Grilled Honey Lime Chicken


This Grilled Honey Lime Chicken is so amazing that it’s likely to leave you speechless! Be sure to properly marinate and grill it, don’t settle for an hour or two of marinating and follow tips listed at bottom of recipe for properly grilled chicken. In my opinion this chicken is completely phenomenal! I made this recipe because I love chicken for dinner and I wanted a new recipe to add to the rotation. This is an exciting one that I’m certain is going to be made in my home quite frequently. All of the flavors of this simple marinade blend so perfectly together and compliment the chicken amazingly well. If you have leftovers – which is unlikely, they would make an incredible filling for tacos. I hope you love this recipe!


Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1.5 - 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves or chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro (optional)


  1. If chicken isn't an even thickness then place chicken in a large ziploc bag and seal bag. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken to an even thickness.
  2. Place chicken in a non-reactive dish in a single layer. In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the mixture in a non-reactive, airtight container in the refrigerator. Pour remaining mixture over the chicken, cover dish and allow to marinate 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Once preheated, brush grill lightly with olive oil. Place chicken on grill and cook (with lid closed) 5-8 minutes per side until juices run clear (cook time depends on the thickness of the chicken, internal temp should register to 160 when done), baste each side of chicken with reserved marinade during the last minute of cooking. For juicier chicken, plate chicken, cover with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
  4. Notes for better grilled chicken: don't flip chicken over and over again, it only needs to be flipped once, and if you like the cross marks as pictured you can flip it a second time during the last minute of cooking. For the mouth watering grill marks brush the grill with olive oil before cooking and then when flipping to opposite side, this also prevents sticking as well. Don't press down on chicken when grilling or poke continuously, this will release the juices and that delicious marinade. Don't overcook or chicken will be tough, for tender chicken cook until internal temperature registers at 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Don't lift grill lid more than necessary.
  5. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • The Cooleys: Great photos! They belong in a cook book! May 8, 2012 at 11:04am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Thanks! That’s so nice of you to say! I didn’t like these ones much so I’m really happy to hear you say that =), thanks! May 8, 2012 at 1:17pm Reply

  • mr. pineapple man: Seriously, your foods look so delicious and photos look like they’re from a cookbook! Love it! May 8, 2012 at 3:23pm Reply

  • Maureen: Looks great! Can’t wait to try this recipe. You have such delicious ideas!! May 8, 2012 at 4:13pm Reply

  • SerenaB: The chicken looks delicious! May 8, 2012 at 6:31pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Thanks so much for your comments! I hope all of you put this at the top of your to try list =). I love it! Summer is in the air, time to break out the grillin recipes. May 8, 2012 at 9:23pm Reply

  • Mary: I’m always on the lookout for a great grilling recipe and the flavors in this recipe look fantastic! I’m envious of your perfect grill mark technique! May 9, 2012 at 9:30pm Reply

  • Cathy @ Savory Notes: I’m always looking for new ways to cook chicken, this one sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :) May 11, 2012 at 3:57pm Reply

  • snixykitchen: I walked outside this evening and the air smelled of BBQ – It’s finally grilling season and I can’t wait to try this recipe! May 11, 2012 at 9:48pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: snixykitchen – aww I love that smell, I get jealous when I walk out and smell it and it’s not something in my grill at the moment =). I hope you love this recipe!
    Mary – thanks, and I do love the flavors together. I just made the marinade again this weekend over salmon, so good!
    Cathy – youre welcome =), thanks for your comment! May 13, 2012 at 8:32pm Reply

  • AKerslake: This sounds delish! Any suggestions on side dishes to pair back with ti? May 16, 2012 at 9:50pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: AKerslake – I kept it simple as far as a side dish I just served it with baked potatoes (with the works) and a steamed veggie. One of my favorite side dishes is twice baked potatoes I think they compliment anything because they are so good =). They are salty and this is slightly sweet so maybe you’d want to serve those with this? You can find them in the recipes list under dinners. Hope you enjoy! May 16, 2012 at 11:19pm Reply

  • Sarah (a dash and a pinch): I am blown away by your photography, and the recipes themselves! This looks stunning AND delicious! May 18, 2012 at 10:04am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Sarah – thanks again! You are seriously so nice! I hope you think they all taste as good as they look =). Enjoy! May 18, 2012 at 3:41pm Reply

  • Courtney Kelly: I can not wait to try this so happy I stumbled upon your blog you have some amazing stuff :) May 18, 2012 at 10:16pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Courtney – thanks so much! I hope you love this =)! I’m making it again tomorrow after letting it marinate all night, I love that it’s grilling season again. May 19, 2012 at 7:30pm Reply

  • Ashley Ann: Ended up making this for a family birthday dinner & got rave reviews! Thanks for a great recipe. June 4, 2012 at 8:20am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Ashley – I’m so happy to hear it was a hit =)! Thanks so much for your comment and your very welcome! June 5, 2012 at 7:49am Reply

  • Terri Edwards: Making this tonight! I’ll report back on the results :) Great site!! June 18, 2012 at 4:53pm Reply

  • -Veronica: I agree that your photos are phenomenal and everything looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it. June 26, 2012 at 8:29pm Reply

  • Anonymous: My grill is on the fritz. Do you think this would work as well with a Foreman grill? Probably not is my guess. :( July 17, 2012 at 9:57am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – I think a George Formeman Grill would work fine, almost as good. I think I will be doing a similar method in the winter time. Hope you enjoy! July 18, 2012 at 5:32pm Reply

  • Shawn: This may seem like a silly question, but what is a nonreactive container? August 26, 2012 at 6:01pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Shawn – not a silly question at all, basically a nonreactive container just means a container that’s not stainless steel (or other metal) because it can react with the acid of the lime. Hope that answers your question and I hope you enjoy this! August 26, 2012 at 9:47pm Reply

    • Cathy M: Just as an FYI, stainless steel is considered non-reactive as pertains to acidic foods in cooking. Aluminum and copper are considered reactive. August 31, 2013 at 6:20pm Reply

  • Anonymous: This looks fantastic. It seems this should work well on a whole chicken grilled with a can of beer in the center. August 27, 2012 at 9:33am Reply

  • Shawn: Thanks Jaclyn, I am marinating 8 breasts right now so I can use some in my salads for work! Im sure it is going to be awesome! August 27, 2012 at 3:15pm Reply

  • Michelle: This looks great! Do you think this marinade will be good with shrimp? January 12, 2013 at 12:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m not a huge fan of shrimp so I can’t say for sure but yes it probably would. Just don’t marinate it for too long or the acids of the lime will cook the shrimp. January 13, 2013 at 7:38pm Reply

  • Lainey: The name and of course the photos drew me to this recipe! Do you think this could work by baking instead of grilling? January 15, 2013 at 6:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Lainey – Yes I believe that would be just fine. Let me know how it goes. Thanks! January 18, 2013 at 9:01pm Reply

  • Sarah: Looks delish!! What do you normally serve it with? Like the fajita/taco idea. It doesn’t look like it has a lot of sauce.. Ideas would be great! Thanks! :) March 14, 2013 at 5:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t yet tried it in tacos or fajitas yet but I’d maybe just add more of the sauce to the recipe. It’s hard to say what would blend well with it without trying other things =). Normally I just love cilantro lime ranch which may be good with this or some sort of salsa. March 20, 2013 at 11:50pm Reply

  • jan: My Grilled Honey Lime chicken is, um, er, baking in the oven. I am trying your marinade as a baking sauce and can’t wait to see how it tastes. Planning to serve it with baked sweet potatoes and homemade coleslaw. A nice glass of cold pinot grigio will be served with it. :) March 28, 2013 at 4:25pm Reply

  • Grilled Honey Lime Chicken | oursweetlifeasweliveit: […] With the weather getting warmer and a full propane tank-we are grilling again! We made Grilled Honey Lime Chicken, of course its an over-night marinade, which we found out too late. But it still tasted good, so next time we will let it marinate like the recipe calls for. Recipe & picture Source: Cooking Classy […] April 1, 2013 at 9:11am Reply

  • Lyrica L.: This was wonderful! Found it via a Google search and made it for a dinner party this week. Everyone was raving and I’ll definitely be making it again. Thanks, too, for the grilling tips that were so very helpful in getting the chicken to turn out moist and perfect. Love it! June 30, 2013 at 9:07am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s great to hear Lyrica! I’m so glad everyone liked it! Thanks for your comment! July 3, 2013 at 9:04am Reply

  • Cortney: This looks great! If I marinade the chicken longer than 8 hours will it become tough because of the lime or will it be okay? September 29, 2013 at 2:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I probably wouldn’t recommend it, I’ve heard it can make it sort of mushy or tough after that long so I’d try and stick within the 8 hours. I hope you love it if you do make it Corntney! October 1, 2013 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Jenni: I make this fantastic dish ALL. THE. TIME. Everyone, I repeat, everyone LOVES it. Even my picky family members who constantly complain about my food because it tends to be out of their comfort zone (but I LIKE to make interesting things lol!). My little brother actually wrote a poem about it. No kidding.

    I’d like to share one thing on how this can be prepared in a pinch. One day I needed to make this for houseguests but didn’t have any marinaded chicken on hand. If you thaw the chicken and then cook it in a pan with the honey-lime marinade, it flavors it well. Not like marinading it, but it will more than do when you need to make a great chicken recipe but don’t have a lot of time.

    However, I do advise doing it the right way whenever possible. It’s the best when marinaded. ;) December 4, 2013 at 8:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m excited to hear you make this all the time and everyone loves it! Thanks so much for your comment Jenni! December 15, 2013 at 10:35am Reply

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