This juicy and flavorful dish just screams SUMMERTIME!
I love cilantro and lime! Seriously, I feel like I’m putting it on everything these days. Maybe it’s because it’s summer, the sun is shining, and I’m craving bright, fresh flavors — who knows. But one thing’s for sure, I can’t get enough of it! And once I started marinating chicken breasts in cilantro and lime, now I can’t go back to other marinades. Plus, it’s so easy! Our cilantro lime chicken breasts just need to be marinated for a couple of hours. The result is juicy and tender chicken. No more dry, flavorless chicken breasts that require a ton of sauce to make them edible. Now you can have healthy, protein-packed breasts that are marinated in delicious, natural sauce.
How To Prepare Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts
Okay, so, you’ll need a little bit more than just cilantro and lime. But chances are good that you have most of (if not all) the other ingredients in your pantry already. To kick this marinade up a notch, I also add salt and pepper, onion powder, cumin, fresh garlic, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and olive oil. If you want to make the seasoning a little more similar to the taco seasoning packets you get at the supermarket, you can also add some chili powder and oregano, as well.
Sometimes I make this dish with boneless thighs, which tend to come out a little juicier because they have dark meat. But I like the healthier aspect of boneless skinless chicken breast, so that’s what we went with here! Plus, I have a little secret to share with you to make them more tender: By pounding them out into an even thickness, they’ll cook faster and more evenly so they don’t dry out.
Cooking Cilantro Lime Chicken
If you’re pounding out your boneless skinless chicken breasts to about a ¾-inch thickness, then you probably don’t have to put them in the oven afterward. They should be done after about 4 to 5 minutes on each side in the pan. You might want to add a minute or two for each side if you’re cooking them on the grill at medium heat.
But if you’re following the recipe below and don’t pound them, we ask that you throw them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes after searing the chicken so that they don’t dry out. To ensure you get perfectly juicy chicken breasts, I would recommend using a thermometer. Pull them out once they get to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does Someone In Your House Not Like Cilantro?
It seems as though there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love cilantro and those who hate it. Most people who don’t like it actually think that it tastes like soap! Oddly enough, this appears to be a genetic predisposition– but I digress. (You can read more about it here).
If you want to make this chicken, but someone in your house despises cilantro, you can subsitute it with fresh parsley, instead. It doesn’t have the same citrusy flavor, but that won’t really matter since you’re already adding lime juice. Parsley and lime are actually very complementary ingredients.
Dishes to Make With Make Cilantro Lime Chicken
I like to have this dish with healthy refried beans and cilantro lime basmati rice since I already have those ingredients on hand. You can also make tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or pretty much any Mexican dish with this chicken — even nachos! Just add some pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese, salsa, guacamole, and your favorite hot sauce. For a healthier option, I like to make lettuce wrap tacos for a guilt-free meal!
Cilantro Lime Chicken Breasts
- 2 tablespoons lime juice fresh squeezed
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper ground
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 2 pounds
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- In a large glass bowl, whisk the lime juice, cilantro, kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic cloves, cumin, cayenne pepper and olive oil.
- Place the chicken breasts in the bowl, and make sure they are covered with marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a covering of your choice. Place in the fridge to marinate for 3-4 hours.
- Once the chicken is done marinating. Preheat your oven to 350F. Heat the avocado oil in a large oven safe pan or cast iron skillet over medium/high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides for 3-4 minutes. Then place the chicken in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. The chicken will have an internal temperature of 165F when it is done cooking. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 5-6 minutes before slicing.
Have you made this recipe?
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Are you going to try our cilantro lime chicken breasts? If you do, be sure to let us know what you thought of it in the comment section!