Have a supply of this delicious Oven or BBQ Chili Lime Chicken in the fridge or freezer and you’re always ready for a quick and easy meal! Great for salads, sandwiches, wraps and tacos, too.

chili lime chicken on cutting board

If you’ve ever found yourself reaching for the pre-cooked, pre-sliced, pre-seasoned chicken at the grocery store, here’s an easy and much more economical way to make your own! This Oven or BBQ Chili Lime Chicken only needs a quick rub, a short marinating rest and then into the oven for 20 minutes. And if it’s too hot to turn on the oven, put the cast iron skillet right on the BBQ.

In about 45 minutes, you’ll have delicious, moist chicken for a meal, or simply a great supply of cooked, sliced and delicious seasoned chicken for your fridge or freezer to use on salads, sandwiches, wraps or tacos

Cook’s Notes

If you like, you can rub the chicken then wrap in plastic wrap and pop into the fridge for several hours ahead before cooking. Cooking time will be a little bit longer if it’s cold going into the oven (probably 25 minutes).

You’ll notice the recipe calls for a small amount of tomato paste. I like to use the tomato paste in the tube easily available at most grocery stores these days. It’s so handy when you just need a bit.

The chipotle chili powder is optional, but it does add a nice smokey flavour, as well as a little heat. You can easily leave it out if you like. If you decide to skip it, consider replacing a bit of the regular paprika with smoked paprika for a similar bit of smokiness.

Don’t substitute minced fresh garlic for the powdered. It will burn and become bitter. Use either the powdered or skip if you don’t have it.

If going the BBQ route, I like to still cook it in the pan. I find it’s really hard to cook whole chicken breasts all the way through without burning the outside coating. The method used here simply turns your BBQ into an outdoor oven. You can certainly finish it with a quick trip to the grill grates at the end, to brown up a bit.

I like to make a big batch of this chicken and refrigerate/freeze it. The recipe as written will nicely coat 3 chicken breasts, but you can double or triple the rub as needed. Will keep several days in the fridge or several months in the freezer.

Ideas for Using your Chili Lime Chicken: Enjoy sliced in salads, sandwiches, wraps, tacos or enjoy it as a whole breast alongside corn on the cob and a salad.

chili lime chicken on cutting board

chili lime chicken on cutting board

Get the Recipe: Oven or BBQ Chili Lime Chicken

Boneless chicken breasts get a quick rub then into the oven for just 20 minutes. Enjoy right away or refrigerate or freeze to use in salads, wraps, sandwiches or tacos.
5 stars from 7 ratings
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Resting Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Yield: 3 servings


  • 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 lime, cut into thin slices


  • 2 Tbsp olive, canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder, optional, for heat
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425F. (Or alternately, preheat BBQ to medium high heat).
  • Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub all over chicken breasts and place into a lightly greased cast iron skillet (or other oven or BBQ safe pan). Tuck 5-6 lime slices between the chicken. Allow to stand for 15-20 minutes.
  • Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until temperature reaches 165F in thickest part of meat. Switch the oven to broil and place skillet about 6-inches from broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven and remove chicken to a cutting board. Let stand at least 5 minutes. Slice and serve warm or wrap up and refrigerate to slice/use later. (For the BBQ, place the cast iron skillet on the BBQ grate, close the BBQ lid and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. You can finish the chicken quickly directly on the grill for some browning and grill marks, if you like.
  • When serving, top with a drizzle of fresh lime juice to really brighten the flavours!
  • Keeps several days in the fridge or you can freeze it, as well!
Cuisine: American
Course: Dinner
Author: Jennifer
Calories: 286kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 48g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 144mg, Sodium: 985mg, Potassium: 930mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 625IU, Vitamin C: 10.4mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1.6mg
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