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This easy lemon garlic chicken recipe is the perfect dish for any occasion, whether it’s dinner at home on a busy night or entertaining guests. With a quick and easy lemon garlic chicken marinade, you can transform simple ingredients into something extraordinary. I include two ways to make it — stovetop (method based on regular baked chicken breast) or oven (method based on pan seared chicken breast) — so you can use whichever one fits your schedule best.
Why You’ll Love This Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe
- Tender, juicy chicken
- Tangy lemon garlic marinade
- Just 6 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- Quick prep time
- Ideal for meal prep, or easy weeknight dinners and date nights alike!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for lemon garlic marinated chicken, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Chicken – I used boneless skinless chicken breasts (white meat), but if you prefer dark meat, you can easily make lemon garlic chicken thighs using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead. You can also use the same marinade for pan fried bone-in chicken thighs, whole chicken (use baking instructions from my spatchcock chicken or crispy air fryer whole chicken), or chicken wings (or try my baked lemon pepper wings instead).
- Olive Oil – Any other neutral cooking oil, such as avocado oil, would work.
- Lemon – You will need a fresh lemon for lemon zest and lemon juice. Save some extra lemon slices for garnish!
- Garlic – I use 4 cloves of fresh minced garlic for the best flavor, but you could use 2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic for convenience. You can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder in a pinch, but the flavor is much better using actual garlic cloves.
- Fresh Parsley – You could use other fresh herbs such as fresh thyme, basil, or rosemary if you prefer.
- Italian Seasoning – Make your own homemade Italian seasoning, or use pre-made seasoning for convenience. If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, simply dried oregano would make a decent substitute.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
TIP: Make the lemon garlic chicken marinade a little sweet!
You can add 1-2 tablespoons of honey (or sugar-free honey) to the marinade if you like a subtle sweet taste.
How To Make Lemon Garlic Chicken
This section shows how to make chicken with lemon garlic marinade, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade:
Whether you make this lemon garlic chicken recipe on the stovetop or in the oven, the marinade is the same:
- Make the marinade. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon garlic chicken marinade ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper).
- Marinate the chicken. Add the chicken breasts to the marinade and turn to coat. (You can also marinate the chicken in a zip lock bag instead. Just remove any extra air, seal, and move the chicken around to coat.) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 24 hours.
The stovetop method is my preference for this garlic lemon chicken recipe, because it creates a beautiful sear on the chicken. The steps are easy:
- Heat the oil. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, until shimmering.
- Cook the chicken. Add chicken breasts in a single layer. Sear each side, until browned and cooked through.
The oven method doesn’t get the nice browning that the stovetop delivers, but it’s a great hands-off option:
- Arrange. Place chicken into a baking dish without overlapping. Top each piece of chicken with a thin slice of lemon, if desired.
- Bake. Place lemon garlic chicken in the oven and bake until cooked through.
TIP: Use a meat thermometer for best results.
With both cooking methods, the internal temperature should reach 162-165 degrees F (72-74 degrees C) when measured with a meat thermometer. (Internal temperature will rise another few degrees when resting.)
For both cooking methods, finish it off by resting and garnishing:
- Rest. Remove chicken from the pan, tent with foil, and let rest before serving or slicing. (This will make it juicy.)
- Garnish. If desired, sprinkle lemon garlic chicken breast with fresh parsley and serve with lemon slices or wedges. Drizzle with sauce from the bottom of the pan when serving.
- Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Meal prep: You can make the marinade and marinate chicken overnight for optimal flavor.
- Reheat: Warm leftovers in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or microwave at 30-second intervals until warm.
- Freeze: Transfer leftovers to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
What To Serve With Lemon Garlic Chicken
Need a delicious side dish? Complete your meal with this flavorful selection of recipes:
- Noodles – Serve the chicken over your favorite cooked pasta, or for lighter options, try zoodles, oven baked spaghetti squash, or simple shirataki noodles.
- Rice – Add chicken on top of a bed of regular rice, or try lighter options like cauliflower rice or low-calorie shirataki rice.
- Veggies – You can pair lemon garlic chicken with just about any vegetable. The lemony flavors of sauteed kale would pair perfectly with this chicken. Or try roasted romanesco, tender Instant Pot broccoli, crisp air fryer green beans (or carrots or corn). For a comforting touch, serve with cheesy asparagus casserole.
- Potatoes – Oven roasted potatoes or softer Instant Pot baked potatoes make a good pairing. If you want even more lemon flavor in your side, try Greek lemon potatoes. I usually serve this chicken with less starchy mashed cauliflower or golden roasted rutabaga.
- Salads – Serve with Greek horiatiki salad, bright and fresh marinated artichoke salad, or a creamy avocado Caprese salad. But, if you want even more protein to your meal, pair it with a cobb salad.
More Easy Chicken Breast Recipes
Need some new chicken recipes to liven up your dinner rotation? I have dozens of recipes you can use to shake up your routine! Try some of these reader favorites:
- Cast Iron Skillet – Use this for the stovetop version. A cast iron skillet is ideal for cooking chicken, as it retains heat well and gives a great sear to the outside of the meat.
- Baking Dish – Use this for the oven version. This one is beautiful for going straight to the table, and is great for locking in moisture to keep the chicken juicy.
- Meat Thermometer – Checking your chicken with a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that it is cooked through and not undercooked, for safe and delicious eating.
Lemon Garlic Chicken (With Easy Marinade!)
You'll love this lemon garlic chicken recipe, with easy 5-ingredient lemon garlic chicken marinade. Make it on the stovetop or in the oven!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade:
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon garlic chicken marinade: 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Add the chicken breasts to the marinade and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, until shimmering. Add the chicken breasts in a single layer. Sear for 4-8 minutes per side, until browned and cooked through. The internal temperature reaches 162-165 degrees F (72-74 degrees C) measured with a meat thermometer. (Internal temperature will rise another few degrees when resting.)
Remove the chicken from the pan, tent with foil, and rest for 5 minutes before serving or slicing.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C).
Place the chicken into a baking dish large enough for the pieces to fit without touching, or just barely touching. Top each piece of chicken with a thin slice of lemon (optional).
Bake for 16-22 minutes, until firm and internal temperature reaches 162-165 degrees F (72-74 degrees C) measured with a meat thermometer. (Internal temperature will rise another few degrees when resting.)
Cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes before serving or slicing.
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Serving size: 1 lemon garlic chicken breast
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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