Experience a mouthwatering fusion of spices and citrus with this sensational cumin lime chicken recipe.

Chicken breasts are rubbed with cumin, salt, and pepper and cooked with fresh limes in a buttery sauce for a symphony of bold and refreshing flavors.

Transform ordinary chicken into a tangy and citrusy delight with this mouthwatering lime chicken recipe that is sure to become a new favorite in your kitchen.

Lime Chicken with rice

Cumin Lime Chicken

  • The combination of zesty lime and earthy cumin gives chicken breasts a unique flavor that elevates weeknight dinners or weekend get-togethers!
  • Make this quick and easy dinner recipe for one night and take the leftovers to school or work as a wrap or salad topper!
  • Cumin lime chicken takes Taco Night to the next level and it’s perfect for Cinco de Mayo parties because it can be served in so many ways! Keep portions warm in a crockpot and let guests help themselves. Serve sides of rice, creamy coleslaw, jalapeno muffins, and a pitcher of white wine sangria.
cilantro , oil , butter , cumin , pepper , lime , salt and chicken with labels to make Lime Chicken

Ingredients and Variations

Chicken: Choose chicken breasts that are roughly the same size so they cook at the same rate. Boneless skinless thighs and even chicken wings can be used, simply adjust the cook times.

Seasonings: Lime works as a marinade for chicken while infusing it with a light flavor while the cumin adds a smoky depth. Add some optional onion or garlic powder, or some red pepper flakes for a pop of color. Make it extra spicy by whipping up a batch of this DIY chili seasoning that can be used in everything from queso dip to meatloaf!

Variations: For a thicker marinade with a touch of sweetness to it, mix in a little honey or brown sugar once the butter is melted in Step 5 of the recipe below. Try making an Indian coconut chicken curry by adding 1 cup of coconut milk to the pan. Or make a Tequila Lime chicken dish by marinating the chicken breasts overnight in 2 tablespoons of tequila with the lime slices, all of the seasonings, and chopped cilantro.

How to Make Lime Chicken

  1. Slice half of one lime and set both the slices and the other half aside (as described in the recipe below).
  2. Pound and butterfly the chicken breasts and rub them with cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Layer lime slices inside chicken breasts
  4. Fry chicken in butter and oil on both sides until chicken is cooked through, squeezing lime juice over the breasts as needed.
  5. Remove chicken from pan and pour pan juices over them.

Garnish with cilantro or avocado slices before serving.

Lime Chicken cooking in a pan

What to Serve With Lime Chicken

The southwest flavors of lime chicken work perfectly with simple sides like seasoned rice, Mexican street corn, and a simple green salad.

plated Lime Chicken

Leftover Chicken?

  • Keep cumin lime chicken covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or add to a soup, stew, stir fry, or add to chicken tacos or fajitas, or enchiladas.
  • Freeze portions in zippered bags for up to one month.
piece of Lime Chicken on a fork

More Delicious Chicken Recipes

Lime Chicken with rice
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Cumin Lime Chicken

This cumin lime chicken makes a zesty and juicy chicken dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 4
Author Candace Hollas



  • 1 lime
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • cilantro freshly chopped, optional for serving


  • Very thinly slice half of the lime and set aside. Reserve (or juice) the other lime half for sprinkling.
  • Lightly pound chicken evenly to about ¾ inch thick and dry with a paper towel. Butterfly chicken by cutting half way through the long side of the breast, crossways, to create a flap. Do not cut all the way through.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper on the inside of the chicken breasts. Divide lime slices evenly, place on the breasts, and close the flap. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with remaining 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • In a large skillet on medium heat, melt olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter. Once melted and bubbling slightly, add chicken top side down and fry for 4 minutes, or until browned.
  • Flip chicken and add remaining butter. Squeeze some lime juice over the breasts and swirl the pan to spread the butter. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. 
  • Pour pan juices over chicken and sprinkle with fresh cilantro if desired. Serve with cilantro rice. Remove lime before eating if preferred.


  • Marinate the chicken for 1-2 hours or overnight for maximum taste.
  • Opt for freshly squeezed lime juice instead of bottled juice to add a vibrant tanginess to the chicken.
  • Taste the marinade before adding the chicken and adjust the cumin and lime levels to suit your preference. Add more if desired.
  • Leftover chicken will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and 1 month in the freezer. 
5 from 2 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 219 | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 760mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 231IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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