Coconut Lime Chicken (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto)

Thai food is one of the genres of food I really love and that always feels like comfort food to me! It used to be my go-to before I started eating Paleo, and it’s our favorite date night when we decide to eat out these days. I have to admit though, this Paleo and Whole30 friendly coconut lime chicken really takes me back to a trip to Thailand several years ago. It’s so flavorful, fresh and satisfying! 

This Paleo and Whole30 friendly coconut lime chicken is so flavorful, fresh and satisfying! Coconut lime chicken in cast iron skillet with lime wedges and cilantro on top.

Back In Time

Many years ago I traveled to Thailand – it was the most spontaneous thing I’d ever done in my life. I purchased my airfare the week before I left and then packed up, hopped on a plane and met a couple of friends in Seoul, Korea where we boarded another plane to Bangkok. I’m not spontaneous or a risk-taker (at least I wasn’t then, but I’ll get into that more later). And then out of nowhere, this trip was the most soul-lifting experience, a much-needed rest and recovery, and it was also so much fun! The first time we made this Paleo and Whole30 coconut lime chicken, I was taken right back to my time in Thailand. Isn’t it funny and cool how scents and tastes can transcend time and put you right back into a memory?!  If you’ve ever been to Thailand or had authentic Thai food like Tom Kha soup, you will get what I’m talking about when you taste this coconut lime chicken. You’ll feel like you just sat down to table full of all the tasty family style dishes.

This Paleo and Whole30 friendly coconut lime chicken is so flavorful, fresh and satisfying! Coconut lime chicken in a bowl with spinach, rice, avocado and lime wedges and cilantro on top.

Maybe The Beginning Of My Healing Journey 

I believe the food in Thailand can vary a bit depending where you are located in the country, but some of my favorite dishes came from the street food on the coast of Krabi – these women and their daughters would cook you up the most delicious meals right there at their little street carts, and it was so fresh and authentic. I had no idea until then that butter and egg yolks were naturally more of an orange color than the dull yellow many of us are accustomed to in the United States. But the flavors, the textures, the smells, all of it was so amazing. And every time we make this coconut lime chicken I am reminded of how fondly I look back on this trip. And it was not too long after my visit to Thailand that I started looking into my diet and lifestyle more. I came home feeling so happy, relaxed and nourished, and I really started to wonder why. I started to take a more honest look at my life and what I was doing, where and how I was spending my energy and what was and was not serving me.

This Paleo and Whole30 friendly coconut lime chicken is so flavorful, fresh and satisfying! Coconut lime chicken in a bowl with spinach, rice, avocado and lime wedges and cilantro on top.

Hindsight Is 20/20

I didn’t figure it out quickly and really these were the just the beginnings of building blocks – and let’s be fully transparent here – I still don’t have it all figured out. But what I do know looking back is that I probably felt so good when I got home because so many of the daily stresses and worries were removed from my life for almost two full weeks. I ate real food in its most natural state, and spent time in nature. I had no idea that all these things have such a huge impact at the time, but slowly from this trip forward I started making changes. I gave up a more high-profile, super stressful job and moved to a less stressful and less time-consuming role. I began teaching barre classes more and spending more time mentoring others (a passion of mine). I can see now that all these pieces were starting to fall into place, little by little like building blocks.

This Paleo and Whole30 friendly coconut lime chicken is so flavorful, fresh and satisfying! Coconut lime chicken in cast iron skillet with lime wedges and cilantro on top.

Taking Risks + Living Out Loud

Like I said at the beginning of this post – I’m not super spontaneous or much of a risk taker (or at least I wasn’t and neither was Justin). I would say I’m still not overly spontaneous, but I’ve gotten more comfortable taking risks, and what I’m learning is that all the magic is there when you step outside of your comfort zone. Tip your toes in the water right outside your comfort zone. Just see how it feels. Does it excite you? Does it scare you? Does it make your soul shine? The answers are probably yes to all of the above.

And for reals, Justin and I both decided to take the biggest risk of our lives to date just about two years ago – we quit our stressful, corporate jobs, sold our houses and moved to a smaller town. We set up shop in our in-home office and started working on this blog full-time, creating delicious yet easy and approachable Paleo and Whole30 recipes, like this coconut lime chicken.

We decided for maybe the first time in our lives to follow our passion and our hearts. It was crazy! Our families thought we were insane! They thought we just needed a break from real life for a little while. But here’s the thing – we realized that “real life” is whatever you make it to be, and we decided we wanted to live life on our own terms. To create the kind of life we love waking up to every day, to help people and develop deeper, more meaningful connections with one another and others.

This Paleo and Whole30 friendly coconut lime chicken is so flavorful, fresh and satisfying! Coconut lime chicken in a bowl with spinach, rice, avocado and lime wedges and cilantro on top.

Some Other Thai + Asian Inspired Recipes To Try

Your Turn To Try Our Coconut Lime Chicken

Quick, easy and full of flavor – you’ll love this coconut lime chicken! Make some, and then turn it into a bowl by adding some greens and rice or cauliflower rice. You know…bowls are life! Let us know it goes by leaving a comment below. Also, take a photo and tag us on Instagram @realsimplegood, so we can check it out! Already follow us on Instagram?! Great! If not, make sure to give us a follow, so we can stay connected!

Coconut Lime Chicken (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto)

4.24 from 442 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 502kcal
Author: Erica Winn
I really love Thai food and it always feels like comfort food to me! This Paleo and Whole30 friendly coconut lime chicken is so flavorful, fresh and satisfying!
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Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for topping)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 4 chicken breasts see notes
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1.5 cups full fat coconut milk see notes
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime slices for topping (optional)

Instructions 

  • Prep shallot, garlic, ginger and cilantro as noted. Juice limes and set aside.
  • Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of parchment paper and pound them down to make them even in thickness. Sprinkle each side of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add avocado oil.
  • Once hot, add the chicken to the pan (you may have to cook the chicken in 2 batches depending on the size of your pan). Cook, without disturbing for 3-4 minutes, until a nice brown crust has formed. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes on the other side, until the chicken is mostly cooked through.
  • Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside. Lower the heat to medium.
  • Add more oil if needed and add the garlic and shallot to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, coconut milk, lime juice, ginger and cilantro to the pan. Stir to mix, scraping up any browned bits remaining in the pan from when you cooked your chicken.
  • Add the chicken breasts back to the skillet with the sauce. Cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Serve with vegetables, potatoes, rice or cauli rice. Spoon some sauce over everything for serving. Sprinkle with cilantro and garnish with lime slices (optional).

Video

Notes

  • You can use chicken thighs instead of breasts for this recipe. You should not have to pound the thighs (step 2). Adjust cooking time if needed to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.
  • We use Aroy-D brand full-fat coconut milk. This is the thickest, creamiest coconut milk we have found. If you use a canned brand like Thai Kitchen or Native Forest, the milk might not be as thick and you can omit the chicken broth.
Nutrition facts are an estimate provided for those following a Ketogenic or low-carb diet. See our full nutrition information disclosure here

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 502kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 18g
Tried this recipe?Take a picture and tag @realsimplegood so we can see it!
Coconut Lime Chicken (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto)Coconut Lime Chicken (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto)Coconut Lime Chicken (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto)

154 thoughts on “Coconut Lime Chicken (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto)

  • OMG!! This was outstanding! I was looking for something with a powerful flavour punch and this will be a regular go-to from now on!
    I skipped the chicken stock as I didn’t have any in hand but it was still exceptional. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

      • I’m back again with an update and a hack for the kids!
        I tried this with my InstantPot to see if I could get the same results… it wasn’t nearly as good.
        You need that searing at the beginning to lock in that flavour. Plus I didn’t put in all the coconut milk until after I released the steam (I’ve heard that cooking coconut milk too hot and long doesn’t do it any favours, so I opted to add most of it after it had finished cooking.

        Ok – so now that we have that covered, here’s a great little hack if your kids like soup!
        My son’s best buddy loves Thai noodle soup and my son likes to keep up with him in lots of ways (happy fir this outside influence, lol) so I simply put another pot on the stove with more chicken stock.

        I then scooped a little bit of the amazing broth from this recipe and added it to the plain stock, plus some chicken, and rice noodles.

        Voila – simple, kid-approved Thai noodle soup.

        Since my son wasn’t a fan of the gorgeous lime flavour from the original dish, this was a perfect compromise for my son with just the right amount of tangy flavour.

        Hope that helps some others out there with ways to make one dish work for a variety of family memebers!

        I’m off to make this for a third time tonight! Cheers!

  • I absolutely love this recipe. I’m not one to leave a comment, but this was just so good. Put it over brown rice and all that yummy sauce soaked in. It was just so good!!

  • Does the coconut milk need to be sweetened or unsweetened. I bought a can of Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk and it says unsweetened, which made we wonder if that matters. I’ve never used coconut milk before. Thanks.

  • On day 29 of Whole30 and made this tonight. I wish I discovered this recipe earlier – it’s so good – but am adding it to the regular rotation.

    I omitted the chicken broth, mixed coconut cream and coconut milk to make a thicker mixture and then used 1.5 cups of the mix, and made it in my cast iron skillet. The chicken came our nice and brown and the sauce was thick and flavorful. Great recipe!

  • What a wonderful recipe! I had this in Thailand in 1993, now usually get at Cheesecake Factory. I keep fresh limes, coconut milk, and coconut oil on hand. I didn’t use broth (too high in sodium) or have cilantro. I had a small pkg of chicken breast strips, which I cut up, thinking seasonings would penetrate better, but it didn’t brown. I seasoned the chicken w/CHILI LIME seasoning. I saw red pepper flakes in another recipe, so used a pinch. I used minced garlic, ginger powder, added more coconut milk and lime juice than called for, and needed, but while I love limes, it was a bit overwhelming. I added a pinch of Stevia and some salt. By simmering for 5 minutes longer than stated, the color was good and the SAUCE didn’t separate, nor was it watery, probably because I used whole coconut milk, and didn’t use broth. Taste, texture, and color — PERFECT!! I ate over riced cauliflower. I will make again next week, using the same ingredients, but adding cilantro and more chicken, which I will not cut up (and will brown).

  • We made this last night and it was delicious. Was the sauce thin?…a little, but who cares? It’s flavorful and beautifully accents the whole meal. We poured it over the chicken and cauli-rice. Served it along side broccoli. Boyfriend sopped it up with his bread (while I looked on longingly…)

    We’ll definitely make this again. Thank you!

  • Came together easily, nice flavor served over rice the husband loved it!! I will be making this again healthy without sacrificing flavor

  • This recipe was a hit with my family! I served the chicken with cauli rice and it turned out delicious! The coconut lime sauce mixed with the cauli rice tastes unbelievable good. I just started following your blog and I’m so happy I found you guys. I know several of your recipes
    will be served in my home. Thank you!!

  • I impressed my husband with this one, we really enjoyed and such guilt free flavor! He is from the carribean and really like the coconut creaminess..this recipe is a win!! Big dub

  • Truly one of my favorite recipes to make for friends and family. It’s so fun to just take a second to recognize all of the fresh flavors. Such an enjoyable pick when doing whole30!

  • This was FANTASTIC! I used shredded chicken because that’s what I had on hand but followed the recipe otherwise. Everyone cleaned their plates! 💚

  • Made this tonight and it was very good! Refreshing actually! Served with basmati rice and a side of asparagus. I thickened the sauce up a bit with additional chicken stock and cornstarch. Will make again!

  • This was delicious. We cut the lime in half based on comments, but would have had no issue with the original level. I added 1T fish sauce and 1T dark brown sugar (since I had no amines). A few of us loaded it with siracha sauce at the table. The brown comes from a good sear on the chicken. You have to let it sit on the hot pan for 3-4 minutes. My sauce turned out darker than yours, in fact. Will definitely make again.

  • This is my favorite Whole30 friendly meal. I make a double or triple batch and freeze in one meal portions. I serve it with baked sweet potato and it is divine!
    Thank you for this lovely recipe.
    I do add a couple tablespoons of arrowroot powder to the onions and garlic. It helps thicken it nicely.

  • Made this tonight. It was yummy. I made it with zoodles which was great but I really think it needs rice to soak up the juice. I will try the coconut cream instead next time. I will make this over and over! 🙂

  • I just made this for dinner and it was completely underwhelming. The sauce was not thick and I didn’t even add the chicken broth. The flavor was over powered by the lime. It was just plain bland looking. Not at all like the picture and I followed the recipe to the letter.

  • After making this ONCE it became a staple in our home. We love it so much! Adding som e zucchini to the recipe tonight 🙂

  • For everyone commenting on it not turning out like the photos – I think I’ve figured it out! I’ve made this recipe about every 2 weeks for the past year. It almost always looks like the “video” on this page with thin, milky colored sauce, and only once did it look like the “photos“ with orange/brown thicker sauce. To make it look like the photos – use a cast iron pan, let the chicken brown with little bits left in the pan, let the shallot caramelize and brown in the pan, use coconut cream instead of coconut milk, and let it reduce down. The only way you can get color is with the brown bits left in the pan. And the only way to thicken naturally is to use a creamier coconut milk and let it reduce. I’ve used arrowroot and even cornstarch to try to thicken it, but it gives it a very gelatinous consistency. Either way (thin and milky or thick and orangey) it tastes great to us, but my family prefers the thinner sauce because when we pour it over rice (or cauliflower rice) it absorbs the flavor better. Hope that helps solve the mystery! J+E – maybe you can swap the recipe photos with some screen shots from the video instead to help with the confusion?

    • Thanks Trisha, glad you like the recipe! We’ll consider updating the photos in the future but we really didn’t do anything special to make the photos turn out how they did 🙂

  • This was a hit, and especially tasty over rice! Will be putting this into our dinner rotation, thanks for a great recipe!

  • Such a good recipe! I ate it over kale as a meat/salad dressing combo. I’m also lazy and used bottled lime juice, but it still tasted scrumptious!

  • Easy and tasty weeknight dinner! We loved it and will be making it again! For those who don’t love lime I would cut the lime juice to 1/4 cup since it’s very strong.

  • Wow! This recipe was super easy & full of flavor! Served over cauli rice and it was delicious. It’s a keeper! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you!

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