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This 20-minute lemon chicken recipe has juicy chicken with a simple buttery lemon sauce. It’s the ideal dinner for when you don’t want to put in a lot of effort!

Try my Easy Roast Chicken (Lemon & Herb) or Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup next.

a skillet with lemon chicken

Why you’ll love it

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the ones that shine the most! This lemon butter chicken recipe is super easy, and you only need a few basic ingredients to make something really delicious after work for your family that’s low effort and inexpensive.

I’m all about pairing lemon and chicken. They’re just so good together, so we’re also using lemon zest to really amp up the bright flavor here. This chicken with lemon sauce is basically a simplified Chicken Piccata and elevates pantry ingredients.

What you’ll need

  • Chicken – we’re using boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Garlic powder – along with salt & pepper, it’s an easy way to infuse a lot of flavor right into the cutlets
  • Flour – to get that golden crust on the chicken
  • Olive oil and butter – for pan frying and making the base of the sauce
  • Chicken broth – more savory flavor
  • Lemon – using both juice and zest makes the lemony flavor really pop
  • Parsley – for contrast and freshness
ingredients for lemon butter chicken in prep bowls

Pro tip

  • Cutting chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make four smaller cutlets ensures that they’re more uniform in size. That way, they also cook faster and more evenly so dinner is on the table quickly.

How to make lemon chicken

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

pan frying chicken in a skillet and making lemon butter sauce

Cut the chicken into four cutlets. Season them with salt & pepper and garlic powder, then dredge in flour. Pan fry until golden in the oil and some of the butter, then transfer to a plate. To the skillet add the broth, lemon juice and zest, and remaining butter.

cooking lemon chicken in a skillet and adding chopped parsley

Let it bubble for a few minutes. Return the chicken, and simmer until it’s cooked through and the sauce has reduced some more. Give it a taste, season with extra salt & pepper as needed, and add chopped parsley and lemon slices if using.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

What to serve with lemon chicken

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftover chicken in the fridge in a covered container for 3-4 days.
  • Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat until warmed through for best results.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this one.
a plate with lemon chicken, green beans, and rice

If you made this chicken with a lemon butter sauce, leave a review below! Ask any questions the post didn’t answer. Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you made any of my recipes.

a skillet with lemon chicken
4.93 from 39 votes

Easy Lemon Chicken

This 20-minute lemon chicken recipe has juicy chicken with a simple buttery lemon sauce. It's the ideal dinner for when you don't want to put in a lot of effort!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice + zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Chopped fresh parsley optional, to taste

Instructions 

  • Cut your chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have thinner cutlets. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Dredge them in flour so they’re nicely coated.
  • Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken cutlets and cook them for 4-5 minutes/side or until they’re nice and golden. Take them out of the pan and set aside.
  • Add the chicken broth, lemon juice + zest, and remaining butter to the pan and let it bubble for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the chicken back in and cook for another few minutes until it's cooked through and the sauce is further reduced. Season with salt & pepper as needed and sprinkle the fresh parsley over top if using.

Notes

  • If you buy particularly small chicken breasts, you can skip the step of cutting them in half lengthwise – just ensure they’re cooked through.

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 59mg, Sodium: 242mg, Potassium: 231mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 280IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on November 5, 2018. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!


Hi! I’m Natasha.

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106 Comments

  1. Mike Ericson says:

    $27.54/kg for chicken breasts ? ? ? were they related to the royal family ?

    1. Natasha says:

      Haha welcome to Vancouver Canada prices. It’s Canadian dollars but still insane, I know.

  2. Kathleen says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this multiple times and it’s fantastic. We love lemon and butter so it’s a perfect recipe. It’s also fast and easy, so this old lady doesn’t need to work too hard! Love Salt & Lavender recipes – haven’t found one I didn’t like. Thanks

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww thanks so much, Kathleen! 😀

  3. Harriet says:

    5 stars
    We love this quick, simple and tasty recipe. We are lucky to have a Meyer lemon tree in our yard which gives this chicken wonderful flavor. The broth keeps the chicken from being dry. Thank you for this recipe. From 2 lovers of chicken.

    1. Natasha says:

      Oh wow that’s so nice you have that tree!! 😀 So happy you like this one, and thanks for your review, Harriet!

  4. Jean Arena says:

    Sorry went thru reviews of recipe and found that someone did use chicken thighs and it turned out great.

  5. Jean Arena says:

    Have a question, can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

    1. Natasha says:

      Sure!

  6. jon says:

    5 stars
    spot on recipe. tastes delicious. will make again.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! Thanks, Jon!

      1. Kelly Jo says:

        I was surprised how well this came together. Got me feeling all Betty crockery

        1. Natasha says:

          Love that! 😀

  7. Al says:

    5 stars
    Another winner winner lemon chicken dinner!
    I used boneless chicken thighs bc that’s what we had on hand and the sauce was just lemony enough to coat egg noodles.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so glad it was a hit, Al! 😀

      1. Rachel Roberts says:

        Can I skip the flour? We’re trying to reduce our carb intake.

        1. Natasha says:

          Sure.

  8. Jenny says:

    5 stars
    I needed something easy to go with some beautiful asparagus, and this was perfect. Super easy and so delicious. Loved it. Served with my asparagus and wild rice blend. Thank you Natasha for another great recipe!

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome, Jenny!! Appreciate your review!

  9. AE says:

    5 stars
    This was soo good and such a quick and easy recipe to cook for me and my 4 year old.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! Thank you! Glad you both liked it.

  10. Theresa Lepeska says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you!!