Easy One Skillet Cilantro-Lime Chicken

updated Feb 4, 2020
Cilantro-Lime Chicken

A weeknight-friendly recipe for chicken breasts cooked in a tangy cilantro-lime sauce.


Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

If you’re constantly looking for ways to mix up your weeknight chicken routine, consider this your new addition. It’s quick and crowd-pleasing, filled with bright cilantro and saucy lime flavor, and easy to clean up. In other words, your dinner roster will thank you.

A 5-Ingredient Chicken Dinner That’s Easy to Love

It’s easy to get in a chicken breast rut, but this recipe will get you back in your groove. The chicken cooks in a fragrant sauce of garlic, butter, lime zest and juice, and fresh cilantro, which boosts the flavor of the chicken and makes it moist. The acid from the limes protects the meat from drying out, while the touch of butter lends just enough richness to each bite. Although not essential, serving the chicken over rice or cauliflower rice is a smart move, because you’ll want to enjoy every bit of the sauce.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Cilantro-Lime Chicken

A weeknight-friendly recipe for chicken breasts cooked in a tangy cilantro-lime sauce.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 4

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total), pounded to 1/2-inch thick

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • Finely grated zest of 2 medium limes

  • 1/4 cup

    freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 to 4 limes)

  • 1/3 cup

    chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • Cooked rice, for serving (optional)


  1. Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Generously season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 10-inch or larger skillet over medium-high heat shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add the chicken and sear until deeply browned on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the chicken and sear until the other side is well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, garlic, and lime zest, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Stir in the lime juice. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Cover, reduce the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and registers 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Stir in the cilantro and spoon some of the sauce over the chicken. Serve with rice, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.