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Grilled Chicken with Tomato, Lime & Cilantro Salsa

Scott Phillips

Servings: four as a main course, six to eight as a “small plate.”

This dish is also delicious served cold or at room temperature over salad greens.


  • 2 cups seeded, diced ripe tomatoes (2 to 3 medium tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime (about 1 tsp.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. minced chipotle (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 to 2 lb.)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on eight servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 130
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 60
  • Fat (g): 7
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35
  • Sodium (mg): 190
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 14


  • Prepare a medium-hot grill fire.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, lime juice, 1 Tbs. of the oil, 1-1/2 tsp. of the sugar, and the lime zest. If your tomatoes aren’t perfectly ripe and sweet, add the remaining 1/2 tsp. sugar. Season with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste.
  • In another medium bowl, mix the chipotle, the remaining 2 Tbs. oil, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  • Trim the chicken. If the tenderloins are still attached, remove them and save for another use. Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound each chicken breast to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Add the chicken to the chipotle mixture and toss well to coat.
  • When the grill is ready, lay the chicken on the hot grill grates and cook, covered, until the chicken has grill marks and the edges turn opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the breasts and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice each breast crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the chicken on a platter and top with the salsa.

Make Ahead Tips

If you’re serving at room temperature, the chicken can be grilled ahead. After grilling, let it cool for 20 minutes, refrigerate (for up to 8 hours), and slice just before serving with the salsa. The salsa ingredients may be prepared up to 2 hours ahead, but mix them together just before serving.

Serve with Mexican Tomato Rice & Beans.


Rate or Review

Reviews (6 reviews)

  • Lena_B | 03/08/2020

    Followed this recipe to a T... My husband and I were very pleased with the outcome.. ~bookmarked~

  • mmeckstr | 04/13/2016

    So fresh, quick, and easy! I make this for my family all the time on weeknights in the spring/summer. My husband grills the chicken while I make the salsa -dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes! Goes great with rice or corn-on-the-cob. Kids love it too.

  • Ginny37 | 04/19/2013

    I added one diced avocado to the salsa and it took it over the top.

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