This is truly the most AMAZING zesty cilantro-lime marinade ever. And the chicken comes out perfectly juicy and tender.

It was 25 degrees F this morning. I am seriously so over it.

I mean, we’re about to head into April! And it was 60 degrees just a few days ago. Where’s the Spring weather, Chicago? I’m ready for grilling season!
But I guess for now, I’ll have to settle for the grill pan.

Because these cilantro lime chicken thighs cannot wait for this Chicago warm weather everyone has been promising this LA native.

Nope. This marinade is too epic to be waiting. The marinade made with fresh cilantro, olive oil, lime zest, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

It’s simple, it’s quick, and it yields the most flavorful, zesty chicken thighs one can ask for.

Simply throw these bad boys on a grill pan or a hot grill (for those of you with actual Spring weather!) and serve with rice or use for tacos, bowls, or salads.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs

Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs


1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs


  1. In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  2. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and cilantro mixture; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat.* Working in batches, add chicken to the grill pan in a single layer and cook until golden brown and cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  4. Serve immediately.