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Honey Lime Chicken Tacos (Gluten-Free)

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos – Our honey lime chicken marinade gives these chicken tacos such delicious flavor. Don’t miss our favorite toppings to add to these tasty tacos! (Gluten-Free)

Front view of three honey lime chicken tacos with slaw on a white plate

Good news! I’m here to make your next Taco Tuesday even more delicious.

We’re talking about Honey Lime Chicken Tacos! Made with an easy, mega-flavorful honey lime chicken marinade, this tender seasoned chicken makes ahhhmazing tacos.

Honey and lime is one of my all-time flavor pairings. I’ve used it in sweet things like our Honey Lime Fruit Salad, but it also plays nice with savory dishes, like Honey Lime Tilapia and these gorgeous Honey Lime Chicken Tacos. I think the reason it works so well is that it’s got that perfect balance between tangy and sweet. Add in a few savory and salty elements in the rest of the marinade, and the flavors are just mouthwatering.

The honey lime chicken marinade we’re using today infuses the chicken with loads of flavor, but it also helps caramelize the outside of the chicken so you get not only gorgeous flavor, but a beautiful textural contrast between the crisp, caramelized exterior and the tender, flavorful interior.

Tuck that seasoned chicken into warm corn tortillas with your favorite fixings, and you’ve got a taco night you won’t stop talking about for ages.

Here’s all you’ll need to get started on this stellar chicken taco recipe…

Overhead view of a glass bowl with honey lime marinade for chicken

Here’s What You Need To Make Our Honey Lime Chicken Tacos Recipe:

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast. Our honey lime chicken tacos start with basic boneless skinless chicken breast. Lately, I’ve been ordering from Thrive Market. The quality is amazing, and they deliver to your door! Get 25% off your first order with this link.
  • Fresh Lime Zest + Lime Juice. We’re adding a double dose of lime goodness to our honey lime chicken tacos by using both lime zest and freshly-squeezed lime juice. The natural oils in the lime zest add a fresh, concentrated lime flavor, and the acidity of the lime juice works its magic paired with our other marinade ingredients to give us tender, flavorful chicken every time.
  • Honey. Next up in our honey lime chicken marinade is honey. The sweetness tempers the tartness of the lime and also helps the chicken caramelize in the skillet. I LOVE honey and lime together!
  • Garlic. Some fresh garlic adds a delicious savory note to the honey lime chicken marinade. Love it. If you’re out of fresh or frozen garlic, you can swap in some garlic powder instead. (1/8-1/4 tsp. of garlic powder will do!)
  • Chili Powder + Salt. Then, you’ll round out the marinade with just a little chili powder and some salt. I really want the honey-lime flavors to be the star here, so I keep the chili powder on the subtle side. If you prefer it to taste more punchy, feel free to add more!
  • Olive Oil or Avocado Oil. Lastly, you’ll need a bit of oil in both the honey lime chicken marinade and to cook the chicken in your pan.
  • Cilantro (If You Want). I love brightening up the flavors with a hit of fresh cilantro, but if you’re not a cilantro person, feel free to skip it.
  • Your Favorite Taco Fixings. Once you’ve made your honey lime chicken, you’re ready to build some epic Honey Lime Chicken Tacos by mixing and matching your favorite taco toppings. Here are some of our favorites…
Overhead view of diced honey lime chicken for tacos
Overhead view of toppings for honey lime chicken tacos

Now Let’s Build Some Honey Lime Chicken Tacos! Here Are Some Toppings To Try:

  • Corn Tortillas. I love soft shell chicken tacos, so I make my honey lime chicken tacos with soft corn tortillas. I always suggest warming them first (on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave) to make them more pliable and flavorful. See the FAQ for my best tips for warming corn tortillas! And if you’re into hard shell tacos, feel free to tuck this seasoned chicken into taco shells with your favorite toppings!
  • Fresh Avocado or Guacamole. Creamy avocado adds a great textural contrast to the marinated, cooked chicken. The subtle flavor lets the honey lime chicken really shine, and they make each taco taste more satisfying and filling. Guacamole also works!
  • Honey-Lime Slaw or Shredded Lettuce. I love doubling down on the honey-lime vibes by using my Honey Lime Slaw for tacos. The fresh, bright flavors are a perfect mimic of the flavors in the marinade, and using slaw instead of lettuce prevents tacos from feeling dry. That said, if lettuce is your jam, go for it!
  • Black Beans or Pinto Beans. Not everyone is into adding beans to tacos, but if you like them, black beans or our Charro beans (seasoned pinto beans) are DELICIOUS in honey lime chicken tacos!
  • A Little Salsa. I love adding salsa to my tacos, and LOTS of salsas work for our Honey Lime Chicken Tacos. Feel free to use store-bought or try one of our homemade salsas–Homemade Salsa Verde, Fresh Mango Salsa, Homemade Pico de Gallo, or Our Favorite Fresh Salsa. (Mango can be extra lovely with the sweet honey-lime flavors of the chicken!)
Overhead view of cooked honey lime chicken for tacos
close up overhead view of cooked honey lime chicken for tacos

It Works For More Than Just Tacos! Try Our Honey Lime Chicken Like This:

Our honey lime marinade makes tender, sweet, tangy, FLAVORFUL chicken that’s incredible in our tacos. It ALSO works like a charm in all kinds of other delicious applications. Here are some of our other favorite ways to use this honey lime chicken when you need a change of pace:

  1. Tucked into lettuce wraps. If you’re out of tortillas, watching your carbs, or eating grain-free, this honey lime chicken is GORGEOUS in lettuce wraps, too! Add all your same taco ingredients, swapping a lettuce cup for the corn tortilla. I find butter lettuce, iceberg, and romaine work best for this.
  2. Scooped into burrito bowls. Skip the tortillas and turn this into Honey Lime Chicken burrito bowls instead. Use a base of rice or cauliflower rice, maybe some black beans or pinto beans, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and a drizzle of a yummy dressing. Try our tomatillo ranch on top!
  3. Added to taco salads. Or, turn this into Honey Lime Chicken taco salads by using a leafy base of greens, then adding your favorite taco toppings on top. (Try our tomatillo ranch or chipotle ranch on top!)
  4. Served on nachos. Get creative and add diced honey lime chicken on top of your favorite tortilla chips with all your favorite nacho fixings. Your nachos will never be the same again!
close up Overhead view of three honey lime chicken tacos with slaw on a white plate
close up Overhead view of three honey lime chicken tacos with slaw on a white plate

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Honey Lime Chicken Tacos:

POUND THE CHICKEN TO EVEN THICKNESS FIRST. My #1 tip for the best honey lime chicken tacos is to pound the chicken out to an even thickness before you marinate and cook it. Why? Chicken that’s pounded out to an even thickness cooks more easily and evenly. That way the thinner parts of the chicken breast aren’t overcooked while the thicker parts are underdone. That’s especially important in a marinade with honey, like this one, since honey tends to brown quickly and can char easily. (Here’s an easy tutorial for how to pound out chicken breast if you’ve never done it before.)

MAKE AHEAD TIP: FREEZE CHICKEN IN YOUR MARINADE! One of my favorite make-ahead tips is to freeze chicken in its marinade when you bring it home from the store. It’ll marinate as it thaws in the refrigerator later and make much less fuss the day you plan to cook it! (Or, make a double batch and freeze half the chicken for another day!)

HOW LONG IN ADVANCE CAN I MARINATE THE CHICKEN IN LIME JUICE? About 24 hours is a good rule of thumb. Marinating chicken in lime juice for a long period of time can turn the surface of the chicken breast white without impacting the texture of the chicken. Once you pass the 24-hour mark and inch closer to 48 hours, however, the marinade can start to break down the chicken. But up to the 24-hour point, the white you may see is harmless! (If you’re freezing the chicken in the marinade, this won’t be a problem so long as you cook it within 24 hours of thawing.)

WARM YOUR TORTILLAS FIRST! HERE’S HOW. Warming the tortillas before serving them makes them more pliable and flexible (meaning less likely to rip!), and also really wakes up the flavor. Here are 3 ways you can warm up corn tortillas for your honey lime chicken tacos:

  1. On the Stovetop. Place tortillas one at a time into a dry skillet over medium heat and cook about 20-30 seconds per side before wrapping them in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. If you have a gas burner, you can use metal tongs to quickly, lightly char your tortillas over the flame, then wrap them in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
  2. In the Microwave. Alternatively, you can microwave corn tortillas in groups of 5 or so wrapped in damp paper towels for 30-second increments until the tortillas are warm and pliable.
  3. In the Oven. Or, you can wrap stacks of 5-6 tortillas in foil and warm them in a 350 degrees oven for 15-20 minutes.

CAN I MAKE MY TACOS WITH CHICKEN THIGHS OR CHICKEN TENDERS INSTEAD? Absolutely. You can use the same amount of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders, if you prefer.

Overhead view of three honey lime chicken tacos with slaw on a white plate
Front view of three honey lime chicken tacos with slaw on a white plate

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Front view of three honey lime chicken tacos with slaw on a white plate

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos (Gluten-Free)


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 45 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos – Our honey lime chicken marinade gives these chicken tacos delicious flavor you’ll fall in love with! (Gluten-Free)


Ingredients

Scale

FOR THE HONEY-LIME CHICKEN:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to about 1/23/4” thickness.
  • Zest of 1 lime (about 2 tsp.)
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice)
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Optional: 2-4 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • Additional oil, for the pan or grill.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL HONEY-LIME GLAZE:

  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice

FOR THE TACOS:

  • Corn Tortillas
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Honey Lime Slaw, Cabbage, or Shredded Lettuce
  • Black Beans or Pinto Beans
  • Salsa – red, green, or mango!

Instructions

FOR THE HONEY-LIME CHICKEN:

  1. (Pound your chicken out if you haven’t already.) Place chicken breast in a zip-top bag or clean food storage container with a lid.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime zest, lime juice, honey, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, and 2 Tbsp. cilantro, if using. Taste the marinade and add additional honey or chili powder, as desired.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag and seal the zip-top bag, pressing out any excess air. Place the bag with the marinating chicken on a plate to avoid spills in the refrigerator and marinate at least 20-30 minutes, up to 24 hours. I recommend at least an hour or two for best flavor, but the longer it marinates, the more flavor will penetrate the chicken!
  4. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, remove the marinating chicken from the refrigerator and allow the chicken to come to room temperature while you heat a small drizzle of oil in a pan or on a grill plate or grill.
  5. Carefully remove the chicken breast from the bag and add to your pan. Discard any remaining marinade.
  6. Cook the chicken over medium heat 4-5 minutes per side, or until the chicken has nicely browned on the outside, the inside is no longer pink, and the interior temperature has reached at least 165 degrees F. (Do watch the chicken here since it can start to char)
  7. If your chicken starts charring too quickly, you can put the chicken breast on a baking sheet and finish it in a 400 degree F oven, checking every 3-4 minutes to take the temperature of the chicken and check for doneness. (Pounding the chicken out will help eliminate this as a problem)
  8. Set the chicken aside to rest for a few minutes before slicing or dicing into cubes for tacos. (This will allow time for the chicken to redistribute its juices and make for more tender, moist chicken.)
  9. If desired, stir together a quick honey-lime glaze for extra flavor. Stir 2 Tbsp. honey and 2 Tbsp. lime juice together in a small bowl and brush over the chicken once its cooked.
  10. Cut the chicken into slices or cubes and start building your tacos!

ASSEMBLE YOUR TACOS.

  1. While the chicken cooks, warm your tortillas. Place tortillas one at a time into a dry skillet over medium heat and cook about 20-30 seconds per side before wrapping them in a clean kitchen towel. (Alternatively, you can microwave them in groups of 5 or so wrapped in damp paper towels for 30-second increments until the tortillas are warm and pliable. Or, you can wrap stacks of 5-6 tortillas in foil and warm in a 350 degrees oven for 15-20 minutes.)
  2. To build your tacos, add a little cubed chicken to a warm tortilla long with a small scoop of slaw or lettuce, and a few slices of avocado. Feel free to add any other toppings you enjoy–more cilantro, diced tomatoes, cheese, salsa, black or pinto beans, etc.

Notes

*Marinating chicken in lime juice can turn the surface of the chicken breast white without impacting the texture of the chicken. Once you pass the 24-hour mark, the marinade can start to break down the chicken, but up to this point, the white you may see is harmless!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: honey lime chicken tacos, lime chicken tacos, chicken tacos, healthy chicken tacos, chili lime chicken tacos, gluten free chicken tacos, honey lime chicken marinade

4 Comments

  1. This looks delicious! But I always feel like I’m bad at cooking chicken on the stove. Do you think this would work the same if it was in an instant pot/crock pot? If not I’ll make this for my husband to make on the grill! #summertime!

    1. Alex – I know what you mean! Getting an instant read meat thermometer has CHANGED my chicken-cooking life. I always used to overcook (or undercook and have to re-cook) chicken when I made it on the stove, but with a thermometer, I know exactly when the chicken is done and cooked through. It’s never dry anymore when I use the temperature method!

      As for slow-cooking, the texture and flavor won’t be the same slow-cooked. I think it would be better off grilled 🙂 Hope that helps!

  2. Emily, I made these for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! My husband said he thought they tasted really good. It’s such a simple, delicious, and healthy delicious meal idea. Thanks always for good recipes and a lovely and uplifting blog.

    1. I’m so glad you loved them! If you have a second, would you mind leaving a star review? It helps others find the recipe, too! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing with me!

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