Out of this world delicious, these easy and flavorful honey chipotle lime chicken bowls are amazing! Even without the “bowl” ingredients, the chicken marinade is best-ever!
Oh hey there! Looking for a total next-level dinner for this week?
A healthy refresher amid the compulsion to eat your body weight in carbs and chocolate during the cold, dark month of January?
Something that’ll make you look like a rock star but that can largely be made and prepped way ahead of time?
I’ve got you.
This honey chipotle lime chicken is one of the most delicious chicken recipes EVER. The flavor is off the charts good. Marinade it, cook it, slice it, and throw it in a bowl with all sorts of other colorful goodness and try not to die from happiness.
To Bowl or not to Bowl
This amazing chicken can definitely stand alone, too. If you don’t want to mess with any of the “bowl” ingredients, you don’t have to go there.
You could easily serve the tender chicken with steamed veggies or roasted potatoes or any number of simple sides. I think the chicken also makes a perfect meal prep idea – marinade and cook a big batch to use throughout the week for lunch salads or easy dinners.
Our favorite way to eat this chicken is to make it into honey chipotle lime chicken bowls for the whole family. It’s a great build-your-own meal!
Honey chipotle lime chicken bowl essentials:
The chicken (and most of the other components for these bowls) can be made and prepped ahead of time.
Since the marinade carries most of the flavor in this meal, it’s best if the chicken can hang out in the marinade for at least 12 hours. But if you’re in a pinch, promise me you’ll at least try for two hours.
You’ve got a little sweet (honey), a little acid (lime juice), a little heat (chipotles), a little freshness (cilantro), and a little tanginess (Dijon mustard). Look at us humble home cooks covering all our flavor bases! Say it three times: WE ARE AWESOME!
Let’s talk about chipotles
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce form the foundation of flavor in the marinade. As noted in the recipe, you want more sauce than peppers, if you can. I think in some well-stocked grocery stores (ahem, not mine), you can find jars of just adobo sauce.
But if not, go for a jar of chopped or whole chipotle peppers and spoon out as much sauce as you can. It’s totally ok to get some peppers in there, too.
I usually use the jars of chopped chipotles because I can pop the lid back on and put the remaining peppers back in the fridge (instead of having to figure out a solution when opening a can).
Chipotles and adobo sauce carry a bit of heat. You can dial the amount in the recipe up or down depending on your fiery taste buds.
The two tablespoons is perfect for our family – gives a little kick without sending anyone running for a big glass of milk. The more seeds and peppers you scoop out from the jar or can, the spicier it will be.
You can marinade the chicken in a shallow dish or ziploc bag.
Using this white baking dish for marinading, I flip the chicken about halfway through the marinading time to give each side of the chicken equal opportunity to bathe in the tasty marinade.
The chicken can be:
cooked in a skillet on the stovetop
broiled in the oven
I use my pellet grill all winter. It sits on my front porch year round and has been the source of many conversations between me and whoever comes to my door, including my faithful UPS delivery guy who was on the fence about whether to get one which inspired many conversations about it’s merits (and downfalls).
Spoiler alert: he finally took the plunge last month; I was very proud.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. The key is to cook the chicken just until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Don’t overcook!
I often make the cilantro lime rice and dressing the night before so these lovely bowls can be thrown together for quick lunches or even better: quick or on-the-go dinners.
When doing so, I don’t bother heating up the rice, since most of us are ok with the cold salad vibe, but you could.
Lately, I’ve been throwing together some variation of this meal to take to my boys on long wrestling practice or wrestling dual nights. The last time my 15-year old opened the tupperware in the high school gym after wrestling his guts out, he legit looked heavenward, pumped his fist, and yelled “YESSSSSS!”
No matter how you choose to serve this chicken, I think you’re going to love it!
This meal is proving to be a strong contender for my favorite meal of 2020 and there’s a very serious chance it’s going to be my birthday dinner request next month.
All of the components (especially the avocado and cilantro lime dressing with the honey chipotle lime chicken) really speak to me.
It’s worth taking the time to get your hands on some chipotle peppers to make this!
2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle peppers and adobo sauce (mostly sauce if you can)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use coarse, kosher salt)
Pinch of black pepper
2 pounds thin cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see note)
For the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, chipotle peppers and sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper.
Place the chicken in a shallow dish or ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the top. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours (the flavor gets better the longer it marinades).
Cook the chicken on a grill, in a skillet or in the oven (broiled) until cooked through, probably 4-5 minutes per side, depending on how it’s cooked. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Slice the chicken into strips and serve with any or all of the bowl ingredients. Cilantro lime dressing not optional. 🙂
Chipotle Peppers: for this recipe, you’ll want about 2 tablespoons *mostly sauce* from a jar or can of chopped chipotle peppers. I prefer the jars since they can go right into the fridge after using the amount you want. Chipotles and adobo sauce carry a bit of heat. The 2 tablespoons is perfect for us mildly spicy food lovers. You can use more or less depending on the flavor you want.
Chicken: I buy thin cut frozen chicken breasts from Costco (in a ginormous bag). I very much prefer thin cut chicken for recipes like this. If you have thick chicken breasts, cut them in half lengthwise (like a hamburger bun) – the flavor will be much better in the marinaded chicken.
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