Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken

$7.58 recipe / $1.90 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 28 votes
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Are you in a chicken rut? Cooking the same ol’ boring chicken breast week after week? Yeah, then you need to try this Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken ASAP. It’s savory, tart, and peppery, and has a delicious pan sauce that you’ll want to spoon over your entire plate! This one is so quick and flavorful, I know it’s going to go into your regular rotation. ;)

Overhead view of lemon pepper chicken in the skillet, garnished with lemon slices

What Kind of Chicken Should I Use?

This quick skillet cooking method requires thin chicken pieces that cook quickly, like boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into thinner pieces), chicken tenders, thin-cut chicken breast, or chicken thighs. This method is not suitable for bone-in chicken.

Do I Need Fresh Lemon?

Nope! While I did garnish this dish with some fresh lemon slices (I had those leftover from another dish), you actually don’t need fresh lemon to make this lemon pepper chicken! Most of the lemon flavor comes from the potent lemon pepper seasoning. The small amount of lemon juice added to the pan sauce can be bottled.

What Is Lemon Pepper Seasoning?

The lemon pepper seasoning I used to flavor this recipe is a mix of lemon zest, pepper, citric acid, and salt. Most major spice brands in the U.S. as well as many major generic store brands make their own lemon pepper seasoning, so it should be easy to find in just about any grocery store in the U.S. If you can’t find lemon pepper at your local store, there are plenty of recipes online for homemade lemon pepper seasoning.

Make sure to check if the lemon pepper seasoning you have contains salt. If it does not, you may need to add more salt to the recipe below.

What to Serve with Lemon Pepper Chicken

I went full-on lemon and served my Lemon Pepper Chicken with Lemon Parsley Pasta, but it would also go great with some Sautéed Vegetables, Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad, Roasted Broccoli, Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus, Spinach Rice with Feta, or Spanish Chickpeas and Rice.

A sliced piece of lemon pepper chicken on a plate with pasta.
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Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken

5 from 28 votes
These Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts are so tender and juicy, and you'll want to spoon that delicious pan sauce over EVERYTHING. 
Overhead view of lemon pepper chicken in the skillet with lemon slices
Servings 4
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs. total) ($6.79)
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning ($0.30)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth ($0.07)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.14)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) ($0.10)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)

Instructions 

  • Use a sharp knife to carefully fillet the chicken breasts into two thinner peices (or use thin-cut chicken breasts).
  • Combine the flour and lemon pepper seasoning in a bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over both sides of the chicken breast pieces and then rub it in until the chicken is fully coated.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium. When the skillet and oil are very hot, add the chicken and cook on each side until golden brown (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate and cover to keep warm.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for about one minute.
  • Add the chicken broth to the skillet and whisk to dissolve all the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the lemon juice and allow the sauce to simmer in the skillet for 3-5 minutes, or until it has reduced slightly. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed (I did not add any).
  • Finally, return the chicken to the skillet and spoon the sauce over top. Allow the chicken to heat through. Season with a little freshly cracked pepper and fresh chopped parsley (optional), then serve.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 253.4kcalCarbohydrates: 3.53gProtein: 34.45gFat: 10.43gSodium: 656.68mgFiber: 0.15g
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Pan sauce being spooned over a piece of lemon pepper chicken in the skillet

How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken – Step by Step Photos

Two chicken breasts cut into thinner fillets

Use a sharp knife to carefully fillet two boneless, skinless chicken breasts into thinner pieces (or use thin-cut chicken breasts).

lemon pepper flour being sprinkled over the chicken pieces

Combine 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour and 1 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning in a bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over both sides of the chicken pieces.

Coated chicken breasts on the cutting board

Smear the flour mixture over both sides of the chicken until they’re evenly coated.

Browned chicken breasts in the skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a skillet over medium. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and cook on both sides until golden brown (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate and cover to keep warm.

Butter and garlic added to the skillet

Add 1 Tbsp butter and one minced clove of garlic to the skillet. Sauté the garlic for about one minute.

Chicken broth being poured into the skillet

Pour ½ cup chicken broth into the skillet and whisk to dissolve all the browned bits off the bottom. Add 1 tsp lemon juice to the broth, then let the broth simmer in the skillet for 3-5 minutes, or until it has reduced just slightly. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed (I did not add any, but this will depend on the salt content of your lemon peppers seasoning and broth).

Chicken returned to the skillet, pan sauce being spooned over top

Return the chicken to the skillet and spoon the sauce over top. Allow the chicken to heat through (a few minutes).

Finished lemon pepper chicken in the skillet topped with parsley

Top the chicken off with some freshly cracked pepper and chopped parsley (optional), then serve!

A fork lifting a slice of lemon pepper chicken from the plate

The lemon helps keep the chicken extra tender, juicy, and flavorful! Enjoy!

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  1. 5 picky teenagers and my husband ALL gave this 5 stars. I shared it with my siblings and their families loved it too. A complete win! Thank you!!

  2. Absolutely delicious! It was so easy to make and I followed the recipe exactly. 100% recommend!

  3. This was excellent. Flavor was on point . Served it with angel hair pasta and broccoli and my family really enjoyed it . Only wish i had made more of the sauce for the pasta.

  4. I made this recipe last night and it turned out great! Literally the ONLY thing I changed was that I used chicken tenders instead of breasts because that’s all I had. The amount of chicken was basically the same. The flour/ lemon pepper seasoning rub was perfect. Next time I’m going to try to double the ingredients for the sauce because my husband and I couldn’t get enough! I served this with whole wheat penne lightly buttered. 

  5. This is seriously an amazing recipe. I make it all the time. Chicken is always a bit scary for me and I often mess it up but this recipe is very forgiving and always tasty even if the chicken is a bit over cooked !! I can’t help but drink the leftover sauce when I’m cleaning up… my boyfriend and I call it ‘the forbidden juice’ 

  6. This was absolutely delicious. I didn’t have lemon pepper seasoning so I added 1 tsp of pepper and salt to the flour and more lemon juice to the sauce. My husband loved it!!! Served it with orzo and asparagus.

    1. Nope. You definitely won’t get the same browning effect in the oven, which is important for adding flavor to this sauce.

  7. Delicious! I worry about overcooking chicken breasts, but this turned out great! Thank you—I’ve been in a cooking slump, and your recipes inspire me.