Baked lemon chicken is a simple recipe with on-hand ingredients, easy to put together and comes out tender, juicy and with a swoon-worthy sauce!
We had another quiet weekend of staying home. I am not one to be lazy, so I’ve tackled ALL kinds of projects these last couple weeks. I cleaned up our garden beds, planted seeds and plants, planted some flower seeds in the yard (that’s a first; we’ll see how it goes), basic house cleaning, starting some spring cleaning, reorganized the garage and of course, lots and lots of cooking.
Fresh air has been key, too, so we’ve been playing in the driveway and yard most afternoons and talking walks with the dog on nice days. We’ve had lots of great sunny spring weather here in N.C. recently, which I’m thankful for.
And now, we’re geared up for another week of school and work from home. Hoping it continues to go a little more smoothly each week. 🤞 So let’s get to today’s recipe.
Lemon + chicken just work so well together, don’t they? 🍋💛
We make it grilled, baked, in a skillet, in the crock pot and so many other ways. Love some lemon chicken around here.
The freshness seems perfect for spring too.
So today I’m sharing the first of many variations with this baked lemon chicken.
It’s a simple recipe, easy to put together and is swimming in a yummy lemony sauce that you’ll be smelling throughout the kitchen.
And oooh, the sauce! The sauce for this dish is swoon-worthy!
The buttery richness (and you don’t need much butter) really helps balance out the tart lemon flavors and make a smoother, more well-rounded sauce that you’ll want to drizzle over your entire plate!
Which is a really excellent idea, by the way.
Plus, this lemon chicken recipe is just a few basic, on-hand ingredients. Simple things you probably already have in your kitchen.
Makes it a great option when you haven’t been to the store in a while. Which is a lot of us right now.
And it’s super easy to throw together, so it works well on a busy night.
It’s also gluten-free, low-carb and keto-friendly as is. 👍
(You might also like this crunchy baked Ranch chicken recipe for a family friendly dinner.)
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up below on how to make oven baked lemon chicken. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on baked lemon chicken:
- For this recipe, you’ll sear the chicken in a pan and then bake it in a casserole dish in the oven along with the sauce. Searing the chicken really helps lock in the flavor, so don’t skip this step.
- You’ll want to make sure your chicken breasts are evenly sized so they cook in the same amount of time.
- If you have large chicken breasts, like I did here, you can easily get away with using just 3. Once you slice them to serve, there’s plenty for 4 people. (And even these thick ones were done after 20 minutes in the oven. That searing step helps speed up the overall baking time needed.)
- Lemon zest and fresh lemon juice are necessary here; this dish won’t taste the same if you use bottled lemon juice.
- Feel free to sprinkle some fresh chopped herbs, such as parsley, over the cooked chicken if desired.
I highly recommend using a digital thermometer to check the temperature of your chicken. This eliminates the guessing game of whether or not it’s cooked through to a safe temperature. (Reminder: it should be 165 degrees F.)
One tip if you want a little shortcut: You could technically bake this chicken in the skillet you sear it in if your skillet is oven-proof. Just add the sauce ingredients right to it and get everything mixed. Then pop it in the oven to finish cooking.
It would be one less dish at least. 👍
Ready to eat? Me too. Let’s bring this meal home.
What to serve with baked lemon chicken?
– This chicken goes great with steamed rice, mashed potatoes or creamy polenta, all of which would benefit from a drizzle of some of the extra sauce.
– You could also serve it with microwave baked potatoes or roasted potatoes if you prefer.
– Don’t forget the veggies! Steamed broccoli or asparagus, green beans or a roasted veggie mix would all be good choices.
And again, feel free to drizzle the sauce over the vegetables as well. The whole plate can sing of this lemony deliciousness!
Finally, let’s talk about any leftovers you may have.
What to do with leftover lemon chicken:
– Leftovers will store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 4-5 months. Store the chicken with extra sauce too!
– You can reheat the chicken in a skillet over medium low heat. Slice it first so it warms through more evenly and quickly, without drying out. Be sure to add some leftover sauce as well to help keep the chicken moist.
– Or you can reheat the chicken quickly in the microwave. This helps prevent it from drying out.
– Use the leftovers for a main dish another night, or use as part of a grain bowl or on top of a salad. You could even mix the chicken into some pasta and add some peas or asparagus for a whole new meal.
I hope you give this baked lemon chicken a try soon.
P.S. Stay tuned because I have some more delicious ways to make lemon chicken coming up for you soon.
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- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or use canola oil)
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Season chicken breasts with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken breasts and place in a single layer in a casserole dish.
- In the same sauté pan, add the remaining ingredients (chicken broth, butter, lemon zest and juice and garlic). Scrap any browned bits off the bottom of the pan and mix everything together. Pour the mixture over the chicken breasts in the casserole dish.
- Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (and a thermometer reads 160-165), spooning some sauce over the tops of the chicken about halfway through the cooking time.
- Serve chicken with extra sauce over the top.
For this recipe, you’ll sear the chicken in a pan and then bake it in a casserole dish in the oven along with the sauce. Searing the chicken really helps lock in the flavor, so don’t skip this step.
You’ll want to make sure your chicken breasts are evenly sized so they cook in the same amount of time.
If you have large chicken breasts, like I did here, you can easily get away with using just 3. Once you slice them to serve, there’s plenty for 4 people. (And even these thick ones were done after 20 minutes in the oven.)
Lemon zest and fresh lemon juice are necessary here; this dish won’t taste the same if you use bottled lemon juice.
Feel free to sprinkle some fresh chopped herbs, such as parsley, over the cooked chicken if desired.
I highly recommend using a digital thermometer to check the temperature of your chicken.
Shortcut idea: You could technically bake this chicken in the skillet if yours is oven-proof. Just add the sauce ingredients right to it and get everything mixed. Then pop it in the oven to finish cooking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 529mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 53g