Succulent, juicy chicken in a sweet and citrusy marinade - these Honey Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs are perfect for any summer backyard BBQ. They're so easy they practically grill themselves. But don’t worry if you’re not into BBQing there are oven directions too!
I thought I liked BBQ-ing when I lived in England but after moving to the US-of-A, my barbecue-ing (or grilling) went to a completely different level.
I’d now say I use my beloved gas grill every single week (sometimes even every day). Usually when it’s too hot to put the oven on (not a problem we had in the UK very often, granted).
If you’re not a BBQ-er, these zesty chicken thighs with a honey lime marinade are still fantastic baked in a hot oven. And they turn a beautiful golden brown, without losing any of their juicy flavor.
Why You Should Try These Honey Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Chicken thighs are moist and tender and can be ready in under 15 minutes. Which makes them the perfect midweek meal.
- Honey and lime are a match made in heaven .
- This tasty marinade not only flavors the chicken, it also tenderizes and makes it really juicy.
- If you don’t eat all the chicken it’s great for leftovers in salads, tacos or sandwiches.
What Do You Need To Make Marinated Chicken Thighs?
I love these for the bbq since they are less likely to dry out. You can use breast if you prefer. You may have to adjust the cooking times depending on the thickness.
Can I use Bone-In Chicken Thighs?
You can definitely use Bone-In Chicken Thighs. Indeed some people swear they have a better flavor. But just be sure to adjust your cooking time, as bone-in meat takes longer to grill.
Can I use Chicken Thighs with Skin?
Yes! I removed it here since chicken thighs with skin on are higher in fat. But if you like meat with skin you can definitely use it, And it's a great way to keep the meat extra moist.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I always try to cook with a good quality olive oil and you can taste it in the marinade. So break out the good stuff if you can!
Try looking for limes which are light green in color as they tend to be juicier. Also they should be slightly soft when gently squeezed.
Honey sweetens the marinade but also helps to break down the enzymes in the meat and further tenderizes the chicken.
This fresh herb is completely optional as some people don’t like the taste (I know my kids don’t). But for those who enjoy the complex citrusy flavor, it’s a great accompaniment to the honey/lime.
For a more garlicy flavor you can crush the garlic before marinating. But I find it can burn on the grill so I leave mine whole and remove it before cooking.
Tasty bbqing really does start with good seasoning. I like to use sea salt and I do sprinkle the chicken again once it’s out of the marinade.
Best Honey Grilled Chicken Recipe Tips
How Long to Marinade?
This is the million dollar question. In my experience meat needs to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours to get a good flavor. And to start to become more tender. Eight hours or overnight is definitely preferable if you have the time.
In addition, if you decide you don’t want to BBQ after-all, you can leave the chicken in the marinade for two days. It’s actually fine and will be deliciously flavored and tender by the time you cook it.
It is worth squeezing fresh lime all over this dish as you serve it, as it really makes the flavors sing.
How to Serve Honey Lime Grilled Thighs
- I love to pile the chicken on a platter and garnish it with extra lime slices and cilantro/coriander.
- This dish goes well with rice or zucchini/courgette noodles if you’re trying to keep things lower carb.
- You can also keep it really simple by serving a green salad and crusty bread, to mop up those juices. Yum.
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More Easy Recipe Ideas
Honey Lime Grilled Chicken Thighs
- 2 lbs Chicken Thighs - boneless & skinless
- 2 Limes - juice only
- 4 cloves Garlic - peeled
- ¼ cup Honey
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- Pinch Ground Black Pepper
- Whisk together the lime, garlic, honey, soy sauce, salt and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.
- Place the chicken in a wide flat bowl or lasagne pan and pour the marinade over. Mix it around until evenly coated.
- Cover and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight so it really gets into the chicken. Stir occasionally.
- Pre-heat the grill to medium high. Remove the garlic cloves and grill chicken over a medium hot grill for 5 -6 minutes on each side, until it is is cooked through, the juices run clear and/or or an instant read thermometer registers 165ºF/75ºC when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
- Let chicken rest, covered in foil, for around 10 minutes before serving.