This Thai-inspired coconut lime chicken recipe is fast, comforting, and simple to make! The sauce is silky and zesty. Ready in just over 30 minutes.
It's been a while since I've made a Thai-inspired recipe, so it's time to get more on here. I just love Thai flavors! I have a Coconut Lime Shrimp recipe from 2017, and I decided to make a chicken one based on it. This recipe is easy to make on busy weeknights, yet it's probably a bit different from your usual chicken dinners.
If you're on a low-carb diet or know someone who is, this could be a good option to try. Personally, I like to serve Thai coconut lime chicken over rice. It's perfect for soaking up all that delicious sauce.
This recipe is definitely family-friendly. I do have some suggestions below (and in the notes of the recipe card) on how you can jazz it up even more if you want to. This recipe is delicious as-is, but I know some people like even bolder flavors.
Recipe notes & tips:
- I use my Microplane zester/grater to do the lime zest and ginger. Pro tip: Keep some ginger in your freezer! It's easier to grate that way and lasts for longer. I am so glad my blogger friend Meghan told me that trick years ago... it's been a total game changer for me.
- You can use light coconut milk if you wish, but expect the sauce to be thinner. Coconut milk varies by brand. I found this out the hard way. Some don't thicken as well, so I recommend using full fat Thai Kitchen coconut milk if possible. This isn't a super thick sauce, but it's not watery either.
- If you're one of those people who can't stand cilantro, feel free to leave it out (maybe add more basil and scallions).
- Love spice? Try adding in a chopped Thai chili pepper.
- You can definitely add more lime juice if you want... I suggest serving this with lime wedges so people can add more as needed.
- If you prefer, you can leave the chicken breasts more intact. I recommend cutting them in half lengthwise so you've got 4 thinner cutlets. I'd sear them for 4-5 minutes/side and then finish cooking them in the sauce during the last 5 minutes or so of cooking.
- Feel free to use chicken thighs instead.
- You could add a teaspoon (or so) of fish sauce if you want to give this dish a more authentic Thai flavor. I didn't include it since most people don't keep it in their fridge, but it would be a great addition. So would fresh lemongrass if you happen to see some. 😉
More Thai-inspired recipes to try:
Questions about this coconut lime chicken recipe? Let me know in the comments!
Coconut Lime Chicken
- 2 large chicken breasts cut into 1" pieces
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk (full fat)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice + zest of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 small handful fresh basil chopped (or more, to taste)
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro chopped (or more, to taste)
- 1 small handful scallions chopped (or more, to taste)
- Cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces and sprinkle them with the garlic powder and some salt & pepper (I just do this right on the cutting board).
- Chop the onion then add it to a deep skillet over medium-high heat along with the olive oil. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the pan and cook it for about 5 minutes (stir it occasionally). Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the coconut milk (shake the can first), lime juice + zest, and sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is somewhat reduced. This won't be a thick sauce, but reducing does help concentrate flavors and thicken it up a bit.
- Add the chicken back into the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the cilantro, basil, and scallions right before serving. Season with extra salt & pepper as needed. This dish goes well with rice. I serve it with extra lime wedges (and you can top each bowl with extra cilantro/basil/scallions too if you wish).
- The best trick for fresh ginger: Keep some in your freezer (I just put in a ZipLoc bag), and it's easier to grate and you will always have some on-hand.
- I recommend Thai Kitchen coconut milk. It tends to be less watery than other brands that I've tried. Feel free to use your favorite brand.
- Don't be shy to play with the ingredient quantities:
- Add more sugar, ginger, or lime to suit your tastes. If you happen to have fish sauce, add some in - it'll be delish.
- Add a chili pepper or red pepper flakes for heat.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.