Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe

Baked lemon chicken combines tender, juicy meat with a silky butter sauce and fresh citrus. Make it for dinner tonight in just 30 minutes!

Meals can feel overwhelming on busy weeknights, but there’s no need to panic!

This lemon chicken recipe can be prepped in just a few minutes, leaving you plenty of time to make your sides while the meat is in the oven.

Plus, it uses a handful of basic pantry staples meaning you probably have everything you need on hand!

If you love this lemon roasted chicken but want to skip the oven, I have a few skillet recipes for you to try.

Keep it simple with rosemary and vegetables, or get a little fancy by adding a white wine sauce and serving it over a bed of linguine. Both are still ready in 30 minutes or less!

Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe on a white plate

How To Make Baked Lemon Chicken

  • Brown the meat. Season the breasts with salt and pepper and sear for a few minutes on each side. Then, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Make the butter sauce. Whisk together the melted butter, water, and freshly squeezed citrus juice.
  • Bake. Transfer the poultry to a baking dish, then pour the sauce evenly over the top. Cover with lemon slices and bake until the meat is cooked all the way through.
lemon chicken recipe ingredients

Serving Suggestions

Pair this lemon roasted chicken with your favorite rice and a side of veggies. Need something easier? Toss together some greens for a simple salad instead.

If you have an air fryer, make a batch of rosemary potatoes or garlic knots.

You could even whip up a pasta salad in the morning so all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge before serving.

baked lemon chicken marinade

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • Large Skillet - This is one of my go-to pans. It heats evenly and cleans up beautifully with a little baking soda to keep it looking brand new.
  • Baking Dish - One of my absolute favorites! I’ve been using this simple, durable pan for years, and it never disappoints.
  • Garlic Press - A necessary tool in any kitchen for perfectly minced garlic.
  • Mixing Bowl and Whisk for making the citrus butter sauce
lemon roasted chicken in a skillet

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

How will I know when baked lemon chicken is done?

The easiest method is by using a digital meat thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the breast to check the temp.

Chicken is considered safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. Once you get a reading of at least 160°F, it’s okay to remove it from the oven since the meat will continue to cook as it rests.

You can also slice into the breast if you don’t have a thermometer. The center should be white and opaque, and the juices should run clear.

If either are noticeably pink, pop it back in the oven for a few minutes before checking again.

lemon chicken recipe in sauce

Can I double this lemon chicken recipe?

As long as your baking dish is large enough, I don’t see why not! You will need to sear the meat in batches or use two separate pans so all of the pieces are done at the same time.

Also, be sure to test for doneness as you may need to increase the overall cooking time to accommodate the extra pieces.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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lemon roasted chicken with a bite on a fork

Yield: 4 servings
Author: Donna Elick
Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe

Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe

Baked lemon chicken combines tender, juicy meat with a silky butter sauce and fresh citrus. Make it for dinner tonight in just 30 minutes!
Cook time: 30 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 4 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 medium lemons (1 juiced, 1 sliced)
  • Garnish: fresh parsley, if desired


  1. Season both sides of chicken breast with salt & pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for a 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
  3. Add minced garlic. Cook for another minute, or until the garlic is aromatic.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, water and the juice of 1 lemon. Whisk to combine.
  6. Pour the lemon mixture over the chicken breast. Top with lemon slices.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. (I covered mine with foil while cooking, to keep it moist).
  8. Remove and garnish with fresh parsley.

Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe closeup

Originally published August 2021


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