Air Fryer Lime Chicken is tender, juicy, and so easy to make! Marinaded in savory cilantro sauce, it’s a failproof recipe perfect for meal prep and midweek dinners. Pair it with your favorite sides for an easy meal the whole family will love. 

A bowl of air fryer lime chicken tenders with a side of lime sauce.

Reasons You’ll Love This Lime Chicken

Say goodbye to bland, dry chicken for good with this easy lime chicken recipe! Marinated in the fridge, it’s infused with savory, zesty lime flavor and cooked in the air fryer so it turns out juicy, tender, and flavorful every single time. 

If that isn’t even to get you on board, this chicken recipe is:

  • Made with minimal prep time, a quick cooking time, and a total time of under an hour
  • High-protein, gluten-free, and made with healthy fats
  • Great to prepare in advance and enjoy throughout the week. 
  • Super versatile, pairing well with a wide variety of sides. 

What Do You Need for Marinaded Lime Chicken? 

The key to creating the best lime chicken is in the marinade. For this recipe, we utilize lots of bold seasonings to create an explosion of flavor guaranteed to knock your socks off! 

  • Chicken Tenders – Feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead, and slice them into strips. 
  • Fresh Cilantro – You’ll use both the leaves and the stems. 
  • Garlic Cloves – Use whole, fresh cloves. 
  • Salt and Black Pepper – Adjust the amounts used to suit your taste. 
  • Italian Seasoning – You can usually find this in the spice section at your local grocery store, or make your own homemade Italian seasoning instead. 
  • Greek Seasoning – Again, find this at your local grocery store, purchase Greek seasoning online, or make your own Greek seasoning blend instead. 
  • Olive Oil – This is crucial to combine the marinade ingredients and tenderize the chicken. 
  • Limes – Use fresh lime juice in the marinade for a vibrant, tangy taste. For a bolder lime flavor, you could also include the zest! 

Marinate, Air Fry, and Serve: How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

This marinated chicken recipe requires a bit of planning, but it’s super easy to prepare and always turns out great! 

Prepare the Marinade

  • Add the cilantro (stems and leaves), garlic cloves, seasonings, oil, and lime juice to a high-speed blender
  • Pulse until the ingredients are well combined and a smooth sauce forms. 

Marinate the Chicken

  • Place the chicken tenders in a large bowl or a sealable bag
  • Pour the marinade on top, ensuring the tenders are completely coated. 
  • Transfer the chicken to the fridge to marinate

Air Fry

  • Preheat the air fryer
  • Arrange the marinated chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket. 
  • Air fry until the lime chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Allow the chicken to rest for at least five minutes before serving. 

Note: Depending on how much chicken you’re cooking and how big the pieces are, you may need to work in batches. 

Our favorite
Close up image of cooked lime chicken tenders topped with extra lime marinade.

Serving Suggestions

This cilantro lime chicken is super tasty on its own, but you can never go wrong with extra sauce! Try dipping your chicken tenders in Ranch, zhoug sauce, feta cucumber sauce, or toum

Then, enjoy them as part of a complete meal with sides like: 

Leftovers and Storage

We love to add this air fryer lime chicken to our lineup of meal prep recipes because it’s quick to prepare and stores really well. 

  • To Store: Once cooled, transfer leftover chicken to an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge for up to four days
  • To Freeze: Stored in a freezer-safe container or sealable bag, this chicken can be frozen for up to two months
  • To Reheat: Allow your frozen chicken to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, warm it in the air fryer, microwave, or in a skillet over medium heat. You could also just heat it cold if preferred! 
A basket of air fryer lime chicken with a bowl of lime wedges.

Common Questions About This Air Fryer Lime Chicken Recipe

What does lime do to chicken meat? 

The acidity in lime juice helps tenderize the meat while adding a bright citrus flavor. 

Do you put lime on chicken before or after cooking? 

For this recipe, we add lime juice before cooking to help tenderize the meat. However, the flavor can break down at a high heat. So, if you want to really amplify the lime taste, feel free to add an extra squeeze just before serving! 

Can you marinate chicken too long? 

Most recipes call for a marinating time of six to twenty-four hours. However, according to the USDA, after two days, the marinade can cause too much breakdown, creating mushy meat.  

How long do you marinate chicken? 

We marinate this lime chicken for ten to fifteen minutes, but you can leave it in the fridge overnight. 

Can I use thighs instead of chicken tenders or breasts? 

Sure! Just keep in mind that thighs don’t absorb the marinade quite as well and will require a different cooking time. 

Can I bake this lime chicken recipe instead? 

Yes! Just follow the instructions for our oven-baked cilantro lime chicken recipe

Does this recipe work on the grill? 

Absolutely! Marinate the chicken as normal. Then, heat your grill to a medium-high temperature, and cook the chicken on greased grill grates until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

More Flavor-Loaded Chicken Recipes

Looking for more family-friendly chicken recipes? We’ve got you covered with the easy options below! 

A platter of air fryer lime chicken topped with fresh cilantro.

Air Fryer Lime Chicken Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Learn how to make the best air fryer lime chicken with nine ingredients for an easy, flavor-loaded meal that’s ready in under an hour! 

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium limes juiced

Instructions 

Prepare the Marinade:

  • In a blender, combine the cilantro (stems and leaves), peeled garlic cloves, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Greek seasoning, olive oil, and the juice of 3 limes.
    1 cup cilantro, 5 garlic cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 medium limes
  • Blend until you have a smooth and well-mixed marinade.

Marinate the Chicken:

  • Place the chicken tenders in a large bowl or a resealable plastic bag.
    2 pounds chicken tenders
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken tenders, ensuring they are fully coated.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to infuse into the chicken.

Preheat and Air Fry:

  • Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (193°C).

Air Frying:

  • Place the marinated chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook in batches as needed, if the air fryer is not large enough to accommodate all the tenders at once.
  • Air fry the chicken tenders at 380°F (193°C) for about 18-22 minutes, or until they are cooked through and have a crispy exterior. The cooking time may vary based on the size of the chicken tenders and the specific air fryer used.

Serve:

  • Once the chicken tenders are cooked to perfection, remove them from the air fryer and let them rest for a couple of minutes.
  • Serve the cilantro lime chicken tenders with side dishes or dipping sauces of choice.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to two months.

Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 569mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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7 Comments

    1. We don’t recommend cooking from frozen as it’s likely to dry out the chicken!

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

    1. Yes, but we don’t recommend letting it marinate longer than a day as the lime juice can cause the chicken to break down and become mushy.

      Xo,
      Alia & Radwa

  1. Another big hit from your recipe collection in my home…thank you! I just made a big batch of this on the weekend and sent some back with my college kid for some easy-meal starters. This marinade comes together in minutes…so easy and delicious!