garlic lime chicken

Garlic Lime Chicken Thighs

This garlic lime chicken recipe combines the best of both worlds – sweet and spicy. The pineapple habanero BBQ glaze doubles the flavor.

This recipe was made and written for SABER Grills by Chris Grove of Nibble Me This.

Summer might be over but the flavors of Summer explode off of these chicken thighs like a Fourth of July firework.

Garlic lime marinated grilled chicken thighs with pinaeapple habanero glaze

The flavors start with a simple 5-ingredient marinade and build on that with dry seasonings. Stop right there and this chicken already tastes great. But finishing with a sweet and spicy glaze creates grilled chicken thighs that make mouths water.


  • 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose chicken seasoning, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup pineapple habanero BBQ sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • !For the marinade
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil or other high temperature oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1 dried red chile de arbol
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • Make the marinade. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small blender or food processor and pulse until combined.
  • Prepare the chicken. Using a sharp knife, trim off any excess skin and fat from the thighs. Next, place the thighs in a 1-gallon zip top bag and massage to get the marinade between all of the pieces. Finally, seal the zip top bag and place on refrigeration for 6-8 hours.
  • Prepare the grill. Preheat the grill to low or medium low. Make sure that grill grates are clean and lightly oiled just before placing the chicken on the grill.
  • Grill the chicken. Place the chicken skin side down on the main cooking grate and cook until you have nice grill marks on the chicken - about 2 1/2 minutes.
  • Roast the chicken. Flip the chicken thighs and place them on the upper cooking rack. Turn up the heat to medium-low to medium and close the grill lid. Allow the thighs to cook until they reach an internal temperature of 175°f.
  • Make the glaze. Place the pineapple habanero BBQ sauce and chicken stock in a small blender or food processor and pulse until combined.
  • Glaze the chicken. Brush the glaze onto the chicken, close the lid, and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve the chicken. Remove chicken from the grill and allow to rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Serve with any leftover glaze on the side.


  • Chile de arbol – you can substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper chile flakes
  • All-purpose chicken seasoning – I used my recipe for All-Purpose Chicken Seasoning listed below but you can use any recipe or brand that you like.


NMT All Purpose Chicken Seasoning

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel


Tip for marinating times – If you need to shorten the amount of time that a protein soaks in the marinade, boost the amount of acid (vinegar, citrus juice, etc) in the marinade.

Simple, easy garlic lime marinade for chicken wings, thighs, drumsticks, or other chicken parts

When buying your chicken thighs, look for packages that have equally sized thighs so that they cook in the same amount of time. Here the chicken has already marinated and been seasoned with the finely ground chicken seasoning.

Quick and easy garlic lime marinade for chicken

The SABER® Elite infrared cooking system is quite powerful and I had to run these on low. For most other grills this would need to be medium-low or medium.


Roasting the chicken to finish lets you ensure it is properly cooked all of the way through but still juicy and delicious.

grilled chicken thighs

While the chicken roasts, I made a side of black beans & rice. For the beans, you will need 1/2 cup chopped bacon, a small diced onion, 2 cans of drained black beans, 1/4 cup of diced fire roasted red bell pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of season salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin.


First, brown the chopped bacon over low heat and then remove from the pan. Then saute the onion in the bacon fat until tender. Add the drained beans, seasonings, and red bell pepper to the pan and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked bacon.

Black beans recipe for the grill is a great grilling side dish

An option way to boost flavors even more is to squeeze a grilled lemon over the cooked chicken thighs.

Garlic Lime marinated chicken thighs

Big flavors and small packages, that is why I love grilling chicken thighs. Try out this flavor profile on grilled wings too, they are amazing!

Garlic Lime Chicken Thighs

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