This creamy lemon chicken is made with lemony sauce over tender, juicy chicken breast, and it's ready in 20 minutes or less!
Update Notes:This post was originally published in June 2013, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in September 2020.
👩🏻🍳 Why I love Creamy Lemon Chicken!
Creamy Lemon Chicken is a great recipe for those crazy evenings when you need something quick and easy. I love the lemony buttery creaminess of the sauce that this creates. It doesn’t look all that pretty, but boy does it have a lot of flavor!
Pair it up with some whole grain noodles and a side veggie and you have an awesome, hot, homemade dinner on the table in minutes. And clean up is easy because all the cooking is done in one skillet!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- chicken cutlets - easy to slice into strips for this recipe.
- flour - ensures that the sauce coats the chicken well.
- butter - gives this dish its creamy richness that makes it so delicious!
- chopped onion - provides a bit of extra flavor and texture.
- chicken broth - another part of the sauce which adds a chicken-y flavor and helps bring everything together.
- lemon juice - balances out some of the onion and the saltiness from the broth.
- Cut the chicken cutlets into lengthwise strips and coat them with flour.
- Over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of your butter in a large skillet.
- Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until it's cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and add the onion to the skillet. Cook the onion until it starts to soften up.
- Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, then bring this to a boil. Simmer until your sauce thickens, which should take about 5 minutes.
- Add the other 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until everything is incorporated.
- Place the chicken back into the skillet and cook until the chicken is warmed through.
Allow the chicken to cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last 3-4 days this way.
Yes! Again, allow your dish to cool, then transfer to an airtight container. In the freezer, your chicken will last at last 2-3 months.
Placing your chicken on a microwave-safe plate and zapping it for about a minute is a good starting point. If it's not hot enough after that, continue to microwave in 30-second intervals. From frozen, allow your creamy lemon chicken to thaw for a couple hours or overnight.
💭 Top Tips
- This creamy lemon chicken works well on its own, but serve it on top of some whole grain noodles or brown rice to elevate the dish!
- If you're looking to increase the health factor on this dish, try using a butter substitute instead of traditional butter. Your sauce should still be creamy, and it may taste a bit different but won't have quite as much fat from the butter.
- This is meant to be a one skillet meal, so use the largest skillet you have for the most streamlined cooking process. However, if you still can't fit all the chicken in one layer, you can split it into two batches. Simply add a little more butter before doing the second batch.
How do I buy the best chicken?
- It’s important to look at the “best by” date, but also pay attention to the color. Your chicken should be a nice, healthy pink hue.
- For the amount of chicken, this recipe calls for strips, so it’s best to buy only as many chicken cutlets or breasts as you’ll need. If you buy more but don’t plan on using the extra chicken right away, you can store it in the freezer for up to nine months.
- If you’re storing raw chicken in the fridge, you should try to use it within 1 to 2 days.
- If you're feeling fancy, use fresh lemon juice and top your chicken with some fresh lemon zest. You can even stir in some actual chunks of lemon during the final step for even more citrus-y flavor!
- For extra nutrition, steam some broccoli or asparagus and toss it in the sauce with the chicken.
- You can also throw in some extra spices and seasonings to adjust the flavor to your liking. Because the flavor of this dish is so creamy, it's easily adaptable. Try adding some garlic powder for a bit more bite, or smoked paprika for a deeper flavor profile.
- Add some herbs for even more flavor. Rosemary and thyme make a great addition, and topping with some chopped parsley not only gives the dish a fancy finish but adds a little bit of extra flavor.
🍗 More Chicken Recipes
If this creamy lemon chicken recipe has you in the mood for more poultry, here are more suggestions!
Or check out this one pan, healthy, low-carb Mediterranean Lemon Feta Chicken, perfect for both busy weeknights AND company! It tastes fancy but it's easy to make and it's an amazing meal everyone will love!
🥗 Suggested Side Dishes
Round out your meal with one of these tasty side dishes!
Easy Creamy Lemon Chicken
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star ⭐ rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry!
📋 Recipe Card
One Skillet Creamy Lemon Chicken
- 1 ½ pounds chicken cutlets or chicken breast
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 tablespoons butter (divided)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
- Cut chicken into strips lengthwise (you want strips that are about ⅓ inch thick) and coat with flour.1 ½ pounds chicken cutlets or chicken breast, ¼ cup flour
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet and let it melt over medium-high heat.4 tablespoons butter
- Add the chicken and cook, about 3 minutes on each side, until done.
- Remove the chicken and add the onion to the skillet. Cook until it begins to soften.¼ cup chopped onion
- Add the chicken broth and lemon and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 5 minutes.1 cup chicken broth, 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir until melted.
- Place chicken back in the skillet and continue to heat until chicken is warmed through.
- The sauce will thicken upon standing, so don't worry if it seems a bit runny. However, if you think it needs to be a little thicker, dissolve a tablespoon of flour into two tablespoons of cold water and then slowly add to the simmering lemon-butter sauce while stirring.
- The lemon adds a lot of flavor, but you can experiment with other variations as well. Try adding some black pepper, or some fresh rosemary or thyme.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
- This dish reheats well in the microwave. Place chicken and sauce (thaw first in the fridge overnight if frozen) on a microwave safe plate, cover with a paper towel to prevent splatters, and heat on high for 1-2 minutes. Check to see if heated through and microwave for additional time if needed.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
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Oh this looks good! Glad to be co hosting with you this month!
Thanks Chandra! 🙂
Looks great 🙂 lovely presentation
Thanks Miss Messy! I am having fun experimenting with different compositions, color palettes, and lighting arrangements. I never knew photography was so complicated (but also fun!)