Southwestern Grilled Chicken Recipe with Lime Butter

No more boring chicken dinners. This Southwestern Grilled Chicken Recipe with Lime Butter is an easy way to take an ordinary chicken and turn it into something everyone will request over and over again.

It’s been years ago—twenty to be exact—since we lived in our first apartment with a tiny porch, with an even tinier grill which could hold enough food for a young couple. Since then, many grills have come and gone, but our favorite thing to grill has remained the same: chicken. It’s such a versatile and forgiving meat to grill, and is always a favorite with our crowd.

southwestern grilled chicken recipe with lime butter

Around here we grill a lot of chicken pretty much year-round, probably at least twice a week. We have a standard favorites, like our Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings, We have our favorite easy go-to sauce, but it’s always fun to mix up a new marinade or sauce for basting. This recipe for Southwestern Grilled Chicken with Lime Butter was one of those times, and certainly one we’ll use again and again. The seasoning paste and butter can be made ahead a day or two, which makes dinnertime that much easier.

how to grill chickengrilled chicken

The flavor packed seasoning paste would also be fantastic used for pork as well, while the Lime Butter would be a great addition to all kinds of things. Grilled corn or potatoes come to mind. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!


Southwestern Grilled Chicken Recipe with Lime Butter
Grilled chicken doesn't get any tastier than when it's coated with lovely spices and topped with lime butter.
  • For the chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3½ pounds bone-in chicken parts

  • For the Lime Butter:
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • pinch coarse black pepper
  1. Mix first 8 ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Spread seasoning paste all over chicken with spoon or basting brush.
  2. Grill chicken using medium heat for a gas grill or indirect heat for a charcoal grill. Close the lid and grill about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  3. For the Lime Butter, mix all ingredients in small bowl. Drizzle over chicken just before serving or serve separately for dipping.
  4. For easy prep-ahead planning, seasoning paste, and Lime Butter may be made ahead, a refrigerated covered. The Lime Butter can be slowly rewarmed, or just brought to room temperature and let the warm chicken finish the melting.)
Recipe from McCormick.

grilled chicken recipe

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  1. 5

    Catherine McCord says

    This looks so tasty! I wonder how well it would work with boneless skinless chicken!?

    • 6

      Donna G. says

      I’m going to assume it will be just as tasty using boneless, skinless breasts or any other part of the chicken!! In fact, I would stab the chicken all over first with a fork, to tenderize, then let it set in the marinade for a while before it’s bar-b-qued!! More flavorful that way!! 😉

  2. 9

    Heather || Heather's Dish says

    I literally can’t stop drooling – this sounds SO amazing and absolutely perfect for summer! And it reminds me of the yummy grilled chicken my mom used to make every summer – she’s the only one who makes chicken on the bone the way I like it!

  3. 12

    Taryn says

    Found your recipe on Pinterest, tried it tonight and it was amazing! LOVED the lime cilantro butter on top of the grilled chicken. I added cayenne to mine for a bit more of a kick. Will definitely be making this again!

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