This Coconut Lime Chicken is made with juicy slices of chicken bathed in a zesty coconut lime sauce. It’s perfectly complemented by a pile of fluffy white rice for the perfect, simple meal.
Easy Lime Coconut Chicken Recipe
This Coconut Lime Chicken Recipe is an all time favorite. It’s simple and quick to make, comes together in one pan, but certainly isn’t lacking in the flavor department.
The tangy, citrus of the lime adds the perfect zing to the rich, creamy coconut milk sauce. Smother that over perfectly seared, juicy chicken and serve it all over a pile of your favorite rice, and you’ve created what may just be the perfect dinner.
How to Make Coconut Milk Lime Chicken
This easy coconut chicken is the perfect easy and satisfying dinner. It takes a total of 35 minutes from start to finish! Here’s a summary of the recipe.
See the recipe card below for the ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- In a shallow bowl or plate, mix together flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture to coat.
- In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in the chicken and cook on each side until golden-brown. Remove and set aside.
- To the same pan, add coconut oil and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add in coconut milk, lime juice, and brown sugar, and simmer until reduced.
- Add the chicken pieces back into the sauce and cook until the internal temperature is 165ºF.
Tips for Lime and Coconut Chicken
- I usually use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but if you prefer chicken breasts those will work great too. Just keep in mind they may take a different amount of time to cook all the way through.
- Bring the chicken thighs to room temperature before cooking. I set them out on the counter about 30 minutes beforehand. This helps them cook more evenly.
- Use full-fat coconut milk. It creates the richest flavor and the creamiest texture.
- If your sauce isn’t thickening, try mixing together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water. Add that, little bits at a time, to the sauce until the desired consistency is reached.
- Check the temp! All chicken is different. The best way to know that your chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer. Just insert it into the thickest part of the chicken. It should be 165ºF.
- Want to make a vegan version? Swap the chicken out for tofu!
What to Serve with Coconut and Lime Chicken
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerator: Leftover coconut lime chicken will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheating: To reheat, warm the chicken and sauce on low on the stove until heated through.
Can You Add Lime Juice to Coconut Milk?
Yes! And you arguably should add lime juice to coconut milk. The tangy, citrusy flavor cuts the creamy richness of the coconut milk in the best way.
Sometimes, however, adding citrus to milk can cause the milk to curdle. My best tip for preventing that is to use full-fat coconut milk. Less fatty varieties are much more likely to curdle. Using full-fat coconut milk ensures your sauce comes out perfectly every time!
Can You Use Chicken Breasts?
Totally! You can easily use this recipe to make coconut lime chicken breasts instead. Just keep in mind that different cuts of chicken may take different amounts of time to cook.
Be sure to use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 165ºF before serving.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 pound(s) boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed off
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil, avocado, canola, vegetable, etc.
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 13 ½ ounces full-fat coconut milk, 1 can
- 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- In a large shallow bowl or plate, combine the flour, salt and pepper.½ cup all-purpose flour½ tsp. kosher salt½ tsp. ground black pepper
- Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture until evenly coated.2 pound(s) boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Heat the cooking oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the chicken.2 Tbsp. cooking oil
- Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until it is golden brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the coconut oil to the same pan and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds.2 Tbsp. coconut oil2 garlic cloves
- Pour in the coconut milk, lime juice and brown sugar and simmer until it has reduced.13 ½ ounces full-fat coconut milk3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- Nestle in the chicken pieces and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
- Serve over steamed rice and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges if desired.
- Scroll up to the post for tips, FAQs, and storage information.