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Creamy Coconut Lime Chicken Breasts – a one pan, Whole 30 approved dish made with only a handful of ingredients. Dairy Free + Paleo + Gluten Free

  • PREP TIME 10 minutes
  • COOK TIME 30 minutes
  • TOTAL TIME 40 minutes


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, it came out to 1/2 onion for me, chopped
  • 1 whole red or green chili, chopped optional (use something like an Anaheim chili for a mild heat but the type of chili is up to you & your preferred level of heat)
  • 1 cup organic chicken stock*
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 large lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk from a can or coconut cream
  • pinch turmeric powder (optional for colour)
  • 1 tablespoon arrow root starch for paleo/whole 30 or corn starch mixed into 1 tablespoons water optional


  1. Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic cling wrap and pound them down to make them even in thickness. This will help the chicken cook evenly and make for more tender chicken. Sprinkle each side of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over a medium high heat on the stove. Add the chicken breasts and cook each side for 5-7 minutes or until browned on each side. Remove the chicken from a skillet and set aside on a plate. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked yet because you’ll be returning it to the heat shortly. Wipe down the pan with a paper towel to remove black/brown bits.
  3. Add a little more oil back to the pan along with the chopped onion to the same skillet and sauté for a few minutes to soften. Add the chili pepper if you’re using it. Sauté another couple of minutes. Add the chicken stock, lime juice, cilantro and chili flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce down to a simmer. Let simmer for about 5 minutes to let reduce down. Add the coconut milk (and the turmeric if using) and bring to simmer again for another 5 minutes. Add the starch and water at this time if you’re using it. You may need to raise the heat slightly higher to bring this to a boil to activate the starch. Once the sauce thickens reduce it back down to a simmer.
  4. Add the chicken back to the skillet, cover and let cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
  5. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice with the sauce spooned over the top.
  6. Add an extra sprinkling of cilantro & chillies and enjoy!


  1. Press the sauté button on the instant pot and wait for it to heat up. Add the coconut oil. When the oil is simmering add the red onions and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes to soften.
  2. Add the chicken stock, lime juice, red pepper flakes, coconut milk and turmeric. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Stir and let simmer for a minute or so. Add the chicken breasts.
  3. Secure the lid on the instant pot and make sure the dial on top is set to ‘sealing’. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. (Press ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ to set the timer.) After the time is up the Instant Pot will automatically switch the keep warm. Let it keep warm for 10 depressurising on it’s own before releasing the steam valve.
  4. After removing the lid carefully remove the chicken breasts from the soup and transfer to a cutting board or a plate. Cut the chicken up into small pieces.
  5. With the lid off and the chicken out press the ‘Sauté’ button again. Bring the sauce to a boil and add your starchy water to thicken. Once it begins to thicken turn off the heat and add the chicken back to the pot along with the chopped cilantro. Taste the sauce again to season with addition salt/pepper/ lime juice if need and enjoy!


  • If you need this recipe to strict Whole 30 make sure to check the labels on your chicken stock for hidden sugars.
  • Notes about thickening:
  • A few people have had issues with the sauce thickening – this could come down to what type of coconut milk you used. Not all coconut milks are the same and some come out thicker/thinner than others. Aim to use a thicker, full fat coconut milk from a can. You can use just coconut cream as well if you have it on hand. If your sauce doesn’t thicken the way you want it to you can add the starch and water mixture to do the trick for you.
  • Recipe expectations:
  • While the sauce should reduce down and get thicker as your simmer it, it’s not supposed to be really thick like gravy so keep that in mind as you cook.
  • This chicken is admittedly not the prettiest looking dish as some of you have comment. Add a pinch of turmeric powder to the sauce to give it a nice golden colour but keep in mind it will change the flavour.



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