Cilantro-Lime Chicken Pasta - delicious spaghetti in a creamy white cheese sauce with lots of flavor! The sauce is made by cooking garlic, adding freshly squeezed lime juice and cilantro and then mixing everything in a homemade alfredo sauce! Delicious Summer pasta!
If you're looking for quick and easy chicken dinner ideas - cilantro lime chicken pasta is a fantastic choice. The recipe takes only 30 minutes from start to finish and it uses very simple, basic ingredients. You'll love the lime, garlic, and cilantro flavors combined in this creamy dish! Perfect dinner in the Summer!
- Use freshly squeezed lime juice. Squeeze 1 large lime to produce about 2 tablespoons of lime juice. If you do use bottled lime juice - use smaller amount than indicated in the recipe. Freshly squeezed lime juice is very flavorful, and that's what should be used in this recipe.
- Save some cooked pasta water. If your creamy sauce gets too thick, add pasta water to the sauce to thin it out.
- Use either chicken breast or skinless boneless chicken thighs or chicken tenderloins. Slice the chicken before cooking.
- To make this pasta gluten free, use gluten free brown rice pasta. If you use gluten free pasta, make sure to rinse it after you cooked it in boiling water - it will prevent it from getting mushy.
- Use either shredded Mozzarella cheese or shredded Parmesan cheese to make the sauce.
Creamy Cilantro-Lime Chicken Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breast , sliced
- salt and pepper
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice , freshly squeezed, use less if bottled juice
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cilantro fresh, chopped
- ⅔ cups heavy cream
- ⅔ cups milk
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese, shredded
- 8 oz spaghetti pasta (for gluten free, use gluten free brown rice spaghetti)
- reserved cooked pasta water
- 1 tablespoon cilantro fresh, chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-hot heat. Generously season sliced chicken with salt and pepper, add to the hot skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until done. Remove sliced chicken from the skillet.
- To the same skillet, add minced garlic, lime juice and chicken broth. Cook for 1-2 minutes on high heat, deglazing and scraping the skillet until the liquid is reduced and making sure garlic does not burn and brown too much. Mix in chopped cilantro.
- Add heavy cream and milk. Bring to boil, the immediately add cheese and mix in until melted, while boiling. Then, remove from heat.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, reserving some cooked pasta water.
- Add pasta to the sauce, along with the half of the chicken. Mix everything in and season pasta with more salt, if needed.
- Top with the remaining half of the chicken and more chopped cilantro.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
i thought this had the best flavor ever and was very easy to make mine was a bit watery so think maybe parm instead of mozzarella would thicken it up ? what do you think i will definitely try it again
Catherine, I am so glad you enjoyed this dish! 🙂 You can try using just heavy cream next time (instead of milk, too). Also, bring Mozzarella cheese to room temperature by taking the amount you need out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to starting this recipe.
Can I substitute the mozzarella/ parmasean cheese with monterrey jack with jalapeno??
Julia, I think jalapeno cheese would pair really well with cilantro-lime flavors - great idea!
I would love to know how you eat (I am assuming you do eat your own recipes) and still keep a beautiful figure?
Julie, yes, I eat my own food! 🙂
Hi. Ok. I made this tonight. Very bland. I even doubled the cilantro and garlic since I love both. I ended up adding a lot more salt and some garlic powder. It helped but still wasn’t super flavorful. Also I’m not sure if I added the cream and milk correctly. It said to bring to a boil but it seemed to sort of curdle a bit. Any suggestions?
Lisa, if you found it bland, I would use only Parmesan cheese next time (not Mozzarella). Parmesan cheese has a stronger flavor than Mozzarella so that should change the flavor.
When adding the cheese, follow this process:
1) Bring heavy cream and milk to boil, add shredded cheese (cheese should be at room temperature, not just out of the fridge) by sprinkling it evenly all over.
2) Immediately, reduce heat to simmer (visible boil but on the lowest setting). Cook, constantly stirring, until the cheese melts.
Thank you so much for this recipe. So very easy and absolutely delicious. Perfectly easy and savory for a Monday night
Hepsi, I am so glad you love this recipe. Thank you for taking the time to share such a positive comment!
Is this dish good as leftovers?
I have company coming over and don’t have time to make it the day of. So wondering if I could make it a day ahead of time
Alex, because this recipe features a creamy sauce with cheese, it doesn't really reheat well. So, I don't recommend making this recipe ahead.
Elizabeth E Ellerbe-Williams
This is hands down the BEST cilantro lime creamy pasta recipe ever. I have tried a couple others but this was so much simpler and the yummiest! I used shredded Mozarella that has cream cheese in it. I used shrimp because because what I had planned to use but am going to definitely make it with chicken this weekend. Thank you for sharing this recipe. ❤❤❤
Elizabeth, your comment made my day! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this wonderful and positive feedback - I appreciate it! I am glad this recipe was delicious with shrimp!
Can you use zoodles instead of pasta? And can you use almond milk in place of milk?
You can use zoodles instead of pasta here!
I have made this recipe several times and EVERYONE in our family of 5 loves it (which is hard to do). Once I had left over crumbled bacon from another meal so I topped this with it. Now I am required to add crumbled bacon everytime lol. Thank you for making dinner easy.
I love this recipe but what do you do with the reserve pasta water?
In a lot of pasta recipes the reserve pasta water is used to thin the sauce in case it thickens too much. I'm guessing this is what it is for as well.
Yes, that's exactly what it's for. If the sauce is too thick, use the pasta water to thin it out.
Is there a reason you use the pasta water specifically? Instead of just regular water? Does the leftover pasta add flavor or something?
Also recipe is amazing, thank you!!
pasta water has starch in it which makes the sauce creamier I think