Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice


Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice is light, healthy, and full of fresh flavors 


I don’t want to alarm you, but the fact that we’re entering the last week in June today means that the 4th of July is now less than 10 days away! Eek/wee!

Obviously I’m freaking out that the summer feels 1/3 over, but I can’t help but do a little happy dance at the same time. Not only is the 4th of July one of my all-time favorite holidays because of all the sparklers, black snake tablets, and firework displays you can handle, but also because it’s one of the biggest and best grilling days of the entire year.

That said, this week I thought I’d share some new grilling and BBQ recipes that are perfect for the 4th, or any sunny summer day for that matter, starting with an ultra juicy, flavor-packed grilled chicken dish, Key West Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa & Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice. (Ignore the hideous pink drink for now – I’ll explain in a bit…)


Lean chicken breasts are marinated in a Key West-inspired honey-soy-lime mixture, then grilled and served on a bed of low-carb cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, with a heaping spoonful of fresh mango salsa on top.

This is, without a doubt, my favorite grilled chicken dish of the summer! The honey in the marinade caramelizes on the grill, and the lime juice and soy sauce in the marinade keep the chicken so flavorful and tender.


The taste also takes me back to the spring break trips to Key West that my friends and I took a couple times in college.

Ahh Key West – where limes, leisure, and jean skirts run free. ;)

Start the Key West Grilled Chicken by marinating 4 chicken breasts in an awesome combo of sweet, salty, savory, and spicy ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together gluten-free tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce,) and vegetable oil.

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Followed by honey and fresh lime juice.

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Finish the marinade with a couple crushed garlic cloves and half a jalapeno.

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Place the chicken breasts in a ziplock bag, pour the marinade on top, then squish everything around so all the chicken gets covered.

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Now let the chicken hang in the fridge for at least 1 hour, and up to 8 hours. I only marinated mine for an hour and it came out perfect! Now, while the chicken’s doin’ it’s thang in the fridge, go ahead and mix up a quick, tropical-tasting Mango Salsa to drizzle on top of the grilled chicken.


This salsa is seriously fantastic you guys, and really easy too. Just combine fresh mango with jalapeno, green onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, and the lime juice. You can make this a day ahead and let it hang out in the fridge. Just don’t tell anyone it’s in there, or it won’t make it through the night! (Read: it’s so good I cough ate all the leftovers with a spoon cough.)

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Finally, prep the Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice that will go underneath the grilled chicken.


This recipe is based on the cauliflower “rice” I made for my Maple Grilled Salmon with Skinny Rice a couple months ago. I have literally thought about the rice fake out dish that’s low in carbs, but high in taste every week since then, and thought this would be the perfect excuse to make it again.

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Slap the grating blade onto your food processor and process 1 head of raw cauliflower. If you don’t have a food processor, use a box or flat grater.


Saute the fresh cauliflower rice in vegetable oil, seasoning with salt, until it softens and starts to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.


Turn off the heat, then add in fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro.


Meanwhile, grill the marinated chicken over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, basting with the leftover marinade once or twice.


Plate the cooked cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, then top with a grilled chicken breast and hefty scoop of fresh, mango salsa!


Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice

Serves 4


Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice is light, healthy, and full of fresh flavors 


  • For the Key West Grilled Chicken:
    • 1/4 cup gluten-free tamaro or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce)
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
    • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (1-2 limes worth)
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded
    • 4 chicken breasts
    • For the Mango Salsa:
      • 1 mango, chopped
      • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded & minced
      • 2 green onions, sliced
      • 1 garlic clove, minced
      • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
      • juice of 1 lime
      • salt & pepper, to taste
    • For the Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice:
      • 6 cups shredded cauliflower (about 1 head)
      • 4 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
      • salt
      • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
      • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


    1. For the chicken: Whisk together tamari or soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, lime juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Place chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and pour mixture on top. Add jalapeno, squish to coat chicken in marinade, then refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 8 hours. Grill chicken over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, basting with the leftover marinade a few times as it grills.
    2. For the mango salsa: Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    3. For the cilantro-lime cauliflower rice: Shred cauliflower using the shredding blade on a food processor, or by hand with a flat or box grater. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, season with salt, then saute until soft and just starting to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, then add 1 Tablespoon lime juice and cilantro. Taste and add more lime juice if desired.


    • To make all three components of this recipe you'll need 1 bunch cilantro, 1 jalapeno, and 4 limes.
    Chicken adapted from

    This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


    Don’t be scared by the length of the ingredient list here, people! Cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice are used in all three components, so you really only need 1 bunch of cilantro, for example, to make the entire recipe.


    Plus I really don’t want you to miss out on this dish! The chicken stays so moist, and the sweet-heat of the honey and jalapeno is just fantastic.


    I just can’t get over that cauliflower “rice” either. It’s low in calories and fat, plus Ben adores it too, which is always a win.


    Oh right – maybe you were wondering what the cotton candy-esque beverage is that’s accompanying my Key West Grilled Chicken? Why, it’s a Cherry Pomegranate (Kinda) Margarita!


    It’s just 1 shot tequila mixed with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon cherry pomegranate Trader Joe’s drink mix, and the juice of 1/2 a lime, topped with club soda.

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    It’s kind of margarita-ish, what with the tequila and lime juice, but about 4,000% lower in calories. Plus I felt it was only appropriate to make since you can’t talk Key West without talkin’ margaritas!


    Don’t let me find out that you didn’t try this, mmkay?! ;)


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    1. What a beautiful dinner! That drink looks fabulous too! Love the color!

    2. Kara 06.25.2012

      Yum! This is definitely being made at our house next week :)

    3. cauliflower rice?!!?!?! I def need a food processor now!! (just don’t tell my BF I can use a box grater… shhh!)

    4. Another winner! Looks amzing!

    5. Lindsey 06.25.2012

      Yum! This exact menu will have to show up this week at my house! :)

    6. Katie 06.25.2012

      yum that looks good!! i love the cauliflower rice! where do you do your photo editing at?

    7. I’m always looking for new, delicious marinades for chicken. Especially summer ones like this – looks amazing!

    8. Lauren 06.25.2012

      I love this rice trick but to be honest, I am ashamed to admit I have no idea how to use that bale on my food processor. LoL. Nor have I ever took the time to teach myself. I should change that because I think I need to make this rice stat!

    9. This looks right up my alley! I eat a lot of chicken so I’m always looking for different ways to make it. And I’m all about a tropical marinade. Can’t wait to try it!

    10. Sana 06.25.2012

      Your pictures look so lovely :)

    11. I love that idea for cauliflower rice! I need to try it. That cherry pomegranate margarita is looking pretty good right now too…

    12. Loving the cauliflower rice idea!

    13. Lori 06.26.2012

      Just wanted to let you know I made the spicy black bean burgers tonight and they were delicious! I even made homemade guacamole for the first time and spread it on top! Now I need to look through your recipes to use the leftover chiles :)

    14. Kerry 06.26.2012

      I buy those drink mixes all the time! What a great use for them! Any tips for making cilantro last? It always seems to go bad before I can use it all. : (

    15. Lauren T 06.26.2012

      I love all the summer-y recipes you come up with! I just made the BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad you had on your blog a couple weeks ago, and I loved it! I didn’t have to eat much of it to feel very satisfied, and it was my first time trying quinoa, which I am now in love with! Thanks so much for sharing all your tasty and season-inspired recipes :)

    16. Jessica 06.26.2012

      That drink looks fabulous! And while I haven’t made your black bean burger version yet – I did buy the box ones from Costco and am going to try it for lunch with some guac! Yum (I hope)!

    17. shelley 06.26.2012

      this looks so yummy!!
      question – do you baste the chicken with leftover marinade that the chicken had been sitting in or do you set some aside for basting?

    18. Cynthia 06.26.2012

      Yum! Looks amazing,this is definitely being made at our house next week :) Definitely making the drink tonight!!

    19. Sheena Green 06.26.2012

      Beautiful meal! I can’t wait to make this!!!

    20. Kristin Kinser 06.26.2012

      This looks fabulous! I am so glad that I took the time to read your whole post…my initial reaction (when I saw the first picture) was “This looks so good, but I am eating low carb, so I will just skip the rice” So, to find out a few paragraphs later that it wasn’t rice at all! Can’t wait to try this! I am also looking forward to finding that drink mix at TJ’s. Thanks for sharing!

    21. Kelly J 06.26.2012

      Just popped this in the refrigerator to marinate until supper. I’m so excited to taste it! I had all the ingredients on hand except for the mangoes. So, I ran to the store to pick them up and thought I’d check for a cherry-pomegranate mix as well (we don’t have Trader Joe’s in the N. Liberty area). I didn’t find any, but I was super excited to find Crystal LIght Mojito & Margarita mixes. I’m going to substitute the Margarita one for the drink tonight. Thanks for the always-amazing recipes and ideas!

    22. Kimberly 06.26.2012

      The food you make always looks so yummy and healthy! Thank you!

    23. I’m seriously about to go buy some cauliflower, jalapeno, and club soda (being the only ingredients not already in my cupboard) so I can make this entire meal. My fiancee will LOVE it… and I’ve been trying desperately to figure out something other than margaritas (or shots) I can do with my bottle of tequila, so thanks for that :D

    24. I’ve never even heard of cauliflower rice! But I just bought a cauliflower at the store and now I know what I’ll be doing with it! Thanks:)

      I’ll have to let you know how it goes!:)

    25. Shannon 06.27.2012

      Ever since you made the cauliflower rice for the salmon, I’ve been obsessed with it. I make it all the time (seriously, 3 times a week!) I’ve been trying a bunch of different seasonings and so far my favorite is Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. Yum!

    26. Carie 07.02.2012

      This looks so good. I am definitely going to try it out this week! How ripe was your mango? I always feel like I don’t wait for them to ripen enough, then they don’t taste as good.

    27. […] Low Carb BBQ Chicken and Cauliflower “Rice” […]

    28. Scott 07.08.2012

      I will try to show my drink on my blog but it doesn’t contain any alcohol, though I like the color. Your pink drink is beautiful and I’d definitely try it. I love Trader Joe’s, ain’t gonna marry it but you catch my drift, cos they have so many food options there. I found your blog because I thought it had something to do with Key West and my friend went there, so I’m trying to find out about it.

    29. Rachel 07.08.2012

      I made this last week, and it was a huge hit! Kiddos and husbands alike LOVED it. My husband said that I should add this to “the rotation”! Thanks – it was really yummy – probably my favorite chicken recipe to date!

    30. Taryn 07.08.2012

      Made this for dinner tonight! I will be making this again, especially the cauliflower rice- so yummy and low cal/low carb! The mango salsa made the dish. I might try it with pineapple next time… leftovers for lunch tomorrow, I can’t wait!

    31. […] < kari.loraine Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice I don’t want to alarm you, but the fact that we’re entering the last week in June today means […]

    32. Jessica 07.11.2012

      Just made this last and my boyfriend and I LOVED it! There is so much flavor in the marinade, it really made the chicken taste wonderful. The mango salsa was also a great addition and a perfect summer meal. Thank you so much for all of your great recipes, we cook something of yours at least once a week but usually more! Thank you so much!

    33. Shara Aycock 07.16.2012

      So so good! Was hoping for leftovers, but the dish was scraped clean!

    34. Lucy Goose 07.20.2012

      What are the nutritional facts for this meal? Carbs, calories, protein… etc.

    35. […] West Grilled Chicken slightly adapted from IGE – her recipe also featured a mango salsa which isn’t my thing, but does look […]

    36. […] sandwich is inspired by the Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice I made a few months ago, but I think I like it even better on a squishy, toasted bun. So […]

    37. […] kept the bacon… )I first fell in love with grated cauliflower a few months ago when I made Key West Grilled Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower “Rice”, where I used grated cauliflower as a low-carb rice alternative. Guess what I found when I sauteed […]

    38. evening dresses 10.26.2012

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    39. […] looking over my recipe photos tonight trying to decide what I wanted to post. I found the photo of Key West Grilled Chicken and although it is more of a summer recipe, it is so darn good I had to share this with you!! I […]

    40. A Touch of Love 12.05.2012

      I am making this tonight for my sister and her boyfriend for their anniversary (I’m the chef/waiter). He always wanted to go to Key West so she wants to surprise him with a themed full course dinner. I did a lot of the preparations last night (chicken marinating, shredding the cauliflower with a flat grater & making the salsa so the flavors can marry together). The chicken marinade itself smells soooo delish! I don’t have an outside grill so I’m going to try and do what I can with my handy dandy George Foreman.

      I’m serving this with bacon wrapped shrimp and also Cinnamon Chips and fruit dip as their appetizer. Your Key Lime Chicken Recipe for an entree, Key Lime Pie for Dessert and she just insists on drinking Jamaican Me Happy Wine Coolers as a beverage lol… So Im going to pour it in a wine glass and throw a few thin slices of lime/lemon.

      Anywho, just wanted to say thanks for such a great idea! xoxo

      • A Touch of Love 12.06.2012

        Made this last night and it was wonderful! I made extra marinade sauce and used it this morning to drizzle over my leftover chicken mango salsa for a sandwich for lunch today! Yum!!! Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!

    41. Thanks for sharing! Looks yummy. I will try it soon!

    42. […] Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice adapted from Iowa Girl Eats […]

    43. Jennifer 06.29.2013

      I saw this on a 4th of July roundup and just had to pin it. I hope you’ll share your best post of the week on my Friday Flash Blog Linky Party going on ALL weekend at The Jenny Evolution.


    44. ka taylor 09.14.2013

      Thanks for this recipe- your instructions and pictures make it very inviting and approachable. I have major kitchen-stage fright and am having family & friends tonight for dinner. This will be a success!

    45. Jessica 02.07.2014

      You should stop using vegetable and canola oil. Use cold pressed olive oil or coconut oil. Goggle “How it’s made Canola Oil” and see that the bleaching and refining process is not healthy at all.

    46. […] recipe is from Iowa Girl Eats. I adapted a few things here and there, but it is still the same delicious […]

    47. […] Recipe: […]

    48. […] party with some friends. Grilled citrus chicken and mango pepper salsa (slightly adapted) from Iowa Girl Eats was the perfect […]

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