Lemon Pepper Chicken

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Weeknight dinners just got even easier with this lemon pepper chicken. Chicken breasts are coated in a bright and tangy lemon pepper seasoning, seared until golden, and then topped with a drizzle of the best lemony garlic butter sauce.

Lemon pepper chicken in a pan.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

Why You’ll Love This Lemon Pepper Chicken

I always say that simple is best, and that’s definitely the case with this lemon pepper chicken. I’m a busy gal, so when I want to get a tasty meal on the table fast, this is my go-to recipe. And in terms of flavor, it’s almost a cross-between my Greek lemon chicken and chicken piccata, but unique in its own way. Here’s why you’ll love it:

  • It’s a quick 15-minute dinner with minimal ingredients. Who doesn’t love the sound of that? Especially on busy weeknights when we have low energy and a hungry appetite. Plus, everything is cooked in one pan for minimal cleanup.
  • It’s a great healthy choice. Chicken breasts are lean, protein-packed, and pair beautifully with a variety of vegetable sides. So if you’re looking for more delicious ways to serve up boneless skinless chicken breasts, this recipe is a great choice.
  • It’s a flavor everyone loves! We can thank Atlanta, Georgia for popularizing lemon pepper chicken wings. The seasoning is bright, tangy, and salty, but not overpowering. And it’s well suited to these chicken breasts as well!
Lemon pepper chicken ingredients.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts: Grab two bigger chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds) since you’ll be slicing them in half. If you can only find smaller chicken breasts, you can alternatively use four smaller pieces and pound them flatter.
  • Flour: You can use cornstarch or arrowroot flour if you’re gluten-free. This will be mixed with the seasoning to give the chicken a delicious golden crust.
  • Seasoning: The key to this recipe is grabbing a good bottle of lemon pepper seasoning. Most brands will work but watch out for any filler ingredients. I’ve linked my favorite bottle to the recipe card below.
  • Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce: To enhance the lemon pepper chicken, I’m making a simple sauce with butter, fresh lemon juice and zest, minced garlic, and chicken broth. For the garlic, I recommend going with fresh versus powdered for a more robust garlic flavor and delicious garlic bits!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Adding lemon pepper seasoning to the chicken.

How To Make Lemon Pepper Chicken

Slice and season the chicken. Carefully slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally. Then, mix the flour seasoning and sprinkle it evenly over both sides of the chicken, pressing in with your hands.

Cook the chicken: Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, then flip over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes (until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 to 165°F). Then, remove the chicken to a plate so you can cook the sauce.

Seared chicken breasts in a pan.

Make the sauce: Add the butter to the pan, and sauté the garlic in the butter for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, and reduce the sauce for a minute or two until slightly thickened.

Finish and serve: Add the chicken back to the pan, and spoon the sauce on top to soak up all that flavor. Garnish with lemon zest, and if you’d like, chopped parsley and lemon slices to make it a fabulous-looking dish. Enjoy this right away with some of the side dishes I mention below or store this away to enjoy throughout the week. You can find storage instructions in the recipe notes within the recipe card.

Making garlic butter sauce in a pan.

A few Helpful tips

Lemon pepper chicken with mashed potatoes.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

I hope you love this lemon pepper chicken recipe as much as I do! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.

A pan with lemon pepper chicken.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

4.98 from 34 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This lemon pepper chicken dinner is perfect for busy weeknights. It's bright and tangy with a golden crust and topped with the best lemony garlic butter sauce. Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen!

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

For the lemon pepper chicken

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • optional: garnish with freshly chopped parsley and lemon slices

Instructions 

  • Cut the chicken: Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally.
    Sliced chicken breasts.
  • Mix the seasoning: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, lemon pepper seasoning, and salt.
    Mixing lemon pepper seasoning.
  • Season the chicken: Sprinkle the seasoning evenly over both sides of the chicken, pressing it in with your hands.
    Coating chicken breasts with lemon pepper seasoning.
  • Cook the chicken: Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, then flip over and cook another 3 to 4 minutes (until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 to 165°F). Remove to a plate.
    Cooking lemon pepper chicken in a pan.
  • Make the sauce: Add the butter to the pan, and saute the garlic in the butter for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, and reduce the sauce for a minute or two.
    Making garlic butter lemon sauce in a pan.
  • Finish and serve: Add the chicken back to the pan, and spoon the sauce on top. Garnish with lemon zest, and if you'd like, chopped parsley and lemon slices.
    A white pan with lemon pepper chicken.

Lisa’s Tips

Storage Tips
  • To store for the week: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Make sure to save all the extra sauce left in the pan as well!
  • To freeze: Store any leftovers or a second batch in the freezer! It will keep for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container
  • To reheat: If frozen, thaw in the fridge the night before, then warm up in the microwave for a minute or two. 
More Tips
  • You can use your favorite flour of choice. If you’re gluten-free I recommend using arrowroot powder, tapioca flour, or cornstarch. If you’re not gluten-free, you can use all-purpose flour. 
  • Watch the ingredient lists on store-bought lemon pepper seasonings. Some have fillers and low-quality ingredients. I’m using the Simply Organic brand (linked above in the ingredients). 
  • This is the instant-read thermometer I use. 

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 428mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Pepper Chicken, Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




72 Comments

    1. Hi Sharon – You can find all of that either in the Shop page on my website or Amazon storefront!

  1. ¡¡¡FABULOSO!!! Lots of lemon flavor first, then the peppery goodness follows. Simple really is better with the right ingredients.

    I knew by the lemon pepper, amount of lemon juice & the sprinkle of zest that it would be great. Other recipe sites had only regular pepper & a mere teaspoon of lemon juice. So glad I found this.

    I only had chicken thighs on hand so there was a lot of fat. Cooking time was longer but the flavor was still amazing. Will definitely use chicken breast in the future.

    Thanks Lisa :-)5 stars

  2. Delicious and easy! Also fast to make. We had streamed asparagus with some of the delicious sauce drizzled on top, and baked potatoes. Definitely a keeper recipe! Thanks 😊5 stars

  3. I loved made this with chicken breast and everyone loved it!! – so quick and easy!!
    This is now one of my very fast dinner recipes!!5 stars

  4. I just made this with turkey breasts and it was delicious. Fast and easy lunch. Didn’t even have the chance to take the picture. Thumbs up!
    We don’t normally have lemon pepper seasoning to buy in Croatia, but I just mixed some lemon zest, ground pepper and garlic.5 stars

  5. Wonderful! So glad to find your site. I didn’t have lemon pepper seasoning, so I made my own as I had all the ingredients…..found on Pinterest. Love your recipes! Always good to find something different to fix. Thanks!5 stars

  6. Fantastic. Wonderful marriage of flavours. Made it with Yukon mashed potatoes and air fryer green beans. Definitely having this as a regular meal. Thank you.5 stars

  7. I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. The lemon butter sauce was so flavorful, and the chicken was so moist. I served it with roasted asparagus. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes.5 stars

  8. Made this tonight for dinner….it was a hit with my guys….the only complaint they had was I did not make enough. Definitely a family favorite. I actually make a lot of your recipes. Thanks for all you do!5 stars

  9. Hi, Lisa!
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
    I’ve just made it and it’s awesome.
    I just wanna to ask, the nutrition of recipe is for 1 serving or for 100g?
    P.S. Sorry for my english. It’s not my native language.😅

  10. Another hit, thank you! I served it with some mashed potatoes but was too tired to make any veggies. Do you recommend storing the leftover chicken and sauce separately, or does it matter? Thanks!5 stars

  11. Quick and easy chicken recipe that wows the palate with a fresh citrusy taste! As well as it is delicious, it also looks fantastic on a bed of sautéed shaved sprouts.5 stars

  12. As usual, this recipe was easy to follow and delicious! Served it with rice and a Greek side salad and the flavors all paired together wonderfully. The pan sauce was so good my husband said he wanted to literally lick the plate!

    We used flour this time as mentioned in the recipe card as an alternative to arrowroot. I think I’ll try cornstarch next time as mentioned up in the post to see if it gets a little more sear on the chicken.5 stars

    1. Made this for a second time with cornstarch in place of flour and it was even better! The sear on the chicken and the taste of the pan sauce were incredible! I served it this time with your Mediterranean chickpea salad and rice… sooooo good!!

  13. Hi Lisa! Do you know if arrowroot powder affects blood sugar? If it does, do you think I can I use almond flour?

    1. Hi Shelley – That is something you’ll need to consult your doctor about as it can be different for anyone.

  14. I made this for lunch today and it was delicious. I made the lemon pepper from scratch as I could not find a brand without crap or sugar. I love the portion sizes of the scalloped breast. It is also so tender when done this way. I am going to adapt the greek lemon chicken to a stove top version as well.

    I love the warmth of the pepper and the tang of the lemon zest.

    Thanks for another inspired recipe and good luck with the move!5 stars

  15. I made this for dinner tonight and I have to say this is my new favorite dish. I served it with steamed green beans and mashed cauliflower. Sooo good. Thanks, Lisa!5 stars

  16. Hi, this is a lovely fresh tasting recipe. Very easy with most of the ingredients on hand. I can’t wait to make this again. Thanks,5 stars

  17. Yes to this!!
    I had to make a few adjustments based on ingredients on hand:
    I did not have chicken broth, so I used white vermouth.
    It was delish – and as a bonus, I sautéed green beans in the pan after I spooned the sauce over the chicken.
    Loved it.
    thanks5 stars

  18. This chicken is delicious! I thought I had the lemon pepper spice, turns out I didn’t so I used garlic , salt and pepper and it was still sooo good!

  19. Easy to make and chicken comes out very juicy! My picky 7 year old said it was yummy and my picky 5 year old tried multiple bites (that’s a win!)
    Served with gnocchi and salad5 stars

  20. Absolutely delicious! Hubby even helped juice the lemons for me after he went and bought them lol! Easy cleanup too!5 stars

  21. Made this easy chicken recipe tonight and my 21 year-old-son ate three helpings! No leftovers with this tasty and tender chicken dish. He had one helping with rice. We made Lisa’s green bean almondine too and it felt like a Sunday dinner without the fuss.5 stars

  22. Great recipes thank you for all the information. I just prepared a dish for my mother-in-law who just turned 101 years old. Absolutely delicious.

    Thank you, Jim Annicelli

  23. Absolute delicious. I made this tonight using chicken tenders and paired it with pasta. My whole family engulfed it and they want me to make it again to put over rice. They loved the refreshing taste of the sauce. Also, I doubled the recipe because I wanted to make sure I had plenty of sauce and chicken.5 stars

  24. Hi Lisa. I love all your recipes and every one I’ve done (and I’ve done a lot!) are delicious. I love the look of this recipe but we don’t seem to have lemon pepper seasoning in the UK. What can you suggest as a replacement?

    1. Hi Claire – you can just stick to salt, pepper, and a smidge of garlic powder on the chicken, then use the fresh lemon juice plus lemon zest. Enjoy!