Cilantro Chicken is a simple chicken recipe made with a few ingredients. It has a fresh lemony flavor and makes for an easy tasty summetime grilling recipe.
Summertime is for easy peasy grilling recipes! And it doesn’t get easier than this cilantro chicken with veggie skewers. The chicken is marinated with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, fresh cilantro and olive oil. It’s low in ingredients, but big in flavor. Because of the ease of prepping this recipe, I like to make extra and preserve for the weekend.
This post is sponsored by FoodSaver. I received compensation, but all opinions and content are my own. 🙂
I love serving up skewers in the summertime to friends and family. They’re fun to eat and these ones are loaded with flavor and so colorful! I paired my veggie skewers with some marinated cilantro chicken and both can be cooked wither on an outdoor or indoor grill. This meal is low carb and high in protein and you can prep it all ahead of time.
How to make cilantro chicken
To start, pat 4 chicken breasts dry, and pound them if you need to get them to be the same thickness.
Next, add the salt, pepper, paprika, cilantro, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. This creates the basic marinade for the cilantro chicken. It’s a marinade I adapted from my mother-in-law, and it’s easy to prep in a bowl or freezer bag. I used a long plate to fully show the ingredients (and be extra fancy haha).
Now you can mix everything together and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
While the chicken in marinating, prepare the grilled skewers, which pair really well with the cilantro chicken.
Ingredients for grilled veggie skewers
- Red onions
- Bell peppers: red, yellow, orange, green
- Yellow squash
- Fresh herbs (optional)
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Other dry seasoning (like oregano)
You can also add mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant or any other vegetables you like. I recommend not using any olive oil on the veggie skewers because when they hit the grill, the oil will burn before the vegetables cook. You can lightly spray with olive oil, but I think it’s best to add oil to the grates instead.
Meal prepping chicken
When I make a large batch of this cilantro chicken recipe and grilled veggies early in the week, I love saving some for the weekend. I also do this when I’m going out of town so my husband has a healthy meal to cook. I’ve recently started using the FoodSaver vacuum sealing system. It’s great for prepping meals in advance, storing leftovers and freezing meals.
I love using the Food Saver for saving chicken, whether it’s fresh chicken breast bought from the butcher or seasoned or marinated chicken breasts. It keeps the chicken fresh for up to 3 months!
When you’re ready to grill the cilantro chicken and the veggie skewers (same day or a few days later), use medium heat for both items. It helps to oil the grates as well, especially for the veggie skewers which are essentially dry without any oil added to them.
I love the taste of the cilantro chicken when it comes off the grill. It has a Mediterranean flavor since I use a lot of garlic and cilantro. I think it’s sophisticated enough for adults but mild enough for kids to enjoy it. It’s fun to serve it with the veggie skewers. You can also add some rice on the side or quinoa or potatoes. It’s a light, flavorful and low-carb meal that’s so easy for summertime grilling!
Tips for grilling chicken
- Allow the chicken to marinate. You’ve spent all the the time chopping the cilantro and pressing the garlic. It would be lost effort if it didn’t absorb properly into the chicken. 30 minutes is all you need, but you could do it for up to 5 days in advance.
- Preheat the grill and oil the grate before you start to cook. Whether you use an indoor or outdoor grill, it is important to pre heat it so that the food cooks evenly. Oil the grill rather than the food.
- Don’t lift chicken when you first place it down on the grill. You want to cook it for 5-7 minutes, and you can press down on it with a spatula or grilling tongs. This lets it fully sear and it will release more easily when it’s fully cooked on one side. And plus it gives those nice grill marks we all like!
- Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before cutting. This tip is important because it allows the juices to redistribute themselves back through the chicken after cooking. It’s basically what keeps the chicken juicy.
- Use a thermometer to indicate if the chicken is cooked through. It’s the most precise way of telling if the chicken is done. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 160°F degrees for white chicken breast (165°F degrees for dark meat).
Frequently asked questions
Can you use chicken thighs instead?
This recipe is written for chicken breast, but you can absolutley use thighs if you prefer. They may take a few extra minutes to cook, but the prep will be the same.
How long do you marinate the chicken?
The chicken should be marinated for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop, but you can let it marinate for up to 3 days. Marinating is not just for flavor, but it also tenderizes the chicken and helps it to get nice and juicy.
What if you don’t like cilantro?
I know that some people are sensitive to the flavor of cilantro. If you have someone in your family who finds it tastes soapy, you can substitute the cilantro for fresh parsley instead.
Cilantro chicken is one of the most flavorful ways to prep chicken in the summer. It’s a low-carb meal that’s filled with a lemony herby flavor, then grilled until you get those pretty grill lines and juicy tender meat. It’s an easy meal to make and pairs well with so many side dishes! Once you make it, you’ll know why I always meal prep this in large batches.
If you like this cilantro chicken, try these chicken recipes:
- Creamy Pesto Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Tenders
- Spatchcock Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken
- Skillet Chicken with Couscous
- Harissa Chicken
- Chicken Meal Prep
Thank you FoodSaver for sponsoring this Cilantro Chicken and Veggies Skewers recipe. If you’re looking to check out the FoodSaver FM200, it’s actually the #1 best selling vacuum sealing brand, so it’s a great one to check out!
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Cilantro Chicken and Veggie Skewers recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Cilantro Chicken and Veggie Skewers
- 4 6 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 garlic cloves pressed
- 2 tablespoons oil olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 red onion sliced
- 1/2 cup assorted bell peppers sliced
- 1/2 zucchini sliced
- 1/2 yellow squash sliced
- Pat chicken dry and pound chicken if some parts are too thick. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or freezer bag. Add chicken and toss well to combine. Marinate for at least 30 minute or up to 3 days in advance.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat. Place chicken on the grill for 5-7 minutes. Flip over and cook until juices run dry, approximately 5-7 more minutes.
- Place the veggie skewers on the grill, and cook until the vegetables have softened and browned slightly around the edges, approximately 5-7 minutes per side.
- Serve the chicken with the veggie skewers and any other sides, if desired.