for 8-10 minutes turning once. Do not overcook. Discard marinade.
  • To bake: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rub bottom of large baking dish with oil and lay chicken breasts in a single layer. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes (thinner) to 35 minutes (2″+) or until 150 degrees F internal temperature. Discard marinade.
  • For all methods: Make sure you let chicken rest. Place cooked chicken onto a baking dish and cover with tin foil, silicone lid or paper towel. Let rest for 5 minutes. This step helps juices settle back into the meat.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.


    Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 386mg | Potassium: 629mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 329IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    20 comments on “Chili Lime Chicken

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    1. 5 stars
      Hi, if I want to freeze it, should I freeze it uncooked or cook it first?

      Thank you!
      I love your recipes by the way!

      1. Either way will work! Some people will freeze their chicken in a ziploc bag with the marinade. I have frozen this chicken breast after being cooked. Hope that helps Becky.

    2. 5 stars
      Fantastic! I marinated the chicken for 48 almost two days and baked it. I love recipes you can prep in advance when you have time and then cook it with minimal fuss. Thank You!

    3. Hi,
      I really want to try your chicken recipes but by resting it,
      does it still stay warm? My husband always says by time
      he gets it to eat, it is not hot anymore.


      1. You have to rest any meat for 5 mins or so to let juices flow through the meat. That’s for best results. Of course can eat any cooked meat any time.

    4. 5 stars
      Love this. Super tender chicken that gets rave reviews everytime I serve it.
      In summer I will often kabob this with pineapple, peppers and red onion.
      Fantastic flavours!

    5. Very tasty, made it tonight. Served it will baby potatoes, sour cream and fresh dill, along with yellow and green beans, yummy!
      Have some left for a sandwich tomorrow, not dry at all.

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