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Cilantro Lime Chicken Pasta We Can Eat Everyday

April 6, 2020
a plate with pasta being twirled around a fork
Jump to the Cilantro Lime Chicken Pasta Recipe

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.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Pasta

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

Cilantro Lime Chicken Pasta

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!).

4.78 from 9 votes
a plate with pasta being twirled around a fork
Cilantro Lime Chicken Pasta
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins

A quick lunch or dinner fix that is tangy and so delicious!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pasta, Chicken
Servings: 4 people
Author: Sarah – Flour & Spice
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • salt
Cilantro Lime Chicken Sauce
  • 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
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Bring a generous amount of water to boil and add a few fat pinches of salt

  2. Pop in the spaghetti

  3. Season the chicken pieces well with salt, pepper, and a tiny pinch of cayenne (red chilli powder)

  4. 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

  5. Remove the chicken, turn down the temperature and then add the garlic and chilli flakes

  6. Sprinkle on the flour and cook for a minute to take away the raw smell

  7. Then whisk in the chicken stock, the lime zest, cream (start with 1/4 cup) and some freshly ground pepper

  8. Bring to a boil and simmer till it thickens a little

  9. Add the chicken pieces and 2 tbsp lime juice to the sauce.

  10. Drain the pasta when it's cooked through making sure to reserve a cup of pasta water

  11. Add the sauce to the cooked spaghetti, stir to coat.

  12. 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

  13. Cook on medium heat stirring frequently until the sauce is a consistency you like. If it thickens too much then add more pasta water.

  14. Add the cilantro, mix lightly and then taste the pasta – adjust seasoning with remaining lime juice, salt, pepper and chilli flakes

  15. Serve immediately

Recipe Notes
  • 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¬†
Cilantro Lime Chicken Pasta

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  • Reply
    Saba Hyder Zaidi
    April 7, 2020 at

    Thanks for this recipe!!

    • Reply
      April 9, 2020 at

      awww thank you saba!!!

  • Reply
    Areeba Adnan
    April 27, 2020 at

    I adore this recipe and I am thinking of making it tonight for iftaar!

    • Reply
      April 29, 2020 at

      Yay!!!! It was what Zara requested for her first Iftar too!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2020 at

    Wow! We just made this for the first time and it’s a game changer. 10/10, plates scraped clean.

    Not to be a cliche, but I subbed lemon for lime and milk for cream. Didn’t matter, still delicious! Awesome recipe. I look forward to tweaking it a bit more in the future (breading the chicken first?) Thanks!!

    • Reply
      August 9, 2020 at

      Hey Zach! Nothing cliched about tweaking a recipe to make it work for you guys – Am glad you enjoyed it! Curious to hear how the breaded version turns out!

    Penny for your thoughts?