Grilled Lime-Chicken with Black Bean Sauce and Squash

Back in 2009 in my search for tasty low carb meals, I came across this dish from Simply Recipes, and it is simply delicious!  Fast forward to 2014 and its time to update and republish this recipe. This is a perfect Phase 1 South Beach recipe.  Add roasted butternut squash for a delicious and colorful Phase 2 South Beach recipe. I changed the original cooking method using my cast iron grill pan instead of the oven or outdoor grill. I wanted to make everything on the stove top (although now that we actually bought a gas grill last summer I can try the original recipe).  The marinating makes the chicken nice and tender.  The recipe calls for simmering the beans for 1 1/2 hours and "blending" the beans.  I did think that adding a quart of plain water to the beans was a bit odd at first.  Why not chicken broth?  However, I stuck to the recipe.  I think with the bay leaves and cilantro stems steeping together in the beans you don't really need anything else.   If for some reason you don't like those spices (mom, I'm talking to you) you will probably need to use the chicken broth.  To the folks, like my mom, who don't really like those spices, you should know I hardly tasted them. It is not overpowering AT ALL.  So try it, you just might like it!

Finally, I thought about cutting the recipe in half since it is just my husband and I, but then I decided that the leftover chicken might be nice for a salad.  (I forgot about the leftover bean sauce).  So, a couple of days later I made quesadillas with the leftovers using low carb flour tortillas, and adding cheese to thinly sliced chicken and bean sauce.  I grilled them in a regular frying pan with a little olive oil.  Yum!  Both dinners were fantastic. 

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Grilled Lime Chicken with Black Bean Sauce and Squash

Juice of 4 - 5 limes (I used 4)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup, or more to taste, chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
4 chicken breast halves, skinless
1 red onion, halved then sliced in 1/4 inch strips (I accidently omitted) 

(For the sauce)
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 quart of water
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
Stems from the afore mentioned bunch of cilantro, chopped into 1/4" bits
Salt and pepper

(For the squash - optional)
butternut squash
olive oil

1)  Combine chicken, lime juice, olive oil cilantro leaves, oregano, salt and pepper in a large zip lock bag.  Toss ingredients in the bag to make sure ingredients are evenly distributed.  Let chicken marinate for 2 hours at room temperature or over night in the fridge.  Toss the bag to mix the contents periodically.

2) While chicken is marinating place beans in a large saucepan and add the remaining ingredients except the oil.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer , uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from heat and remove the bay leaves.  Using an immersion blender (or food processor) blend the beans to make a smooth sauce, adding chicken broth if a thinner consistency is desired.  Cover, and keep warm. Add water or chicken broth to thin the bean sauce if necessary.

3) If you are making squash cut the top and bottom off of a butternut squash. Cut the squash in half so that you have the skinny neck piece and the bottom round piece. Cut off the skin and cut in half. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

4) Cut the squash in slices and then into cubes.

5) Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

6)  30 minutes before the chicken is scheduled to be done place the squash in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes (350 if you are using a toaster oven) . Flip with a spatula half after 15 minutes.

7)  Heat cast iron grill pan with 2 T of grape seed or olive oil.  Arrange chicken on pan and cook on one side for 9 minutes.  Flip chicken over (had I remembered I would have added the red onions to the pan at this point for a crisp tender consistency).

8) Cook chicken for another 9 minutes on the second side or until the temperature is 165 degrees. When the chicken is cooked through remove it from the pan and cover with tin foil as the onions cook to your desired consistency.

9) Serve chicken drizzled with bean sauce and garnish with all or any of the following:  sour cream, avocado slices, diced tomato, fresh cilantro.  Serve with a leafy green salad for the perfect Phase 1 South Beach meal.


  1. That would be good with a Mojito!

  2. Well, anything would be good with a Mojito, but that one especially!


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