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Lemon Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Calories: 237
Lemon Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish

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.

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.

Ingredients laid out for Lemon chicken, chicken breast, lemon, olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic, spices
spices in a bowl with olive oil
4 chicken breasts with olive oil and spices in a baking dish.
lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.

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.
  • 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.
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:

Lemon Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish
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!

Lemon Chicken

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

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (roughly 2.5 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 slices, optional

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to create a thick marinade/paste. Coat the chicken breast with seasoning paste.
  4. Using the same bowl mix together the white wine, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Pour over chicken breast.
  5. If using, nestle the lemon slices between the chicken bake for 15 minutes, baste the chicken with the pan juice, bake for another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 F.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 237
  • Protein 40 g
  • Carbohydrates 4 g
  • Total Fat 6 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • sodium 776 mg
  • Total Sugars 2 g

Lemon Chicken

Questions & Reviews

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  • Liz Humphreys

    Would you serve this with pasta?

    You definitely could! It would go well with our Linguine with Lemon Garlic Sauce. Hope you enjoy Liz!

  • Diana Barbieri

    Do you cover chicken with foil to bake??

    No need to cover Diana, hope you enjoy!

  • Debbie F Dyer

    Can you use chicken thighs drumsticks and a chicken breast bone on?

    Hi Debbie, you certainly can it will just change the cook time. Make sure the chicken is fully cooked through before taking it out of the oven. Hope you enjoy!

  • Meg

    Can you use bone in chicken breasts?

    Hi Meg, you can definitely try that but it will be a longer cook time. We recommend using a skinless chicken either way. You will probably need to add 10-15 minutes of cook time. Hope you enjoy!

  • James P McCullough

    Brown sugar is in the ingredients but I don't see where it is used in the recipe.

    Hi James, it is listed in step 4. Hope you enjoy!

  • Angela Stephenson

    I made this for my family tonight and it was a huge hit! Even for my very picky ten year old. I like lemon pepper chicken but it’s not something I’ve made very often. But after trying this recipe tonight, I definitely will make it more often. I paired it with roasted asparagus and garlic butter pasta and a rustic sourdough bread. My house smelled amazing while it was cooking too! Yum! 🍋

    Thanks Angela, we are so happy you loved it and happy your picky ten year old loved it!

  • Liz inBuffalo

    This was absolutely delicious! It was so simple and paired beautifully with crisp, roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus. Also made spinach for the non asparagus eater at my table, and all tasted so good together. The recipe came together simply and easily and we have a new favorite at out table!

    Thank you so much Liz! We are so happy that everyone loved it!

  • vicki canada

    I give this dish a 5 rating. Very Good, Very easy . I will be making this again.

    Thanks so much Vicki!

  • christine wilson

    My family loved this! I had the time, so marinated the chicken for 6 hours before baking. The lemon slices were a nice added touch for presentation. It's rare for me not to tweak a recipe, this one's perfect as written:)

    Thanks so much Christine, we are so glad the whole family loved it!

  • Steve

    This was absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe to a T, wouldn’t change a thing! My entire family ate it including a very fussy toddler.

    Amazing! Thanks you Steve, we are so glad the whole family loved it!