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Coconut Lime Chicken

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Tender Coconut Lime Chicken is simmered in a flavorful sauce seasoned with coconut milk, minced garlic, lime zest, salt, and pepper. This is a unique and mouthwatering dish that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion!

Looking for a side dish to complete your dinner? We suggest pairing this Coconut Lime Chicken with a Lemon Couscous Salad, Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic, and our Instant Pot Brown Rice Recipe!

Chicken cutlets cooking in a coconut sauce.

Coconut Lime Chicken

This light and creamy dish is simple, but certainly doesn’t lack in the flavor department. The flavors of coconut and lime blend perfectly with the savory seasonings and spices. The chicken remains moist while cooking, and the cast iron skillet really seals everything in.

A great thing about this recipe is that because of the coconut milk, it can be made gluten free. Switch the chicken for tofu (and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth) out for a meatless alternative and it can even be made vegan friendly!

Our favorite part of this recipe has to be the fresh limes. Lime and coconut are a classic combination, but the fresh lime juice and slices as a garnish really elevate the taste and look of this dinner time favorite!

How To Make Coconut Lime Chicken

  1. Start by heating a large skillet over medium heat. While the skillet heats, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Once the skillet gets hot, add the oil and chicken. Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, just long enough to sear it. Remove the chicken from the pan to a waiting plate.
  3. Pour in the lime juice and chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the pan, then add the coconut milk, garlic, lime zest, salt and pepper. Stir to fully combine the ingredients.
  4. Add the chicken breasts back to the pan, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook at a simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. An instant read thermometer should read 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan, and serve with extra coconut sauce, fresh veggies, and rice, and enjoy.
Collage showing how to make coconut lime chicken.

Tips and Variations

  • Brining or marinating the chicken for at least half an hour will help keep it moist and tender during the simmering process.
  • I don’t recommend using a lime concentrate for this dish. A recipe like this should be made with fresh ingredients to ensure the best quality of flavors.
  • A little chili powder or a drizzle of sriracha gives a wonderful kick of spice to the dish and pairs well with the lime flavor. 
  • If you’d like a thicker sauce, make a slurry of equal parts water and flour to add it to the sauce. Simmer until you reach the desired thickness.
  • Add turmeric or paprika to the sauce and chicken for a richer color to the dish, although it will change up the flavor profile slightly.
The coconut chicken has cooked and is ready to eat.

Storage and Reheating

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheating: When reheating, heat until warmed through on the stove or in the microwave.

Coconut lime chicken in a skillet garnished with lime slices.

Coconut Lime Chicken

Yield: About 1 Pound of Chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Tender Coconut Lime Chicken is simmered in a flavorful sauce seasoned with coconut milk, minced garlic, lime zest, salt, and pepper. This is a unique and mouthwatering dish that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning chicken
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. While the skillet heats, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. After the skillet gets hot, add the oil and chicken. Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, just long enough to sear it. Remove the chicken from the pan to a waiting plate.
  3. Pour in the lime juice and chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the pan, then add the coconut milk, garlic, lime zest, salt and pepper. Stir to combine the ingredients. 
  4. Add the chicken breasts back to the pan, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook at a simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. An instant read thermometer should read 165°F when inserted into the chicken.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan, and serve with extra coconut sauce, fresh veggies, and rice.
  6. See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ¼ pound of chicken Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 pound
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 600mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 42g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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