Grilled Chicken Thighs

5 from 5 votes
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Grilled Chicken Thighs—Tender chicken thighs marinated in zesty spices are grilled to perfection and topped with a vibrant herb and jalapeno sauce. This quick and flavorful dish is perfect for summer grilling, family dinners, and outdoor entertaining.

A plate of grilled chicken with herb sauce on top


As soon as the weather starts to warm up even a little bit, that’s when I turn to my favorite Summer Grilling Recipes. I’m all about keeping things easy and delicious, especially when it’s hot out. And let me tell you, with these Grilled Chicken Thighs, dinnertime just got a serious upgrade. 

Forget boring grilled chicken. We’re talking juicy chicken thighs marinated in a zesty blend of garlic, lime, and spices. And let’s not forget about that sauce—a creamy, herb-infused concoction with a hint of jalapeno kick. It’s the perfect complement to the chicken’s smoky char, adding a burst of freshness and a touch of heat. 

Whether you’re cooking up a weeknight dinner for the family or hosting a casual backyard barbecue with friends, these Grilled Chicken Thighs are guaranteed to be a hit.

So, fire up the grill, whip up a batch of ice-cold Summer Sangria, and get ready to enjoy some seriously flavorful chicken.

grilled chicken on a tray

What You’ll Need

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the FULL PRINTABLE recipe card.

Chicken Thighs

  • Olive Oil
  • Lime Juice
  • Garlic
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Sugar
  • Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chicken Thighs

Chile Herb Sauce (optional)

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Olive Oil
  • Milk
  • Jalapeño – remove the seeds and membrane to make it more mild
  • Lime Juice
  • Garlic
  • Sugar – helps cut the acid and balance the spice
  • Salt & Pepper
A plate of food with A plate of grilled chicken with herb sauce on top

How To Make Grilled Chicken Thighs

  • Prepare Marinade. Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, paprika, sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper in a zip-top bag. Add chicken thighs, ensuring they are well coated, and let marinate for 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat Grill. While the chicken marinates, heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Grill Chicken. Transfer the chicken from the marinade to the grill. Grill each side for 5-6 minutes until each piece reaches an internal temperature of 165º F.
  • Prepare Sauce. Meanwhile, blend parsley, cilantro, olive oil, milk, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped.
  • Serve Chicken. Plate the grilled chicken thighs and top them with the prepared chile herb sauce for added flavor and freshness. Enjoy!

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Marinate longer for even more flavor. Marinating the chicken thighs longer allows the flavors to penetrate deeper, resulting in more flavorful and tender grilled chicken. However, the acidic lime juice can over-tenderize the chicken if left too long, so don’t exceed 2 hours. 
  • Adjust the spice level to taste. For a milder sauce, deseed the jalepeño. The more seeds included, the spicier the sauce will be. 
  • Pair with light and refreshing sides. Grill vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or corn alongside the chicken for a well-rounded and nutritious dish.
  • Double the Recipe for Easy Meal Prep. Prepare a larger batch of grilled chicken thighs and sauce to have leftovers for quick and convenient meals throughout the week.
A plate of food on a table, with Chicken and Sauce
How long should I marinate the chicken thighs?

Marinate the chicken thighs for at least 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat thoroughly. Marinate them for up to 2 hours in the refrigerator for even more flavor.

Can I make the sauce ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the chile herb sauce ahead of time. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Give it a good stir before serving to ensure all the flavors are well combined.

What can I use instead of a grill?

If you don’t have access to a grill, cook the chicken thighs on a stovetop grill pan or bake them in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

More Tasty Chicken Dinner Recipes

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chile Herb Sauce - chicken thighs marinated in a blend of garlic, spices and lime juice. Grilled and then topped with a creamy herb and jalapeno sauce. 
5 from 5 votes

Grilled Chicken Thighs

By Erin
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Chile Herb Sauce – chicken thighs marinated in a blend of garlic, spices and lime juice. Grilled and then topped with a creamy herb and jalapeno sauce. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


Chicken Thighs

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6-8 chicken thighs

Chile Herb Sauce (optional)

  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a plastic zip top bag combine the ingredients for the chicken thighs. Mix together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, paprika, sugar, cumin, salt and pepper until blended. 
  • Add chicken thighs to the bag, and massage until everything is well coated. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium high heat
  • Remove chicken from marinade and grill for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through. The internal temperature should be 165º F.
  • Meanwhile make the sauce by added all of the ingredients to a mini food processor or blender. Process until finely chopped. 
  • Serve cooked chicken topped with sauce.


Recipe Adapted from Cooking Light


Serving: 1g | Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 333mg | Sodium: 733mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 674
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last week. It actually was the second time I tried and it was soooooo good! Thank so much, Erin!

  2. I have been OBSESSED with chicken thighs lately! I can’t wait to make this next week!

  3. This recipe is making me really excited for summer! They turned out so good and I love that I can prepare it in advanced!

  4. I’ve always struggled with getting chicken right on the grill, but your tips for these Grilled Chicken Thighs were a game changer. They turned out so moist and full of flavor!