Totally Tasty Lemon Chicken

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This Lemon Chicken recipe combines tender, juicy meat with a silky butter sauce and fresh citrus. Make baked chicken breast with lemon for dinner tonight in just 30 minutes!

titled: Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe


Lemon Chicken

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 by pairing lemon chicken with rosemary and vegetables, or get a little fancy by adding a white wine sauce and serving it over a bed of linguine.

close up: package of chicken with butter, parsley, and minced garlic

How to Make Baked Chicken Breast with Lemon

Making this scrumptious lemon chicken dinner couldn’t be more simple!

All you need are a few boneless breasts seasoned with salt and pepper, plus some garlic and an easy lemon butter sauce.

  1. 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.
  2. Make the butter sauce. Whisk together the melted butter, water, and freshly squeezed citrus juice.
  3. 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 butter sauce in measuring cup

Serving Suggestions

Pair baked lemon chicken with my chicken flavored 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!

seasoned chicken breasts in cast iron skillet

Lemon Chicken Recipe FAQ

What does putting lemon on chicken do?

Aside from adding loads of fresh flavor, the citrus actually tenderizes the meat!You have to be careful using lemon in poultry marinades, but that’s not an issue in my recipe for baked chicken breast with lemon.Instead, citrus juice is used in the butter sauce that coats the lemon chicken. I also like to add a few slices on top for presentation.

Can chicken be baked in a cast iron skillet?

Yes, and it’s an easy way to avoid washing extra dishes! Chicken baked in cast iron skillet also retains every tiny bit of flavor, which can sometimes be lost when transferring the meat to a separate baking dish.

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 162°F, it’s okay to remove it from the oven, because the meat will continue to cook as it rests.You can also slice into the baked lemon chicken breast if you don’t have a thermometer. The center should be white and opaque, and the juices should run clear. If either is noticeably pink, pop the lemon chicken back in the oven for a few more minutes before checking again.

baked chicken topped with lemon slices in sauce

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piece of lemon chicken on a fork

bite of baked lemon chicken on fork

Totally Tasty Lemon Chicken

Donna Elick
Baked Lemon Chicken combines tender, juicy meat with a silky butter sauce and fresh citrus. Make it for dinner tonight in just 30 minutes!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Oven, Stovetop
Servings 4


  • 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


  • fresh parsley, if desired


  • Season both sides of chicken breast with salt & pepper.
  • 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.
  • Add minced garlic. Cook for another minute, or until the garlic is aromatic.
  • Transfer the chicken to a baking dish.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the butter, water and the juice of 1 lemon. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour the lemon mixture over the chicken breast. Top with lemon slices.
  • 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).
  • Remove and garnish with fresh parsley.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 412cal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 847mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): baked lemon chicken recipe

Originally published August 2021, updated and republished August 2023

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