Easy Lemon Chicken Recipe (30 minute meal!)

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Tender chicken breasts cooked with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon zest make for a Lemon Chicken dinner the whole family will love.  Refreshing with a nice citrusy flavor, chicken never tasted this good.

If you are looking for a quick homemade meal that doesn’t break the bank, includes fresh ingredients, and ready in 30 minutes – you have come to the right place. This easy skillet lemon chicken is delicious and served over a bed of rice, pasta noodles, or even potatoes.  

Lemon Chicken

With a handful of simple ingredients, this easy chicken dish comes together in less than 30 minutes making it ideal for those busy weeknights. We like to eat this chicken skillet dinner with green beans or Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes for a nice colorful plate and once in a while, I’ll make up some angel hair pasta to serve on the side. It’s great to soak up the sauce ingredients because you don’t want to waste any of the fresh lemon sauce. 

Recipe of Lemon Chicken

Chicken recipes are always my go-to for an easy dinner and you definitely won’t go wrong by adding this one to your repertoire. I know the internet is filled with chicken breast recipes but believe me, this one for lemon chicken is a keeper. Lemon and chicken are such a natural combination there are going to be loads of recipes using these two ingredients like lemon chicken orzo soup, lemon chicken pasta, lemon chicken orzo pasta, and Chinese lemon chicken. You could probably find a lemon chicken recipe to eat each day of the year!

Though this recipe cooks up on the stove, you can adapt it to bake it in the oven or cook it in the crockpot. Turn this lemon chicken into healthy baked baked lemon chicken by cooking it in the oven so there’s less hands-on time. After you’ve browned the chicken in a skillet, place it in an oven-proof dish. Melt the butter and add the diced onions, and minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for a few minutes. Add the flour and whisk and then add the remaining ingredients, once combined, then pour this flour mixture over the chicken and bake for approximately 20 minutes.

If you want to cook up this lemon chicken in the crock pot, once you’ve finished browning the chicken in a skillet place it in the crockpot. Melt the butter and add the diced onions, and minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for a few minutes. Add the flour and whisk and then add the remaining ingredients and then pour this flour mixture over the chicken and cook on low for 6 hours.  

If you love lemon chicken recipes you are sure to love these too: Lemon Chicken CapersCreamy Chicken Penne Pasta,  or this Sweet and Sticky Grilled Chicken.  

Lemon With Chicken

If you’ve got a particularly busy week you can pull this recipe together as part of your meal planning session and just heat it up when you’re ready to serve it. Depending on how thick your chicken is it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so per side and you’ll have a meal ready to go in no time at all.

Ingredients for Lemon Chicken

For complete ingredients and instructions scroll to the bottom of this post for the full printable recipe. 

Olive oil – I like to use extra virgin olive oil but any kind will work. 

Chicken breasts – Boneless skinless chicken breasts are ideal but you can also pick up boneless chicken thighs and make lemon chicken thighs instead. Turkey also works. 

Butter – Salted or unsalted butter work well in this lemon chicken. 

Onion – I used a white onion, diced but any kind of onion will work.

Garlic cloves -Fresh minced garlic tastes best but jarred will also work.

Chicken broth – Choose low-sodium chicken broth.

Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice will add the best flavor but if you are in a bind, use jarred lemon juice to make the tangy lemon sauce. 

 Flour – All-purpose flour thickens up the lemon sauce somewhat. 

 Lemon zest – Fresh lemon zest adds even more lemon flavor.

 Thyme – Fresh thyme adds to the taste of this lemon chicken. 

 Parsley – Dried parsley for more flavor.

 Salt – I use sea salt to enhance the flavor but any kind of salt will work. 

How to make this healthy lemon chicken recipe.

Lemon chicken comes together quickly and easily for a family-friendly dinner. 

Step 1: Heat a skillet or small saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook both until golden brown on both sides of the chicken and the chicken is cooked through.

Step 2: Remove the chicken pieces and set aside on a clean plate.

 Step 3: Melt butter and then add diced onions and minced garlic to the skillet.

Sauté for a few minutes.


Step 4: Add the flour and whisk.

 Step 5: Add the chicken stock while whisking and cook for 5 minutes.


Step 6: Add the remaining ingredients and allow to

simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Step 7: Add the chicken back to the skillet and serve with lemon slices and fresh thyme. Add extra lemon juice and lemon slices if desired.

Leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or you can freeze the chicken for up to 3 months. If you don’t have any containers on hand, wrap the chicken well with aluminum foil.                         

Love it? Pin it!

If you love this lemon chicken make sure that you don’t lose it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!



What is lemon chicken made of? Lemon chicken usually has chicken breasts, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Herbs and spices can be added based on personal preference. Sometimes lemon chicken also has wine in the sauce. 

Why does lemon go well with chicken? The acidity of the lemon helps complement the tender, savory flavor of the chicken. 

What does lemon do to chicken meat? Lemon adds a load of flavor to the chicken meat and can also help tenderize it. 


Remember that when it comes to making substitutions in recipes, you don’t need to be afraid to get creative and use ingredients that suit your personal taste and dietary preferences. Make it your own!

  • If you want a chance of pace, try chicken thighs or turkey breasts.

  • Use vegetable or beef broth if you can’t find chicken broth. Opt for low sodium so you can control the amount of salt in your dish. 

  • Cornstarch makes a good substitute for flour.

  • Fresh parsley would complement the flavor of the lemon sauce if you don’t have any dried on hand.

Tips & Tricks

  • Add some white wine for a more fruity-flavored lemon chicken.

  • Mix in some Italian seasoning or fresh rosemary for more flavor. 

  • Sprinkle the chicken with red pepper flakes for a touch of spice. 

  • Pound the chicken with a meat mallet so it’s nice and thin. 

  • For crispy chicken, coat the chicken in panko breadcrumbs and then cook in the skillet.


More Recipes to Love

 So there you have it! Yet another lemon chicken recipe. I may be biased but I think it is a great recipe that works with white or dark meat that you’ll want to make over and over again. 

Michaela signature

Lemon chicken in a cast iron skillet
4.91 from 11 votes
Print Recipe

Lemon Chicken

Quick and easy Lemon Chicken - a creamy homemade sauce that comes together in about 30 minutes, made with chicken breasts or thighs, with fresh herbs and real lemon. Serve over rice, pasta or potatoes, yum!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Chicken
Cuisine: American
Keyword: emon chicken, Lemon Chicken crock pot, lemon on chicken, lemon with chicken, recipe lemon chicken, recipe of lemon chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 404kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook until golden brown on both sides and chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add 3 tbsp butter, the diced onions and minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add the flour and whisk.
  • Add chicken stock while whisking and cook for 5 minutes while whisking continuously.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet and serve with lemon slices and fresh thyme.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 966mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g


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  1. I really love the way the lemon accented the chicken in this dish. We served it over mashed potatoes and the kids even asked for seconds.

  2. This Easy Lemon Chicken is a family favorite! The tender chicken infused with fresh lemony goodness is incredibly flavorful and refreshing. A delicious 30-minute meal that’s a total winner!

  3. This was such a simple recipe but felt so elegant and decadent! We served it with rice for a delicious family dinner!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! We enjoyed this dish immensely and are going to put it into regular rotation!
    Thank you!

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