Quick Dinner: Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce.

One skillet and 40 minutes is all it takes to transform chicken into a flavor-packed meal!

One skillet and 40 minutes is all it takes! Grab the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Tell me about your 4th of July!

What did you do? Did you make any of my recipes? Fire up the grill? Watch fireworks and catch some rays? The weather was miserable, humid, and rainy on Saturday here in Philly so a lot of my celebrating was indoors. Which didn’t stop us from the best party of all time.

One skillet and 40 minutes is all it takes! Grab the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Seeing how many of you love my recent Asian-inspired salmon recipe inspires me to share more of my dinner favorites. While I enjoy baking desserts the most (cookies > dinner), dinner is an everyday adventure. And if you’re like me, you’re constantly searching for quick ‘n easy meals. Wellllllllll you’ve come to the right place.

Today I’m going to show you that one skillet is all it takes to transform chicken into something you and your fam will love. This chicken is cooked on the stove and finished off in the oven with a flavorful southwestern-inspired pan sauce:



caramelized onions 


a little spice 

zesty lime 

This meal reminds me of my days waitressing at Chilis! Good times. It also has me craving margaritas on the rocks with salt and a mountain of chips/guac. (In favor of trying to keep meals healthy and my shorts fitting, I settled for water and a side of asparagus.)

Whomp whomp.

One skillet and 40 minutes is all it takes! Grab the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So. The first thing to do is grab some skinless boneless chicken breasts. You can use bone-in chicken thighs instead if that’s easier. Cook the chicken in the skillet until both sides are browned and crisp– the chicken will cook again in the oven so if the centers aren’t cooked all the way through just yet, it’s ok. Remove the chicken for the time being.

Now, using the same skillet, make the pan sauce with the smorgasbord of tasty things mentioned above.

One skillet and 40 minutes is all it takes! Grab the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

For the sauce’s liquids, you’ll use chicken broth and cream. Now, you’ll only need a little cream (3 Tablespoons for the whole recipe– that’s it!). Just the right amount to add richness to the sauce. You can use whole milk instead if that’s easier. Boil the pan sauce until it has reduced and thickened.

The sauce is easily the best part of this dish. And that makes sense because without it this would just be cooked chicken. So yeah. You’ll be spooning licking up the sauce from your plate. How ladylike of us all. Whatever. It’s really good sauce.

Next step? Add the chicken back to the skillet and bake everything in the oven until the chicken is cooked through. Add extra cilantro (flavor! flavor!), another squeeze of lime, and that’s IT. Serve with veggies and smother them with the extra sauce. ♥ ♥

One skillet and 40 minutes is all it takes! Grab the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

About 40 minutes start to finish. We both LOVED this meal. And here’s a new video for you to see the recipe start to finish!

Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

Yield: serves 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Print Recipe

One skillet and 40 minutes is all it takes to transform chicken into a flavor-packed meal!


  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I recommend reduced sodium)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice (I use closer to 1.5 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes1
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream2
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • optional: lime wedges and more cilantro for garnish, steamed asparagus for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. If the chicken breasts are uneven in thickness, pound them down so they're all even. This way all the breasts will cook through similtaneously. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes, turning once. You want the chicken nice and browned on the outside. (It doesn't have to be cooked all the way through yet.) Set chicken on a plate and cover tightly with foil until step 5.
  4. Remove skillet from heat and add the broth, lime juice, onion, cilantro, and red pepper. Return to heat. Cook and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to around 1/4 cup. (During this time you can steam some veggies to have on the side, like asparagus.) Reduce heat to medium-low, then add the cream and butter. Stir until butter has melted.
  5. Add chicken to the sauce and place the skillet in the preheated oven. Bake uncovered until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Serve chicken with sauce spooned on top and any of the listed optional garnishes. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat to your liking.

Additional Notes:

  1. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your liking. This amount made the chicken mildly spicy. The cream in the sauce mellows out the spice.
  2. You can use whole milk instead, but for the thickest, richest sauce I highly recommend heavy cream. If using whole milk, make sure it is at room temperature to help prevent curdling.

Using SparkRecipes calculator, this gluten free chicken dish comes out to about 300 calories, 14g fat, 2g carbs, and 33g protein per serving. That includes all the extra sauce too! If your chicken breasts are smaller than 6 ounces each (about what mine were), these numbers will be lower.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 Try my pecan crusted chicken fingers next. Baked not fried!

Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers-- baked, not fried! sallysbakingaddiction.com

More savory recipes for you!

Only 1 pan and 40 minutes to make this seriously FLAVORFUL Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce!

255 Responses to “Quick Dinner: Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce.”

  1. #
    Brittanyposted April 7, 2016 at 1:32 am

    I made this tonight for my family, was devoured


  2. #
    Amy Murphyposted April 11, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I am making this tonight and sliced the chicken in half so they are thinner, do I need to use the oven at all? 


    • Sallyreplied on April 12th, 2016 at 8:26 am

      If the chicken is cooked through, then you won’t need to bake.


  3. #
    Amyposted April 12, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Looks amazing. I wouldn’t use a non-stick skillet in the oven — temps that high ruin the pan, and worse, cause chemicals into leech from the coating into your food.. Cast iron all the way.


  4. #
    Theaposted April 18, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Made this tonight and served it over baby spinach, was delicious! Though I cut down on the red pepper cause I can’t handle spicy food, was still a bit too hot for me but the hubby loved it 😀


  5. #
    michaelposted April 20, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I have half & half cream in the fridge. Will that work?


  6. #
    Shastaposted April 20, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I love this recipe! But I wanted paleo so I used coconut oil not butter and coconut milk not cream. Delicious!!!!


    • Kimreplied on April 22nd, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Oooh coconut and lime, that sounds good! Did it work well and did you use the same amounts as the recipe called for cream and butter??


    • Elizabethreplied on May 10th, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Thank you! My son has a dairy intolerance, and I was going to ask if coconut or almond milk could be substituted. Thank you for answering my question!


      • Cameronreplied on July 14th, 2016 at 11:14 pm

        Coconut milk seems to work a lot better for cooking than almond milk, so I tend to prefer almond milk for cold, coconut for hot. 

  7. #
    Lauraposted April 22, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Sally — Just wanted to let you know that in printing your recipe via your “print recipe” button, there are about 3 1/2 pages worth of javascript that prints before the recipe. Might want to check that out. Looking forward to trying this recipe out tonight!


    • Sallyreplied on April 22nd, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      We’re aware! It’s an issue with Internet Explorer at the moment. We’re on it. 🙂 Thank you!


  8. #
    Jessica Camposposted April 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Omg , I pinned this recipe and made it tonight for me and my hubby !! Loved it !! It has so much flavor !! I made it with roasted asparagus and red potatoes!  I put cooked the potatoes in the same pan as the chicken with the sauce ! It was delish !! 


  9. #
    Katieposted May 3, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Made this for the 3rd time for dinner tonight and it’s so stinking good!!!!


  10. #
    Michelleposted May 4, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I made this tonight. I didn’t have cilantro, so I improvised with ground cumin. And I didn’t have cream, so I used a bit of milk. Nevertheless, it was still really delicious. I love cilantro, so next time I’ll get some so I can follow your recipe more closely. 


  11. #
    Alissonposted May 6, 2016 at 11:38 am

    EXCELLENT chicken dish – probably the juiciest chicken breast I’ve ever made. Our whole family gobbled it up. Thanks for the recipe!


  12. #
    Andrewposted May 7, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I used jalapeno peppers instead of crushed red peppers came out delicous, added a little more spice too 🙂


  13. #
    Ayannaposted May 10, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Love this recipe. This is my 2nd time making it but for a family of 6. I moderately increased the proportions. I cant wait until its finished. This time im using chicken thighs with the bone. And with pasta. The 1st time i made it, i used the boneless chicken breast like it said and served it with cauliflower pureed and spinach.


  14. #
    Charlie T.posted May 11, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Made this tonight! Pureed the finished sauce in the vitamix and poured onto the chicken! Was absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe!


  15. #
    Rosa Gonzalezposted May 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    This is delicious!  Made this last night, and we loved it! Definitely making this again!


  16. #
    Elizabethposted May 18, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I am so excited to try this tonight! I am doubling the sauce recipe and trying it out in my crockpot since I don’t have a lot of time to make dinner tonight. I do plan on having us grill the chicken in a skillet while cooking the asparagus, though. It’ll just be pre-cooked and hopefully will have absorbed all of the yummy sauce flavor while cooking, too.


    • Daniellereplied on May 19th, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      let us know how it comes out in the crockpot. I am always looking for crockpot dishes 🙂


  17. #
    Danielleposted May 19, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    What kind of onion do you use? yellow, red, or vidalia?

    thank you 🙂 can’t wait to make this for my family on saturday!


    • Marie T.replied on June 7th, 2016 at 11:18 am

      I see red onion in the picture above.  I think you could use any onion and get wonderful results.  


  18. #
    PKposted May 22, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    This was a wonderful recipe, I did add more cilantro, and after taking the chicken out of the pan I sautéed the onions first in some olive oil in the pan and then added everything else in. My husband LOVED it.  


    • PKreplied on May 22nd, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Oh and I also added some red peppers in since they’re my husbands favorite. Added a nice peppery flavor.


  19. #
    Jhailynposted May 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Hi, does anyone know if taking the onions completely will change the taste of the recipe ? 


  20. #
    Dawnposted June 1, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Can I use thighs instead of breasts?


  21. #
    Gigiposted June 6, 2016 at 1:12 am

    This recipe was so delicious! I did sprinkle garlic powder along with the salt and pepper on the chicken and I also used extra cilantro. This will definitely be going in our dinner rotation. Thank you so much!


  22. #
    Marie T.posted June 7, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Made this for the first time last night.  WOW!  So simple and delicious.  Looks and tastes like a gourmet dish. My boyfriend called it a “total keeper”. 


  23. #
    Paulaposted June 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    This looks great! Sidebar-Where did you get the measuring spoon? Love it!! 


  24. #
    rahmaposted June 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Hey Sally! Can you use vegetable oil instead of olive oil? Is there a big difference, or is it just to make it healthier? Thank you!


  25. #
    Kristyposted June 22, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I made it tonight and it’s great! I used coconut oil instead of olive oil and coconut milk instead of cream.


  26. #
    Nicoleposted June 23, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Made this tonight with tilapia instead of chicken. OMG! My new sauce for everything. It was simply delicious. Couldn’t get enough. Thank you!


  27. #
    Nasyaposted June 30, 2016 at 12:09 am

    My boyfriend and I recently moved in with each other so I’ve been using him as my Guinea Pig for different recipes. I made this recipe tonight… And omg!!

    He’s been talking about how delicious it was for hours! He even told his cousin in Florida about it when he was on the phone, haha! And as for me, during all his ranting and raving, I was spooning the sauce on to my plate like no tomorrow! Thanks for sharing 🙂 🙂


  28. #
    Kathyposted July 11, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Just made this and am enjoying it SO MUCH!!
    OMG!! You weren’t kidding when you said it was flavorful. WOW! LOVE IT!


  29. #
    Amyposted July 13, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Just made this – soooo good!!!
    Substituted water and white cooking wine for chicken broth as I had none on hand. My husband LOVED it and kids ate about half of what was on their plate.


  30. #
    Pam Mposted July 17, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    What size skillet? I have a le creuset 10″. Would that work?


  31. #
    Natashaposted July 22, 2016 at 3:50 am

    I made this last night with zucchini noodles & asparagus and it turned out great. I had to stop myself from licking the sauce off my plate. I seasoned the chicken with Emeril’s Essence seasoning and some garlic powder. Super delicious and easy too!


  32. #
    Anthony straightposted July 22, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Just made this and not a scrap left on the plates including my fussy kids the flavours were out of this world 


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