Mustard-Lime Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

After the sugar rush and candy binge of Halloween, we could all use lighter fare to give our systems some much needed nourishment. We’ve already established my love of all things cilantro and lime, and today I’ve got two more incredible recipes highlighting this perfect pair. I’m pretty sure we’ve also established my complete and total obsession with Pinterest, which is where I found these delightful recipes for Mustard-Lime Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette. I pinned them immediately and couldn’t wait to make them.

And now these recipes have both migrated from my “Cook” Pinterest folder to the “Tried and True” one. I know I’ve already posted Cilantro-Lime Chicken, but this Mustard-Lime Chicken from Elana’s Pantry is even better. The simple addition of mustard deepens the flavor tenfold. And although the original recipe called for marinating the chicken 15 minutes to six hours, I left it in the fridge overnight and would do it again. Rather than grilling the chicken I baked it until cooked through. It was tender and flavorful, with a texture resembling chicken tikka.


The next day, I served the leftover chicken tenders over a salad and topped it with this silky cilantro-lime dressing. Kate over at Our Best Bites says that in addition to being great on salads, it also works wonders as a marinade for chicken or fish (she uses this as the basis for her fish tacos). I believe it. But back to this dressing. It’s everything you could want in a vinaigrette: it’s light but has good body so coats the salad nicely, and the flavor is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of acidity to make your tongue dance.

I should also note that I made this recipe when limes were still available in Israel. Although the short lime season has come and gone I stocked up by juicing a few kilos of limes and freezing the juice in ice cube trays. I couldn’t face another nine months without lime juice in my life. What can I say? Those of you in the rest of the world probably don’t have this problem.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mustard-Lime Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
These two recipes are great separately or together, for lunch or for dinner. Both can be made ahead, which makes them great for weeknights or even entertaining.
Recipe Type: Entree, Condiment
Yield: 4
Mustard-Lime Chicken
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into tenders
Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 juicy limes)
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
For the Mustard-Lime Chicken
  1. Put the lime juice, cilantro, mustard, olive oil, chili, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  2. Put the chicken in a large bowl.
  3. Pour marinade over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. Put chicken on a baking sheet, being careful not to crowd the pan. Bake until cooked through, flipping midway, about 20 minutes.
Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
  1. Combine the ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until well combined.
  3. Taste and season. Store in the refrigerator, up to one week.
Kosher meat, gluten free

Submitted to Jane Deere’s Fusion Fridays and A Little Nosh’s Tastetastic Thursday and The Local Cook’s Recipe Swap

52 thoughts on “Mustard-Lime Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

  1. Liz

    Nice! I have both cilantro and lime at home. Limes disappeared from the shook here a few weeks ago, I’m so glad I recently stocked up! I will be using them very stingily.

    Does the frozen lime juice really keep well, without developing freezer tastes?

    • Katherine

      Excellent! So far so good on the frozen lime juice. It’s been less than a month so I can’t say how great it will do in the long run, but I froze it in ice cube trays and just take out a cube or two whenever I need.

  2. Eri

    Hello Katherine, I think I can smell this recipe from here! Great Combination! Today I’m making the vinaigrette, too bad we had our chicken yesterday..

  3. Island Vittles

    I was looking for something quick for dinner tonight! The chicken is already defrosted — I’m off to marinate now…Theresa (PS — it won’t do for juice, but have you ever preserved limes in salt? The addition of the preserved peel has serious flavour impact! There’s a recipe on my site somewhere, just use the search box for preserved limes — I’ve also done lemons and tangerines.)

    • Katherine

      Oh yay! I hope you enjoy!! And thanks for the tip about preserving limes in salt – I’ve had lemons done this way but never limes! I will have to try it next year when lime season is upon us again!

  4. Tina@flourtrader

    Mustard has been showing up a lot in recipes, but it works really well on chicken as well as pork. Also flavoring chicken with chicken gives it an amazing taste. Anyhow I have saved this recipe and I have noticed that limes are getting scarce, but I do still have my bottle of Nelly and Joes key lime juice. Thanks for sharing, I have saved this recipe-yum!

    • Katherine

      I love what mustard adds to dishes, from meat to marinades and vinaigrettes. You’re right, it’s also amazing on pork! I also have bottled lime juice I brought back from the states in case of emergency. I hope you make the recipe and enjoy!!

  5. Tina@flourtrader

    Mustard has been showing up a lot in recipes, but it works really well on chicken as well as pork. Also flavoring chicken with chicken gives it an amazing taste. Anyhow I have saved this recipe and I have noticed that limes are getting scarce, but I do still have my bottle of Nelly and Joes key lime juice. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Maggie

    This looks absolutely, positively delicious! I’m a fan of anything cilantro-lime too! Mustard is a new “like” that is growing on me, so I thin this will be a good recipe to try my mustard taste buds on! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Katherine

      Thank you Maggie! I must tell you that I only grew to like mustard in the past few years and I still am not crazy about it as a straight-up condiment. But I love it in this! The mustard flavor really mellows and just works perfectly with everything else. And in the dressing it really acts more as a thickening agent than anything else. I hope you enjoy!!

  7. judee@ Gluten Free A-Z

    My Middle Eastern husband thanks you for this incredible recipe with this great combination of flavors. He eats everything, I mean everything with lime; Cilantro is his second runner up. As always your photography is so appealing and your write up inviting. I love your blog!

    • Katherine

      Aww thank you Judee!!! I am so happy that both you and your husband like this. I’m so with him on the lime and cilantro love (obviously). I hope you enjoy 😀

  8. Hannah

    This is gorgeous! I can’t wait to try this vinaigrette. I’m happy you stocked up on lime juice…9 months is way too long to wait for more!

    • Katherine

      Thanks Hannah!! Yes, I learned my lesson about lime juice last year – you can’t even get it bottled here! Now whenever I need it, I just pluck a lime ice cube from my freezer. I’m thinking they’ll be really good in gin and tonics too!

  9. Kiri W.

    This combines some of my very favorite flavors, plus it looks wonderfully healthy and wholesome. Wonderful!
    Thanks, and congratulations on the Top 9 feature!

    • Katherine

      That’s too bad! Mine love love loves mustard. But I have to tell you this doesn’t have a crazy strong mustard flavor. Alternately, you could leave it out from both recipes and they will still be very good. Thanks on the congrats 🙂

  10. Sharyn Dimmick

    Ooo — I want to make this for lunch! A double dose of lime and cilantro, plus mustard and vinegar. We have a new lime tree, living in California, and winter is citrus season. Yum.

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Congrats on Top 9 Katherine! Whoo hoo! This is a beautiful salad AND I love how you used dijon mustard for both recipes. I’m just thinking about the recipe and it makes my mouth water. My meat eater husband would agree this kind of salad as a main dish. =)

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