Cilantro Lime Marinade
This fresh cilantro lime marinade uses only 5 ingredients, is super easy to make, and infuses any meat with a zesty southwest flavor in only 30 minutes.
Marinades are perfect for turning plain cuts of meat into tender and flavor-packed stars of any meal. But unfortunately, many store-bought marinades contain lots of sugar and unnecessary ingredients. Some of my go-to marinades include BBQ sauce and my Fajita marinade, which are perfect to transform any protein into a fast, flavorful meal.
Cilantro and lime are the perfect pair to marinate your favorite meats, like chicken breast or chicken thighs, for Southwest-inspired dishes like tacos, rice, salads, and more. You’ll love how easy this marinade is to put together and how quickly it infuses your chicken, steak, pork, or seafood with fresh and zesty flavor.
- How to make cilantro lime marinade
- Recipe Details
- Similar recipes others love
- Best proteins for marinading
- Marinating times for proteins
- Ways to use cilantro lime marinade
- Storage information & meal prep instructions
- Nutrition information: facts & macronutrients
How to make cilantro lime marinade
- Whisk together all ingredients – avocado oil, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, salt, smoked paprika and black pepper.
- Add the marinade to 2 pounds of chicken thighs, shrimp, steak or pork. Marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Every good marinade needs these
For the best homemade chicken marinade you will notice most marinades have a few key ingredients. You only need three simple components for a good marinade – acid, oil, and flavor.
I like using avocado oil in marinades for its light flavor, high smoking point for high-heat cooking, and heart-healthy fats. You can substitute avocado oil with light olive oil, canola, or peanut oil.
Lime is the acid element of this marinade. The acid helps to break down and loosen the protein bonds in meat, tenderizing whatever you’re marinating. You can also use lemon juice for the marinade, although the flavor will differ.
- Cilantro – If you’re one of those people who think cilantro tastes like soap, it’s not likely you’re even reading this recipe. For most of us, cilantro has a fresh citrusy flavor that’s a perfect pair for lime juice in this marinade recipe.
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic if possible. You can also substitute minced jarred garlic or even garlic powder in a pinch. Use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for every fresh garlic clove when substituting.
- Smoked Paprika – this adds a light smoky taste to the recipe, enough to be interesting without overpowering. Regular paprika can be used if preferred.
Cilantro Lime Marinade Recipe Video
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Cilantro Lime Marinade Ingredients
Cilantro Lime Marinade Directions
Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Add 2 pounds of chicken thighs, shrimp, steak or pork. Marinade for 30 minutes to 2 hours.