Honey Lime Chicken is a sweet and savory infused shredded chicken that works great nestled in a tortilla with rice, cheese and beans to make a delicious Honey Lime Chicken Taco.
Honey Lime Tacos
Honey lime chicken is the thing you didn’t know you needed in your life. With a soft, tender, savory, and slightly sweet/caramelized flavor of shredded chicken and salsa verde coming together to create a flavorful dish, you’ll want to put it on everything from rice to tortillas or nachos.
You can make these honey lime tacos inside of your Instant Pot or your slow cooker and they turn out great either way.
Honey lime chicken is also one of those great recipes that uses hardly any ingredients. The seasonings are probably in your kitchen pantry already, so there isn’t much to buy. I love to pair these tacos with sides like Mexican rice or Mexican Fruit Cups, which are always a hit.
What’s In Honey Lime Chicken?
- Chicken Tenderloins: The chicken tenderloins can be fresh or frozen, obviously the fresh tenderloins will cook a bit faster but that is truly the only difference here.
- Lime Juice: I generally squeeze my lime juice fresh but you are welcome to use lime juice in the bottle if that is what you have on hand.
- Salsa Verde: My family is a little bit whimpy when it comes to spice so we always opt for the mild salsa verde, if you like your food spicy, get that salsa verde hot!
- Garlic: I use garlic powder and those are the measurements I will give. Feel free to substitute fresh garlic if you’d prefer!
- Chili Powder
How to Make Honey Lime Chicken
Shredded Honey Lime Chicken can be made easily in both your Instant Pot or crockpot (if you don’t have an Instant Pot, because let’s be honest, if you have an Instant Pot, you’ll be using your Instant Pot!) I will go through both methods below quickly.
For both methods we will whisk together the lime juice, honey and seasonings until it’s well combined.
Instant Pot Method
Cooking the chicken in the Instant Pot is as easy as placing the chicken tenderloins in the bottom of the Instant Pot, pouring the honey lime mixture on top and then adding in your salsa verde. Close the lid, turn the knob to sealing, and then pressure cook!
For fresh chicken tenderloins you’ll cook on high pressure for 3 minutes with a 6 minute natural pressure release. If cooking from frozen, cook for 6 minutes with a 6 minute natural pressure release. If you are unfamiliar with the Instant Pot and how it works, I have some great Instant Pot resources for beginners.
After the chicken has cooked, we will remove the chicken to shred. While the chicken is being shredded, turn the Instant Pot onto saute. Simmer to reduce the liquid into a thicker, more flavorful sauce.
Add the chicken back in to the thickened sauce and stir to coat.
Slow Cooker Method
To make the chicken in your slow cooker, simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 3-5 hours or until the chicken is cooked through, reads at least 165° on an instant read thermometer and shreds easily.
Remove the chicken from the slow cooker too shred. Transfer the leftover liquid to a sauce pan and simmer over medium high heat until the liquid reduces to a thicker sauce.
Add the chicken back into the thickened sauce and stir to coat.
How Do You Serve Honey Lime Chicken?
You can pour a good scoop of this verde chicken over the top of some freshly cooked white rice for a nice comfort meal. You can even place it in some warmed flour or corn tortillas depending on your preference. Serving with a side of rice and beans, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, or any other topping you love!
Can I Freeze Leftover Honey Lime Chicken?
Yes! If you find yourself with leftover meat, just bag it up and place it in the freezer. To reheat all you have to do is thaw the bag for a few hours and place the mixture in a saucepot on med/low until it’s completely defrosted and warmed through. Serve as normal.
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Honey Lime Chicken Tacos
- 1.5 lbs chicken tenderloins
- 1/4 cup lime juice approx 2 limes
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup salsa verde mild
- 1/2 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Whisk together the lime juice, honey and seasonings until well combined.
- Place your chicken in the bottom of either your Instant Pot or slow cooker.
- Pour the honey lime mixture and salsa verde on top of the chicken.
- For the Instant Pot cook on high pressure for 3 minutes with a 6 minute natural pressure release (6 minutes high pressure with a 6 minute natural pressure release if using frozen chicken tenderloins.). For the slow cooker cook on 3-4 hours on high, 4-6 hours on low.
- Remove the cooked chicken and saute the liquid to reduce it to a thicker consistency. This can be done with the saute button on the Instant Pot or by transferring the liquid from the slow cooker into a sauce pan and simmering on the stovetop.
- Simmer until the liquid coats the back of a spoon and doesn't immediately slip off like water, it should be slightly thicker than that.
- While the sauce is simmering, shred your chicken. Once the sauce has thickened, return the chicken to the sauce and stir to combine. You should have just enough sauce to coat and flavor the chicken.
- Serve in tortillas with rice, cheese, beans, pico, guac etc or on top of nachos.
This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! I haven’t been able to get chicken tenderloins at the store the last few times I went. Is there a way to do it with frozen chicken breast?
Karli Bitner says
Hi Rachelle- the problem with chicken breasts is that they vary in size so much so it is hard to give a hard number as a cooking time. I would suggest thawing the chicken breasts and then cutting them into strips and then cooking for the recommended time for the tenders. I hope this helps!
Rachelle Attebery says
That does help, thank you!
Christeen smith says
This is an amazing recipe. I just made this and doubled it and I am in love. Thank you for all you do Karli. Your recipes are amazing and a lifesaver
Karli Bitner says
Hi Christeen! Thank you so much for the kind words and taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂 I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe. I hope you are staying well!
Linda Flood says
I made this for dinner last night and it was awesome! Now I’m going to do that annoying thing where I talk about what I changed. I used lemon juice as I didn’t have any lime, worked fine. I didn’t have quite 1.5 pounds of tenders and because of that it was a little saucy so the 1.5 pounds will be perfect next time. I used a cornstarch slurry to thicken as apparently I am too impatient to wait for a reduction. This was soooo good! Spicy with the honey adding some sweet tones! I can’t wait to make it again! Thanks for the recipe, your cooking times were spot on. It was a delicious fast meal!
Dan Bitner says
Thanks for the comment Linda, I’m glad that you were able make it your own and that it worked out well.
Two dinners-one prep! I served this on the first night on white corn tortillas fried with the smallest bit of avocado oil, then added cojita cheese, sliced avocados and cilantro – it tasted like restaurant quality street tacos! Also, I doubled the recipe and we used it again the second night to make nachos. We added black beans and tomatoes to the chicken and it was delicious. Two for one!