This Easy Baked Lemon Chicken recipe is made with chicken thighs or chicken breasts, fresh lemons, herbs and garlic. It's a one-pan lemon chicken recipe that makes juicy, flavourful chicken with a crispy exterior. Guaranteed to become a family favourite! So easy and so delicious! Keto-friendly.
Made with fresh lemons, herbs and garlic, this Easy Baked Lemon Chicken is a quick weeknight meal, but it's special enough for a dinner party. Just like this Baked Lemon Artichoke Chicken, it will have you dreaming of the sun-drenched Mediterranean!
This is a simple, healthy oven-baked lemon chicken recipe for chicken thighs or breasts, all baked in one pan.
I'm not always on the lookout for the easiest recipe ever. I love playing around with food and changing recipes and tackling something new that might be challenging to me. But if I tried to do that with every dish in a meal, my kitchen (and my meal) would likely be a disaster.
So sometimes it's great to find a shortcut recipe and whip it up quickly so that you have time to concentrate on making an interesting side dish or salad or dessert. And that was the case with this baked lemon herb chicken.
❤️ Why you'll love this lemon chicken recipe
- No searing or browning necessary! Often when I cook chicken thighs, I use a two-step method where I brown the chicken in a skillet first before combining them with a sauce and baking them in the oven. Not this recipe. So simple! Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan, pour over the chicken and bake!
- Lots of flavour from lemon, fresh garlic and aromatic herbs.
- Use chicken thighs or chicken breasts: your choice.
- Freezer-friendly! Make ahead and freeze for busy days.
- Naturally gluten-free. And this juicy chicken recipe is both paleo and keto-friendly!
- Weeknight or weekend! It is a perfect meal for a quick weeknight dinner, but also elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.
🛒 Ingredients for Easy Baked Lemon Chicken
Here's your short list of ingredients.
chicken: use bone-in skin-on thighs, or boneless, skinless thighs, or boneless breasts
garlic: Lots! Fresh is always best.
herbs: Keep it easy and use dried oregano and thyme, or fresh if you have it!
lemons: You'll need these for both lemon juice and lemon zest, and one lemon to slice to add to the pan.
olive oil: for that incredible Mediterranean flavour!
dry white wine: A good glug of white wine! If you don't cook with wine, you can substitute chicken broth.
🔪 Easy Instructions
- Heat a little olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon and herbs in a saucepan.
- Pour into a baking dish.
- Place the chicken in the dish and spoon the sauce over top.
- Bake in the oven.
That's it! Done. The skin turns out nicely browned and crispy, and there is no risk of it coming off and sticking to your skillet.
👍🏼 Helpful tips to make juicy lemon chicken
If you keep the skin on while baking, it keeps the chicken moist. If you use boneless, skinless breasts, be sure to baste frequently during cooking to keep them from drying out.
I prefer thighs over chicken breasts for this recipe as the thighs have more flavour and don't dry out like breasts tend to do, but either will work. Just be sure to baste the chicken breasts with sauce from the baking dish a few times while it is baking. If you're using boneless chicken pieces, you can reduce your baking time.
Check your chicken with an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked to a safe temperature of 165°F.
I have also used Meyer Lemons in this recipe for their sweeter, more intense flavour. They're not always available, so use whatever fresh lemons you have.
🍽 Serving suggestions
What should you serve with baked lemon chicken? It is so versatile and it goes with so many things that I've created a whole round-up of suggestions in this post What to Serve with Lemon Chicken!
I usually keep it simple and serve it with some steamed broccoli or 5-Minute Sesame Asparagus and a side salad. If you're a fan of mashed potatoes, these Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes will make a delicious side for lemon chicken.
This healthy chicken dish also goes well with my Cauliflower Rice, Never Fail Thai Coconut Rice, or try it with these crispy Apple Cider Roasted Root Vegetables .
For a festive dinner, you'll love this Instant Pot Cranberry Pistachio Rice Pilaf.
❓ Questions about Lemon Chicken
Yes! I adapted this recipe slightly from Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken Breasts on the Food Network. I've made it several times, using both boneless chicken thighs and bone-in thighs. I've also made it with chicken breasts.
The lemon sauce on this healthy keto chicken dish has gentle flavours, so a simple dry white wine will pair well with it. You might like to try a Chardonnay, a Pinot Grigio or your favourite dry white wine.
Lemon chicken freezes well. Remove the cooked lemon slices before freezing, then cover the dish or transfer to an airtight baking dish and freeze. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, add fresh lemon slices, then reheat it covered, at 350°F. for about 30 minutes or until heated through. You may want to place it under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp the skin.
Bon Appetit! I hope this becomes a family favourite in your home!
And if you love lemon chicken, you'll love this One-Pan Baked Lemon Artichoke Chicken, too.
🗒 More easy baked chicken recipes
You may also like these other baked chicken recipes on Flavour and Savour! These are the ones that my readers come back to over and over again. Fan favourites!
- Easy Thai Baked Chicken: all your favourite Thai flavours in an easy-to-make chicken dish.
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Roasted Harvest Vegetables: all cooked to perfection on one sheet pan.
- Maple Garlic Glazed Chicken: Only three simple steps are needed to make this sweet and salty glaze with hints of ginger and garlic.
- Honey Dijon Turmeric Chicken Thighs: Juicy chicken with a sweet and spicy sauce makes a quick weeknight meal!
- Grilled Cajun Chicken with Zesty Quinoa: Made with a simple rub of Cajun seasoning, these are served on a bed of fluffy quinoa.
This post has been updated with extra information. The recipe remains the same.
🌟Did you make this easy baked lemon chicken?
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Easy Baked Lemon Chicken
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin
- 3 tablespoon minced garlic, 6 - 9 cloves, depending on size
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano or 4 ½ teaspoons fresh
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 4 ½ teaspoons fresh
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 whole lemon, for slicing and garnish
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR 4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Prepare the sauce. Gently heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the minced garlic and heat until tender but not browned, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat, add the wine, lemon zest and lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and stir.
- Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
- Pat chicken dry. Place skin side up in the dish. Spoon some of the sauce over top to coat completely.
- Slice the lemon and tuck it in, skin side down (otherwise it will scorch) between the chicken pieces.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, (less for boneless breasts) depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Check for doneness. (165°F.) If the skin isn't crispy, place the dish under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until browned.
- Remove from oven, cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Spoon some of the sauce from the bottom of the dish over the chicken just before serving.
Absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I did make the broth thicker with corn starch. Wanted to make enough of the marinade to make Halibut without work. Confident tomorrow's fish will amazing! I ONLY fresh herbs, it does make a difference.
Thank you for this low calorie FABULOUS recipe!!!!!
Thanks Arlene! I'll bet that will be delicious on halibut! Thanks for commenting.
Is it necessary to heat the olive oil and garlic in a saucepan or can you just put it directly in the baking dish to save cleaning a pan? Haha I’m lazy
Hi Alyssa, You could. I'm always looking for shortcuts, too. The reason behind heating it first in a saucepan is to intensify the flavour of roasted garlic. Let me know how your version works!
Just made and ate this and really liked it,I think this recipe will work well with a firm fish like flounder or cod,cooking time halved of course.
Flavour & Savour
I'm happy to hear that, Tim. Yes, great idea to use it with fish! Thanks for sharing that with the rest of us.
I do not cook with alcohol. What can I use in place of the wine?
Flavour & Savour
Hi Maxine, I'd suggest either using a little white grape juice or simply adding chicken broth. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Thanks for your question.
Incredible flavors and love that it's all made in one dish. Easy to clean up.
Flavour & Savour