by Olena

Coconut Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs

Olena Osipov
5 from 8 votes

THE BEST Grilled Chicken Thighs are juicy, flavorful and easy. Sweet with heat simple marinade makes these chicken thighs a true crowd pleaser.

Kids loved these! 🙂 Just like they love simple grilled chicken breast.Coconut Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs

Grilled Chicken Thighs

These grilled chicken thighs come with easy marinade whipped in a food processor or blender, flavorful meat and crispy skin. Just look at them!

So easy, you can marinate chicken the night before and grill it on a weeknight after work. I personally got it done on Sunday at 10 PM after a day of biking, cooking and more real life.

If you are tired of dried spices marinades but still looking for simple grilled chicken with a twist, these chicken thighs are IT. Everyone will ask for the recipe and you know where to send them. 🙂

Grilled Chicken Thighs in a blue dish

What Is the Marinade?

Meaty chicken thighs marinated in sweet zesty marinade of coconut milk, lime juice and fresh cilantro. With substitutions, of course. 🙂

  • Canned coconut milk: Fat makes meat more moist. Substitute with yogurt or buttermilk.
  • Lime juice: An acid that is a must for any marinade. Use lemon or apple cider vinegar.
  • Cilantro: Pulverized cilantro flavour is intense and perfect for flavoring the meat.
  • Jalapeno: Adds a tiny spicy kick that is still kid friendly. Feel free to add more jalapenos for a spicier version.
  • Onions are great for meat marinades: They tenderize and start “cooking” meat. You won’t taste the onion much and your chicken will cook faster and will be softer.

cilantro, onion jalapeno in a food processormarinade for Grilled Chicken Thighschicken thighs covered in cilantro marinade in glass bowl

How to Grill Chicken Thighs

chicken thighs grilling on the grill

  • Marinate chicken from 4 to 24 hours. I tried both and both were flavorful.
  • Grill on hot grill for about 15 minutes per side while covered. Reduce heat to low if fat is burning and flip when meat is somewhat opaque on top.
  • Chicken is ready when meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees F.
  • Rest chicken under any cover for about 5-10 minutes to allow juices to settle.

thermometer inserted in Grilled Chicken Thighs showing 165 degrees F

Tips for Best Grilled Chicken Thighs

  • Leave skin on during cooking to prevent chicken from burning and drying. Remove before serving.
  • Bone in chicken cooks longer.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs are great – cook on lower heat and less.
  • Do not marinate chicken past 24 hours – it starts to break down.
  • Longer marinated meat will cook faster.
  • Discard marinade – always.

Grilled Chicken Thighs Recipegrilled chicken thighs served with cucumber salad on white plate and black fork

How to Serve and Store Grilled Chicken Thighs

More Grilled Chicken Recipes

closeup of Grilled Chicken Thighs with crispy skin

coconut lime grilled chicken thighs

Coconut Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs

THE BEST Grilled Chicken Thighs are juicy, flavorful and easy. Sweet with heat simple marinade makes these chicken thighs a true crowd pleaser.
5 from 8 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 9 chicken thighs (1 per serving)
Calories: 361kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 3 lbs chicken thighs bone in or boneless
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk from a can
  • 1 lime juice of
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • Cilantro large handful
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 Jalapeño pepper with seeds for mild; more for hot


  • To make marinade: In a food processor/blender, combine coconut milk, lime juice, onion, cilantro, salt and jalapeno pepper until smooth mixture is formed.
  • Place chicken in a large bowl or any container that can be covered.
  • Pour marinade over chicken, stir with tongs, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight (but no more than 24 hours).
  • To grill chicken thighs: Preheat the grill on high, then reduce to low-medium. Rub the grill with an oiled paper towel.
  • Place chicken skin side down on the grill, close the lid and cook for 15 minutes. If the fat is burning too much, reduce the heat to low.
  • Turn the chicken over, close the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until internal read thermometer inserted in the thickest part has reached 165 degrees F.
  • Serve warm with cucumber salad, corn avocado salad or mango black bean salad.
  • Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Make ahead: Chicken can be marinated for a maximum of 24 hours.
  • For Reheating: In a skillet, add a splash of water or broth and chicken thighs. Cook chicken covered on low for ~5 minutes.



  • Grills vary so check your chicken often. I have a powerful new Coleman grill.
  • Bone in chicken cooks longer and boneless faster.
  • Longer marinated chicken cooks faster as well.
  • Always discard chicken marinade.


Serving: 1thigh | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 124IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 18mg | 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 and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

28 comments on “Coconut Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs

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  1. 5 stars
    This is the first time where I see a recipe when we’re given even suggestion on what to eat it with… thankful. Great job! I love it! Well done…

  2. Ok I’m such a terrible cook! My paste was not thick like yours – I guess I chopped it too long in my vitamix – hoping it will still taste ok

  3. 5 stars
    Hello Olena, made your recipe with chicken breasts and my husband has so far thanked me 5 times! I used banana peppers and extra lime juice, it was delicious…Also made extra sauce for drizzling on cooked chicken. Thank you again for your wonderful recipes.?

  4. 5 stars
    Very good! I whipped everything up in my vitamix except the pepper because I did not have it. I only had a half hour to marinate but it was still tasty! Next time I will marinate longer. Thank you.

  5. 5 stars
    Olena I am really loving all you’re recipes for the instant pot .my name is Coleene and have been married to Dave for 42 years. So glad I found you’re website ?? I have made jambalaya soup the beef stew and then your healthy recipes I’ve made the healthy tuna salad which is just wonderful we’re really enjoying that

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious!!!! I used about 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins and marinated them for about 24 hours. The chicken was so tender and so tasty! I doubled the marinade recipe and used 1/2 for the overnight marinating and saved the other 1/2 to warm and use as a dipping sauce / drizzle (I could eat this sauce by the spoonful so I dipped my grilled chicken in it and also drizzled it over the steamed green beans we had on the side)! We like heat, so I used a whole large jalapeno, but I did cut back on the onion quite a bit and used a sweet yellow one from our garden (the cilantro was also from our garden – I love summer!!).

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

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