by Olena

Easy Fried Healthy Lemon Chicken

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 23 votes

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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 light 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.

healthy lemon chicken garnished with lemon slices.

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.
closeup of lemon chicken breasts with garlic, lemons and dill

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.

Love citrus and chicken? Try healthy orange chicken next!

lemon chicken with garlic butter sauce in baking dish.

Can I Make This Ahead?

If you like to make dinner in advance, you can refrigerate uncooked and seasoned chicken in a container covered for up to 2 days. Also store lemon zest and juice in another container. Get ingredients ready while skillet is preheating and cook as per recipe.

If you like to meal prep for easy grab-and-go lunches, keep a container of cooked healthy lemon chicken breasts in the fridge. It should last about 3-5 days. Then slice and serve on top of any salad, it tastes amazing cold!!!

This lemon chicken dish tastes very-very good cold! But if you would like to enjoy it warm, reheat by simmering on the stove with a splash of water or chicken stock while covered.

If you have an air fryer, cook it for 4 minutes at 400 degrees F. It will come out crispy and like fresh!

Can I Freeze It?

Yes, you can freeze lemon chicken! Cook and cool it, then place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely on a counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight before reheating. Reheat as per instructions above.

FAQs

Why there is no egg wash in this recipe?

Egg wash is not necessary in this recipe to help the breading stick to the meat. We like to save calories and an extra step whenever we can.

How can I make this dish even healthier?

For a healthier option, omit the almond flour. Slice the chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. Pan fry and then continue with the preparation of the sauce.

You can also omit butter and use extra virgin olive oil instead. However, I believe the dish will be less tasty but still good.

Can I make it in Instant Pot?

Technically you can prepare this healthy lemon chicken in Instant Pot but the coating will be on a soggy side. Pan sear it first, then pressure cook for 5 minutes and release pressure after 5 minutes.

Enjoy this healthy lemon chicken, friends! Please let me know in comments below how you liked it!

More Favorite Chicken Recipes

Healthy lemon butter chicken garnished with lemon slices and dill.
Easy Fried Healthy Lemon Chicken

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.
4.96 from 23 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs 4 large chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • 1 large lemon zested
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup almond flour any flour works
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock low sodium
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 3 tbsp butter unsalted
  • Parsley, basil, lemon wedges for garnish

Instructions

  • Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Thicker parts can be sliced one more time. This step eliminates the need to pound the meat. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.
  • In a shallow plate add flour. Prep other ingredients. Everything has to be ready before you start cooking. Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl 2 tsp oil to coat.
  • Dredge chicken in flour on both sides and add to the skillet as many as you can fit.
  • Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side and transfer onto a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding more oil as necessary and reducing heat as skillet gets hotter.
  • Add 1 tbsp butter and garlic, saute for 20 seconds, stirring often.
  • Add chicken stock, lemon zest and juice, 2 more tbsp of butter and bring to a boil while scraping the bottom. It is called deglazing. 🙂 Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken back to the skillet and spoon lemon butter sauce over it. Alternatively, if you placed chicken in a serving dish after pan searing, you can pour sauce over it right there.
  • Sprinkle with parsley or basil and garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It tastes very-very good cold but you can reheat it by simmering on the stove with a splash of water or chicken stock covered.

    Make ahead: You can refrigerate seasoned chicken in a container covered for up to 2 days. Also store lemon zest and juice in another container. Get ingredients ready while skillet is preheating and voila.

      Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw completely on a counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight before reheating.

        Video

        Notes

        • Other meat: Chicken tenders would work. Also boneless chicken thighs can be used, however cook time might be a tad bit longer.
        • Lemon size: My lemon was from Costco, so giant. You can use less lemon juice if you don’t like very tart lemon chicken.
        • 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.
        • Make less: Feel free to cut recipe in half to feed 2-3 people. Leftovers taste cold very good though and last for days. Just sayin’. 🙂
        See Recipe Post for more Tips.

        Nutrition

        Serving: 2cutlets | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 461mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g

        Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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        49 comments on “Easy Fried Healthy Lemon Chicken

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        1. 5 stars
          I was looking for a gluten free easy chicken recipe that had ingredients I had on hand. This is a winner and is going into our regular rotation. Have made it three times in past two months for a family of 4 and I never have leftovers (we have two teenage boys). It’s so quick and easy to make. When pressed for time we use that pre-cooked brown rice and quinoa from CostCo as a side.

        2. 5 stars
          This is a fantastic recipe. It is easy and delicious. Made it last night, the whole family enjoyed it. Served it with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and salad.

        3. 5 stars
          Made this tonight and the whole family raved! Incredibly easy to prep, but such impressive presentation and flavor. My 12 yr old son (who is the toughest critic, lol) loved the almond flour crust and my husband, who honestly, isn’t crazy about lemon food (I am!), commented multiple times how good it was. I topped it with fresh parsley and it looked gorgeous. (I’m a firm believer that fresh herbs take anything to the next level:) Thanks for another make-again winner.

        4. 5 stars
          Oh, so yummy!!! I told my eldest son that I can’t hold a candle to his Dad’s cooking. But we both really enjoyed it. He was so hungry, that he didn’t give me time to put any pretty garnishes on it. He said, Mom, this one’s a “make again!””

        5. 5 stars
          This was excellent. The flavors blended so well and nothing was overpowering. The sauce was so good over cauliflower mashed. We will have this again. Thank you for this recipe.

        6. 5 stars
          My family loved it and I did too! It presented well on the plate with cooked green beans and quinoa. It tasted great on the palate too 🙂

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