Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentil Rice Bowls Recipe - Skillful Cook
icon-arrowicon-chevron-whiteicon-chevronicon-commenticon-facebookicon-hearticon-instagramicon-instant-poticon-listicon-lockicon-meal-prepicon-nexticon-pinteresticon-popularicon-quoteicon-searchicon-staricon-sugar-freeicon-tiktokicon-twittericon-veganicon-videomenu-closemenu-open
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentil Rice Bowls

84 reviews / 4.8 average

15 Minute Meal Prep Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentils! The BEST easy protein powerhouse meal prep. Just 15 mins of prep and totally hands-off cooking!

I'm baaaaack! with more meal prep!

This time it's got shredded chicken, lentils, and a dangerous amount of kicky green flavor: jalapenos, green onions, cilantro, limes. The top is begging for a little cotija cheese crumble - and by a little I mean a REAL GOOD CHUNK - and the little extra lime juice shower just before eating is not negotiable. Serve it up with brown rice (look at you, healthy!) and it is a protein powerhouse lunch.

As with all 15 Minute Meal Prep recipes in this series, things are very straightforward and simple.

  • Chicken
  • Lentils
  • Salsa verde
  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Jalapeno
  • Garlic
  • ...and so on and so forth.
Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentils.

The only real thing you need to do to prep this recipe is chop the veggies, and then pop it all into the slow cooker or Instant Pot and let the magic happen.

It makes for happy leftovers (which is kind of the whole idea with meal prep, right?) and if you get sick of eating it with rice (or cauli rice for our low-carbers), it can be repurposed in a variety of ways.

Think: tacos, quesadillas, nachos, soups, burritos, and on and on.

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentils in meal prep containers.

That's it. That's all there is to it. Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentils for the happy desk lunch win!

15 Minute Meal Prep is the gift that keeps on giving.

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentils in a bowl.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentil Rice Bowls:

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
White rice and lentils with shredded chicken, fresh cilantro and quartered lime slices.

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentil Rice Bowls


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken and Lentil Bowls! The BEST easy protein powerhouse meal prep. Just 15 mins of prep and totally hands-off cooking!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 3 cups salsa verde
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced (ribs and seeds removed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1-2 limes

Instructions

  1. Add everything to the Instant Pot except the lime juice.
  2. Cook for 30 minutes on Soup setting. Quick release the steam. Stir it all up and add more salsa verde as desired.
  3. Serve with rice and a squeeze of lime!

Equipment

Notes

Note: Expect about 10-15 mins for the Instant Pot to come to pressure before the cook time starts.

Slow Cooker: Cook for 8 hours on low. The chicken probably only needs 4 hours so add it halfway if you want to be really on top of it and keep your chicken from drying out.

Freezer Meal Version

  1. Freeze Together:
    2 cups dried lentils
    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
    3 cups salsa verde
    1/2 small onion, chopped
    3 green onions, chopped
    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 jalapeños, diced (ribs and seeds removed)
    1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
    3 cups chicken broth (can add at cook time)
  2. Instant Pot Instructions: High pressure 25 mins + 10 mins natural release
  3. Slow Cooker Instructions: High setting 6 hours (thaw first)
  4. Final Step: Serve with rice and cilantro.
  5. Check out our full freezer meal posts with all recipes and instructions here!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Meal Prep
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired

Keywords: chicken lentil bowls, lentil rice bowls, rice bowls

Note: nutrition label does not include brown rice or cotija cheese.

A banner advertising 15 Minute Meal Prep.

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our flavor-packed jalapeño recipes page. Check it out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

268 Comments

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m going to do empty stomach cardio this morning “fasted treadmill cardio,” and watching what I eat. I tasted Thai Coconue Chicken yesterday with lime rice and it was out of sight. I never thought of Cilantro Lime Chicken but I might have to think twice about that in the future “if I remember,” and give this amazing looking recipe a try. Thanks for keeping me inspired to get back on track and stay accountable in “Eating RIGHT.” 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Gets an A++ from me! So so yummy!
      I did add a 1-1/2 tsp of cumin in with the other ingredients.
      Then topped mine with avocados, sour cream and my favorite hot sauce! Will be making again.

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I have either lentils in a can( I see this recipe calls for dried lentils) or green and yellow split peas? Would the peas be okay? I read they take longer to cook. Or should I add in the lentils in the can at the end when the chicken is finished? Thanks

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I believe that when yellow split peas are cooked down, they take on a mushy texture (think split pea soup). So, texture-wise, the cooked lentils may be a better option for this dish!

    3. Skillful Cook Logo

      Looks delicious, so you have a recipe
      For the salsa verde or do you purchase pre-made? If so, what brand do you use?

    4. Skillful Cook Logo

      This recipe is amazing. So easy and flavorful. Great by itself or on rice. We serve with avocado and extra lime. Even my 2 year old loves it.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    What kind of lentils do you recommend? I currently have black lentils and would love to use these up!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Can red lentils be used for this recipe? Does the chicken remain moist ? 20 min seems like a long time to cook it.

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Hi Angelika! We wouldn’t recommend using red lentils because they tend to break down easily when cooked. Yes, the chicken remains moist.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looks great! If I wanted to cut this in half for only 4 servings, do you think I would use the same times indicated for instantpot cooking?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Hi! Love this recipe! If I used other dry beans would I follow the same cooking instructions? Thanks!!

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Great question, Claudia! We haven’t tested this recipe using other dry beans, so we’re not entirely sure. I’d cook according to the instructions, check the beans, and add on more time if needed. My best guess is that it’ll need a longer cook time, especially if using thicker beans.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      This was delicious and made lots! Added some feta and diced tomatoes on top afterwards.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is the first meal I’ve made with my Instant Pot and it’s wonderful comfort food…nourishing, delicious and healthy. Thank you!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    How about if I’m doubling the recipe…how much longer in the IP, would you think?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I didn’t double the recipe but I did use 2 lb of chicken breast instead of 1 lb. I kept the cooking time the same and it was delicious! I’ll make it again!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      Did you end up doubling it? I’m going to try tomorrow and would appreciate your tips!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Would love to convert this to a freezer meal for maternity leave. Any idea how long it would take in the instant pot from frozen?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        We haven’t tested this out from frozen yet, so it’s hard for us to say how it’ll turn out. We’d suggest trying for about 30 minutes in the Instant Pot on high pressure. Let us know how this goes for you! 🙂

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          I took your advice and cooked the frozen chicken (and other ingredients) on high pressure for 30 mins. in the Instant Pot and it was PERFECT. Thanks 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just had to double back after accomplishing empty stomach morning cardio today and say that my eating habits have significantly improved. I look at your blogs about all this delicious and healthy food and I’m inspired. I did have sliced fried Eggplant today and ate 2-3 large Avocados. Sliced them open in 1/2 and took a spoon and munched away. I’m feeling so good that I’m losing weight now and starting off 2019 on the RIGHT foot. I’m back on track with my workout and goals! 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Is there a way to make this vegan? Maybe with jackfruit and veggie stock?

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay,

    This recipe looks delicious and easy, so I’m definitely going to give it a try. However, I also love vegetarian recipes. Is there going to be a 15-minute meal prep veggie version?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        i loved this as written, but also would love to know what amount of veggie stock and salsa you’d recommend for a vegan version!

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Great question! We haven’t tested a vegan version of this recipe, but I’d try reducing the broth and salsa each by 1/2 cup. If you give it a try, we’d love to hear back!

          1. Skillful Cook Logo

            I used the same amount of salsa/stock, omitted the chicken. I added cauliflower and diced potatoes and it was SO GOOD!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi! Wonderful recipe! I’m new to your site and just wondering, can I use my stovetop pressure cooker for this? For how long would you leave it cooking if so?
    Thanks a lot, I’m so excited!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi! This recipe looks amazing! I see in a picture what looks like a lot of lime juice yet there is none in the recipe besides a squeeze on top. Do you add any lime to the instant pot?
    Thanks! Can’t wait to make it this week!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Yikes, is there any way to make this clearer on the recipe? The instructions say to add everything to the instant pot, so I did, including the lime juice, and it turned out waaaay too limey. Kinda ruined it for me.

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Sorry about that, Leah! We will definitely get the recipe updated!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    HI! Recipe seems super delish, I cant get the *salsa verde* where I live, is there a récipe for that?

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just got my Instant Pot and this was the second recipe I made. I used a sprouted lentil trio that was delicious. It is amazing. I looked forward to lunch all morning!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    What size containers do you use to portion it out? And what brand? I’ve been looking for something just like that! Thanks!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Hi there! I was wondering if the chicken can already be thawed or does it need to be frozen!?

        Thank you!!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    This was awesome. I didn’t even need or want rice, personally. Will put in my rotation. Thanks!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks so delicious! I’m looking to shake up my lunch routine with some WW-friendly recipes and this one looks like it may even be zero points (without the rice)!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ll be using my crock pot to make this. Do you add the chicken to the crockpot and then shred it after it’s cooked or cut it into smaller pieces before you add it to the crockpot?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Curious- can this be converted to a slow cooker recipie? I love the instant pot, but would love to leave this on while at work! Thanks!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Hi Lisa! We haven’t tried, but we think the recipe will work out just fine in the slow cooker. If you give it a try, we’d love to hear back!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    You may want to specify mild salsa verde, I made it last night with only 1 jalapeno and a jar of unlabeled salsa verde…wow, it was hot, too hot for my husband to eat. Also, it was kinda mushy, I used red/orange lentils and only 2 cups of salsa. What is the final texture like?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I also used red lentils, as I’ve never really made lentils before and mine also turned out mushy! There were no lentils to be seen in the end.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I have read before that green or brown lentils retain their shape when cooked but red lentils disintegrate or as you described they turn to mush.

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this today and ate it with a baked sweet potato and pickled onions. It was excellent and is going into the rotation.

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    I would’ve never thought of combining lentils and salsa but it works! I made this for lunch this week and then froze the rest. Super delicious as always!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Made this as our first recipe in 2021 and LOVED IT. Quick and easy to make and tasted delicious while being lower in calories. Thanks!!

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks delicious! but I don’t own an instant pot. how would I make it work on the stovetop?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      This dish was good. I was able to cook it on a stove top for about 1.5 hrs and simmered everything. The chicken came out very tender.