Chili Lime Chicken is chicken thighs marinated in lime, honey, and spices, seared, then baked to perfection and brushed with a sticky glaze made from the reserved marinade. It is a delicious way to serve tender, juicy, flavorful chicken! And, you can make the chicken in an air fryer or on the grill. I also have Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs you will love!

Skillet of Chili Lime Chicken on a wooden table from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Chicken: For the most flavor, I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You could substitute chicken breasts, but you may need to adjust the cooking time. Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 medium limes) or bottled juice would work for the marinade.

Honey: Honey adds some sweetness to the marinade.

Cilantro: I encourage you to try the marinade with cilantro, even if you are not a fan. But, if you don’t have any on hand, or just don’t prefer the taste, you could leave it out. The marinade will still be flavorful!

Spices: You will need chili powder, cumin, onion powder, salt, and cayenne pepper for the marinade. If you don’t like any heat in your dishes, leave out the cayenne pepper (although it is subtle).

Close up of Chili Lime Chicken in a skillet.

What To Serve With Chili Lime Chicken

Here are some delicious options to pair with Chili Lime Chicken:

Can I Marinate The Chicken Longer Than Four Hours?

No, I would not recommend marinating the chicken for more than four hours. If it sits in the marinade too long, the acidity of the lime juice may start to break down the chicken.

Fork picking up a bite of Chili Lime Chicken that has been cut.

Can I Make This Without Pan-Searing?

Yes, but I highly recommend the extra step and a few minutes to pan-sear the chicken before cooking it in the oven. Pan-searing the chicken helps lock in all that delicious flavor, creating a flavorful crust. If you do skip this step, you may need to adjust the cooking time to ensure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.

How To Store Chili Lime Chicken

To store chili lime chicken, first, let it cool to room temperature. Then, store the chicken thighs in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last up to 3-4 days. If you have leftover marinade, store it separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Heat the chicken in the microwave, stovetop, or oven, and bring the marinade to a boil when ready to enjoy as leftovers.

Platter of Chili Lime Chicken on a wooden table from overhead.
5 from 1 vote

Chili Lime Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Chili Lime Chicken is chicken thighs marinated in lime, honey, and spices, seared, then baked to perfection and brushed with a sticky glaze made from the reserved marinade. It is a delicious way to serve tender, juicy, flavorful chicken!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 6-8 thighs
  • ½ cup (121 g) lime juice, fresh or store-bought
  • ¼ cup (85 g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  • To a large bowl, add lime juice, honey, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, salt, and cayenne. Mix well. Add chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes, up to 4 hours.
  • When ready, preheat oven to 400°F*.
  • To a large oven-safe skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add oil. Once hot, add the chicken, reserving the excess marinade. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until the chicken begins to brown. It will not be fully cooked at this time.
  • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • While the chicken is cooking, to a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the reserved marinade. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the marinade thickens and becomes sticky.
  • Brush the marinade over the cooked chicken. Serve warm.

Notes

*Air Fryer & Grilling Instructions
Air Fryer Instructions:
  1. Marinate the chicken thighs as instructed.
  2. When ready, place the marinated chicken thighs into the basket of your air fryer. Depending on the size of the air fryer, you may need to work in batches.
  3. Air fry at 380°F for 14-16 minutes, flipping the chicken thighs halfway through, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, boil the marinade as instructed. Brush over cooked chicken thighs.
Grilling Instructions:
  1. After marinating the chicken, preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Grill chicken for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
  3. While grilling, boil the marinade. Brush the thickened marinade onto the chicken in the final few minutes of grilling.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

This chicken was delicious! It was juicy and full of chili and lime flavors! I would serve this with some white rice for the perfect easy weeknight meal!

Bella

The tangy freshness of the lime and the slight kick of the chili make a great combination. The chicken was juicy and savory!

Rachael

This is such a flavorful delicious chicken recipe! I would love to make this chicken in a burrito bowl or in a salad!

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