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 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.

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 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. 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 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!

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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

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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!

396 Comments

  1. I’d love to make this tonight. Just not clear on one thing – do I bake the chicken in the sauce or just add it on top later? Thanks!

  2. My daughter is a very picky eater and I wasn’t sure that she was going to like it, she LOVED it! It is the most requested dinner from her….I’ve made it 3 times lol. Thanks! Can’t wait to try your other recipes! 

  3. This was so tasty! I loved the sauce and liked it off my plate. Since I was out of creamer I use some leftover Alfredo sauce and it worked great! Thanks for posting☺️

  4. Hi! I am doing the WW points plus system and I was wondering what the protein, carbs, fiber, and fat numbers were? I would really appreciate it because I would love for this to become a regular meal that I make for my family! 

  5. This was super tasty!!  My whole family loved it.  Next time I’ll double the sauce.  It was so good I could have guzzled it!

  6. Thank you so much for this! My entire family loved it! Will be making this again! Fun and easy to make, with a delectable outcome! 

  7. This is a delicious recipe, but I haven’t been able to make the recipe without the cream curdling.  It still tastes awesome, but I would like to get the sauce to look like yours does in the picture.  

  8. Excellent recipe! Came across your blog through Tastespotting. I used pounded thin chicken breast. I did find the sauce to not go along way so maybe next time I will double it. The spicy factor was perfect. Fabulous dish, thank you!

  9. My husband is not a big chicken person, but he loved this, and so did I!  The sauce was wonderful!  Just the right touch of heat.  I served it over orzo.  Couldn’t be better!  Thank you!  I will be making this again.

  10. Made this for dinner tonight for the first time and we absolutely loved it!!  Thanks Sally!  I think next time i will double the sauce ingredients for even more yummy sauce.  I cooked rice and the sauce over the rice and chicken was heavenly.

  11. I came across this recipe via Pinterest.  Always looking for good, easy yet fresh and delicious recipes for my family!  We all loved it! (including a 1 year and 4 year old).  Thanks for a great one!

  12. Just made & it’s fabulous! I’m on #whole30 and was able to easily make modifications so that it was compliant. Yum!!

    1. Please share the modificationsame you made.  I’m gonna do whole 30 & am not familiar with what to use instead … switch coconut milk for the heavy cream?

      1. Kathy, 
        I recommend using whole fat coconut milk. I takes on the consistency of heavy cream or sour cream. You shouldn’t taste it in the recipe. Also use clarified butter instead of regular butter. If you don’t have any or the money to buy it then search Pinterest on how to make it. It’s super easy from what I see. 

  13. I made this last night, had all the ingredients on hand, I grilled the chicken and made the sauce on the side as it was grilling, I got to use that gravy boat one more time this season. I added a little jalapeno to it. It reminded me of Chili’s so much as we were eating it. Thanks for helping jazz up my Monday night chicken.

  14. I made this last night and it was absolutely amazing!!! I wasn’t sure it was going to have enough flavor at first but it did! I also doubled up on the sauce and added freshly chopped mushrooms and it made it even better. Next time I’m doubling up on the mushrooms and putting it over brown rice! 

  15. I made this tonight for my boyfriend and I. Followed the recipe exactly using my Dutch oven, although I added about half an onion. Made garlic mashed potatoes and Brussel sprouts as my sides, with the cilantro cream sauce drizzled over top. So good!!!! My boyfriend was addicted to the sauce…he kept asking my what the secret ingredient was. This dish was easy, came together in 30 minutes, and didn’t disappoint. Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s a keeper!

  16. I made this dinner the other night.  Absolutely fantastic!  

    I just found your website while looking for Christmas cookie recipes.  I made MANY of your cookie recipes, and all were a huge hit with my family, especially snickerdoodles and  Nutella chocolate chip cookies.  Sally, you are now my go-to site for recipes!  Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes with us.

  17. Man, oh man. Let me tell you: this recipe is sooooo good that after my girls ate (8 & 4) they went straight to sleep. They were so happy and full, I actually got to catch up on my DVR shows in peace!! It was amazing! I made it with baked potatoes, veggies and honey butter biscuits. I will definitely be making this again 🙂  Thank you!! 

  18. I am baking addicted too and I love chicken so, naturally, I fell in love with this recipe – and your incredible photography skills 🙂 

  19. This is soooo good even my picky eaters love it. I paired with thin spaghetti and tossed all together. It was a huge hit! Thanks again

  20. Instead of baking this, can I boil the sauce in a saucepan over the stove and then add the chicken to it and continue to cook for the 5-10 minutes??

  21. Consider adding tomato sauce and sliced cherry tomatoes. The thicker sauce is delicious and on top of pasta the chicken and sauce are to die for!

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