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!

414 Comments

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

  2. 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!

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

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

  5. 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 🙂 🙂

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

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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!

  10. Anthony straight says:

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

  11. RHONDA RAIFORD says:

    love to cook with fruit, the mix of sweet and salt is great!!

  12. This recipe was a success! I will definitely be reusing this, my boyfriend is a picky eater and he loved it! I served it with a side of sautéed fresh green beans and red potatoes . (Cut into quarters, boiled then seasoned with salt and pepper and sautéed in olive oil and fresh garlic) Yum! 

  13. hey sally!
    this is kinda random, but why do your hands look different?
    i don’t mean any offence, it just looks different form the funfetti buttercreams video.
    they look a little more…bloated?
    please dont take any offence.
    i showed my sister and she was like, is sally pregnant?lol

  14. Tori Thomasson says:

    Sooo delicious!! I added garlic to it and it was amazing. The sides I prepared with this dish were quinoa and sautéed bell peppers, onions, and asparagus. They definitely paired very well with this dish. 

  15. Mari Dempsey says:

    I doubled the recipe and tripled the sauce!  Served it with rice and green beans.  My crew of 9 loved it.  One of my all-time fave Pinterest finds!

  16. My family loves, loves, loves this recipe. I have to double the recipe for the sauce because we put it on EVERYTHING!!

  17. Made this tonight for the first time and it’s one of my new favs. Loved it!

  18. First of all delicious, thank you. I found this on Pinterest but I always go to the original sight when cooking live because if you let the screen close in Pinterest you lose your place. Just a suggestion, use tags for searches instead of what you are currently using. I searched chicken and had to go through several pages of dessert recipes that had nothing to do with chicken to find the recipe I was looking for. Very inconvenient, makes me less inclined to look around. 

    1. Hi Jenna, in the future you can go to my Recipes page where all the tags and ingredients are listed out alphabetically.

  19. I’m not sure what I did wrong with the sauce. It had good flavor but it wasn’t creamy at all and way too thin to do anything to the chicken when poured over. It just ran onto plate. I can’t decide whether I will try it again to see if get better result or not.

  20. This recipe was outstanding. I used milk with a little cornstarch to make it creamy, also baked the chicken a little longer. My husband absolutely loved it!!

  21. I topped mine with avocado tomato salsa and it was delicious! Made it with grilled corn and Spanish rice, which went excellent with the sauce from the chicken. Thx for sharing ❤

  22. Did you use red onions or Vidalia onions? In the photo it looks like red onions but whenever I caramelize onions I use sweet onions. thoughts?

  23. Is there a way to thicken the sauce and keep the amazing flavor?  This is the yummiest chicken recipe i have ever had, but the consistency of the sauce was really runny (and I used the cream)

  24. Hi, instead of heavy cream can I use heavy whipping cream instead?

    1. They are the same thing. You can definitely use them interchangeably.

  25. Cortney Kepesky says:

    I made this last night and my husband already finished the leftovers since I made it with chicken tenderloins instead of breasts. It was very good! The onions reminded us of the amazing steak and caramelized onions that we love from Byron Talbott! The sauce was not the same color as yours though, would that have to do with the browning of the chicken or red pepper flakes? I used only a tiny sprinkle of red pepper flakes since our 8 year old doesn’t enjoy spicy foods.

  26. I bought an oven-safe skillet specifically for this recipe. I was not disappointed.. Thank you!

  27. Gloria McDonald says:

    Absolutely delicious. Thank goodness.

    Thank you so very much I enjoyed every bite.

  28. This is a keeper!! The sauce was absolutely  outstanding! I used sweet onions and fat free half and half to make the sauce. I added cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Also, I fried the chicken longer on the skillet. My husband loves it! Thanks for sharing! 

  29. Fantastic! I used a heavy whipping cream for a thicker sauce and a tad more lime juice to keep the flavor. I also only used a dash of red pepper flakes so the kids could enjoy it without too much spice! No leftovers tonight!

  30. Not ‘quick’, but GREAT! I think it took us longer (20min in oven) to cook the breasts because ours were pretty big. We used coconut milk for our ‘cream’ as and ghee for ‘butter’ as we’re on the Whole30 cleanse right now. Doubled the sauce recipe and used it to go over some roasted potatoes and broccoli. Our out of town guest loved it – and was SUPER surprised when we said it’s Whole30. Don’t be shy with the lime, I used 2 limes for the doubled sauce recipe; I’m usually not a ‘creamy’ dish fan but the added acid really made it bright and lovely against the creaminess.

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