agave lime chicken

Agave Lime Chicken

The other night while I was tucking in my super snuggly 10 year old into bed, we discussed possibilities for the next night’s dinner.

“Fennel” he suggested, “I really like it because it’s sweet and also very healthy!”
“What would you like for our protein dish?” I asked.  “What about that roasted chicken I made the other night that you guys gobbled up?”
“No, something else, something sweet and sour,” he replied.
“Ok,” I said.  “What about agave lime chicken?”
“Yum!  That sounds great.” my little gourmand answered.

After that we snuggled up some more and I asked him what he was thankful for.

“That I get to go to school, eat pizza and play my instrument,” he said babbling on happily about still other things for which he is grateful.

Having children is a lot of work, as we all know.  And yet, there seems to come a point (when they can dress themselves and then help with the household chores some) that they start to become a lot more fun and a lot less work.  That’s the point that we’re at now.  We’ve been there for a while and I am relishing every moment of the time we spend together (except when they’re fighting, that’s a bit loud).

On a different night, my son begged to come along to a class I taught at the fabulous Culinary School of the Rockies (the place is amazing and I highly recommend ALL of their classes).

He pleaded with me, “just tell them you have an assistant and he teaches with you.”

I left the house without him and still had a delightful time teaching in their stunning facilities with a great bunch of students and the amazing CSR staff helping out to boot.  Maybe next time I’ll take him ;-)  For now, he’ll have to settle for the agave lime chicken.

Print Recipe
Agave Lime Chicken
  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry
  2. Place chicken in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish breast side down
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and agave, then sprinkle with salt, cumin and chili powder
  4. Stuff one lime into the cavity of the bird
  5. Cut the other 2 limes and place in the pan
  6. Cut the onions in half and place in the pan (I left the skin on)
  7. Leaving the skin on the garlic, break the head apart and scatter the cloves around the pan
  8. Bake at 350° for 45+ minutes until the skin starts to brown
  9. Remove chicken from oven and raise heat to 450°
  10. Turn the chicken over so that breast side is now up
  11. Bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until thigh temperature (taken with an instant read meat thermometer) is 170°-180°
  12. Remove chicken from oven
  13. Carve chicken and drizzle with pan juices before serving

I may have first heard about agave lime chicken from ~M, who discussed it long ago in the comment section of one of my posts.

The original credit for this recipe goes to the Goddess.  The Goddess of Gluten-Free that is.  She has a delightful looking recipe for this combo and I give her full credit for coming up with it.  Thanks Karina!  I love your down to earth ideas and super sassy writing style.


  1. Taylor says

    This is the most incredibly easy and tasteful dish I have had in awhile! I threw mine in the crockpot with a little water and it turned out perfect! New family favorite. Thanks!

  2. Michelle says

    Can you use boneless skinless chicken breast in this recipe instead of a whole chicken?
    I just found your website and love it! I have already liked you on Facebook.

  3. sara says

    I was wondering if Elana knows about “he China study” and what she thinks about it.
    I am bit confused about good balanced diet and choosing between whole carbs or animal vs vegetal proteins.

  4. Natalie says

    Made this tonight! I’m on a strict dairy free diet now so this was perfect and a way I’ve never made chicken before! Thank you so much!!

  5. says

    Just made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS! I just used chicken breasts and minced garlic. I squirted one lime slice over the chicken before baking as well. My kids ate it and my husband asked to make it again. Thanks!

  6. Danielle says

    Hi Elana,

    Can you specify what size chicken you used? I cooked mine according to your recipe and it looked beautiful….but it was very undercooked after the 45 mins. plus 25 minutes. I ended up having to cook it for another whole hour and even though I covered it with foil, the extra hour burned up all of the sauce and the skin was not very tasty. Plus, everyone was ready to eat and then had to wait an additional hour – made for some cranky hungry people :)

  7. Stephanie says

    I think this is my favorite of your chicken roast recipes! I had to sub honey for agave, but it is still so incredible. My one complaint is that it cooked much slower than your recipe said… maybe would flip the bird (ha! flip the bird!) a bit sooner. It could also be that my bird was much bigger (about a 5 lb. one), but your recipe did not specify what size you used when creating the recipe. Thank you so much– I am an absolute addict of your site. I love all of your almond flour baking recipes.

  8. Morgan says

    Uh…. YUM. I made this tonight and myself, my hub and my 18 month old loooved it. Wow. Thank you so much.. I was anticipating yummy, but instead it was amazing.

  9. T says

    This turned out so good! I cooked this in my crock pot and finished it off in oven and broiled for a couple minutes for a beautiful brown color. Great, easy recipe!

  10. says

    I made this once, and it was like the best thing I ever tasted – even edged out he Roasemary Apple Chicken, which is the bomb.
    I made it again, and it was GROSS.
    I have no idea what the difference was, or what happened,and I’m scared to try again! Darn it!

  11. Jane Linkenman says

    Thanks Elana for sharing this recipe. I created this wonderful agave lime chicken. It was a beautiful golden brown. Our 5 year old announced with conviction that she would not be eating any of the chicken because of the “gross onions and limes.” I have gotten away from cooking with onions and garlic because of her particular hate for onions. This is a new year after all!! I’m determined to change her attitude about different and unusual flavors. After she realized that she would not actually be eating an onion or a lime…she decided to try a pc of the chicken. She then said “wow mommy that is really good…ok I do like the chicken…may I have more. She had 2nd’s and 3rd’s in fact everyone had more. I was so surprised how the limes really did flavor the chicken. I have declared this as a keeper recipe and announced it to the world (or whomever actually reads my blogs on my glutenfreelife blog on livejournal and my facebook) that this is certainly a “thumbs up” recipe compliments of you and from your amazing and helpful website. A BIG THANKS to you! You have changed my 5 year olds way of thinking about “gross” things like onions, garlic and of course limes! My next adventure is your recipe for Chicken and cherries.

  12. Dawn says

    Elana-I made this the other day and everyone loved it. My 6-year old daughter refuses to eat meat without putting BBQ sauce on it. She finished her meat immediately without asking for any sauce. Thank you for all the great recipes!

  13. says

    ~M -You’re too funny. Maybe I will let him do a little guest post one of these days. Congrats on convincing your mom. How is everything going post-move, etc.? Thanks for another great comment!

    Alisa – Thank you!

    Katya -Agave is my go to sweetener as an alternative to sugar. But I still watch my intake. I’ve been cutting back on it lately. Everything in moderation ;-) Thank you for your comment.

    Tzvi -No need to turn the chicken if you cook it in a crockpot –that was to brown the skin on both sides of the bird.

    Shirley -Sounds great! Let me know how it turned out. Thanks.

    Meagan -Thank you very much! I’m honored my blog is becoming one of your favorites :-)

    Emily -I get a regular sized organic chicken from the health food store, I don’t ask for any specific size. That sugar article is crazy, isn’t it? Thanks for another great comment!

  14. ~M says

    FYI, I think that I’ve convinced my mom to make this (either chicken or turkey) for Passover :) Yipee! She loves your chipotle chicken too, but we are entertaining spice-phobes! :)

  15. Emily says

    I’ve never roasted a whole chicken, but after this recipe, I think I’m going to try! It sounds so tasty. What size chicken is best? Your son has good taste, fennel is great in salads and topping for fish.
    I’m checking out the articles on your recommendation list, the peanut butter article is appalling and just shows how trustworthy the FDA is. And wow about our genes remembering sugar hits! That’s crazy!!

  16. says

    This sounds amazing! I love how your little boy understands a little bit of the culinary fun! Way to get them started on healthy food at a young age :) Your blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites. With your recipes I don’t have to substitute out the sugar, or other unhealthy ingredients. Pure, simple and taste good food. thank you!


  17. says

    Lime goes terrific with chicken. One of my all-time favorite recipes is garlic lime chicken. I am sure this recipe with agave added to the mix will be wonderful. Can’t wait to try it. Will pick up some limes on my next grocery trip. ;-)


  18. says

    Agave is such a good alternative. I’ve only used it once in baking but I’m eager to incorporate it in more things. Its low in terms of its glycemic index which is good, but its high in fructose which can be bad. I guess everything in moderation. YUM, I’ll definitely try this. Thank you.

  19. ~M says

    YUM! You had me at 3 limes and my husband at 1 head of garlic (not peeled? even easier!) This looks delicious, and I would love to hear about the fennel. Maybe your son could do a guest post! :) Thanks for the awesome recipe!

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