Cilantro Lime Chicken will be a hit with everyone for dinner. Tender, seasoned cilantro chicken with a creamy, lime sauce is served over rice, and can be cooked in either your slow cooker or instant pot.
Cilantro Lime Chicken
When I see cilantro and lime together anywhere, I’m always taking a second look.
Adding lime plays off cilantro’s bright, fresh, flavor, and makes pretty much every dish taste like heaven.
Since we are heading into that comfort food time of year, I added cream cheese to give Cilantro Lime Chicken a richness. This dish makes a lot of sauce along with it, so be sure to serve it with rice to soak up all that goodness!
HOW TO MAKE CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN RECIPE
- Mix seasonings together and rub over chicken breasts.
- Place chicken in slow cooker with chopped onion, sprinkle with fresh cilantro, and pour in chicken broth with lime juice.
- After chicken is cooked make a cornstarch slurry with liquid from crock pot.
- Transfer crock pot liquid to saucepan, add cream cheese, cornstarch slurry, whisk, and heat until thickened.
TIPS FOR COOKING CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN
- Zest lime first, then extract juice (Learn from me – zesting an already squeezed lime can result in scrapped fingers. No bueno👎)
- Use leftover chicken for tacos or make a double batch and freeze half for tacos later.
- Substituting light cream cheese for regular works great in this recipe.
- This recipe turns out great either in the slow cooker or instant pot. Decide which one to use based on your equipment and how much time you have.
- This dish is best served over rice. Have you tried making rice in the Instant Pot?
Intimidated by using an Instant Pot? Learn in minutes with this Easy Start Instant Pot Guide full of tips, hacks, and tricks.
More Chicken Recipes to LOVE!
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Cilantro Lime Chicken
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, divided
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (increase to 1 cup for instant pot directions)
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
for serving: additional lime wedges, cilantro, cooked rice
SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS:
- Place chopped onion on bottom of slow cooker. In a small bowl combine garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub seasonings all over chicken breasts and place chicken on top of chopped onion. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 cup cilantro and red pepper flakes.
- Zest lime and set zest aside. In the slow cooker pour chicken broth and juice of zested lime over chicken.
- Cook chicken on low for 3-4 hours or until chicken temperature reaches 160ºF. Remove chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Ladle out about 1/4 cup of liquid from slow cooker and place in a small bowl. Whisk in cornstarch and set aside. Pour the remaining liquid with onions into a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, adding cream cheese and reserved lime zest to the sauce pan. Whisk until cream cheese is melted and smooth. Add cornstarch slurry to saucepan, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute while whisking. Stir in remaining cilantro. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- At this point you can transfer everything back to the slow cooker to keep warm until serving, or serve immediately with sauce drizzled over chicken and rice.
INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS:
- In a small bowl combine garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub seasonings all over chicken breasts and set aside. Zest lime and set zest aside. Juice the zested lime and set juice aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil with sauté setting on instant pot. Brown 2 chicken breasts in heated oil 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden (but not cooked through). Set aside and repeat with remaining 2 chicken breasts (may need to add a splash more oil). Remove browned chicken and set aside.
- Add onion to instant pot and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to instant pot, scraping up browned bits with silicone spoon. Add in 1/4 cup cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, and red pepper flakes.
- Place chicken back in instant pot and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release and transfer chicken to a clean plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Ladle out about 1/4 cup liquid to a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch. Add cream cheese and cilantro to instant pot with remaining liquid and select simmer / saute. Whisk cornstarch mixture back into pot, simmering and stirring until sauce is thicken. Stir in remaining cilantro. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon creamy cilantro lime sauce over cooked chicken and serve with additional lime wedges.
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Here are some items I used to make this recipe:
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