Paprika Lime Chicken

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This zesty Paprika Lime Chicken couldn't be easier to make and is packed with flavor from garlic, paprika, and fresh limes. Serve it with rice, in tacos, or over a salad for an easy, delicious meal you will make again and again.

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This spicy paprika chicken breast comes out perfectly crispy. With a delicious lime marinade, it's the best way to cook chicken. It's also really healthy and good for you too!

There is something just so perfect about lime and paprika. It's both bright and zesty and slightly spicy. Instead of deep-frying the chicken (like some people do in other paprika chicken recipes), mine is grilled or broiled.

After it is marinated and then quickly cooked on the grill or stovetop, you have chicken that you can either place in tortillas or eat by itself as the main course.

Keep reading, and I'll tell you so much more about this paprika chicken recipe. You'll discover not only how to cook it but how to use it in your meal prep and what other types of food taste delicious with it too. If you love paprika, don't miss this Slow Cooker Red Pepper Paprika Chicken and Roasted Paprika Butternut Squash Bowl.

Paprika chicken breast with garlic and lime juice served with white rice, green onions, and mango chutney.

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

The only ingredients in this recipe are chicken breast and 4 simple spices. That really is it! Here is a bit more information about what I used, along with any substitutions you can make.

  • Chicken Breast: Use as much chicken as you need to feed everyone. A good rule to follow is about 1/2 a pound of meat per person.
  • Paprika: I used a good bit of this spice in this recipe. If you want your chicken to taste even spicier, use more paprika in it. This recipe works with both sweet and smoked paprika, but I prefer the sweeter paprika. 
  • Garlic Powder: Instead of garlic powder, you can use garlic salt or even fresh minced garlic. If you use garlic salt, don't use additional salt.
  • Kosher Salt: You don't have to use the full amount, especially if you used garlic salt.
  • Pepper: You only need a small pinch of black pepper. If you want to kick up the heat a little more, add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  • Lime juice: This really brings everything together. Fresh lime juice is best and lemon can also work if you don’t have limes.
  • Olive Oil: The oil is what you will use to grill or pan fry the chicken. Use either coconut oil or avocado oil as a substitute.

Note: For a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make this paprika chicken, take a look at the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

What To Serve With Paprika Chicken Breast

This is one of those chicken dishes that work in so many ways and also makes delicious leftovers. Serve it with some steamed white rice or cilantro lime cauliflower rice. It is also great as a grain bowl with chopped fresh veggies.

Another option is serving it with some roasted potatoes or vegetables. These honey roasted sweet potatoes are a great way to balance the spice and I love serving paprika chicken with crispy roasted green beans or cauliflower.

You could also just serve this chicken in a tortilla and eat it like a taco - because doesn't everything taste better as a taco? On the side, serve some quick refried beans or this creamy lime coleslaw. Then, you'll have a full meal that is big on taste!

Recipe Tips And Ideas

Follow these tips to make sure that this chicken turns out crispy and spicy every single time!

  • Trim the fat from the chicken. This will make it easier to eat, so you aren't accidentally munching on fat or tendons.
  • Pound the chicken, so they are all the same thickness to have them cook more evenly. Either use a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
  • Rub the spice mixture into the chicken so that it is completely covered in the spices.

Chicken breast marinated with paprika, lime juice, and garlic and then cooked until browned in a bowl with rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions I frequently get asked about by some readers...

What's the difference between sweet and smoked paprika? 

There are actually three different types of paprika and each will give you a very different flavor when used in dishes.

  • Regular or sweet paprika: When something is labeled paprika, it is almost always sweet paprika. Sweet paprika is made from sweet peppers and doesn't have any spice or heat. 
  • Hot paprika: Hot paprika, as the name implies, is spicy. It is made from ground chile peppers with a similar heat level to Aleppo peppers. This is also sometimes called Hungarian paprika.
  • Smoked paprika: This is the Spanish version of paprika, or pimenton. It is generally made from peppers that are smoked over oak. It normally slightly sweet and very smoky. 

Is this the same thing as paprikash?

This recipe is inspired by paprikash, but it is not the same exact recipe. Paprikash is a recipe from Hungary and usually has a thick and creamy sauce. My recipe uses lots of the same spices (especially paprika), but the chicken isn't in a creamy sauce.

Can you make this recipe with chicken thighs?

Yes, you can make this recipe with chicken thighs. In fact, you can make this recipe with any type of bone-in or boneless, skinless chicken that you want. If you make it with bone-in chicken, the chicken will be juicier and less prone to drying out.

No matter which type of chicken you use, keep an eye on the cooking temperature. Thicker cuts of meat will take longer to cook completely. The best way to tell if your chicken is completely cooked is to look at the cooking temperature.

What is the safe cooking temperature of chicken breast?

The safe cooking temperature for all types of poultry - no matter which cut you used - is 165 ºF. Use an instant-read food thermometer by sticking it into the thickest part of your chicken.

How do you make paprika chicken breast in the air fryer?

You can definitely make this paprika chicken breast recipe in the air fryer.

Preheat the air fryer to 390°F. Then, place the spice-covered chicken breasts in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Bake it for about 9 minutes. Then, flip the chicken over and bake for another 9 minutes.

How long you cook the chicken in the air fryer depends on how thick your chicken breast is. That's why I always suggest you follow the safe cooking temperature more than just my suggested cooking times.

Crispy paprika lime chicken breast with sliced green onions on a plate with fresh limes and rice.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

The Recipe
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Paprika Lime Chicken

PREP TIME: 1 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 1 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 1.33 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1.5 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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Trim the chicken and then gently pound the chicken breasts so they are of uniform thickness. For larger breasts, you will want to slice horizontally through the breasts to create a thinner, cutlet-style piece of chicken.

Chicken breasts being cut in half into cutlets.

Mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil to create a paste/rub. Brush it on each side of the chicken.

Chicken breast marinating in a paprika lime rub.

Option 1: Preheat a grill or grill pan oven medium high heat and grill for about 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through. Option 2: Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil it (at least 6 inches away from heat) for 4-6 minutes. When you see it browning and a crust forming, flip the chicken and cook another 4-6 minutes until cooked through but not dry. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Paprika lime chicken cooking on a grill pan.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 207
Calories from Fat 46
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 74mg
Sodium 351mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 33g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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