Baked Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs — EASY, juicy, tender chicken thighs with plenty of tangy lime and fresh cilantro!! Ready in 30 minutes, starts on the stove, and finishes in the oven! Just a handful of ingredients used and PERFECT for busy weeknights!!
Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs Recipe
This easy chicken dinner recipe starts on the stovetop and finishes in the oven and is ready in 30 minutes.
Because I used chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts, the chicken is extra juicy, tender, and perfect to sink your teeth into.I seasoned the chicken with cumin and smoked paprika to give it layers of Mexican-inspired flavor.
The lime cilantro chicken is made in one skillet which keeps things super practical and streamlined, especially on busy weeknights.
Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
This baked cilantro lime chicken recipe has a very short ingredients list with common everyday ingredients. You’ll need:
- Chicken thighs
- Lime juice
- Smoked paprika
- Lime wedges
How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
This recipe is so easy and ready in about 30 minutes! Here’s how the cilantro lime chicken thighs are prepared:
- Simply brown chicken on the stove until it’s lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. The chicken won’t be cooked through.
- Add garlic, lime juice, season the chicken with cumin and smoked paprika.
- Place the skillet in the oven so the chicken can finish cooking through, about 15 minutes, but exact cooking time will vary on the size of the pieces of chicken and exactly how browned/done they were going into the oven.
- Garnish with plenty of fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and dig in. Winner-winner, chicken thigh dinner.
Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead of Thighs?
For this recipe, I used boneless skinless chicken thighs. Normally my chicken recipes use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but it’s good to mix things up at times!
You could probably use bone-in chicken thighs or chicken breasts, with or without skin, but I haven’t tried those variations can’t give exact cooking times.
Normally bone-in will take an extra 5 minutes or so to cook through in the oven, but just keep an eye on them.
What to Serve with Cilantro Lime Chicken
Serve the chicken thighs with your favorite Mexican-inspired sides. To get you started, here are some cilantro lime chicken sides you can make:
- Borracho Beans
- Baked Tortilla Chips + Salsa
- Very Veggie Rice and Beans
- Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad
- Grilled Mexican Corn (Elote)
Tips for Making Baked Cilantro Lime Chicken
Chicken is such a lean protein, and even thighs aren’t a guarantee that your chicken can’t dry out in a hot oven.
Whenever you’re baking chicken, make sure it reaches 160F in the oven, and it will finish carryover cooking just sitting in the hot skillet and reach the recommended 165F.
I always recommend allowing the chicken to rest a bit before slicing into it to keep all those luscious juices contained in the chicken and not runoff.
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 to 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (with or without skin is fine)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika is okay), or to taste
- fresh cilantro, for garishing
- lime wedges, optional for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 425F (use Convection if you have it).
- To a large oven-proof skillet, add the oil, add the chicken with the skin down (or the side down where the skin would have been if you’re using skinless), and evenly season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is golden browned on each side, about 4 minutes per side.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute; stirring nearly constantly.
- Add the lime juice (it will bubble up vigorously when it comes into contact with the oil so use caution), evenly season with the cumin and smoked paprika.
- Place skillet in oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and done (165F). Exact cooking time will vary on the size of the pieces and exactly how browned/done they were going into the oven.
- Garnish with cilantro, optional lime wedges, and serve immediately.
Chicken will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 221mgSodium: 382mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 44g
More Cilantro Lime Recipes:
20-Minute Baked Lime Cilantro Chicken Breasts – Super juicy, EASY, tender chicken that’s ready in 20 minutes and made on ONE sheet pan!! Bursting with robust Mexican-inspired lime cilantro flavors that will make this an automatic family FAVORITE!!
Grilled Lime Cilantro Chicken — EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the cilantro chicken is so TENDER, juicy, and full of Mexican-inspired flavor!! Put this HEALTHY chicken recipe on your summer menu rotation and it’ll be a hit with everyone!!
Lime Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans— This 15-minute recipe is made in a single skillet and tastes even better the next day! You can use it as a taco filling or enjoy as is. You’re going to love all that lime-cilantro flavor!
20-Minute Cilantro Chicken, Rice, and Beans — EASY, healthy, and the fresh cilantro sauce is SO good!! The chicken is juicy, loaded with flavor, and along with the rice and beans and you’ll be SATISFIED for hours!!
Grilled Sriracha Lime Chicken – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and the chicken is SPICY, tender, and juicy!! Put this HEALTHY chicken recipe on your summer menu when you want to kick things up a notch!!
Lime Cilantro Shrimp and Black Bean Salad – Tender juicy shrimp, black beans, avocado, cilantro, and more coated in a lime sauce that’s a FIESTA in your mouth!! An EASY and HEALTHY Mexican-inspired salad that’s ready in 10 minutes!!
Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon – EASY, ready in 10 minutes, and a FOOLPROOF way to make grilled salmon!! Tender, juicy, and bursting with Mexican-inspired flavors that everyone LOVES!!