Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Avocado. Love it or hate it?

It feels like avocado is super trendy right now – it seems that every recipe I come across has incorporated it in some way. It’s kind of like throwing a fried egg on top of everything, you just can’t help yourself.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

As for me, I’ve been a little slow to come around on avocado. It’s mostly a textural thing, I can’t really explain it, but it just didn’t sit well with me. I want to say it was almost too buttery, but I don’t know if that makes sense. Anyway, the only way I’d eat avocado was if it was blended up and incorporated in a creamy sauce or spread. Prepared like that, I seriously couldn’t get enough!

This summer I’ve been trying to incorporate more avocado in my diet – they’re so full of nutrients and those good healthy fats, it’s hard to ignore. There have definitely been some misses, but also a few major hits. One of the biggest has been this cilantro-lime chicken with avocado salsa.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

This is a super quick and easy meal idea, perfect for a busy weeknight! The chicken is marinated in a combination of lime juice, olive oil and cilantro – I marinated mine for 20 minutes, but the original recipe only called for 3 minutes, so no worries if you’re in a rush. The chicken is grilled and then topped with a tomato-avocado salsa. It almost seems too simple, but the result is big on flavor and healthy as well! My favorite kind of summer meal for sure, and one step closer to fully jumping on the avocado bandwagon :)

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
adapted from Cooking Light, April 2009

Chicken
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz each)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Salsa
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 jalapeno, minced (seeds and ribs removed)
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes

Whisk together the cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil in a bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for 10 minutes on the first side, then flip and marinate for an additional 10 minutes on the second side.

Meanwhile, set a grill pan over medium high heat (you could also cook the chicken outside on your grill if you’d rather). Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with the salt. Place the chicken on the grill pan and cook for about 6 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160-165 F. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

While the chicken rests, make the salsa: Mix the tomato, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Add the avocado and gently mix to combine. Spoon the salsa over the chicken to serve.