These grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs are the perfect addition to your summer grilling routine. Marinated in a tangy combination of cilantro, lime, garlic, and spices to give you a flavor-packed meal!
If you’re looking for the PERFECT summer grilled recipe I have you covered!
These grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs are jam-packed with flavor and so easy to make! All you need is a few simple ingredients and you’ll be rewarded with a tasty dinner that is sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters.
I like to make sure to marinate my chicken for at least 2 hours so that the tangy lime flavor has a chance to really get into the chicken.
If you like your chicken to have a little extra heat you can add a few dashes of hot sauce to the marinade or add in some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper.
Trust me, if you’re tired of the same old boring grilled chicken this recipe is for you!
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What are boneless skinless chicken thighs?
Boneless skinless chicken thighs are exactly what you’d expect them to be, the section of the leg cut just above the knee, deboned and skinned!
Since the meat found in this spot has a higher fat content and a slightly deeper color, it’s what is referred to as “dark meat”.
Where can I find boneless skinless chicken thighs?
Luckily, this cut of chicken is incredibly popular and easy to find, you can either find them in your grocery fresh meat department with the poultry or in the frozen foods section with the other meats.
How do you make grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs?
Making these grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs could not be easier!
The first thing you’ll need to do to make this delicious dish is make sure you build in time for marinating the chicken thighs. I like to let this dish marinate for at least 2 hours.
To marinate you’ll need the following items:
- boneless skinless chicken thighs
- fresh minced cilantro
- fresh lime juice and lime zest
- minced garlic
- chili powder
- smoked paprika
- ground cumin
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
Add all those ingredients to a large bowl, toss to combine, cover, refrigerate for 2 hours, and then grill!
It’s easy peasy and you’ll be rewarded with the BEST grilled chicken thighs.
Maybe you love grilled chicken thighs but want to give smoking chicken a try. This guide on how to smoke chicken thighs is just what you need!
Using chicken breast
The biggest difference you will find is that chicken breasts cook a bit quicker than chicken thighs, so you will need to adjust your total cooking time to just 10 minutes on the grill.
For an even quicker option, I like to butterfly them or buy chicken cutlets.
Also, remember that chicken thighs are a lot more forgiving than chicken breasts. If you overcook chicken breasts they will definitely taste dry.
What are some tips for grilling chicken thighs?
- Make sure to use uniformly sized boneless skinless chicken thighs so all of the chicken cooks evenly. If your chicken pack has a lot of different-sized chicken thighs make sure to check them more often so you don’t over or under-cook them.
- Make sure you preheat your grill, you’ll need to give a gas grill at least 10 minutes, and for charcoal about 30, if your grill isn’t properly heated you run a higher risk of your thighs sticking.
- Grill your chicken thighs over medium-high heat so the chicken does not burn on the outside before the inside is fully cooked.
- Leave the lid to your grill closed until it’s time to flip, about 7 to 8 minutes into cooking.
- Use a quick read thermometer to test your chicken to make sure it’s fully cooked – 165 degrees F is the recommended internal temperature for boneless chicken thighs.
- Though it’s tempting to dive right in, it’s best to let these thighs rest for about 4 minutes before slicing into them.
Can I freeze marinated chicken thighs?
Yes, you can easily freeze these chicken thighs in the marinade for up to 2 months.
I like to make sure to use a heavy-duty freezer bag so the chicken does not get any freezer burn.
If you have a vacuum sealer this is also a great use for that.
How long does it take to grill boneless skinless chicken thighs?
The main reason I love making grilled chicken thighs is that it’s so darn easy and fast!
I like to set my grill to medium-high heat and it takes about 15 minutes total time to grill my boneless skinless chicken thighs. I usually plan for 6-8 minutes per side when grilling.
What should I serve with grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs?
While I oftentimes just serve these grilled chicken thighs with rice and grilled vegetables here are a few other side dish ideas:
- The Best Cucumber Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Honey Mustard Potato Salad
- Beer Steamed Corn on the Cob
- Blistered Shishito Peppers
- Broccoli Bacon Salad
What do you recommend to spice up this recipe?
Cilantro and lime are a pair that give fresh bright flavor to the smokey grilled chicken thighs, but if you want to take it deeper and accompany this with some spice I would recommend adding either crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
Love these grilled cilantro lime chicken thighs?
Why not try a few of my other delicious chicken recipes?!
- Love grilling? Try my Chili Mango Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Craving some heat? Try my Harissa Chicken Thighs
- Are you a fan of sweet and salty? Try my Sweet Soy Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Want the crispiest chicken of all time? Try my Crispy Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs
Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- When ready to cook preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Add your chicken to the grill and grill until fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
- Serve warm with extra cilantro sprinkled on top.