Do you know what is the best thing about this Cilantro Lime Chicken Pasta? Both my kids love it.
I have two kids. Only two yes. Yet it is enormously difficult to find foods they both like. When I was packing their lunches for school this seemed like less of an issue. Sometimes they took different sandwiches, sometimes they took the same thing which they liked to different degrees. I didn’t care that much because frankly I didn’t have to watch them eat it. Now they are home all the time and I am exhausted from all the things. Being able to make something that they can both eat two helpings of with considerable enthusiasm feels medal worthy.
(Yes mamas, I do realize motherhood is gratifying, but this mama is really starting to feel the over time!)
This Cilantro Lime Chicken Pasta has been a part of our regular rotation for a long time so it took me a while to figure out where the idea came from. Some sleuthing has led me back to this recipe from Julia’s Album. I have changed it considerably to reflect our tastes, decreasing the dairy, increasing the cilantro, adding a little spice and so on. You will also notice that I give you ranges for adjusting quantities.
Adjusting the Recipe for what you Have
These are unusual times. No one is running to the store to make one dish. Use the cheese you have, if you don’t have limes then use lemon juice. No one is expecting you to make stock from scratch, 3/4 of a bouillon cube works well. You will notice that I don’t ask for you to season anything until the end and that is because the chicken broth varies in saltiness as do cheeses. Oh and if you do not have cream then milk is fine too. It will be less rich tasting, but still yummy.
Other Pasta Recipes
Made the recipe? I’d love to know what you think! Tag me on Instagram @flourandspiceblog and do rate the recipe below (by clicking the number of stars!).
A quick lunch or dinner fix that is tangy and so delicious!
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4-1 lb chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
- 4-5 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2-1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup chicken stock (or 3/4 of a stock cube)
- 1/4-1/2 cup cream
- zest of one lime
- 2-3 tbsp lime juice 2 limes
- 3/4-1 cup shredded cheese – monterey jack, parmesan, mild cheddar or any combinationn
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- salt, freshly cracked pepper, red chilli flakes, red chilli powder for seasoning
Bring a generous amount of water to boil and add a few fat pinches of salt
Pop in the spaghetti
Season the chicken pieces well with salt, pepper, and a tiny pinch of cayenne (red chilli powder)
Cook the chicken pieces in a hot skillet in the olive oil for about 2 minutes on each side on medium high heat – they should be golden brown and cooked through
Remove the chicken, turn down the temperature and then add the garlic and chilli flakes
Sprinkle on the flour and cook for a minute to take away the raw smell
Then whisk in the chicken stock, the lime zest, cream (start with 1/4 cup) and some freshly ground pepper
Bring to a boil and simmer till it thickens a little
Add the chicken pieces and 2 tbsp lime juice to the sauce.
Drain the pasta when it's cooked through making sure to reserve a cup of pasta water
Add the sauce to the cooked spaghetti, stir to coat.
Now stir in the cheese, tossing the pasta frequently as you add it. It should melt into the pasta fairly quickly, add a splash of pasta water and additional cream to loosen the sauce if needed
Cook on medium heat stirring frequently until the sauce is a consistency you like. If it thickens too much then add more pasta water.
Add the cilantro, mix lightly and then taste the pasta – adjust seasoning with remaining lime juice, salt, pepper and chilli flakes
- Any cheese that isn’t overpowering works well here.
- this is not a saucy pasta meaning it does not microwave well. If you are planning on reheating then make sure to reserve extra pasta water and reheat in the skillet