Baked Lemon Chicken

4.47 from 13 votes
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This baked lemon chicken recipe features juicy and tender chicken breasts marinated in a fresh lemon garlic marinade. It’s quick and easy to prepare, bursting with amazing flavors, and a family favorite. It makes for a great meal on a busy weeknight!

For more delicious and similar chicken recipes, try our fabulous one-pan wonder of Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs, this Mediterranean Chicken Recipe, or our simple yet perfect Easy Baked Chicken Breasts.

Baked chicken breasts set over lemon slices in a baking dish.


 

It’s always a race back home when I have baked lemon chicken on the menu! This is the kind of easy, yummy dinner everyone looks forward to. It’s not fancy, but pulling that perfectly cooked chicken out of the oven is like a little victory every time. We toss a few simple ingredients together—lemon, garlic, and some spices—and in goes the chicken to get all golden brown and delicious. It’s just about good food and a fed household, you know?

Why You’ll Love This Lemon Chicken Recipe

Family Favorite Chicken Dinner – The combination of tender, juicy chicken with a lemony marinade is appealing to both adults and children, making it a reliable hit for family meals.

The Best Marinade – The garlic lemon marinade infuses the chicken with bright flavors. This combination of fresh lemon juice and garlic not only adds to the taste but also tenderizes the chicken, so each bite is juicy and flavorful.

Nutritious and Delicious – Using fresh ingredients and spices means this dish is tasty and good for you! It’s an excellent way to enjoy a flavorful meal without heavy creams or sauces.

Easy – The preparation process makes this an ideal recipe for busy weeknights. It’s simple enough for beginners but tastes like a restaurant-quality meal.

Image of baked chicken breasts sprinkled with parsley and garnished with lemon slices

Recipe Ingredients

Put this ingredient list in your pocket and head to the grocery store to prepare this easy lemon chicken recipe tonight. You are going to love the juicy and tender chicken pieces, along with the citrus flavors and savory spices.

  • Olive Oil – Avocado oil will also work for a similar mild taste.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – Adds that bright, tangy flavor to the marinade.
  • Garlic, Minced – I almost always use fresh garlic cloves, but you could also use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder here.
  • Salt & Black Pepper – To flavor the marinade.
  • Dried Thyme & Dried Oregano – Dried herbs contribute a subtle herby flavor to the chicken. Substitute with Italian seasoning. You could also include fresh herbs.
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – For juicier meat, you could try it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • Large Lemon, thinly sliced – Provides a zesty garnish and additional citrus flavor as the chicken bakes.
  • For the Spice Rub – You’ll need paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.

How to Make Baked Lemon Chicken

Ready to master one of my tastiest chicken breast recipes? Great! Follow these steps to make this easy recipe.

  1. Make the Marinade: Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, thyme, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside 3 tablespoons in a covered cup and refrigerate.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: Place chicken breasts in a large resealable bag with the remaining marinade, coat well, and marinate for 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 8 hours.
  3. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease a 9×13 baking dish and line the bottom with lemon slices.
  4. Remove Chicken from Fridge: Let the marinated chicken sit at room temperature as the oven heats.
  5. Make the Spice Rub: Mix paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl.
  6. Prep the Chicken: Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels after removing them from the bag.
  7. Assemble: Place the chicken over the lemon slices, season with the spice rub, and drizzle with reserved marinade.
  8. Cook: Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
  9. Serve: Take the dish out of the oven, uncover, and let the chicken rest for several minutes before serving.

Recipe Tips & Variations

  • Broil: You can remove the foil-cover a few minutes before the chicken is cooked through and set the chicken under the broiler to get a bit of browning on top.
  • Marinate: In order for your chicken to stay juicy and soak up the flavor of the marinade, let it marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Use an Instant-Read Thermometer: The best way to check if the chicken is done is to measure its internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Once it registers at 165˚F, it’s perfect!
  • Let it Rest: After baking, allow your chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This helps the juices redistribute, so you end up with meat that is moist and flavorful.
  • Spicy Kick: For a bit of heat, garnish it with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes or add a dash of cayenne pepper in the spice rub.
  • Mediterranean Twist: Incorporate olives, capers, and a sprinkle of feta cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired version of this dish.
Up close photo of baked chicken breasts in a white baking dish sprinkled with parsley and garnished with lemons

Serving Suggestions

There are so many sides that go well with baked chicken. Everyone loves chicken and potatoes, right?! I like to serve this chicken with my crispy parmesan smashed potatoes or these garlic herb grilled potatoes in foil. Keep your dinner nice and healthy by adding a side of easy oven roasted veggies. If you’re pressed for time or just want to keep things simple, serve it with my fluffy jasmine rice. You could also cut up your lemon chicken and serve it over a salad or over your favorite noodles with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

How to Store Leftovers

Store the chicken breasts in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

More Baked Chicken Breasts Recipes

ENJOY!

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4.47 from 13 votes

Baked Lemon Chicken

This tender baked Lemon Chicken recipe is full of amazing flavors and is one of my family's favorite dinner recipes. It's an easy, tangy baked chicken recipe perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
To Marinate: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

For the Chicken Marinade

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic,, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,, about 1 to 1½ pounds total
  • 1 large lemon,, thinly sliced

For the Spice Rub

  • 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
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Instructions 

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, thyme, oregano, and black pepper. Remove 3 tablespoons of the marinade and set aside in a small cup; cover and refrigerate.
  • Pour the remaining marinade into a large resealable bag; add the chicken breasts to the bag. Seal the bag, turn it to coat, and set aside for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F and lightly grease a baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange lemon slices on the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside. If you don't like a strong lemon flavor, omit the lemon slices.
  • Remove the bag with the marinated chicken breasts from the fridge and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 10 to 15 minutes while the oven preheats.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and lightly pat them dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade that's in the bag.
  • Season the chicken breasts with the prepared spice rub and arrange the chicken pieces over the lemon slices inside the baking dish.
  • Drizzle the reserved marinade over the chicken.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the chicken's internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
  • Optionally, remove the foil several minutes before the chicken is cooked through and set it under the broiler to get a bit of browning on top.
  • Remove from the oven; remove the foil and let the chicken rest for 5 to 8 minutes before cutting and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 505mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 297IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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37 Comments

  1. Deidre Mcconnell says:

    There’s no mention of sliced lemon in your recipe for baked lemon chicken. Luckily I have a lot of lemon on hand.

    1. Katerina says:

      Hi there! Sliced lemons are mentioned in the recipe card—they’re the ninth ingredient on the list.
      I’m glad to hear you had plenty of lemons on hand, and I hope you enjoyed the recipe. 🙂