Skillet Chicken with Cilantro Lime Sauce

This cilantro lime chicken simmers in a creamy flavor packed sauce and comes together in only 1 pan!

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

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.

Seeing how many of you love my recent glazed salmon recipe inspires me to share more of my dinner favorites like this cilantro lime chicken. 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 and easy meals. Well, you’ve come to the right place today.

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

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 cilantro lime pan sauce:

  • creamy
  • buttery
  • slightly caramelized onions
  • cilantro
  • 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, a mountain of chips and guacamole, and key lime pie for dessert. (In favor of trying to keep meals healthy and my shorts fitting, I settled for water and a side of asparagus.)

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

How to Make Cilantro Lime Chicken

The first thing to do is grab 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

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. Have a batch of dinner rolls to soak up any extra, too! ♥ ♥

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

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!

More Favorite Dinner Recipes


Skillet Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


This cilantro lime chicken simmers in a creamy flavor packed sauce and comes together in only 1 pan!


  • 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 flakes*
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream*
  • 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 simultaneously. 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.


  1. Red Pepper Flakes: 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. Heavy Cream: 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.
  3. Nutrition Information: 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.

Keywords: skillet chicken, skillet chicken with cilantro lime sauce

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


  1. Made this tonight after seeing it on Pinterest and it was so delicious exactly as written (I used chicken thighs) I wished I had more of the sauce because it was savory and zingy and creamy. Wouldn’t hesitate to make this again!! Thanks!

  2. Yummy! I made this truly delicious, satisfying  meal tonight. It is the best chicken skillet recipe I’ve ever made. And you are right, I wanted to “lick” the sauce clean from my plate and pan. 

  3. This looks awesome! I don’t understand when to add the onions, though…? I don’t think you said where to add them in the recipe. Do I just add them with the broth and everything else, immediately after cooking the chicken?

  4. Sally, Sally, Sally…this recipe is so amazing that my husband begs for it every night! I even bought a (much needed) cast iron skillet so that I could cook it all in one pot! It’s so good, that we even fight over the leftovers, which are even more delicious since the chicken soaks up all of the sauce overnight. 

  5. I am looking forward to cooking this for dinner guests this week.  I love to entertain but am very insecure with cooking meat.  I feel like I either over cook it or it is flavorless, so I am really looking forward to trying this out on my new dinner guests.  After reading the comments I dedcided to take a risk and try a new recipe on my new guests.  

  6. I am not a fan of coriander, so exchanged for parsley. But Oh Dear this was so delicious. Truly gorgeous dish AND super easy! Thank you 🙂

  7. I’m going to try this recipe for my wife.  I love to cook and need to expand my arsenal!  This recipe looks great!

    Sally, do you think a tablespoon or two of Chipotle in Adobo sauce with some cumin might spice it up a bit as well?  Let me know what you think?  I just haven’t tried the recipe yet, but going to!

  8. I made this tonight with mahi mahi and it was delicious! I didn’t cook it as long as chicken of course and I didn’t have cream so I used canned coconut milk instead….it worked great. I look forward to trying it with chicken next time. Thank you for a great recipe! 

  9. Greetings from BC!

    Tried this recipe last night for myself, my boyfriend and my sister. We all loved it so much! 

    So much flavor and such a great taste! Very unique.

    This will be a go-to-recipe for me! So easy and yummy 🙂


  10. Not to be a party pooper, but saying it has carmelized onions is misleading. Caramelizing is long, low cooking in butter until super soft and sweet. The method stated in the recipe is basically boiling the onions in the seasoned broth. That being said, it still looks outrageously good and I’m going to try tomorrow! Thanks!

    1. The onions taste pretty caramelized to me. 

      Sally, we love this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing it. I really am enjoying all the savory recipes on your blog. I think I’ll try the apple gorgonzola pizza next!

    2. Laura is right. I made this last night and it was delicious, but if I had caramelized the onions, I think it would have put it over the top! Also, I used 6 boneless skinless thighs, doubled the sauce ingredients, and cooked it on top of the stove instead of baking. Served over rice.  The sauce is really good!

  11. Delicious!! I rarely make chicken at home as I don’t trust my “doneness” skills – but this was easy and excellent. Made both boneless thighs (for hubby) and breasts for me. Thank you – I did double the sauce recipe – I love sauce.

  12. This is super yummy!!! My family loves cilantro so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it! I actually boiled the chicken to use the water as broth (I just don’t like pre-packaged broth) and since my chicken was frozen, this worked out great! Once it was boiled, I browned the chicken on the pot just for a couple of minutes to get the enough flavor in the pot for the sauce. I didn’t bake it. Once the sauce was the consistency I wanted it, I added the chicken back to the skillet and let it cook on the stove for 5 more minutes and it was perfect! very juicy and quicker 🙂 Thanks for this great recipe!

  13. My curdled as soon as I added the cream. So disappointing since it was smelling so good! I didn’t have time to re-do the sauce. What went wrong?

    1. Sometimes if you add the cream to something hot too quickly it will curdle. I recommend adding it very slowly and whisking it in while it gets added to hopefully prevent this from happening again. Hope this helps!

  14. I made this the other night for dinner and it was easy and very tasty.  My daughter loved it.  I served it over some whole wheat egg noodles.  Thanks for the delicious, unique and easy recipe to add to our regular meals.

  15. Ong ths is mine and my boyfriends favorite dish, everytime I say I took chicken put what do ypu want for dinber hw says this dish lol love it, very yummy!!

  16. I made this tonight for my husband and it was amazing! The only thing I did differently was rub the chicken with Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning, along with the salt and pepper before cooking. I also added minced garlic to the pan while the oil was heating up. I doubled the sauce and I’m so glad I did. My husband won’t stop talking about how good it was and that he could eat it all week. I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe! Thanks for sharing!! 

      1. Oh, I bet greek yogurt is even better actually! I was wishing the sauce were a little more thick.

  17. Made this for dinner tonight but subbed the heavy cream with Greek yogurt and it was delicious!!! Everyone loved this dish so much they wanted seconds. Thank you!

  18. Made tonight with 2% milk instead of cream…GREAT flavor. Can only imagine if you used cream how rich it would be. Delicious!! I also doubled the cilantro…what can I say, I love cilantro! Delish!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally