This Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe is an easy yet impressive dinner or lunch that’s full of flavor and color. One of the easiest freezer meal recipes I’ve ever made and is a blog reader favorite!
This chicken is in a flavorful, tangy marinade, slow cooked until pull-apart tender and perfect for burrito bowls, tacos, and even nachos.
I love you, Mexican food.
I could eat you every single day and never get tired of you.
You know that question people ask you… “If you were stranded on an island and could only eat one food for the rest of your life.. what would it be?”
Hands down, I’d pick Mexican food.
Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, carnitas, Crunch-Wrap Supremes…. You have my heart.
Chicken really is magical when you think about it. What other meat can you add some many different flavors to and it still tastes so good? I literally think I’ve had chicken a hundred different ways.
Cue the Forest Gump Bubba Gump Shrimp list…..but replace it with chicken.
If you’ve followed my blog for awhile now, then you know how much we love cilantro around here. So much so it shouldn’t shock you that I have a recipe for the easiest and most delicious cilantro lime chicken ever.
This recipe is filled with all the Mexican flavors I adore the most.
And the best part?
I can put it into my slow cooker and a few hours later, its ready to eat. Plus, it pretty darn healthy too.
And with it being the start of a new year, we as a family have been wanting to lead a little bit healthier lifestyle. Trying to eat more fruits and veggies, trying to eat out less. Trying to meal plan more. And it’s working!
HOW DO YOU MAKE CROCK POT CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN?
Just add your chicken breasts, fresh lime juice, beans, corn
HOW EASY IS THIS RECIPE?
Well, there is basically no prep work! It will take you all of 5 minutes to get it either into your slow cooker, into your instant pot or placed in a freezer container for dinner another night.
DOES THE SIZE OF MY CROCK POT MATTER?
The one I use is this 6 quart Crock-Pot (link on Amazon.com) but you can use anything from a 4 to a 7 quart slow cooker. The smaller ones may not be able to fit the full recipe, so you may have to only cook half of it at a time, and freeze the other half for later.
HOW TO MAKE CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN FOR FREEZER MEALS
Add your chicken breasts, fresh lime juice, beans, corn and spices into a gallon sized freezer safe bag. Seal, removing air and freeze!
Or if you like the ease of using your Instant Pot instead I prefer freezing them in these 64 oz freezable plastic containers with lids (amazon.com). This way your meal can go from freezer right to the instant pot without thawing to save you time. You can write on the bucket lids using these Sharpie peel-off markers (amazon.com).
HOW LONG CAN I FREEZE IT FOR?
If you are making this Cilantro Lime Chicken Crockpot meal as a freezer meal, you can freeze it for up to 4-6 months in your freezer. However, you will need to make sure you get ALL or as much air out of the bag as possible to avoid freezer burn and for the freshest tasting results. Air is the enemy friends…the big bad enemy for freezer meals.
DO I HAVE TO THAW MY FREEZER MEAL FIRST BEFORE ADDING TO SLOW COOKER?
It is best practices to thaw your meat before adding and cooking in a crock pot. So I like to put my freezer meals in my refrigerator overnight and by the next day they are usually thawed and can be added to my slow cooker. If you hate hate hate thawing, consider the Instant Pot method instead!
CAN THIS ALSO BE MADE IN AN INSTANT POT?
YES! And I love the ease of it. Here are the Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe directions.
Add your chicken breasts, fresh lime juice, beans, corn
From thawed or freshly made, transfer into an instant pot. Cook for 9 minutes at high pressure, then allow 10 minutes for natural release.
Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 limes juiced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 can black beans (15 oz) drained + rinsed
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
MAKE IT NOW
- Add chicken, juice, chicken broth, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, beans, corn and cumin to a crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 6 hours.
- Remove chicken, shred then add back into slowcooker and heat until warm. Serve.
MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL
- Add all ingredients into a gallon sized freezer safe bag. Seal, removing as much air as possible and freeze.
THAW & COOK
- To thaw place in refrigerator overnight or up to 12 hours. Then transfer to crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 6 hours. Remove chicken, shred then add back into slowcooker and heat until warm. Serve.
- My favorite way to serve this is in homemade burrito bowls. Just add rice, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro and a squeeze of more lime for a super delicious meal. Or add to taco shells for Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos. Or top over chips and add cheese, olives and salsa for Cilantro Lime Chicken Nachos.
WANNA SEE MORE RECIPES?
If you’re a fan of super delicious Mexican chicken freezer meals, I’ve got a few other fantastic ones you may like too.
- Creamy Chicken Taquitos With Cilantro & PepperJack Cheese
- Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Adobo Chicken with Pineapple
- Easy Burrito Pie
- Chicken Enchiladas (Freezer Meal)
- Teriyaki Beef and Broccoli Freezer Meal
I can’t wait for you to try out this recipe! Let me know if you love it too!
I made this as a freezer meal, thawed and slow cooked it. Served it with rice as burrito bowls and everyone loved it.
Jackie Bowen says
Delish!! This wd be a great EASY COMPANY MEAL because it tastes so fancy when finished with sour cream and guac. Thank you, Karrie, for sharing it; we really enjoyed it and so simple to throw together.
My husband and I loved this recipe. It was very easy to prep and throw in the crockpot. I made two batches at once – 1 to eat that night and 1 in a gallon bag to put in the freezer and cook later. Thanks so much for this great recipe!
Edlyn Dutton says
Made this in the instant pot from frozen. I thought it was very yummy and was all ready to stick in the the “repeat this” file when my lime loving husband declares he doesn’t like cilantro. Grrr. If I were to make it again for the instant pot, I think I would cut down on the liquid, either the broth or the OJ. Wish I had guacamole on hand because that would have been amazing. Maybe I’ll make batch and split it into lunches for work.
Made this as a freezer meal in late February. Just ate it tonight – slow cooker. Huge hit! So easy to make. This will definitely be in my regular rotation.
I made this in my instant pot last night. I followed the recipe, using 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup broth and the lime juice.
At the beginning of this blog ( can this also be made in an instant pot) you only mention the lime juice – not the other two liquids.
Is 1 cup of the other two liquids too much? I’m thinking it should be much less.
Same here! I was going to ask that. Mine is super liquidy each time I try it! I thought about adding rice?
You can reduce the amount of chicken broth in the recipe if you’d prefer!
This looks so yummy! We can’t have orange juice, what would work as a good substitute? Thanks!
Hi, If you can’t do orange juice, just add extra chicken broth instead. It won’t be quite the same but will still be delicious.
R Cirell says
LOVED IT! I made 3 for the freezer and used the instant pot and will make 3 more. I added red chili flakes to give it a kick. Once I shredded the chicken I added a bag of frozen rice I stuck in the microwave from Trader joes and served it in bowl. Top with avocado and crushed up tortilla chips. Fantastico!
Amy Resmer says
I made mine as a freezer meal and cooked it int he instant pot but it was quite soupy did I do something wrong?
This one was definitely a keeper . I made the instant pot version and it was one of the easiest, fastest recipes I’ve made for the IP. I didn’t have any cilantro so I added about a tsp of Mrs Dash Southwest Seasoning. I loved it. I had some leftover black rice that I stirred in after cooking and it was the perfect meal.