Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Thighs

Summertime is grilling time! Enjoy delicious chicken thighs featuring the bright citrus flavour of lime and spicy notes of chili with this grilled chicken recipe. Perfect for your next barbecue or picnic.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Thighs

Hey there! Today’s recipe is a yummy chicken recipe that’s simply marinated in a flavourful made-from-scratch balsamic chili lime marinade and grilled to perfection.

These grilled chicken thighs are full of tangy, bright citrus flavour (from the fresh lime) with a little heat! It’s super easy to adjust the spice amounts to your heat preference too.

I love the char marks that cooking on the grill creates. The crispy bits are my fav!

If you want, you can check out my recipe Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chimichurri Sauce. The sauce is amazing!

This chicken recipe is perfect to make in the summertime to serve your family and friends. I hope you enjoy this recipe for Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Thighs!

How do you make this chicken recipe?

(Complete ingredient amounts and instructions available in the recipe card down below).

Raw boneless skinless chicken thighs in a balsamic chili lime sauce in a large stainless steel bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients and then add the chicken thighs. Massage the thighs with the sauce until they are well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours, but better to leave them overnight.

TIP ONE: Be mindful of the spices you use and adjust the amount of spices you use if you want.

Not all chili powders are made the same. Some are very spicy, and others are quite mild. Same goes for ground paprika. I used a milder form of both, but use the type (heat-level) you prefer.

Marinated chili lime boneless skinless chicken thighs on a hot grill.

Heat up the grill to medium-high. Lightly oil the grill grates before placing the marinated chicken thighs about an inch or two apart on the grill. Discard the excess marinade.

TIP TWO: When oiling your grill, choose an oil that can tolerate high heat such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil.

Add a small amount of oil (so it’s soaked, but not leaking) to a couple wadded paper towels. Then hold the paper towels with tongs and wipe evenly over each grill grate. Don’t use too much oil or it can cause an oily flare-up.

Chili lime chicken thighs cooking on a hot barbecue grill.

Grill the chicken thighs for about 6-7 minutes on each side, flipping once until cooked through.

TIP THREE: The internal temperature of cooked chicken should be at least 165°F before it is safe to eat.

Use an instant read or meat thermometer to check to see if the chicken is done by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.

If you don’t have a thermometer, you can cut a chicken thigh at its thickest part to see if the meat is opaque (not pink or translucent) and the juices run clear.

A dozen hot grilled chili lime chicken thighs surrounded by lime wedges on a large grey platter.

After the chicken is done, place on a platter alongside lime wedges for squeezing (I love the added bright acidic flavour).

TIP FOUR: Let the chicken rest for five minutes before serving. If you cut into the chicken right away, the juices will run out and the chicken won’t be as tender and flavourful.

A metal tong holding up a grilled chili lime chicken thigh over a platter of more grilled chicken.

Looking for side dishes to serve with these grilled chicken thighs? Check out these four recipes!

They are also awesome served with pasta salads and in sandwiches or wraps.

Overhead view of a large grey round platter containing a dozen grilled chili lime chicken thighs.

These Grilled Chili Lime Chicken are:

  • Delicious: Tender grilled chicken that’s tangy, citrusy, and lightly spicy and sweet in flavour.
  • Quick cooking and easy to prepare: All you need to do is whip up a marinade all in one bowl, marinate the chicken (make it the night before for best results), and then grill it.
  • Great to serve at your next barbecue, picnic, or summertime family and friends’ get-together: This recipe makes twelve thighs, but you can easily scale up (or down) if you want.
  • Wonderful to eat alongside other side dishes like leafy salads, potato salads, pasta salads, and grilled vegetables or to add to sandwiches and wraps.
  • Great to make ahead for meal prep: It’s a tasty protein option to make for the week.
  • A tasty gluten-free option.
A closeup of a grilled chili lime chicken thigh held by a metal tong over a platter of more grilled chicken thighs.

I hope you try this grilled chicken recipe! If you do, please leave me a rating and comment down below or tag me on any of my social media. I’m @yay_for_food on Instagram. Please share a picture!

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Thighs

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Thighs

Yield: 12 chicken thighs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Summertime is grilling time! Enjoy delicious chicken thighs featuring the bright citrus flavour of lime and spicy notes of chili with this grilled chicken recipe. Perfect for your next barbecue or picnic.

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 3 limes, juice and zest *(see first note), plus more for serving
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the chicken:

  • 12 medium boneless skinless chicken thighs

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients until well-combined.
  2. Add the chicken thighs to the marinade. Massage the chicken with your
    hands, making sure the chicken is well-coated with the sauce.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate for at least four hours or overnight in the refrigerator for best results.
  4. Heat up the grill to medium-high. Lightly oil the grill grates *(see
    second note) before placing the marinated chicken thighs about an inch
    or two apart on the grill. Discard the excess marinade.
  5. Grill the chicken thighs for about 6-7 minutes on each side, flipping
    once. The internal temperature of cooked chicken should reach at least
    165 degrees F before removing from the grill.
  6. Let the chicken thighs rest for five minutes before cutting into them. Serve with additional lime wedges on the side.

Notes

  • *Three limes yield approximately 1/3 cup of juice and 3 teaspoons of zest.
  • **When oiling your grill, choose an oil that can tolerate high heat such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil. Add a small amount of oil (so it’s soaked, but not leaking) to a couple wadded paper towels. Using tongs holding the oiled paper towels, wipe evenly over each grill grate. Careful not to apply too much oil or it may cause a flare-up.
  • Be mindful of the spices you use and adjust the amount of spices if you want. Not all chili powders have the same heat levels. Some are very spicy, and others are quite mild. Same goes for ground paprika. I used a milder form of both, but use the type (heat-level) you prefer.
  • Nutritional information represents two chicken thighs.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 176mg Sodium: 710mg Carbohydrates: 19g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 13g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 36g
Nutritional values are estimated based on the ingredients used by the author; your ingredients may differ. These values are calculated using Nutritionix.


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