A closeup of a spoon lifting a piece of cilantro lime chicken out of a cast iron pan.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • Author: Kristen Stevens | The Endless Meal
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes (plus 15 minutes to mariante)
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Cilantro Lime Chicken is an easy to make and delicious Mexican chicken recipe. Chicken thighs are marinated then seared until crispy. Cooking some cauliflower rice in the same skillet creates a healthy and easy one-pan dinner!



Cilantro Lime Chicken Marinade

  • 1/2 cup finely minced cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or another neutral-flavored oil)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey (omit for Whole30. See notes.)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Zest and juice from 2 limes (about 1/3 cup)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (if you like it a little spicy)

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 12 ounces riced cauliflower (1 large head of cauliflower)


  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside 1/4 cup of the marinade. Add the chicken thighs to the remaining marinade and set aside for 15 minutes (or up to 2 hours in your fridge.)
  2. Heat a large cast iron or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the bowl (SAVE the marinade!) and place it in the hot pan. Cook for 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove it from the pan.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any of the stuck on bits. Add the chicken marinade and bring it to a boil and continue to boil it for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and 1/4 cup of water to the pan and stir well. Let the cauliflower cook until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken back into the pan and let it warm through.
  5. Serve the cilantro lime chicken topped with a spoonful of the reserved marinade.


If you omit the honey, also omit the lime zest or it will be too bitter. Also, know that the chicken will not char as well as it does with the honey. The flavor is still great!

I like to serve this with a tomato salad. Simply toss quartered cherry tomatoes with a little white onion, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

If you’d rather have regular rice, simply make a pot of rice then use the cooked rice instead of the cauliflower rice.