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Fast enough for busy weeknights but still full of flavor, this easy lemon chicken recipe is a wonderful dish you can make in minutes. Serve with your favorite rice or pasta sides.
We eat chicken a lot at my house, and I’ll be the first one to tell you that it’s easy to get into a rut when preparing.
Quick and easy recipes like this lemon chicken have become a game changer at my house. It’s proof positive that you don’t actually need to spend a lot of time hovering over the stove to make a flavorful dinner!
Plus, lemon chicken is one of those dishes that feels fancy but secretly has just a few simple ingredients.
It’s great for family dinner, a date night at home, or when unexpected company drops by.
Ingredients for lemon chicken
You’ll need these ingredients:
Chicken – I usually use chicken breasts for this recipe, though you can also use chicken thighs. Boneless, skinless chicken will cook faster.
Salt and pepper – Make sure to season the chicken on both sides before cooking, as well as season the sauce to taste.
Flour – The chicken is dredged in just a little flour to give it a bit of a crust.
Shallot – Shallots are a great middle ground between onions and garlic. They’re wonderful for making sauces like this one. I highly recommend keeping some on hand; store them with your onions.
Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice is great to use in this recipe, but bottled juice works just as well!
Chicken broth – Broth adds flavor to the sauce. You can also use vegetable stock.
Butter – Butter adds fat and richness to sauces better than olive oil does. I use it both for sauteeing the shallot and finishing the sauce.
Sliced lemon – This is optional, but if you want full lemon flavor, add a sliced lemon to the sauce at the end.
Look for seedless lemons, or remove the large seeds before adding the slices to the pan.
Parsley – Add a bit of chopped fresh parsley for garnish.
How to make this recipe
To make this recipe, first prep the chicken.
If your chicken breasts are large, I recommend slicing them in half through their thickness. This will help them cook faster and make portioning easier.
if you’re using chicken thighs, you won’t need to halve them, though I do recommend trimming off any excess fat pieces.
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
Pour the flour into a shallow bowl or onto a plate with a rim.
Dredge the chicken in the flour by lightly pressing each breast into the flour on both sides, then shaking off the excess.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium.
Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through.
Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F.
Remove chicken and place on a plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.
To the warm pan, add 1 tablespoon butter, chopped shallot, and salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
Add the lemon juice to skillet along with the chicken broth. Stir to scrape up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan; this will help flavor the sauce.
Bring to a simmer and let thicken slightly, then remove from heat and whisk in remaining tablespoon butter. Taste and add more salt or pepper as desired.
Add the lemon slices, if using, or reserve for garnish.
Place the chicken back in the pan and spoon over the lemon sauce. Serve immediately, with extra sauce poured on top and parsley.
For a robust garlicky flavor, add chopped garlic cloves, or use in place of the shallot.
For a spicier take, add crushed red pepper flakes. You can either add it to the chicken when dredging in flour, using in the sauce, or sprinkling on top to serve.
Add other seasonings to the chicken, like paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, or parsley.
To make a creamy lemon chicken, whisk ½ cup heavy cream into the sauce just after bringing it to a simmer.
Want to make it even more lemony? Add fresh lemon zest to the sauce.
What to serve with lemon chicken
My favorite thing to serve with lemon chicken is asparagus risotto. You can serve it alongside, on top of, or sliced and mixed into the risotto. The lemon is the perfect flavor enhancer for the asparagus, and they just go so well together.
If you’re looking for other easy chicken dishes, try this one-pot Chicken Dijon!
However you serve it, make this easy and delicious lemon chicken tonight!
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It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
- 20 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved through the middle if large
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Pour the flour into a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour on both sides.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through. Remove to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
- In the same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add shallot. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add lemon juice and chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any stuck bits, and bring sauce to a simmer.
- Once sauce is slightly reduced, remove from heat and whisk in butter and salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon slices and return chicken to the pan, spooning sauce over the top.
- Serve chicken with more sauce over the top, lemon slices, and chopped parsley.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…