grilled chili-lime chicken

by Amy on 1 August 2012

you know what i love? quick, easy weeknight dinners that are still delicious. and personally, i’m always looking for new ways to prepare chicken, as that’s definitely my go-to protein for dinners. so, when i stumbled across this tasty-looking recipe for grilled chili-lime chicken the other day, i decided to give it a try that very night – it looked too good to wait!

i was thrilled when the marinade came together in less than 5 minutes + smelled wonderful. after letting the chicken hang out in there for a few hours, we got grillin’. and my goodness, this chicken was AMAZING – i will definitely be making it again. it has a great combo of zesty, bright citrus, a little bite from the heat, + a bit of sweetness from the brown sugar. the brown sugar caramelizes wonderfully on the grill, which means that the grill marks you see above? taste scrumptious!

a note – the original recipe called for the chicken to be cut into chunks, marinated, then skewered prior to grilling. i opted to simply pound the chicken breasts flat, marinate ’em, then grill them whole, which was delicious. i might try the cubed-and-skewered method in the future, but i loved it with the flattened chicken breasts! also, for my vegetarian friends, i’m planning to try this chili-lime marinade on tofu + then sauté it – we’ll see how that turns out. i think it’ll be wonderful, too!

grilled chili-lime chicken

serves 2-4, adapted from TasteFood blog


1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha or hot sauce (note: this will make for a medium-spicy dish. if you want it less spicy, reduce the hot sauce by half, or omit it altogether)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded into flat cutlets, OR cut in 1 inch chunks for skewers

optional: if skewering – bamboo skewers, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes


whisk all of the marinade ingredients together + put into a large ziplock bag. Add chicken to the bag + toss with marinade. refrigerate at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

prepare grill to medium-high heat. if making skewers, remove chicken chunks from marinade + skewer on pre-soaked bamboo sticks. if making chicken cutlets, remove chicken from marinade. discard marinade. grill over medium-high heat until nicely charred + thoroughly cooked through, about 8 minutes total.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathryn August 1, 2012 at 7:37 am

these are all the things that I look for in a week night meal, delicious, quick and full of flavour! chicken is often our go to protein as well because it’s easy to buy just enough to serve 2. great recipe amy, thanks for sharing!

2 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel August 1, 2012 at 9:04 am

I feel like I could drink that marinade alone, but I can only imagine how awesome and juicy it makes that chicken! This looks SO good for a hot summer night when the grill is the only option.

3 Jess August 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

Sounds delicious, but those veggies are calling my name! Is that sautéed zucchini?

4 amy August 1, 2012 at 9:22 am

Yes! I softened onions + garlic in olive oil, then added zucchini + cooked until it was just tender – one of my favorite summer side dishes!

5 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel August 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

Grilled chicken is one of my favorite parts about summer eating!

6 sarah k @ the pajama chef August 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

oooh, i love citrusy sweet & spicy marinades. i love this version–will definitely give it a shot!

7 Steph@TheChickpeaChickadee August 1, 2012 at 9:50 am

**Drool** Looks like a food magazine cover. We have been grilling a lot of chicken lately. I’m always looking for ways to spice it up. Thanks for sharing this recipe. The marinade sounds fabulous!

8 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious August 1, 2012 at 11:17 am

Quick weeknight meals are a must! I get so tired from cooking that Jason and I go to his parents but I should really start cooking more during the week and this recipe is absolutely perfect! And that zucchini side dish looks like the absolute perfect pairing!

9 jocelyn @BruCrew Life August 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

Quick easy dinners that look that yummy? The marinade sounds awesome!!! My grill is begging to be used now:-)

10 Jackie @ Domestic Fits August 1, 2012 at 11:38 am

This is perfect for a weeknight dinner. and chili & lime is one of my favorite combos :)

11 sally @ sallys baking addiction August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Mmmmm I bet this would be fabulous on tofu as well! Let me know how that turns out Amy!

12 amy August 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm

i absolutely will! =)

13 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl August 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm

This sounds amazing! Chicken is my go-to protein, also, so we’re always on the lookout for different ways to jazz it up. Thanks for sharing this!

14 Julie @ Table for Two August 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm

oh amy, i love how fresh and seasonal this dish is! i just got a yellow squash from my CSA haul and i was thinking of whipping up a light pasta dish with squash and onions! lovely dish 😉

15 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) August 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm

It’s really hard to beat any type of grilled chicken, but that marinate definitely sounds like a winner. :-)

16 Choc Chip Uru August 2, 2012 at 12:39 am

Love the flavourings and presentation :)

Choc Chip Uru

17 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings August 2, 2012 at 1:14 am

Definitely a winner! I like the fact that the marinade comes together in 5 minutes. Lime and chilies are one of my fave combos in the world, so this recipe is a keeper!

18 Kristen @ notsodomesticated August 2, 2012 at 6:21 am

Yum!! I need to pin this one. This would be a great meal idea for us right now. I’ve been on the hunt for some simple grilling recipes!! :)

19 Jennie @themessybakerblog August 2, 2012 at 9:08 am

Yum! Chicken is our go-to meal, too. I love that you jazzed it up with this lovely marinade. Printed!

20 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction August 2, 2012 at 10:58 am

I love the chili-lime combo with chicken! Great way to spice up plain grilled chicken!

21 claire @ the realistic nutritionist August 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

Oh my gosh Amy this looks soooooo amazing!

22 Erin @ Texanerin Baking August 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Yummy! I have some chicken thawing in the fridge and was wondering what to do with it. I’ll have to see if I have some soy sauce left!

23 Jen @JuanitasCocina August 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I’ve never met a chicken recipe I didn’t love. So, naturally, I love this chicken. 😀

24 Rikki August 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

This is making me so hungry! I too, always cook with chicken and am on the lookout for good marinades and new ways to eat it. I’m loving the spiciness in this recipe. Can’t wait to try this on the grill!

25 baker street August 3, 2012 at 3:01 am

easy weeknight dinners are for me too! I love chicken and always trying out new recipes. this one is for me and on my menu for next week! : )

26 Aimee @ ShugarySweets August 3, 2012 at 6:40 am

Yum, this chicken looks fantastic! Pinned!

27 Erin @ Texanerin Baking August 8, 2012 at 8:38 am

So I finally went and got some more soy sauce and threw this in the oven today. Love it! I left out the sugar and don’t think I missed it, although I see how it’d be nice if grilling. :) It was a little spicy for me so next time less hot sauce. I love how quick it was! Thanks for posting this. :)

28 amy August 8, 2012 at 8:51 am

Love your twist on it – i bet it would be great baked! I think next time i might try honey instead of the sugar, since i love the combo of honey + lime. and it definitely has some heat to it! I’m going to add a note about that in the recipe. thanks for your feedback – it’s always so helpful to hear what people think when they make a recipe!

29 Erin @ Texanerin Baking August 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

Of course! My biggest pet peeve is people not leaving feedback on the recipe but somewhere else, like Pinterest, so I’m always sure to leave some. :)

Oh, honey sounds good! I’ll definitely try that out too. I put half of the chicken in it’s marinade in the freezer so I can have a super quick meal for a busy day. I’ll add honey once thawed. :)

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