Cilantro Chicken

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Here’s a big-time easy, favorite recipe for grilled Cilantro Chicken.  This is simply marinated chicken that is grilled and topped with a sweet sauce. Watch the video showing you how to make this, then scroll to the bottom of this post to print out the complete recipe so you can make it at home.

Cilantro Chicken

Let me tell you a little story about cilantro.  I was once a hater… a very big hater.  When my husband and I were newlyweds, we used to eat at a local fish taco place once a week.  I always ordered the Shrimp Burrito with NO CILANTRO.

One day my husband brought home a shrimp burrito for me.  I took one bite and Pffft!  What the heck?!  He had forgotten to ask them to leave it out.  I disliked the stuff that much.  Somewhere along the way, I became okay with cilantro.  I won’t eat it raw by the handful, but I definitely use it in my cooking and have found that I finally have a taste for this fresh herb.

Are you a fan of Cilantro?

Even if you ARE a hater, you’re likely still going to enjoy this recipe for Cilantro Chicken.

Cilantro Chicken

How to make Cilantro Chicken:

The cilantro is ground up into the marinade.  It coats the chicken before grilling, and then the chicken is brushed with sweet sauce before serving.  This is my new favorite chicken recipe- shared by a beach house neighbor’s friend named Joyce who was visiting for dinner this summer.  Joyce was gracious enough to bring samples over for us to try.  It was so delicious that I simply had to have the recipe to share with you.  Here you go:

Ingredients needed for Cilantro Chicken

First things first:  this recipe is SO easy!  You’ll need chicken- I used wonderful skinless thighs with very little fat from Whole Foods Market.  I find the thighs that you buy from the regular market are far too full of fat.  By the time you remove the fat, there is hardly any meat left.  It’s worth it to go to Whole Foods for chicken thighs.  You can also use chicken breasts, but you’ll want to make sure they are evenly pounded out so they don’t dry out while grilling.

The marinade is simply made up of olive oil, garlic and cilantro.

how to make Cilantro Chicken

And it’s all mixed together in the blender (or food processor) until it is thick and smooth.

How to Make Cilantro Chicken

I like to marinate my chicken in a large zip baggie.  I put the chicken in first and then scrape the marinade into the bag too.  Squeeze all of the air out of the bag, zip it closed, and then massage the marinade into every nook and cranny of the chicken.  If you do this in the morning, it can marinate all day long.  Busy folks can get it all ready the night before and let it marinate all night and into the next day.

How to Make Cilantro Chicken

It’s been so stinkin’ hot where I live that I decided to go with my stovetop grill pan instead of using the hot BBQ outside.  Just a few minutes on each side.

How to Make Cilantro Chicken

Stack the chicken onto a platter, and give it a generous brush of Sweet Chili Sauce (sweet chili sauce can be found in your market’s Asian aisle- if you can’t find it, ask.  And if you don’t have access it, make your own!)

Grilled Cilantro Chicken
It’s ready to serve!  But wait… what will you serve it with?!

Coconut Rice
Whip up some Easy Coconut Rice (or regular steamed rice).  Recipe HERE. Now you’ve got something new to make for dinner!  My whole family loves this.  The cilantro doesn’t seem to scare anyone- it just makes a wonderful addition to the simple marinade.  And the sweet chili sauce is NOT spicy.  I love using chicken thighs for grilling because they always turn out a little more tender and juicy than breasts, which have a tendency to dry out on the grill.

Thanks to beach house friend Joyce for sharing such a wonderful recipe this summer!  And thank you to my tastebuds for overcoming your resentment of Cilantro 😉

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Cilantro Chicken

This Cilantro Chicken recipe is one of the best recipes for grilling chicken thighs!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 340kcal
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword cilantro chicken, grilled cilantro chicken


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed & chopped
  • 1 cup sweet chili sauce


  • Place the chicken in a large zip baggie.
  • Place the olive oil, garlic and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Process until the mixture is combined and smooth. Scoop the marinade into the bag with the chicken, press the air out of the bag and zip it closed. Knead the marinade into the chicken until it is evenly distributed. Marinate overnight or all day long.
  • Preheat the grill to medium heat and coat with oil or grill spray. Remove chicken from the bag and grill 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, until good grill marks are showing. Flip and grill an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken to a platter and brush the sweet chili sauce on top.



  • 1/4 cup of minced garlic is quite a lot to mince yourself. I like to buy it already minced for this recipe - either fresh or jarred.
  • If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use a brand of chili garlic sauce that is known to be GF.
  • I like to serve this chicken with Easy Coconut Rice.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 488mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1.6mg
More Recipes Using Cilantro...
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  • Amy wrote:

    Excellent!!! Made it tonight! Love live it. Will surely be making this again.

  • Janelle Bielak wrote:

    This recipe is delicious beyond belief! My husband has made it twice already and we just Looooove it! In fact, I would say this is the best online recipe I have ever found. Thank you!!!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Wow, what a great endorsement! Glad you like it so much!

  • Susan wrote:

    This was really easy and very tasty. The cilantro flavor was subtle with hints of garlic a little more pronounced. The sweet chili sauce was a great touch. Four out of five enjoyed it at our house; the youngest and pickiest eater couldn’t get past the green color of the chicken. I might try blotting the marinade a little next time before I start grilling. Thanks for the keeper!

  • Sharon wrote:

    Wow, this was excellent! The Sweet Chili Sauce really added to the flavor. We sprinkled the chicken with garlic salt as we were grilling it.
    The Coconut Rice was wonderful, I just chopped up the rest of my cilantro and added it to the rice with the green onion. The Toasted Coconut really made the flavor of the rice pop!

  • Chef Tom wrote:

    Cilantro can definitely be overpowering. All about moderation.

  • Victoria wrote:

    I’d love to know which grill pan you are using. Are you happy with it? Thanks!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I have no idea what brand it is- it’s a reversible grill/griddle. It’s pretty hard to clean though… not sure I’d recommend it.

  • grace wrote:

    i’m glad you’ve accepted cilantro into your life, lori. you will be much happier now. 🙂

  • Rachel – A Southern Fairytale wrote:

    You knew that after lunch today I absolutely had to come check this recipe out and it sounds amazing! I can’t wait to make this with some good, fresh cilantro! 😉

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed dinner with you tonight, glad we finally got some time together!

  • Janelle wrote:

    My husband made this last night. I cannot overemphasize how incredibly delicious this was!!!! I’m eating leftovers for lunch today and its still incredible. This is an absolute keeper!!! THANK YOU!!!!

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl’s dabbles wrote:

    My cilantro intake increases all the time. I love it. And this recipe looks like one that I and my whole cilantro-loving family would enjoy!

  • Candice Collins wrote:

    Hi! Thanks for the great recipe! I made this for dinner tonight (but had to tweak the recipe… of course, I can’t just make a recipe as is… I always have to mess with it LOL!) anyway, was wonderful. …. I added ginger and lime to the marinade… YUM!

  • Karly wrote:

    I looooooooove cilantro. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious wrote:

    I’m not much of a cilantro person but this dish here is seriously changing my mind about that!

  • Eliana wrote:

    I am a HUGE cilantro lover so this chicken looks absolutely perfect to me! Thanks for sharing Lori.

  • Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy wrote:

    😮 How could you not like cilantro? it’s the BEST herb!

  • Carla @ Carlas Confections wrote:

    My husband absolutely hates cilantro! Maybe I will just have to sneak this recipe in and see if he notices 😉 It looks super yummy!

  • Maria in NJ wrote:

    Lori this one is a keeper, I love cilantro and the pesto looks so good, I’m thinking that would be wonderful on a pizza!!…m

  • Jen @ Savory Simple wrote:

    This looks so awesome! I wonder if Mae Ploy would work? It’s a spicy sweet chili sauce that I’m totally addicted to.

  • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers wrote:

    Love the recipe! I haven’t seen a chicken dish like yours! Ohh, I can’t wait to try it!!

  • Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen wrote:

    I heart cilantro!! Love this, sharing. I know some people have an aversion to the flavor. I never understood it, it’s one of my favorite herbs.