3 Ingredient Tangy Marinated Chicken


Spring is in the air which means it’s about time to start dusting off the BBQs and get back to grilling some juicy chicken! Aren’t you looking forward to warm evenings, sipping tea on the porch, and watching your kids play in the sprinklers? I sure am! I can hardly wait to shed these jackets and boots. Backyard cookouts are some of my favorite times with family and friends so I thought I would share my simple 3 Ingredient Tangy Marinated Chicken. This tangy marinated chicken is so versatile yet flavorful that it can be used in a slew of different recipes.

3 ingredient tangy marinated chicken

All you need is 3 ingredients! That’s pretty manageable, right? And I bet you have them in your cupboard already!

3/4 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Let’s say you want to grill 4 chicken breasts for dinner. Grab a gallon sized ziplock, pour in all the ingredients, zip it shut, and move all the juices and seasoning around the chicken until it is thoroughly coated. You may need to add more lime juice if your chicken breasts are extra large. Let the chicken marinade for atleast 30 minutes. This is an important step because the acid in the lime juice breaks down the outer layer of the chicken, causing it crisp up when grilling. The crispy outside of the chicken will act as a barrier, keeping all the yummy juices inside. This will result in juicy, tender pieces of meat rather than dry or rubbery chicken. Make sure the chicken comes to room temperature before heading to the grill.

3 ingredient tangy chicken

Once the chicken has marinated, warm up your grill on medium to high heat. You’ll want the flames just high enough that they lick the bottom of the meat. Make sure the grill is nice and hot before cooking the chicken. Hearing a steady “shhhhhhhh” sound when the chicken hits the grill is a good indication that the grill is hot enough. Leave the chicken on one side for a good 10 minutes so the chicken gets decent char marks. Flip to the other side and grill another 10 minutes. Depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts, you may need to increase or reduce grill time accordingly. Check these 2 indicators for proper doneness:

  1. Temperature: have your meat thermometer handy and when the chicken reaches 160 degrees, you’ll know it’s done. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting it open because that helps retain moisture.
  2. Flexibility: the chicken should be firm yet compressible. Can you flex the meaty part of your hand between your thumb and your palm? It should feel firm but still pliable. That’s the “squishy factor” you’re looking for in your chicken.

3 ingredient tangy chicken

Once the chicken has rested, slice it against the grain and use it in your favorite recipe! Slicing against the grain means cutting the chicken in the opposite direction the natural fibers run. Slicing the chicken this way will make it easier to chew and not as stringy in your mouth. See this quick tutorial.

tangy chicken caesar salad

I love to put my tangy chicken atop a Caesar salad or in my Chicken Tortilla Soup. However, this chicken is so flavorful all on it’s own that sometimes I just serve it next to oven roasted brussel sprouts or an apple blue cheese salad. I also prepare large amounts of this tangy chicken and slice it up for healthy lunches throughout the week or throw it in quesadillas for my kids.

Basically, you won’t regret the time you spend on making this chicken. How do you think you will use it? Let me know in the comment section below. Happy cooking y’all!

3 Ingredient Tangy Chicken Marinade

Heidi Davison
This 3 ingredient tangy chicken marinade is perfect for grilled chicken. It's tangy flavor and simplicity make it perfect for several types of recipes.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine American/Mexican
Servings 4


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup of lime juice add more depending on the size of chicken
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • Pour all ingredients into a ziplock bag.
  • Add the chicken and make sure chicken is thoroughly coated.
  • Marinade for 30 minutes minimum.
  • Grill chicken on bbq 10+ minutes on each side or until internal temp is 160 degrees.
  • Discard marinade.


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    • I love that it goes with so many things!

  • Yum! I make chicken just like this, but instead of lime juice I use Olive Oil and Lime Essential oil. I love to let it marinate for 24 hours.

    • That sounds really good! I’ll have to try that sometime. How do you serve your chicken?

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