Spicy Lime, Cilantro and Garlic Marinade

My cousin Tammy sent me an email recently with a link to this recipe, a low sodium/salt free marinade she thought sounded so good I should give it a try. Well huge thanks to both Tammy and Sarita B. for sharing, because this marinade is FABULOUS.  As shown above, I used it to flavor a recent batch of chicken wings.  Just a few hours chilling in the fridge in the marinade and BOYOINGYOING!  The most amazing citrus-y, garlicky, spicy southwestern taste imaginable.  I baked the wings for ease (there’s still snow on the ground here in Maine), but for a super treat grill the wings instead.  The smoky charcoal would add *just* the right touch.  But why stop at chicken?  This marinade is great for other meats and even tofu too.  Try marinating some thin lamb or extra firm tofu, then thread onto wooden skewers along with some veggie chunks.  Bake at 375 degrees until cooked through.  Mmmmmmm!!!

Yields roughly 1 cup of marinade.

SODIUM CONTENT: 15 mg per recipe


2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried red pepper flakes
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of 2 limes)


Measure the olive oil into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped cilantro, garlic and red pepper flakes, then stir to combine. Add the lime juice and mix well. Place meat or tofu in the marinade and toss gently to coat. Refrigerate until ready to cook. ENJOY!

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9 Responses to Spicy Lime, Cilantro and Garlic Marinade

  1. Christy says:

    Just as an aside, if you try this – and please do! I’d love to hear all about it! Whether you try marinating chicken, beef, lamb, tofu – even brushing the marinade on fish — let me know how you like it. I’m always looking for new inspiration, so feel free to dish! 🙂

  2. Yum! And so easy, too! I’m thinking ground lamb kebabs for sure. I mean, not that I’ll make them. But someone should!

  3. Marinade? That’s when you hold a chicken under water for an extended period of time, right?! 😉
    For some odd reason I never associate fruit with chicken, but this looks great, by the way!

  4. Christy says:

    Oh CMON Katie! You could use this marinade as an excuse to get a tiny grill for Kamran’s apt. Just open up the window, and go to town! LOL

    Inky, it took me a minute to figure out — FRUIT?? Duh! Lime juice! It’s just acting as an acidic base for the marinade — no sweetness at all. You will like it!! Make something special for your beautiful wife and she will love you all the more! 🙂

  5. Shambo says:

    This sounds so good! I think this would work with just about any cut of chicken, even the ubiquitous boneless, skinless breasts. But I love wings too, so I think I’ll try that first.

  6. Christy says:

    YAY!! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did, Shambo!

  7. l gamblin says:

    Wow! I recently tried this marinade with chicken breasts and the results were amazing! I let three breasts sit in the marinade overnight (which was unintentional, but definitely worth it!) and grilled one the next evening. I stored the other two in freezer bags. I grilled another breast two days later and was amazed at how well it stored! I highly recommend this recipe!

  8. joyce k says:

    I’m planning to marinade a leg of lamb, how long can I leave this to marinade before putting it on the grill.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Joyce!

      You can marinate the lamb up to 24 hours (one day) in advance of cooking, but the acids in the marinade will start to break down the meat if you continue marinating it longer than that. So not too far in advance!

      Hope this helps!

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