There’s a fun restaurant chain out here in the Western US called Cafe Zupa’s that serves fresh & tasty soups, salads, and sandwiches.
They have a Chipotle Chicken Salad that I love with a spicy honey cilantro glaze drizzled on top.
Drizzling a honey glaze over a salad seems unnatural. I agree.
In fact, the first couple of times I opted out of the honey drizzle because I was turned off by it.
And then I got the honey cilantro glaze on the side out of curiosity. I’m glad I did. Just a little of that honey glaze gave the salad a whole other dimension as it mingled with the chipotle ranch dressing and grilled chicken.
I had to make some for myself.
After hacking this honey glaze, I’m convinced the restaurant version is mostly corn syrup or some other sweetener.
My version has a stronger honey flavor because it’s mostly honey.
Funny how that works.
What’s in Hot Honey Cilantro Glaze?
It’s just a few ingredients (most you probably already have!) and a minute or two in a hot skillet.
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Lime juice
- Fresh cilantro
I love the fresh cilantro in this because it gives it boost of freshness to balance out the sweetness.
If you’re anti-cilantro, I’m sad for you.
But I understand. And you can also use fresh parsley if you like. Or sliced green onions.
It might seem a little watery, but it’ll thicken a little as it cools.
And you’ll want it to be on the thin side because if it isn’t, it’ll thicken up so much in the fridge it’ll be impossible to drizzle.
How spicy is it?
I know I’ll get this question.
The answer is — depends on how you use it.
It’s not as potent and spicy as hot sauce.
But it does have a good kick to it. If you eat it in a cool, crispy salad with a lot of other things going on, it won’t be too overwhelming.
If you immerse your popcorn chicken in it, expect to feel that kick.
Ways to use Hot Honey Cilantro Glaze
If you’re sitting there thinking “what on earth would I use this for?” — I’ve got your back. Here are some suggestions.
- Use as a dipper for breaded, pan-fried meat or fish. Remember when McDonald’s offered honey as a dipper for chicken nuggets? Kind of like that, but a grown up, sophisticated version. I drizzled this over my Paleo Fiesta Popcorn Chicken and — wow. All the heart eyes. (See photo above. Amiright?)
- Drizzle over grilled/broiled meat or fish. I used this on this Sweet Chipotle Salmon and it was the perfect touch. It’s also good on grilled chicken or pork chops!
- Use it on roasted vegetables! Especially vegetables that are on the bitter side — like Roasted Shredded Brussels Sprouts. I bet it would work well on roasted sweet potatoes, too.
- Drizzle it over a salad! I know, but trust me. I wouldn’t use this INSTEAD of salad dressing, but as a secondary dressing. A BONUS dressing. Any kind of Mexi-flavored Ranch dressing would be good with this — like my Roasted Jalapeno Ranch Dressing. Or a citrusy vinaigrette.
If you make this recipe, be sure to post it to social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- Put the honey, water, crushed red pepper flakes, lime, and salt in a skillet. Bring it to a boil, and let it bubble for about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
- Let it cool for 20-30 before using.
- Store chilled in a lidded container for up to 2 weeks.
Nat's Note: Drizzle this glaze over grilled meat or fish, salads, breaded/fried chicken, or roasted vegetables. It's especially good with roasted Brussels sprouts.