This Easy Baked Lemon Chicken recipe is made with chicken thighs or chicken breasts, fresh lemons, herbs and garlic. It's a one-pan paleo and keto lemon chicken dish that is guaranteed to become a family favourite! So easy and so delicious!
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. 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, garlic and 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 recipes is both paleo and keto-friendly!
🛒 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, 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 sometimes 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 this 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.
For a festive dinner, you'll love this Instant Pot Cranberry Pistachio Rice Pilaf.
❓ Frequently asked questions
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.
Yes, this chicken dish 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!
This post has been updated with extra information. The recipe remains the same.
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📖 Recipe Card
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.