This easy lemon pepper chicken recipe is made with a handful of everyday ingredients and comes together fast! The bright lemony sauce is so comforting.
Lemon and chicken go so well together. Try my Easy Chicken Francese next for another dish with this delicious duo.
Why you'll love it
Before coming up with this simple chicken recipe, I hadn't used lemon pepper seasoning in forever. It's a versatile seasoning that makes the most deliciously zesty sauce, so I'm pleased I resurrected it!
In this elegant 30-minute dish we've got golden pan-fried chicken. This isn't an overly rich dish, but it is satisfying. If you serve it with a vegetable, it's definitely not too heavy, in my opinion. A hint of cream is the perfect final touch.
What is lemon pepper?
- Just in case you've never tried it before, lemon pepper is a seasoning blend made with granulated lemon zest and cracked peppercorns. It tastes peppery and zesty!
- Often the store-bought kinds do contain added salt, so I would definitely taste the sauce prior to adding extra salt. You can buy it in the herbs/spices aisle at most grocery stores. I buy McCormick brand, but various brands offer it.
What you'll need
- Chicken - we're using two boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise for quicker cooking, and they'll stay more tender
- Olive oil and butter - for pan frying
- Garlic - use even more than suggested if you're a garlic lover
- Flour - to thicken the sauce
- Chicken broth - for depth of flavor as the base of the sauce
- Heavy cream - adds a rich quality
- Lemon pepper - the star of the sauce!
How to make lemon pepper chicken
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Season the 4 cutlets with salt. Heat the oil and half the butter in a skillet until hot, then sear the chicken on both sides.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the remaining butter to the pan and then the garlic, followed by the flour. Cook for about a minute, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk in the chicken broth, cream, and lemon pepper until the sauce is smooth. Add the chicken back to the pan, and continue cooking it until it's cooked through and the sauce thickens up.
Substitutions and variations
- As always, sub ingredients at your own discretion. I use heavy cream because it's less prone to curdling and offers a thicker and richer sauce. Something with a lower fat content may not give you the best results.
- You can definitely sub the chicken breasts for chicken thighs if you prefer that cut of meat (adjust cooking time as needed).
- Try to use fairly large chicken breasts since they're cut in half to make thinner pieces. If your chicken breasts are on the smaller side, feel free to keep them intact, but you may need to cook them for a bit longer.
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha's favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
- Using an instant read meat thermometer never leaves you in doubt whether chicken is properly cooked or not. It's safe at 165F.
- A garlic press makes mincing the cloves effortless. No sticky fingers.
- I love my kitchen tongs to quickly and easily turn chicken.
- A simple wire whisk is used for making the sauce.
- This is the skillet I use to make many of my stovetop chicken recipes.
What to serve with lemon pepper chicken
- Try rice, Mashed Potatoes, or pasta. If you want a richer side, pair it with my Alfredo Gnocchi that's ready in only 15 minutes.
- For veggie sides, I like Roasted Green Beans, broccoli or broccolini, or my Easy Glazed Carrots.
- If you're in search of a salad, try this Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers of this lemon pepper chicken will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in a covered container
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat slowly until warmed through.
- As with any cream sauce, I don't recommend freezing leftovers of this recipe.
If the blog post didn't answer your questions about this easy lemon pepper chicken recipe, ask me in the comments below! I'd love it if you left me a review. You can also find me on Instagram.
Lemon Pepper Chicken
- 2 chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you've got 4 thinner pieces. Sprinkle them with salt (some lemon pepper blends contain salt so don't go overboard).
- Add the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes.
- Sear the chicken for 4-5 minutes/side, then transfer it to a plate.
- Add the remaining butter to the pan and let it melt, then add in the garlic and sprinkle the flour in. Let it cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute (stir it a couple times).
- Add the broth, cream, and lemon pepper to the skillet. Whisk it for a minute or so until the flour dissolves.
- Add the chicken back to the pan (and any juices from the plate), and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through (165F) and the sauce has thickened a bit. You may need to turn the heat down if it's boiling like crazy (you want it to bubble fairly gently). Season with extra salt & pepper if needed and serve immediately.
- If you're particularly sensitive to salt, use low sodium chicken broth, and look for a low or no salt brand of lemon pepper.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Holly R says
I've made this a handful of times and my kids ate it and didn't complain so that's a huge win in my book! Next time I'll lemon juice to it to see how that works but we found it super tasty! Thank you for an easy recipe.
Love that!! You're welcome!
Dani J says
This was delicious! I added the juice of half a lemon, otherwise followed the instructions completely. It was easy and yummy. More than enough sauce. Served with couscous and green beans for a wonderful dinner. Will definitely make again!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Fantastic!! Thank you so much for leaving a review, Dani. 🙂
Can I use tapioca flour?
I've never cooked with tapioca flour before, but you're welcome to try.
We love love this recipe! Even my picky eaters like it!
My husband couldn't stop raving about this meal and made sure to put some aside for his lunch tomorrow. It was easy and yummy. A squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of garlic salt really added to it, I found. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
That's so great to hear, Krista!! Thanks for your review!
Loved this recipe!!! It really is delicious! Thank you!
You're very welcome, Alexis!!
I make this at least once every other week!! But I was curious how many servings do you think just the sauce would yield?? I feel like the average amount I put over the chicken is maybe 1/4 cup…..
I'm so happy it's a hit, Brooke!! 🙂 Hmmm it's hard to say... I never measured it out, and it depends how much you reduce it, but I think 1/4 cup definitely isn't a bad guess.
This was absolutely delicious. Followed the recipe exactly, such an easy midweek dinner. Will definitely make this again.
I'm so pleased to hear it!
Sonia Heinz says
I can't have flour cuz I'm on keto. Do u know what I can substitute that with? Thanks
Maybe a cornstarch slurry at the end to thicken the sauce up a bit?
Such a wonderful mid week meal to make! It was delicious and so easy to make. Definitely going to make this again 🙂
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
That's wonderful to hear, Anga! Thank you for reviewing it!
This was really good! My grandkids loved it.
I used whole lactose free milk, it worked great !
Glad it was a hit, Tonni!
Lauren Espinosa says
This was a delicious, quick and easy meal that the whole family loved! I served it with spinach and jasmine rice. I used half & half because that's all I had and it came out perfect! Thank you! I'm new to the site but plan to try out more recipes!
Thank you so much, Lauren!! I'm so glad you found me, and I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe! 😀
Jo Leyva says
I switched out the lemon pepper seasoning for fresh lemons. (Only because my store didn't have lemon pepper seasoning and I happened to have a whole bag of lemons lol) you have to add it slowly though and taste it each time until you approve of the flavor and the same with pepper. But my husband LOVED it. So did I! This recipe is awesome. Love love love!!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂
Loved this!! So much flavor and I loved the thickness that the roux created! Served mine with risotto and steamed broccoli...yum!
So pleased you liked it, Marla!! Thanks for reviewing my recipe. XO
4 stars for an easy-peasy way to have a cream based sauce that's light & fulfilling. I took one star off as I found it rather bland despite the lemon pepper and garlic. Felt it was missing something. I will try adding some "Better Than" chicken boullion paste next time to jazz it up a bit. Don't want to compete with the Lemon Pepper which already has lots of spices in it. I find that 'Better Than" intensifies and brings out flavour in many dishes.
Yup, Better Than Bouillon is delish! I wonder if your lemon pepper seasoning just didn't have enough salt in it? I find that's usually the case when cream sauces taste bland. In any event, the Better Than Bouillon should help. I'm glad you liked the recipe in general, though.
Heather Murray-Herlocher says
So good even though I had to sub lemon juice and black pepper, and I didn't have enough heavy cream so used some 2% milk.
I'm so glad it worked out!
So tasty and easy! Another Salt & Lavender hit! Thanks for your awesome recipes
I'm so happy you liked it, Olivia! So glad you're liking my recipes. XO
Could you use canned coconut milk to make it dairy free?
Hi! I haven't tested it, but I think that could work.
I made the lemon pepper chicken and it was so very good . My daughter enjoyed it as well, another clean plate. I am doing the quick chili today.
I'm so happy to hear that! 🙂 I hope you enjoy the chili too!
Maybe it was my choice of lemon pepper seasoning but there was only a hint of lemon. None the less, absolutely delicious! My husband said another awesome dinner choice. Now we can add this one in the rotation as well. Thank you again!
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Sally! 🙂 Yes... they can vary. Next time you could probably include a bit of lemon juice and/or zest and that will bump up the lemon flavor. Thanks for reviewing this recipe!