Chicken With Lemon Recipe Healthy – Health And Beauty. Looking for healthy chicken recipes? This chicken with lemon recipe can be healthy, depending on the type of preparation you choose.
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Healthy Lemon Chicken Recipe
PREP TIME 5 mins
COOK TIME 30 mins
SERVINGS 4 servings
CALORIES 426 kcal
Allow us to introduce you to this easy, delicious and healthy lemon chicken recipe.
Like many nine-to-five people, we love treating ourselves with good food after work. However, we understand how difficult it can be to plan a wholesome meal that is easy to make.
Especially when you’ve had a long day at work or just finished running errands.
If you’re looking for a healthy dinner idea that tastes gourmet, you need to read along. Today’s lemon chicken recipe yields a bright, lemony, and buttery result, and might be just the thing for you.
In this dish, tender, golden brown pan-seared chicken pieces are bathed in a creamy lemon sauce. Your dinner will be done in a few minutes.
Is Lemon Chicken Healthy?
Take a look at the list of ingredients below. You’ll notice that besides the chicken, butter, and heavy cream, the flavor is also enhanced with spices and herbs.
Despite being so creamy and rich, lemon chicken provides just enough of the recommended amount of saturated fat. In this lemon chicken recipe, saturated fat is still kept within your recommended daily consumption.
For more information, here’s an article about saturated fat and how much you should eat per day.
Another healthy factor is that there is no added sugar, making this a low-carb recipe, perfect for low-carb dieters. The total amount of carbs might vary, though, as it depends on the dish that sides with lemon chicken.
So yes, according to our healthy eating guidelines, lemon chicken is healthy. Yet, please note that this recipe is not supposed to follow any particular diet.
Calories in Lemon Chicken
If served on its own, lemon chicken provides 426 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat— all within healthy limits. You can replace the heavy cream in this recipe with half-and-half to cut down both values.
How to Make Lemon Chicken
Step 1: Prep the chicken
Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. Split each breast halfway to form a pocket.
Step 2: Make the marinade mixture
In a small bowl, mix together ground black pepper, dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of garlic, and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Rub the chicken breasts with the marinade mixture on both sides and inside the pockets.
Step 3: Sear the chicken
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the pan and sear each side for 10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
Step 4: Make the lemon sauce (1)
In the same pan used for searing the chicken, add shallots, 1 teaspoon of garlic, and butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir.
Step 5: Make the lemon sauce (2)
Add flour in, stir for 1 minute. Whisk everything together whenever an ingredient is added.
Step 6: Make the lemon sauce (3)
Add chicken broth in. Let simmer and whisk for 2 minutes.
Step 7: Make the lemon sauce (4)
Add whole milk, heavy cream, and salt. stir for 1 minute.
Step 8: Make the lemon sauce (5)
Add the chicken breasts back in.
Step 9: Make the lemon sauce (6)
Add lemon juice and dill, whisk gently, and let simmer for 3 minutes so the cream combines with the rest.
Step 10: Finish and serve
Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley and red pepper flakes on top, let everything simmer for 2 minutes, and turn off the heat. Transfer lemon chicken onto plates and serve hot.
How to Make Lemon Sauce for Chicken
The process of making lemon sauce for chicken is simple. In the same pan that you used to sear the chicken, stir shallots, garlic, and butter together over medium heat.
Next, add flour, chicken broth, and milk successively, spending a minute or two to whisk around after each ingredient. Return the chicken breasts back into the pan together with heavy cream and lemon juice.
Whisk everything gently and let simmer for a couple of minutes. The cream will slowly come together with the other ingredients.
Sprinkle chopped fresh dill, parsley, and red pepper flakes on top, and there you have it!
Substituting for Chicken Breast
We can say with certainty that our lemon chicken recipe works with either chicken breast, thigh, leg, or wing. The cooking steps remain unchanged, the only difference is how long each type of chicken cutlets cook on the stove.
1. Chicken Thighs
Both thighs and legs are dark meat. They have a stronger flavor, higher fat content, and are also more succulent and juicy when cooked.
As chicken thighs hold more fat, they need longer to cook than chicken breasts.
Cooking chicken on a skillet is a faster route to creating a chicken dish than cooking one in the oven. Good news, our lemon chicken recipe uses this method.
Boneless thighs will take approximately the same cooking time as chicken breasts. However, for bone-in cutlets, you need to add about 5 extra minutes of cooking time to each side.
Normally, when chicken thighs are in use, their skin is left on for a crispy outer layer. Keeping the skin also helps protect the chicken from drying out, however, it does increase the fat content.
Of course, the cooking time will vary depending on the size and the thickness of the chicken cuts.
If it’s too complicated to estimate the moment of doneness, consider investing in a thermometer. As long as the internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F, it’s ready to be served.
2. Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are the most crispy and juicy when deep-fried. Therefore, we don’t really recommend using chicken wings in this recipe.
Truth be told, the style of bathing the meat in a creamy sauce just isn’t made for chicken wings. Nevertheless, you can still treat chicken wings in the same way as chicken thighs if they’re cooked on a skillet.
Tips for Making Lemon Chicken
If the lemon sauce reduces too quickly, add water to thin it out and cook to your desired consistency.
If you happen to buy a thick chicken breast, please spend some time to halve or pound it thin. By doing so, the chicken will better absorb the marinade and have greater flavor.
As different stoves heat up to different levels, be on top of the temperature. It’s important to watch when the chicken is cooking and reduce the heat if it begins to brown too fast.
It’s okay to adjust the amounts of cream, milk, chicken broth or lemon juice. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
If you’re feeling the suggested amounts of cream and milk will make the sauce too buttery, simply cut them down. However, be careful not to reduce them too far.
The reason for that is simple. If the lemon juice overshadows other ingredients in the sauce, the chicken could end up being dry and bitter.
Therefore, please be sure to keep chicken broth, cream, and milk in moderate amounts. These ingredients add moisture and fat to the meat, helping to prevent the drying effects of the lemon juice.
Lemon chicken is also convenient for make-ahead dinners. To make it in advance, marinate the chicken with the spices, cover, and store in the fridge until you’re ready.
It’s no surprise that this method allows the meat to marinate better. The chicken has more time to absorb different flavors, therefore results in juicier and tastier chicken.
What Goes with Lemon Chicken
Every meal should include equal portions of meat and vegetables, so what kind of greens would do for this recipe? Fortunately, we know some that might pull the dish together.
Artichoke, sautéed spinach, kale, or collard greens, can be the best options to pair with this lemon chicken recipe. Either boiled or sautéed veggies are recommended.
Asparagus, green beans, or Brussel sprouts are a wise and delicious addition for lemon chicken. Not only will they taste amazing with the sauce, but their crunchy texture will add another dimension to the dish.
Similar to asparagus, broccoli adds a nice crunch to the dish and helps balance the creamy rich sauce. You can choose to either bake or steam all the above greens.
Potatoes are so versatile that they can go well with almost any dish you can think of. Smashed or roasted potatoes would be perfect for this lemon chicken recipe.
You should also try roasted sweet potatoes for a change. All you need to do is season whole potatoes with spices and herbs, then cook them on a wire rack.
In another method, you can even wrap them in tin foil to make baked sweet potatoes. Either way, there will be delicious potatoes to pair with the chicken.
Carrots and tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes often have high carbohydrate content. So do keep an eye on them when pairing if you’re following a low-carb diet.
If you love this recipe, this honey butter chicken might be of help. For more delicious chicken recipes, check out our healthy chicken roundup.
What to Serve with Lemon Chicken
Combining the right flavor enhancers for lemon chicken will make it an easy job for you to pull things together. In the same vein, choosing the right side dish is no less important.
1. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are versatile and loaded with organic flavors. Veggies are chopped small, baked together and topped with melted parmesan cheese.
The flavor enhancing agents are simple: only garlic, fresh pepper, and your favorite herbs. Their sweet and earthy taste easily matches a wide variety of meaty dishes like this lemon chicken.
2. Carrot Juice
Carrot juice is hearty with the mix-and-match of carrot, celery, and apple, with a hint of tang from ginger. The celery becomes more subtle in taste when diluted with carrot juice.
This drink can be made with ease in your kitchen within a couple of minutes. It makes a refreshing juice that’s low in calories, rich in antioxidants, and suitable for any meal, big or small.
In terms of a balanced, nutritious meal, we recommend only a small portion of the pasta alongside the chicken. Try adding vegetables to the meal to make sure you’re provided with energy from all three macronutrients.
Besides vegetables, rice and pasta can also be served with this lemon chicken recipe. A small bowl of hot steamed rice is enough to make it a complete square meal.
Feel free to substitute for brown rice or quinoa for a healthier bed of carbs!
Easy Fried Healthy Lemon Chicken
This Healthy Lemon Chicken is coated in almond flour, fried until crispy, then drizzled with the best lemon butter sauce. It is one of the most flavorful 30 minute healthy dinner ideas!
Just like healthy chicken Parmesan and Caprese chicken skillet, all these Italian inspired dishes look impressive but are so easy to make at home.
Lemon chicken! Whenever I see crispy coated thin chicken breast cutlets, smothered in sauce and dotted with garlic bits, caper or lemon wedges, I think of a luxurious Italian Restaurant. Are you the same?
Well, friends, you can make this easy healthy lemon chicken recipe at home.
All there is to a delicious lemon chicken breast is to quickly coat it in a flour of your choice and pan sear thin chicken cutlets. Then make healthy lemon sauce by deglazing the pan, pour over meat and garnish with lemon slices.
Why This Recipe Works?
- Takes 30 minutes: Meets all requirements of a busy home cook. So quick!
- Flavorful: The star of the dish is obviously fresh lemon butter sauce with garlic morsels. A match made in heaven.
- Healthy: The breading consists of wholesome almond flour full of healthy fats. Amount of butter is only 3 tbsp per entire recipe. And then 2 lbs of lean chicken breasts. Saturated fat is only 4 grams per serving.
- Gluten free: If you use all-purpose gluten free flour blend or almond flour.
Ingredients You Will Need
Literally just 6 ingredients, besides oil, salt and pepper, and 30 minutes separate you and the best healthy lemon chicken! Please see more variations in tips section below.
- Chicken: We use boneless and skinless chicken breasts. Chicken tenders are great too!
- Almond flour: Frying chicken in almond flour in oil on the non-stick skillet ensures it doesn’t soak up too much oil. Any flour like all-purpose, gluten free etc. works though.
- Lemon: Amount of lemon depends on how tart you like your lemon chicken. Not sure? Start with less. I always use 1 tbsp when baking healthy lemon zucchini muffins or healthy lemon zucchini bread, so I did the same for chicken.
- Butter and oil: I use olive oil for searing chicken and butter is to “sweeten” the sauce and offset lemon tartness.
- Chicken stock: Low sodium chicken stock creates volume for the healthy sauce. Worst case scenario, you can use water.
- Garlic, salt and pepper: Garlic sauteed in a bit of butter is always a good idea for any sauce.
How to Make Healthy Lemon Chicken
Our easy gluten free lemon chicken breast recipe is healthy, fast and uber delicious.
The key is having chicken sliced, dredging station prepped and garlic minced before you begin to fry the chicken cutlets. After that it is literally 15 minutes until buttered lemon chicken dinner is ready!
- Prep and season chicken: Slice chicken breasts into thin cutlets lengthwise. This step eliminates messy pounding, however you can do that as well if you like really thin cutlets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper generously on both sides.
- Pan sear the chicken: Pre-heat ceramic non-stick skillet until hot and oil sizzles. Dredge each cutlet in flour, then pan sear for about 4-5 minutes per side. You can pack them tightly and add a bit more oil as chicken soaks it up. Add a bit of butter and garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Deglaze the skillet: Add stock, lemon juice and zest, and more butter. Let mixture boil for 2 minutes to make luscious lemon butter sauce. Pour lemon butter sauce over chicken and that is all to scrumptious best lemon chicken recipe in the world!
What to Serve with Lemon Chicken Breasts?
This lemony chicken makes a great addition to my easy spaghetti with tomato sauce. Or try serving it with one of these Ukrainian sides: Instant Pot mashed potatoes, cucumber and tomato salad or garlic green beans.
Also try it cold. As a kid growing up in Ukraine, deli meat was expensive and no microwaves.
We often ate leftover ground chicken burgers and cutlets cold on a slice of bread as a sandwich. I still enjoy chicken dishes this way besides freshly cooked, of course.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs Instead?
Yes, if you prefer to use chicken thighs in this recipe, you will need about 9-10 pieces of boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Do not cut them into thin cutlets. I recommend to pound them a little bit with a mallet into uniform size pieces.
Also please note that cook time might be a tad bit longer. It depends on the thickness of chicken thighs you purchase at the grocery store. They all differ.
To see if your lemon chicken chicken thighs are ready, just make a small incision in the middle. If juices run clear, chicken is cooked. Or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
More Tips and Variations
This healthy lemon chicken recipe ticks all the boxes for a busy home cook. Use what you have on hand and to suit your family’s taste buds.
- Lemon size: My lemon was from Costco, so giant. You can use less lemon juice if you don’t like very tart lemon chicken but if you do love lemon, make these healthy lemon poppy seed muffins, pronto!
- For lemon garlic chicken: Add more garlic. Especially, if you grate garlic, dish will be more garlicky. If you mince it – more lemony.
- Add white wine: You can replace some of chicken stock with a bit white wine. I wouldn’t use only wine because dish is already acidic from lemon. I would not use a lot of white wine, if any, because we have acidic lemon here.
- Make less: Feel free to cut recipe in half to feed 2-3 people. Leftovers taste cold very good though and last for days.
Easy Healthy Baked Lemon Chicken
Total Time:30 MINUTES
The name says it all, this recipe is exactly what you are looking for if you’re in the mood for Easy Healthy Baked Lemon Chicken with tangy, savory flavors. Got 30 minutes, a couple of lemons and some chicken breasts? Then this juicy – never dry – lemon chicken should be your dinner tonight!
Hellooooooo friends! Did you survive the weekend? I did and then some! I spent mine in Portland—my first time in Oregon and I am happy to report that I l.o.v.e.d. it. I only wish I’d had more time to explore the city, but the good news is that this was just a preview and we are planning a family trip to the Oregon Coast this summer which is a good thing because I NEED more marionberry ice cream.
I couldn’t tell you why but the entire time I was out of town I was craving lemon chicken.
I keep a running list of recipe ideas in my phone and when we were on the train going from the airport to our hotel I added lemon chicken to my menu for this week and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since.
After waiting all weekend to try it out, I am thrilled that it was worth the wait because I love how this healthy baked lemon chicken turned out! It is juicy, tender, savory with a hint of sweetness, and so so easy to make. I served it with pan-roasted garlic asparagus and it was absolute heaven.
HOW DO YOU MAKE HEALTHY BAKED LEMON CHICKEN?
Are you ready to put together the easiest lemon chicken on the planet? Don’t worry if you’re not used to cooking, I’m here to help you along the way!
Preheat your oven and grease your cooking sheet or baking dish. (Use cooking spray for a healthier option.) Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high and add the chicken, cooking on both sides until they are both browned. This should only take about 2-3 minutes per side. Then put the chicken on the baking sheet.
Next, whisk together in a small bowl the broth, lemon juice, honey, garlic, Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper and pour this over the chicken. Stick the pan, sauce and all, in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts. About every 5-10 minutes, open the oven door and carefully spoon the sauce over the top of the breasts to help bake in the most flavor. When it’s done cooking, pull the chicken out of the oven and serve. I like to serve mine with some fresh rosemary and lemon slices.
WHAT DO YOU EAT LEMON CHICKEN WITH?
When I got home from my trip and made this dish, I served mine alongside asparagus, and it was delicious. Other ideas for sides that go with lemon chicken include:
- Rice. Whether you cook white, brown, wild, or a pre-packaged rice pilaf or other rice dish, I think rice always pairs well with chicken.
- Egg noodles. I love egg noodles any which way. But cook up a package of them and add a lemon chicken breast to the top then spoon some of the pan juices over that with an extra squeeze of lemon — mmmmm!
- Roasted vegetables. If you are not a fan of asparagus, how about broccoli, string beans, or Brussels sprouts?
- Potatoes. For another delicious, starchy side option, I always go for potatoes. Mashed, baked, or roasted, you really can’t go wrong with lemon chicken and potatoes.
- Salad. Another favorite side of mine is a simple side salad. Use whatever greens and veggies you have on hand to create a one-of-a-kind nutritious veggie dish to munch on in between bites of lemony chicken.
- Greens. Or, you could take your heartier greens (kale, spinach, chard) and cook them up or steam them down into a warm, comforting side.
DOES LEMON JUICE DRY OUT CHICKEN?
If you only use lemon juice on your chicken, then yes, it can dry it out. That’s why I like to pair the juice with other ingredients, such as the chicken broth, honey, and butter to add moisture and fat to the chicken to counteract any drying effects lemon juice might have. What your left with is all of the flavor of the lemon chicken and none of that dry, hard-to-chew taste.
CAN YOU MARINATE CHICKEN OVERNIGHT IN LEMON JUICE?
Along the same vein as using only lemon juice when baking lemon chicken, marinating chicken in only lemon juice will also dry it out.
But, if you do like your chicken super lemony, you can marinate it up to two hours in a glass or plastic bowl with a lid or in an airtight plastic bag. I would suggest that you use a lemon marinade instead of straight-up lemon juice that includes olive oil or another fat and some spices to keep the lemon juice from breaking the chicken down and drying it out.
Bottom line, you need to make this Healthy Baked Lemon Chicken today!