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Cilantro Lime Chicken is the most flavorful chicken breast recipe that gets marinated in olive oil, fresh lime juice & zest, garlic, cilantro, and dried seasonings and then it bakes on a sheet pan in the oven for an easy dinner recipe that the whole family will love.
For a slightly sweeter version with honey and a grilled chicken recipe, try my Honey Lime & Cilantro Marinated Grilled Chicken. It marinates in a similar marinade and then gets grilled! It’s a perfect summer recipe for outdoor eating and grilling. Or try Honey Cilantro Lime Taquitos for a family-friendly dinner idea.
Marinated Tender Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe (Sheet Pan Dinner Recipe)
Are you ready for the best chicken breast recipe that yields the juiciest chicken? This marinated cilantro lime chicken is infused with tons of flavor and then baked in the oven on a sheet pan. Simple prep time, simple ingredients, and it’s the perfect recipe for busy weeknights.
This is a great recipe for meal prep as well! Make it once and then eat it all week long on top of salads, inside wraps, burritos, or however you like.
My favorite part about making this chicken recipe is that there are so many ways to serve it! Be sure and read below for all my ideas and ways that my family loves to eat this amazing marinated chicken recipe for dinner.
Making chicken recipes for dinner is always my go-to for family dinner ideas. Some of our other favorites include these Quick & Easy Chicken Flautas, Cheesy Doritos Chicken Casserole, and Chicken Pillows. These chicken dinner recipes are probably my most made dinners for my own family!
Simple Ingredients Needed (Quick Marinade)
The ingredients needed are for the cilantro lime chicken marinade recipe. Once the chicken has been marinated you then put it on a sheet pan to bake in the oven!
- Olive Oil – I use extra-virgin ‘light tasting’ olive oil to avoid that heavy taste of traditional olive oil. Whichever olive oil you prefer. Other substitution ideas are avocado oil or canola oil.
- Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- Fresh Lime Zest
- Garlic Cloves – Use fresh garlic that has been minced or pressed, garlic paste from a tube, or chopped garlic from a jar. Garlic powder can be used if needed (1 teaspoon is what you will need if using dried garlic powder).
- Fresh Cilantro
- Cumin, Paprika, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
How To Make This Simple Recipe In A Sheet Pan
Combine the olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, chopped cilantro, cumin, paprika, salsa and pepper into a large Ziploc bag. Mix well to create the marinade and combine it all together.
Cut the chicken in half lengthwise, so you end up with two thinner pieces per chicken breast. Add the chicken into the bag with the marinade and ensure that it is closed. Shake the bag to coat the chicken in the marinade. Let the chicken marinate inside the ridge for at least 2 hours before baking it, or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a sheet pan (12″x17″) by lining it with parchment paper or spraying it lightly with cooking spray. You can also line the sheet pan with foil but I would recommend spraying the foil lightly with cooking spray or use the non-stick foil.
Place the marinated chicken breast pieces onto the prepared sheet pan and pour the remaining marinade over top the chicken.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature, using an instant-read thermometer, of 165 degrees F. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts used.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving. This will help the juices redistribute and keeps the chicken moist.
There are so many ways to serve and enjoy this recipe for cilantro lime chicken breasts. You can eat the juicy chicken breasts as is and splice them, make shredded chicken, cut the chicken into chunks and use for tacos and rice bowls, or serve it alongside some delicious side dishes or on top of a salad. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos – Slice the chicken into small chunks and serve it alongside flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or crispy corn taco shells. Don’t forget all your favorite toppings as well!
- Burrito Bowls – We love eating this marinated cilantro chicken on top of a bed of rice with all the burrito & rice bowls toppings. I make this Cilantro Lime Rice but you could also use white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa as the base. Top with shredded lettuce, sour cream, Pico de Gallo, Salsa Verde Guacamole, and shredded cheese. This Avocado Salsa is another great topping idea for burrito bowls. And of course you always need a sauce for rice bowls – try this Creamy Cilantro Lime Salsa Verde Dressing or this Copycat Cafe Rio Dressing.
- Salad – Serve the chicken on top of a fresh green salad with an assortment of lettuce varieties. Add some toppings like cherry tomatoes, black beans, corn, and avocado. Use your favorite salad dressing or vinaigrette for serving.
- guacamole and salsa
- Roasted Vegetables – Prepare some oven roasted vegetables for a healthy, low-carb serving option.
- Cilantro Pasta Salad – Make it heartier meal and serve the marinated sheet pan chicken alongside this Creamy Cilantro Lime Ranch Pasta Salad.
- Side Dish Ideas – This Corn Avocado & Tomato Salad or Corn Salsa make great side dish tops for the chicken. Try serving it alongside some chips and Homemade Blender Salsa or Creamy Guacamole.
How To Store Leftovers
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container, inside the refrigerator, for up to 3-4 days. Allow the chicken to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to the storage container.
You can also freeze this easy cilantro lime chicken recipe by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and then again in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped chicken inside a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Allow the chicken to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and using the following day.
Can I Use Boneless-Skinless Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breasts?
Absolutely! Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are an excellent substitute for the chicken breasts. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as chicken thighs do require some extra cooking time. I recommend using skinless chicken thighs because this recipe is not really designed to crisp up the chicken skin.
Can I Marinate The Chicken Overnight?
Yes, marinating the chicken overnight is a great way to infuse even more flavor throughout the chicken. Combine the marinade ingredients and coat the chicken in it. Let it marinate overnight in the fridge before cooking. The chicken needs at least 2 hours of marinade time but overnight is even better if you can remember to do it.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
I do not recommend using frozen chicken when making this recipe. If the chicken is frozen, make sure to let it thaw in the fridge overnight before doing the marinade and baking the following day. Using thawed or fresh chicken breasts ensures even cooking, no excess moisture/water, and allows the flavors to penetrate the meat more effectively.
Can I Grill The Chicken Instead of Baking It On A Sheet Pan?
Yes! If you prefer a grilled flavor, you can cook the marinated chicken on a preheated grill instead of using the sheet pan in the oven. Grill the chicken over medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes per side or until it is cooked to a safe internal temperature according to a meat thermometer.
Can I Make It Spicy?
Add some cayenne pepper, chili powder, and/or red pepper flakes to the marinade if you prefer some heat and spice. You can also serve the chicken with some hot sauce or a spicy salsa for an extra kick.
Sheet Pan Cilantro Lime Chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- zest of 1 lime
- freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- fresh chopped cilantro and/or lime wedges (optional for serving)
- Combine the olive oil, chopped cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, cumin, paprika, salsa and pepper into a large Ziploc bag. Mix well.2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, zest of 1 lime, freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes, 3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise, so you end up with two thinner pieces per chicken breast.Add the chicken into the bag with the marinade and ensure that it is closed. Shake the bag to coat the chicken in the marinade. Let the chicken marinate inside the fridge for at least 2 hours before baking it, or up to overnight.4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Preheat the oven to 400℉. Prepare a rimmed sheet pan (12"x17") by lining it with parchment paper or spraying it lightly with cooking spray. You can also line the sheet pan with foil but I would recommend spraying the foil lightly with cooking spray or use the non-stick foil.
- Place the marinated chicken breast pieces onto the prepared sheet pan and pour/spread the remaining marinade over top the chicken.
- Bake for 20-28 minutes or until the chicken reaches a safe internal temperature, using an instant-read thermometer, of 165℉.* Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts used.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving. This will help the juices redistribute and keeps the chicken moist. Serve with additional lime wedges for squeezing and/or chopped cilantro.fresh chopped cilantro and/or lime wedges