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Main Dish Recipe: Grilled Cheese-Crusted Chili Chicken

All right, we’re telling you ahead of time, this meal has some serious kick to it, and we mean that in the best way possible! While it is chili crusted, this dish isn’t, nor does it have to be, super spicy. If you want to amp up the heat, add another chili or more chili powder; alternatively, if you want less spice, omit the chili and stick to the other flavors. Regardless, this dish has a ton going on, but it all blends together to form a really bold, tasty and unique flavor!

Inspired by a variety of cuisines, we let the chili and ginger really guide the dish, and everything else fell into place after that. This makes a great meal in the middle of the week when you want to spice” things up a little, or an excellent weekend dinner when you want to indulge in something truly delicious without giving up your whole evening putting it together. We can’t get enough of this and we think you’ll feel the same–even the younger diners will love it!

Grilled Cheese-Crusted Chili Chicken

Serves 6


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 (8 oz.) cans coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 (1/2-inch) pieces fresh ginger, grated or thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • bok choy, optional
  • rice, optional


  1. Rinse off chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and flatten out with a meat mallet.
  2. Repeat with remaining breasts. (Or cut each breast in half horizontally.)
  3. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper, place in a bowl and cover with coconut milk.
  4. Refrigerate and let sit at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 F and position rack in upper half/upper third of oven.
  6. Combine cheese, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss together.
  7. Heat butter over medium-high heat and sauté minced shallot and chili pepper until softened and tender.
  8. Pour in 1/2 of lime juice, garlic and freshly grated ginger. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  9. Remove chicken from coconut milk, dripping off any excess, and press both sides firmly into the cheese and seasoning mixture.
  10. Transfer to a baking dish and press 1-2 tablespoons of chili shallots onto the top side of chicken breast.
  11. Repeat with remaining chicken and pour remaining lime juice over the top.
  12. Once all chicken has been transferred to baking dish(es), place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
    Note: if top is browning too quickly, cover for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  13. Remove and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving with rice and/or bok choy.

Recipe adapted from Oprah

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