Are you tired of the same old chicken dishes? This cilantro lime chicken tastes like a million bucks, but it's super cheap and easy to make. Let's taco about it!

cilantro lime chicken served in tacos, from Shelf Cooking

There are literally about a million and one ways to cook chicken (we share 20 of our favorite baked chicken recipes here). The problem? If you're not careful, chicken can get boring pretty quickly. Enter lime and cilantro! These magical ingredients will help you take dinner from drab to fab.

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We love using this cilantro lime chicken in tacos, burritos, or a taco salad, but there are SO many ways to enjoy this flavorful and easy recipe! Keep on reading for our best tips and tricks. And go ahead and bookmark this recipe for the next time you're wondering what the heck to do with all your frozen chicken!


chicken tacos with a lime, from Shelf Cooking

Wondering what to do with this magical cilantro lime chicken recipe? Well, you've got plenty of options! Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Tacos – Need we say more? Dice or shred your chicken and put the meat in taco shells with all your favorite fixings.
  • Burrito Bowls – We love a good rice bowl around here, mainly because we always have rice on hand. And it's a super-easy way to stretch meat!
  • Quesadillas – Speaking of ways to make your meat go further, put a little in a quesadilla.
  • White Chicken Chili – Add this chicken to some broth, dump in some beans, a jar of salsa verde, and you're pretty much golden. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread on the side!
  • Chimichangas – It's fun to say and even more fun to eat! Grab our easy chimichanga recipe.
  • Fajitas – You know what's even easier than our sheet pan fajitas? Making fajitas with leftover cilantro lime chicken.
  • Serve the Whole Breast – If you don't feel like slicing or dicing, serve the whole chicken breast with a couple of your favorite sides.

You could totally use your chicken at breakfast, too! Make a quiche, some breakfast burritos, or throw some chicken in these easy egg muffin cups.


cilantro lime rice in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Whether you serve your chicken in the form of tacos or decide to eat it whole, here some sides and sweets that go well with these flavors:

  • Refried Beans – We'd honestly eat refried beans with every meal if we could. Word of advice? Stop buying the cans! You can make your own for just pennies.
  • Cilantro Lime Rice – You've already got the ingredients out, so why not make some cilantro lime rice?!
  • Mexican Rice – We promise this Mexican rice tastes just as good as the kind you'd buy at a restaurant!
  • Sopapilla Cheesecake – Even if you don't make the cilantro lime chicken, you need to try this sopapilla cheesecake. Boy, is it good!
  • Ice Cream – Is there really ever a bad time to serve ice cream? Finishing off a spicy Mexican dinner with some cool, creamy homemade ice cream is our idea of perfection.

Serve some guacamole and salsa with a bag of tortilla chips, and you've got the easiest appetizer ever. We just gave you all the ideas you need to make a three-course meal in minutes!


Okay, more good news! This cilantro lime chicken is a shelf cooking DREAM because you can easily turn it into a dump-and-go freezer meal. Double or triple this recipe, then pour the extras into a freezer bag–label and use within four months.

Ready to serve? Thaw that freezer bag overnight, then dump your chicken into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6. You can even make it a complete dump-and-go meal by adding some beans and veggies. We suggest corn and black beans! Then, all you need to do is make a quick batch of rice, and dinner is served. So easy, right? We bet you're ready for that recipe now!


Is the suspense killing you? Well, the wait is over. It's recipe time, you guys! Let's make some cilantro lime chicken.

cilantro lime chicken served in tacos, from Shelf Cooking

Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe

Feed a crowd or make freezer meals. You decide! This cilantro lime chicken is as versatile as it is delicious.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinade Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican


  • 5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)


  • Wash the cilantro, cut it off the stems, and chop it up in a food processor. Add lime to taste. We suggest two tablespoons, but you can use more or less if you'd like!
  • Add olive oil and continue to blend until you end up with a thick marinade. If you need to add more olive oil, you can! If you like a little kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Once you have a thick puree, divide your marinade in half. Apply one-half of the mixture to your chicken breasts, store in a bag or airtight container, and marinate for two hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator, place in an oven-safe dish, and add the remaining marinade to the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until juices run clear.
  • Dice or shred and serve in tacos or the dish of your choice. Enjoy!


This chicken also grills really nicely! We like to wrap each chicken breast in foil and add sliced onions and peppers to the foil packet. The chicken comes out so flavorful and juicy, and the veggies make the perfect taco toppings. 
Keyword Cilantro Lime Chicken

If you're not planning to freeze your leftovers, be sure to eat them within two-three days. Just store them in an airtight container in the fridge, and microwave each portion for a minute or two when you're ready to eat.

We can't wait for you to try this one! If you like cilantro, we know you're going to love it!

What's your all-time favorite way to eat chicken? We'd love to know, so please leave a comment below!

Image with text that reads "cilantro lime chicken" from Shelf Cooking

Need a few more chicken recipes to try?

Now go have a happy Taco Tuesday no matter what day it is!