Garlic-Lime Grilled Chicken Breasts

Garlic Lime Chicken

This recipe has quickly moved up the list of our favorite meals!  The marinated chicken is moist and tender off the grill while the finishing sauce enhances the flavor perfectly.

This chicken is great with just a little yellow rice and vegetables, or you can use it as the base for a Mexican feast by adding some grilled onions, peppers and some nice corn tortillas heated on the grill.  I have even made this to go with other small bites and appetizers for a party by cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces and adding toothpicks for easy eating.

As a side note, while traveling with friends recently I learned that some people have taste buds that make cilantro taste like soap.  I made this meal for a friend who suffers from such a condition (only because I love cilantro), and she loved the sauce.  The citrus must have changed it enough to be palatable…it’s that good.


  • 1.5 lbs. chicken breast, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest plus 1/4 cup juice (2 limes)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Flake sea salt (optional)


  1. If large, cut chicken breasts into smaller pieces to cook evenly. I usually cut the breast in half crosswise and then butterfly the thick end to create even pieces.
  2. Whisk lime zest and juice, garlic, honey, fish sauce, salt, and pepper together in large bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle oil into lime mixture until smooth and slightly thickened.
  3. Transfer 1/2 cup lime mixture to small bowl and whisk in mayonnaise to make a sauce. Set sauce aside for finishing the chicken.
  4. Transfer chicken and remaining marinade to large zipper-lock bag, press out as much air as possible, and seal bag. Let steaks sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  5. On a gas grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).
  6. Clean and oil cooking grate. Remove chicken from marinade (do not pat dry) and place over hotter part of grill. Cook, uncovered, until well browned on first side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until well browned on second side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer breasts to cooler part of grill, with wider end of each breast facing hotter part of grill. Transfer to carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  7. While chicken rests, microwave reserved sauce until warm, 15 to 30 seconds; stir in half of the cilantro. Slice chicken into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Drizzle with half of sauce and the remaining cilantro; sprinkle with sea salt, if using; and serve, providing the remaining sauce for individual use.


Straight from the grill!

Straight from the grill!

And finished with the sauce and ready to eat.

Finished with the sauce and ready to eat.

The original recipe from America’s Test Kitchen calls for pork tenderloin steaks to be used in the recipe. They cut the tenderloins in half crosswise, pound them to ¾ inch thickness, and then cut 1/8 inch deep slits in a crosshatch pattern prior to marinating.  I’ve tried the pork and can say that it too works well with the recipe, but we prefer the flavor of the chicken.

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