Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa


During the summer I’m all about grilled chicken recipes! They are easy, flavorful and they’re always an entree my family can agree on. This Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken is no exception. It is packed with vibrant flavor and I can’t get over how amazing the avocado salsa is with it. You get tender juicy chicken thanks to a delicious marinade and a perfect sear over a hot grill (and of course checking that chicken temp as to not overdue it) and with all the fresh ingredients here you just can’t go wrong.

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa | Cooking Classy

If you like Mexican and Southwestern flavors you’ll love this chicken! Really, what’s not to love about it? If avocado is listed in the ingredients it’s almost guaranteed to be good right? And you can never go wrong with the cilantro-lime combination. Combine those with a few other fresh ingredients and you turn a bland and boring piece of chicken into something worth remembering. So good you may find yourself returning to it on a regular basis!

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa | Cooking ClassyGrilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa | Cooking Classy


Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

5 from 5 votes

Yield: 4 servings



  • 4 (6 oz) chicken boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 Tbsp lime zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil , plus more for brushing grill
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro , plus more for serving
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 1/2 medium avocados (ripe but semi-firm), diced
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes , chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion , rinsed under cool water to remove harsh bite
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice


  1. Place chicken on a cutting board, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and pound thicker parts of chicken to an even thickness. Transfer chicken to a gallon size resealable plastic bag.
  2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, honey, cilantro, 3 cloves minced garlic and season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Pour marinade mixture over chicken in bag. Seal bag while pressing air out, then rub marinade over chicken. Allow to rest in refrigerator 2 - 4 hours (rotating bag to opposite side and moving chicken around halfway through if possible to ensure it's evenly marinating).
  3. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat (to about 425 - 450 degrees). Brush grill grates lightly with oil then grill chicken until center registers 160 - 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and let rest 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl toss together avocado, tomato, onion, garlic and lime and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon a generous amount over chicken and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve warm.
  5. Recipe source: inspired by Cooking Light


  • Medeja: Looks so summery and good! July 14, 2015 at 4:05am Reply

  • Karly: Loving all the flavor in this chicken! It looks perfect for a hot summer night. July 14, 2015 at 10:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Karly! July 14, 2015 at 5:25pm Reply

  • Suzanne: My son loved this chicken recipe! The lime zest added a lot of flavor without making it too sour. Thank you. It was a hit with the whole family. July 20, 2015 at 5:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear your family enjoyed it! Thanks for your feedback Suzanne! July 28, 2015 at 10:09am Reply

  • Family Moore: This was delicious! My family thanks you from the bottom of their bellies. My 2 year old ate everything on his plate! Tons of yummy summer flavors. All I missed was a margarita! July 21, 2015 at 6:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family liked this chicken! Thanks for your review! July 21, 2015 at 10:42pm Reply

  • Brenna: Simply awesome meal. Awesome. Thank you!! July 25, 2015 at 10:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re very welcome Brenna! July 26, 2015 at 12:42am Reply

  • Karina: This looks delicious! I love how colourful the whole dish looks! Thanks for the recipe! July 26, 2015 at 8:20am Reply

  • Cecile: where do you get lime zest?
    Everything on your site looks AMAZING!! August 12, 2015 at 10:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You use a citrus zester (and don’t grate down into the white portion or it will make the dish bitter). I have this one here and love it: Thanks for the compliment :)! August 12, 2015 at 11:25am Reply

      • Joseph: I wish i would have read this 1st, i washed the limes 1st and then they were hard to grate ( I do not have a zester), so Im sure i got down to the white portion a couple of times. WISH ME LUCK!!! It’s marinating right now. November 7, 2016 at 4:28pm Reply

  • Cleo: This was a meal that is worth commenting on. We had it for dinner last night . Not only was it easy (Most of it can be prepared ahead of time) but it was probably the best meal we have had this year! October 11, 2015 at 9:55am Reply

  • Megan: Made this for my boyfriend and I and it was wonderful! Thank you so much! November 11, 2015 at 12:04pm Reply

  • Carmen: I’m attempting to do this with out a grill tomorrow night. Any tips? December 24, 2015 at 1:32am Reply

  • Barb: Hate to be a stick in the mud and bring up the C&F words but this sounds amazing and I’m wondering if I can have it on my diet. Anyone know the Nutritional numbers? February 8, 2016 at 8:04pm Reply

  • Monica Lara: Very delicious the lime chicken avocado!!!! February 26, 2016 at 10:45am Reply

  • Brett Allen: So does anyone know the nutrition facts about this? February 27, 2016 at 12:50pm Reply

    • Sandy: Nutritional Information
      Calories 289
      Fat 13.2 g
      Satfat 2.4 g
      Monofat 7.5 g
      Polyfat 1.9 g
      Protein 35.6 g
      Carbohydrate 6.6 g
      Fiber 3.6 g
      Cholesterol 94 mg
      Iron 1.6 mg
      Sodium 383 mg
      Calcium 29 mg April 12, 2016 at 8:06am Reply

  • Mary: We made this recipe it was awesome February 27, 2016 at 2:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Mary! February 28, 2016 at 12:04pm Reply

  • Mariette: I am going to add chopped jalapeño to the marinate since we all like spicy food It is going to blend well I am sure. March 14, 2016 at 8:35pm Reply

    • Joseph: Sounds yummy!!! November 7, 2016 at 4:29pm Reply

  • Nadina: What sides would go well with this? Thinking rice but any veggies? April 2, 2016 at 6:26pm Reply

    • Tara: I was wondering the same! April 4, 2016 at 7:48pm Reply

    • Babs: I made a cilantro/ lime rice once and added corn & black beans, it was delish. I bet it would be a nice compliment but I’m thinking some grilled veggies would be awesome too. May 6, 2016 at 11:41am Reply

      • Symphonystruth: Would u share your recipe for the rice I’d like 2 try it. Sounds yummy. August 8, 2016 at 1:18am Reply

        • Babs: sorry, just saw this…I just used minute rice, I put about 1/4 cup lime juice & 1/2 cup chopped cilantro in the water before I added the rice. I had the corn and black beans (drained) in a separate bowl, tossed the (cooked) rice in with that. I’m a huge fan of cilantro. I have also, on occasion, added Jalapeno or a Green Chile to the mix. January 13, 2017 at 3:56pm Reply

          • Natasha: Thanks so much for sharing! I was just thinking of making a rice and black bean side for this but yours sounds even better! March 24, 2017 at 12:21pm

  • Sandy: Loved this recipe. We’re going to try it as a salad by just cutting the chicken into chunks and adding lettuce. April 12, 2016 at 7:58am Reply

  • Kammi: Has anyone prepped and frozen the chicken in the marinade? April 13, 2016 at 11:05am Reply

  • Veronica: I’m also looking for healthy sides besides rice, any suggestions? April 19, 2016 at 12:55pm Reply

  • Bridget: Why so many spicey and vinegar filled recipes? No one today promoting healthy diets, acknowledges how many people have reflux or GERD. I don’t see the health angle of spicey and very acidic foods. Can we please acknowledge a healthy diet doesn’t and shouldn’t so often have to cause heart burn with all the lemon juice and peppers? There’s an elephant in the room. If you search all the academic and health sites, they are doing the same thing. Why? These are otherwise good recipe ideas. How about offering more than one version of the recipes listed on your site? I use to on my web page years ago which I called, “The Recipe Spin.” I am looking forward to some alternate versions! April 25, 2016 at 8:03pm Reply

    • Kayte: This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever wasted my time reading. First of all, I LOVE the fact that you have the time to read ALL the academic and health websites. I feel like there is a geuniss world record for that! Considering you have done soooo much research I’m sure you would have answered your own question about why there are lemons in so many recipes. It’s great for digestion and inflammation! I also suffer from severe acid reflux but I take medicine for it so I can enjoy any recipe I want. This lady’s website is not the end all be all of food. Next time you see something that won’t necessarily work for your body’s issues why don’t you just scroll on past instead of making yourself look like a whiny little baby. April 27, 2016 at 12:21pm Reply

      • Bab’s: lmao, “best answer” Award goes to YOU!! check back with me in a few days, I’d be willing to bet I’m still be laughing at this. April 27, 2016 at 1:39pm Reply

    • Michelle: …if something does not work for *you*, maybe you should try tweaking recipes yourself.

      The recipe is made the way it is because it has a certain flavor profile that cannot be replicated without the use of the listed ingredients.

      Just because you’re a wuss doesn’t mean anyone else is. And frankly, acidic ingredients are used to both tenderize and impart flavor to lean recipes frequently because they do so without adding excessive calories to the dish. Chiles add flavor and are a flavor profile that some can live without. Don’t criticize the author. Try getting on medication if your heartburn is that bad- you probably should anyway if you have GERD, unless you want ulcers and an increased risk of stomach and esophogeal cancers. May 21, 2016 at 11:40am Reply

    • CC: Uh, there are no peppers in this. Get some Tums. July 8, 2016 at 7:56pm Reply

    • Kelly: Having acid in foods, such as lime juice or vinegar, slow downs the rate at which your body processes sugars. Which helps you avoid spikes in blood sugar levels. I take a medicine daily for heartburn myself so I share your pain. But oddly enough if the juice comes from an actual fruit it doesn’t affect me like it would from commercial juices, dressings, or drinks with lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar. November 3, 2016 at 12:05am Reply

  • amber: Did anyone try this in the oven?? Making tonight and really nervous not doing it on the grill…. April 30, 2016 at 3:51pm Reply

    • Babs: I haven’t but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t. May 1, 2016 at 6:50pm Reply

  • jc: anyone have instructions for cooking in the oven?? thanks! May 17, 2016 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Will C: Delicious sounding marinade. Will give a try this weekend. I think im gonna make double marinade so I can brush on whilst searing (I tend to reverse sear all my meat – cooking low and slow over indirect heat first then when the internal temp is high enough – searing whilst brushing on the extra marinade so the honey caramalises) May 24, 2016 at 11:31am Reply

  • Flor: Tastes good but didn’t come out looking quit like ur pictures… but over all great! June 29, 2016 at 8:37pm Reply

  • Tiffany: This was yummy and we’ll make it again. We added cilantro to the salsa that added extra flavor. July 4, 2016 at 6:01pm Reply

  • Emilee: I made this for my husband and I tonight- we really enjoyed it! The only change I would make next time is preparing the salsa a little ahead of time so it can get cold prior to serving. Delicious recipe though! July 19, 2016 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Donna: Made this for dinner tonight and my family loved it !! Easy, delicious and healthy. Great summer meal. August 15, 2016 at 7:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad the family loved it – thanks for leaving a comment Donna! August 18, 2016 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Dee: This was so good . Made this for a birthday dinner and everyone loved it! Thank you for this yummy and healthy recipe September 4, 2016 at 2:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad it was enjoyed! Thanks Dee! September 7, 2016 at 10:24am Reply

  • Pam: I made this dish tonight and it was absolutely delicious!! It was so flavorful and fresh tasting. Thank you for the recipe! September 5, 2016 at 8:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you loved it! Thanks Pam! September 7, 2016 at 10:15am Reply

  • Anika: I’m making this for dinner but don’t know what to serve with it. January 13, 2017 at 12:35pm Reply

    • Babs: Maybe some Mexican rice or (quinoa mixed with a can of Rotel) and salad. Or grilled asparagus is always on my list. January 13, 2017 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Liz: This was a great dinner! Highly recommend. I served it with corn on the cob. Delicious! June 10, 2017 at 6:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you loved it Liz! June 13, 2017 at 12:00pm Reply

  • Nina Sagarsee: This was delicious!!!! Had corn on the cob with it.wouldnt change a thing! July 18, 2017 at 3:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you enjoyed it Nina! July 18, 2017 at 10:23pm Reply

  • Kacie: Hello! We love this recipe and make it quite often! Is it possible to freeze the chicken in marinade and thaw when ready to cook? September 17, 2017 at 12:00pm Reply

  • Susan: One of our favorites!!! Grill chicken on BFE for added flavor. Serve with Zattaran’s Caribbean style rice. February 4, 2018 at 3:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! February 5, 2018 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Shay: This was outstanding! My family loved all the flavors, especially the lime!! And the salsa was amazing! March 27, 2018 at 6:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it! Thanks for the great feedback! March 28, 2018 at 2:28pm Reply

  • Kelly: So yummy! Making this again for Mother’s Day! May 12, 2018 at 11:26am Reply

  • Crystal: Love love love this dish! Looks fancy but is super simple to make! My family loves it! May 12, 2018 at 9:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback! May 15, 2018 at 11:23am Reply

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