A healthy, light and flavorful Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe for those busy weeknights. Baked to perfection in 20 minutes and topped with avocado salsa, it is simply divine. Enjoy on it’s own or along with rice, salad, tacos, quesadillas and more!
Growing up in the 80’s, it seemed there was always a new seasoning or marinade. A packet, a bottle, a shaker, something to make you believe that you couldn’t or shouldn’t do it yourself, but this amazing Cilantro Lime Chicken is made from scratch in minutes with the freshest ingredients.
I think that’s why I’ve always leaned toward my grandmother’s way of cooking over my mother’s – I love the taste of cooking fresh and want to bring it back to basics. That’s exactly what I’m doing in our kitchen with this easy Cilantro Lime Chicken.
This dish a family favorite, though we each enjoy it a little differently. The cilantro lime chicken marinade takes just 5 minutes to make and coat the chicken.
While it’s baking, I shred cheese for my salad and for the girls’ quesadillas to make it quick and easy. Chris loves eating this cilantro lime baked chicken a la carte, topped with avocado salsa and I eat mine on a bed of lettuce.
Cilantro Lime Chicken Ingredients
- Cilantro – Fresh is best, so be sure to purchase it from your grocery store or local farmer’s market. Look for bright green, tender leaves with no evidence of brusing or fading.
- Jalapeño – To tame down the spice factor, remove the seeds and ribs before making the cilantro lime chicken marinade. For a spicy chicken recipe, leave the seeds and ribs intact and look for peppers that have streaks on them. These are heat marks, meaning that pepper is hot!
- Lime Juice – Use fresh lime juice or purchase in the produce or juice aisle of your grocer. You will need about 2-3 limes for this cilantro lime chicken recipe, depending on how juicy they are. To really get all the juice out of your limes, place them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds prior to slicing. The warm lime will give you up to twice as much juice!
- Olive Oil – Any of your favorite brand of olive oil will do. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a lighter and fruitier flavor.
- Minced Garlic – Mincing the garlic before placing in your food processor helps make the marinade come together more easily and prevents the cilantro from bruising. You can also use minced garlic purchased in a jar in the produce section of your grocer.
- Chicken Breasts – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts work best. If the chicken breasts are on the large side, cut them in half lengthwise to ensure they cook all the way through. For a faster and kid-friendly approach, chicken tenders would work beautifully as well.
How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Prep – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Make Marinade – In the bowl of a food processor, add cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and minced garlic. Grind until fine. Alternatively, chop by hand.
- Coat the Chicken – Add half the marinade to a small bowl and coat the chicken. Reserve the other half for garnish.
- Bake – Place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes.
- Brush Chicken with the remaining cilantro lime sauce. Enjoy!
I save a little time using a food processor to make the marinade, but don’t fret if you don’t have one, just finely chop the ingredients and stir well.
There are endless ways to serve this juicy chicken!
- Top with Avocado Salsa
- Make Tacos
- Add on top of Chicken Nachos
- Serve on Taco Salad
- In Quesadillas
- Tossed with lettuce and Cilantro Lime Dressing
The lime cilantro chicken also works beautifully with a side of white or brown rice, refried beans, salad greens, or roasted vegetables.
Good and good for you!
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Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
- 1 c cilantro (no stems)
- 1/2 jalapeno (remove seeds)
- 1/4 c lime juice
- 1/8 c olive oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 4 chicken breasts
- Preheat oven 400.
- Meanwhile, add cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, olive oil and minced garlic to a food processor (not required, but I love it ground fine).
- Add half of the sauce to a small bowl and coat chicken. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes (it will continue cooking).
- Brush chicken with remaining cilantro lime sauce.