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Lemon Chicken

Our easy lemon chicken recipe shines with a sunny, lemony zing. Garlic and herbs—plus a glug of white wine—mean that these juicy, tender chicken breasts are as delicious as they are healthy.


Lemon Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish

A Healthy, Baked Chicken Breast That’s Anything but Boring (We Promise!)

Lemon chicken is really just a simple baked chicken recipe, jazzed up with some punchy ingredients that add lots of flavor without taking away from how super-healthy baked chicken breasts are. Our lemon chicken recipe is fast and easy—a recipe you might turn to on a busy weeknight when you need dinner to be simple as it can be. It’s also a great one to include in your weekend meal-prep (if you do that kind of thing) because one of the many reasons we love lemon chicken breasts is their versatility. Having a container of them in the fridge, all baked and ready to go, means you’ve got the makings of lots of meals! They can anchor a simple and healthy lunch salad, and are delicious sliced up into hearty sandwiches—ones where the bread is slathered with mayo and Homemade Pesto—for dinner, too.

Ingredients laid out for Lemon chicken, chicken breast, lemon, olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, garlic, spices
spices in a bowl with olive oil
4 chicken breasts with olive oil and spices in a baking dish.
lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.

A Flavor-Giving Trifecta Makes this the Best Lemon Chicken Recipe, Ever.

Let’s start with the good news: lean and protein-packed, boneless, skinless chicken breast is super healthy! The bad news: boneless, skinless chicken breast is kind of bland! The solution? Use the chicken breast as a blank canvas for all of your favorite big flavors, without undermining its’ inherent healthfulness. Our lemon chicken recipe does all of that thanks to a few of our favorite big, bright flavors:

  • Lemon, three ways. We aren’t messing around—this isn’t just lemon chicken. It’s LEMON chicken! We use lemon zest, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and whole lemon slices to give this lemon chicken recipe all of the citrusy punch that we possibly can.
  • Garlic, two ways. We could maybe have called this lemon garlic chicken, since our recipe calls for both fresh garlic cloves and (you guessed it) our beloved garlic powder.
  • Herbs, herbs and more herbs. A whole garden’s worth of fragrance and flavor, all from a few dried herbs that you probably already have in your pantry.
lemon chicken breast in a baking dish with herbs and lemon juice and lemon slices

Watch and Learn

How To Make Lemon Chicken

Our easy, baked lemon chicken recipe is healthy, fast, and so, so delicious. The key is coating the lemon chicken with lots of moisture-giving things, and watching that internal temp closely so that you don’t over-bake the chicken.

  1. Make a lemon chicken marinade. Well, it’s really more like a rub or a paste, because our lemon chicken recipe requires no actual marinating (yay!). But basically, we coat the chicken breasts in a thick, olive oil-based herb paste flavored with oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Make the lemon chicken sauce! Stir together all of the zingy things—white wine, fresh garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice—to make the sauce that the chicken breasts will bake in. You’ll also use this sauce to baste the chicken as it bakes, ensuring that these bright flavors have a chance to be absorbed by the chicken (without having to actually marinate the chicken).
  3. Bake! Until you get that internal temperature reading of 165°F. Then it’s time to dig in!
4 Baked lemon chicken breast in a baking dish topped with lemon slices

Tools You’ll Need:

Lemon Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish
Lemon Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish topped with lemon slices and parsley

You’ve Got Chicken Breast Problems, We’ve Got Chicken Breast Solutions.

We know—we talk a LOT about chicken thighs. But we’ve got love for chicken breast recipes, too. Here, we’ll prove it:

Lemon garlic Chicken breasts baked in a baking dish  topped with

Healthy, Flavorful, Easy.

This one really is all of the things. We hope this healthy lemon chicken recipe felt as miraculously breezy to you as it does to us. Let us know how it all went down! Snap a photo of your baked lemon chicken and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Lemon Chicken

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 237


  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (roughly 2.5 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 slices, optional


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to create a thick marinade/paste. Coat the chicken breast with seasoning paste.
  4. Using the same bowl mix together the white wine, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Pour over chicken breast.
  5. If using, nestle the lemon slices between the chicken bake for 15 minutes, baste the chicken with the pan juice, bake for another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 F.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories237
  • Protein40 g
  • Carbohydrates4 g
  • Total Fat6 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium776 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Lemon Chicken

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • camille garcia

    Why would I use dried herbs if I have access to fresh? Isnt fresh always better or ?

    Feel free to use fresh instead!

  • Louise

    What could I substitute for wine? I have white wine vinegar? Rice wine?

    Chicken stock or chicken broth can be used in place of the wine. Hope you enjoy Louise!

  • Vickey Kipfer

    Cooking time 2 (15min) seems not enough time. Internal temperature 165. No thermometer and full breasts. Can you recommend timing for me

    If you don't have a thermometer you will want to cut into one of the chicken breasts and make sure there is no pink and the juices run clear.

  • Gail

    I don't have fresh lemons can I use lemon juice?

    Sure! Hope you enjoy Gail!

  • Andrea

    Going to try tonight but I don't have thyme, do you have any substitute recommendations?

    you can just leave it out. Or replace with dried basil or Italian seasoning.

  • Alice L Kopec

    This is by far the most delicious lemon chicken recipe I have ever made! Lots of flavor and easy to make! Will be my go-to lemon chicken dish!

    YAY, That is so great to hear! Thank you Alice!

  • Steph

    Wow! This was so good and is in my top five of recipes I’ve made from your site. The flavors really pop.

    Thanks Steph, so happy you loved it!

  • Mary

    Delicious! Even our young grandchildren ate every bite 👍🏻

    Thanks Mary, happy everyone loved it!

  • Dolly

    Have made this a few times with chicken breasts and or thighs. Always comes out wonderful! I usually prep in morning and put in fridge to marinate then bake it later. Leaving it to marinate just Amps up the flavours more! But either way it is a fantastic dish! Love the leftovers for wraps etc.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    Thanks Dolly, glad you love it!

  • Krystle

    Made my smoke alarm go off and I followed directions exactly - there is nothing wrong with my oven. The temp will cause olive oil to smoke. Flavor good but use canola!

    This has never been our experience after recipe testing this several times but we are glad you enjoyed the flavor!