Get perfectly juicy chicken every time with this Lime Chicken Marinade. Made with lime juice, lime zest, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and other pantry-staple ingredients, you’ll end up with tangy and tender chicken every single time.
Bring bold and bright flavors to your grilled chicken with this Lime Chicken Marinade. A blend of pantry-staple ingredients and freshly juiced citrus soaks deeply into chicken thighs, giving them plenty of flavor and moisture. Similar to my mexican chicken marinade, the citrus in this recipe helps tenderize the meat for a few hours while you can sit back and sip on a margarita!
The shining start in the easy marinade is the fresh lime juice and zest. Combined with olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, and a little bit of brown sugar, it’s the perfect marinade for grilling chicken in the summertime or pan-frying it any time of year.
Lime Chicken Marinade Ingredients
- Lime juice
- Lime zest
- Olive oil
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Red pepper flakes
- Ground cumin
- Turn this into margarita chicken! Add 3 tablespoons of blanco tequila to the marinade. It’ll add a little extra brightness and because the alcohol cooks out, the chicken will still be family-friendly.
- Don’t have chicken thighs? Use the marinade on chicken breasts, wings, or shrimp instead.
- Not a fan of cilantro? Replace it with parsley or arugula.
How long to marinate chicken thighs
You’ll get the best results when you leave the chicken thighs in the marinade for 6-8 hours. This is enough time to tenderize the meat and make everything juicy and flavorful.
I don’t recommend leaving them in the marinade for longer (unless you plan on freezing the marinade – see notes below). Any longer and the acid will begin the break down the chicken and make it mealy.
The best way to ensure you get juicy and finger-licking good chicken is to not overcook it. I cook my chicken to 165°F to make sure it’s fully cooked but not overcooked. This instant read thermometer is my absolute favorite for temping meat and fish. It’s incredibly accurate and a must-have kitchen tool.
Make it ahead of time
You can easily get the marinade and chicken ready in a Ziploc bag ahead of time and store it in the freezer until it’s time to eat. Take the bag out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw completely in the fridge. Grill it the next day for lunch or dinner and enjoy!
What to serve with lime chicken
- Rice! Try my cilantro lime rice, Mexican rice, arroz verde, or cauliflower lime rice.
- Mexican quinoa salad
- Mexican zucchini
- Grilled corn salsa
- Refreshing drinks! Try my classic margarita, watermelon margarita, or virgin margarita.