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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.

coconut lime chicken (2 bowls with chicken, sauce, cilantro, lime wedge, and rice)

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.

coconut lime chicken in a skillet

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:

coconut lime chicken close-up

Questions about this coconut lime chicken recipe? Let me know in the comments!

coconut lime chicken (2 bowls with chicken, sauce, cilantro, lime wedge, and rice)
5 from 8 votes

Coconut Lime Chicken

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.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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).

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 427kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 148mg, Potassium: 699mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 130IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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29 Comments

  1. Alexa says:

    Can I use Thai basil instead?

    1. Natasha says:

      Sure!

  2. Vanessa Owen says:

    Can you use thigh fillets, bone in?
    Can you cook in advance a freeze?
    Many thanks Vanessa

    1. Natasha says:

      Sure, but adjust cooking time as needed. I think you should be ok freezing it, but the flavors might not be as intense as fresh, and the herbs will wilt, so perhaps add those when serving.

      1. Vanessa says:

        Many thanks, Natasha.

  3. Melissa says:

    5 stars
    Made it and loved it. I used chicken thighs because it’s what I had on hand. Definitely saving it as a favorite.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! Thanks for taking the time to leave me a review. 🙂