Cilantro Lime Chicken

This is a wonderful “ooh, what’s that amazing smell?” recipe. And better yet, it’s a wonderful, “oh my god, this is stupidly easy” recipe. Two great recipe attributes, all in one. Plus, chicken.

What I thought was interesting about this dish is that it feels kind of Asian and it feels kind of Mexican. Cilantro (or fresh coriander) is used in both Asian (Southeast Asian in particular) and Mexican cuisines, as is garlic, and as is lime. And chicken is pretty common in these (and pretty much every other) cuisine as well. Interesting right?

Cilantro Lime Chicken

So this gives you choices about how you want to serve it. Whichever direction you pick, rice is always a good move, brown or white. If I were going Asian, I might pair this with Thai Green Beans, Thai Cucumber Salad, Kale, Cabbage and Mint Salad with Peanut Dressing, or Blistered Green Beans with Miso Butter.

If I were going Mexican: Grilled Corn, Mexican Avocado, Corn and Three Bean Salad, or maybe Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo and Toasted Bread Crumbs (more Spanish than Mexican, but it would work, I know it).

Cilantro Lime Chicken

I also might slice up leftover chicken and wrap them up in warmed tortillas with some chopped tomatoes, roasted tomatillo salsa or Spicy Salsa Verde and a bloop of sour cream and call it lunch.

Or you also can slide right on out of those two lanes and match it up with all kinds of things. It’s a very simple chicken preparation, and so buddies up with pretty much anything you are in the mood for. Slice or cube it and put it atop a salad. Use it to make burritos or enchiladas….add it to pasta salads….make a full on chopped salad with it.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Here it is with Sugar Snap Pea Salad and Steakhouse Tomato Salad. Just hanging out being summery.

It’s not a showy or spotlight hogging chicken recipe – rather a flexible one, an accommodating one. Would that everything and everyone be so flexible and accommodating.

5-ingredients, stupidly easy, amazingly flavorful. A terrific year-round weeknight chicken recipe.

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Cilantro Lime Chicken

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Cilantro Lime Chicken

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Cilantro Lime Chicken

5-ingredients, stupidly easy, amazingly flavorful. A terrific year-round weeknight chicken recipe.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 1 ½ pounds total
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 2 large limes


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook for about 4 or 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Lower the heat if the outside of the chicken is getting too brown. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  • Return the skillet to medium heat, add the butter, and when the butter is melted add the garlic. Stier the garlic for 1 minute until it’s golden brown. Add the cilantro, lime juice and zest and stir, scraping the bottom, so that any browned bits are released and become part of the sauce. Return the chicken to the skillet, along with any juices that might have accumulated, and turn the chicken so that it is coated with the sauce and cilantro. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate, and pour over any sauce left in the pan, scraping to make sure you get all of the herbs and garlic.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 446mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 344IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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