Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe made with juicy chicken coated in a rich, buttery sauce with a refreshing burst of lemon. This easy chicken recipe is ready in 35 minutes!
I wanted an easy chicken recipe for busy weeknights that’s both delicious and quick. Using one skillet and store-bought seasoning, this lemon pepper chicken recipe produces extra tender, thinly sliced chicken with a savory, zesty sauce for your whole plate.
What Is Lemon Pepper Seasoning?
Lemon pepper seasoning is a blend of spices with a delicate citrus flavor and a kick of cracked pepper. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy, it gives chicken, seafood, pasta, and salad a bright, flavorful boost.
For this lemon pepper chicken breast I used salt-free lemon pepper seasoning.
Ingredients for Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe
This lemon pepper chicken recipe uses 8 simple ingredients. All pantry staples, you could make it tonight!
- Chicken breasts: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Since we will be slicing them into thinner cutlets for this quick skillet method, chicken breasts can be different sizes.
- Spices: Salt, pepper, and salt-free lemon pepper seasoning. Most spice brands make a lemon pepper seasoning and it should be easy to find at your local grocery store. If your lemon pepper spice blend is not salt-free, you may want to use less salt than indicated below on the full recipe card.
- Olive oil: I like using extra-virgin olive oil for its taste.
- Butter and lemon: To add flavor and body to the sweet and savory pan sauce.
- Fresh herbs: Finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish. Fresh basil or fresh dill can also be used.
How to Make Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken
Here’s how to make easy lemon pepper chicken in 4 simple steps using just one large pan.
- Slice and season chicken breasts: Using a sharp knife, cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Starting at the thickest part, slice on a diagonal so you have 8 thinner cutlets. Season both sides with lemon pepper seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Pan fry chicken: Cook the chicken in batches. Preheat large skillet on medium-high heat, once hot add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat. Pan fry chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer onto a plate, add more oil and repeat with remaining chicken.
- Make the sauce: After you remove all chicken onto a plate, return skillet to medium heat. Add butter and wait until it has melted. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and stir scraping brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes on low heat. Turn off heat.
- Finish chicken and serve: Add your cooked chicken one by one to the pan with the sauce. Coat each chicken piece in sauce on both sides while spooning more sauce on top. Place lemon slices in between, sprinkle with lots of parsley and serve hot with your choice of pasta, veggies or salad.
Variations and Tips for Best Results
To make this recipe for lemon pepper chicken the perfect dish, follow these tips:
- Buy quality lemon pepper seasoning: Make sure to read the ingredients of the lemon pepper seasoning before purchasing. Some brands do not use natural ingredients.
- Use chicken thighs: You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs. Small ones don’t need pounding or cutting, but larger ones should be tenderized.
- Pat dry chicken: If you washed your chicken breasts, I recommend using paper towel to pat dry so it fries better with a crispy exterior.
- Add veggies: Lemon pepper is delicious on vegetables too! Add in asparagus, green beans, or broccoli for some delicious sauteed veggies. Pan fry them after cooking chicken until crisp and tender, then add back in the chicken with the sauce.
- Grill it: Lemon flavored dishes are perfect for spring and summer. Grill lemon pepper chicken just like this grilled lemon rosemary chicken.
What to Serve Lemon Pepper Chicken With?
I love serving pasta, veggies, or salad with this lemon pepper chicken recipe. For a healthy dinner that’s light and refreshing, try baked asparagus, garlic green beans, sauteed broccoli, or a healthy Caesar salad.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Aim to have it in the fridge within two hours.
Freeze: Cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Most of the lemon flavoring comes from the lemon pepper seasoning and there are a number of other spices included in the blend. If you use lemon juice and pepper the chicken will not be as flavorful.
No. If you do not have any fresh lemons you can use bottled lemon juice and skip the lemon zest.
You can not use bone-in chicken for this lemon pepper chicken recipe. When using the quick frying method you need to use thin boneless chicken pieces. Bone-in chicken won’t be cooked inside before it starts burning on the outside.
Chicken should be fried for 6-8 minutes per side, but chicken pieces vary in size and thickness. The chicken is fully cooked when the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
More Skillet Chicken Recipes to Try
Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning salt-free
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large lemon 1/2 lemon – juiced and zested, 1/2 lemon – sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
- Slice chicken breasts into 8 thinner cutlets lengthwise. I cut them on a diagonal starting at the thickest part, making them thinner. Season with lemon pepper seasoning, salt and pepper on both sides.
- Preheat large skillet on medium-high heat and swirl 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat. Pan fry chicken in batches until golden brown or for about 6 minutes per side. Transfer onto a plate and repeat with remaining chicken, adding more oil.
- Return skillet to medium heat, add butter and wait until it has melted. Then add lemon zest, lemon juice and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes on low heat. Turn off heat.
- Add previously cooked chicken one by one while coating it in sauce on both sides and spooning more sauce on top. Tuck in lemon slices in between, sprinkle with lots of parsley and serve hot with your choice of pasta, veggies or salad.