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Lemon Chicken

Our easy lemon chicken recipe shines with a sunny, lemony zing. Garlic and herbs—plus a glug of white wine—mean that these juicy, tender chicken breasts are as delicious as they are healthy.


4 lemon chicken breasts baked in a baking dish with olive oil, white wine, lemon juice, garlic and spices

A Healthy, Baked Chicken Breast That’s Anything but Boring (We Promise!)

Lemon chicken is really just a simple baked chicken recipe, jazzed up with some punchy ingredients that add lots of flavor without taking away from how super-healthy baked chicken breasts are. Our lemon chicken recipe is fast and easy—a recipe you might turn to on a busy weeknight when you need dinner to be simple as it can be. It’s also a great one to include in your weekend meal-prep (if you do that kind of thing) because one of the many reasons we love lemon chicken breasts is their versatility. Having a container of them in the fridge, all baked and ready to go, means you’ve got the makings of lots of meals! They can anchor a simple and healthy lunch salad, and are delicious sliced up into hearty sandwiches—ones where the bread is slathered with mayo and Homemade Pesto—for dinner, too.

4 raw chicken breasts, 4 lemons, olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, minced garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper and oregano

A Flavor-Giving Trifecta Makes this the Best Lemon Chicken Recipe, Ever.

Let’s start with the good news: lean and protein-packed, boneless, skinless chicken breast is super healthy! The bad news: boneless, skinless chicken breast is kind of bland! The solution? Use the chicken breast as a blank canvas for all of your favorite big flavors, without undermining its’ inherent healthfulness. Our lemon chicken recipe does all of that thanks to a few of our favorite big, bright flavors:

  • Lemon, three ways. We aren’t messing around—this isn’t just lemon chicken. It’s LEMON chicken! We use lemon zest, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and whole lemon slices to give this lemon chicken recipe all of the citrusy punch that we possibly can. Check out our Lemon Butter Chicken if you’re a lemon lover.
  • Garlic, two ways. We could maybe have called this lemon garlic chicken, since our recipe calls for both fresh garlic cloves and (you guessed it) our beloved garlic powder.
  • Herbs, herbs and more herbs. A whole garden’s worth of fragrance and flavor, all from a few dried herbs that you probably already have in your pantry.
olive oil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
4 chicken breasts coated with olive oil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
in a baking dish.
white wine, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl.
lemon chicken breast in a baking dish with herbs and lemon juice and lemon slices

How To Make Lemon Chicken

Our easy, baked lemon chicken recipe is healthy, fast, and so, so delicious. The key is coating the lemon chicken with lots of moisture-giving things, and watching that internal temp closely so that you don’t over-bake the chicken.

  1. Make a lemon chicken marinade. Well, it’s really more like a rub or a paste, because our lemon chicken recipe requires no actual marinating (yay!). But basically, we coat the chicken breasts in a thick, olive oil-based herb paste flavored with oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Make the lemon chicken sauce! Stir together all of the zingy things—white wine, fresh garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice—to make the sauce that the chicken breasts will bake in. You’ll also use this sauce to baste the chicken as it bakes, ensuring that these bright flavors have a chance to be absorbed by the chicken (without having to actually marinate the chicken).
  3. Bake! Until you get that internal temperature reading of 165°F. Then it’s time to dig in!
4 Baked lemon chicken breast in a baking dish topped with lemon slices

Tools You’ll Need:

4 lemon chicken breasts baked in a baking dish with olive oil, white wine, lemon juice, garlic and spices
Lemon Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish topped with lemon slices and parsley

You’ve Got Chicken Breast Problems, We’ve Got Chicken Breast Solutions.

We know—we talk a LOT about chicken thighs. But we’ve got love for chicken breast recipes, too. Here, we’ll prove it:

Lemon garlic Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish  topped with

Healthy, Flavorful, Easy.

This one really is all of the things. We hope this healthy lemon chicken recipe felt as miraculously breezy to you as it does to us. Let us know how it all went down! Snap a photo of your baked lemon chicken and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Lemon Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 237



  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 ½ pounds)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (from 6 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 slices (optional)
  • Minced flat leaf parsley, for serving, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Pat the chicken dry and place them in a 9x13-inch baking dish.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Coat the chicken all over with the mixture.

  4. In the same bowl, mix together the wine, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt. Pour the sauce over chicken and nestle the lemon slices in between the breasts if using.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the dish from the oven and baste the chicken with the juices. Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  6. Serve chicken family-style, sprinkled with parsley, if using.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories237
  • Protein40 g
  • Carbohydrates4 g
  • Total Fat6 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium776 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Lemon Chicken

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Kathleen

    Do you have suggestions for side dishes that go well with this dish? Thank you! Kathleen

    any of these recipes would be wonderful! You can type them into our site to get the recipes. Simple Italian Salad, fettuccine alfredo, shaved snap pea salad, broccolini, crustry bread, simple butter lettuce salad, creamy mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes. Hope you enjoy!

  • Cyndi

    can I use champagne instead of wine?

    We would just sub chicken broth for the wine instead. Hope you enjoy!

  • lexi

    can I use regular cooking wine instead of white wine

    I'm not sure what you mean by "regular cooking wine". I would just stick to the white wine called for in this recipe for the best flavor.

  • carmen

    do you cover with foil before baking

    No need to cover. Enjoy Carmen!


    Can I prep any of this the day before?

    Hi Carol, you can Mix the spices the day before and prep the lemon juice and zest and keep them in the fridge.

  • Lindsey

    We loved it as a low-carb meal with cauliflower rice and salad! I was thinking how yummy the chicken would be served cold in a salad the next day too!

    Thanks Lindsey, so glad you love it!

  • Nancy

    I'm always looking for new healthy chicken recipes to add variety. This was delicious and so easy to prepare! I have tried a number of your recipes and have liked them all.

    Thanks Nancy, so glad you loved it! Also love to hear you're enjoying more of our recipes.

  • Kim

    That was one of the best lemon sauces I've ever had. I had to double the recipe so I tweaked some of the amounts as I didn't want to double some of the herbs. We had it next night over pork and it was just as good. Definitely a keeper recipe. Thanks!

    Thanks Kim, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Michelle

    This was so flavorful. I did not change a thing. I paired this with boiled red potatoes tossed in butter, salt, pepper and greek yogurt and steamed asparagus. My house smells so good! We will definitely make this again.

    Thanks Michelle, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Ashleigh

    EASY&YUMMY. I love being able to whip up the sauce & marinade and just throw it into the oven. So juicy, tender, and flavorful. I serve it often with broccoli or asparagus and mashed potato’s. It’s a FAV from husband and myself.

    Thanks Ashleigh, we are so glad that you love it!