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Baked Lemon Chicken is chicken breast meeting its real, actual potential! Yes, it’s easy, but this recipe is also juicy (never dry or rubbery!), flavorful (savory and bright!), and quick (done cooking in as little as 14 minutes!).

Overhead view of baked lemon chicken in pan

Why You’ll Love This Easy Oven-Baked Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe

  • Based on the Best. I have spent an obscene amount of time perfecting my method for Baked Chicken Breast so it turns out juicy and delectable. I used that same technique for this baked lemon chicken breast recipe, so hand-to-heart, this baked chicken WILL NOT disappoint.
  • Mega Fast. Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, this lemon chicken can be done cooking in as little as 14 minutes. While I do love Baked Bone in Chicken Breast, it takes longer to cook, and we don’t always have the time or patience, right?
  • Deeeelicious. In addition to its reputation for being rubbery and dry, baked chicken is also synonymous with being bland and boring. This lemon chicken is anything but! It’s tart and bright and bold thanks to the lemons, with woodsy rosemary and plenty of garlic for a nice savory contrast. (Baked Fried Chicken and Baked BBQ Chicken are also mega-flavorful.)
easy baked lemon chicken on plate

How to Make Baked Lemon Chicken

The Ingredients

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts. The ultimate easy weeknight protein.
  • Garlic. Think of this recipe as baked garlic lemon chicken—lemon alone would fall flat, so the garlic plays a key supporting role.
  • Rosemary. You can use fresh or dried rosemary. It’s a fabulous complement to lemon, a pairing I also use in this Baked Salmon recipe.
  • Ground Black Pepper. If you want to go for a more baked lemon pepper chicken feel, you can up the amount of black pepper.
  • Lemons. Lemon juice and zest makes for a zippy marinade, plus we roast lemon wedges in the baking dish with the chicken.

The Directions

lemon chicken marinade in measuring cup
  1. Whisk. Combine the lemon chicken marinade ingredients in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
chicken breasts in bag with lemon marinade
  1. Marinate. Place the chicken breasts in a zip-top bag and pour the marinade in. Set in a dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
lemon chicken in baking dish with lemon wedges
  1. Bake. Arrange the chicken in a baking dish with lemon wedges and bake until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. Set the baked lemon chicken on a cutting board, cover, and rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Try Other Herbs. Thyme also pairs well with the lemon in this baked chicken recipe, or garnish with chopped fresh parsley or basil after baking. Or use a combination of herbs for herbed lemon chicken.
  • Use a Meyer Lemon. When Meyer lemons are in season, use them in this recipe for an aromatic twist on the original.
  • Make Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts.
  • Grill It. For grilled lemon chicken, marinate the chicken breasts as directed, then grill following the instructions from my Grilled Chicken Breast.
  • Baked Lemon Chicken With Potatoes. For a complete dinner in a single pan, try my Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken, which has potatoes and asparagus. Or serve this recipe with Oven Roasted Potatoes.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover baked lemon chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm chicken in a baking dish in the oven at 350°F.
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Leftover Ideas

Get an extra meal out of your baked lemon chicken breasts by cubing the leftovers and tossing them with Garlic Pasta the next day.

What to Serve with Baked Lemon Chicken

  • Baking Dish. When you want to keep your chicken moist, cooking it in a baking dish (as opposed to spreading it out on a larger pan) helps.
  • Instant Read Thermometer. Never over-cook your chicken again!
  • Liquid Measuring Cups. Love using these as an alternative to bowls for whisking marinades. The spout makes it easy to pour!

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Let the Chicken Come to Room Temperature. Of course, it’s important to refrigerate the chicken breasts as they marinate (this goes for when you’re using Chicken Thigh Marinade or Chicken Marinade too). But while you preheat the oven, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter. This will help it cook more evenly and stay moist all the way through.
  • Use an Instant Read Thermometer. Rather than focusing on the clock, watch the temperature! This is the surest way to know when chicken is safe to eat—but not overcooked. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast; I like to pull chicken out of the oven when it reaches 155 degrees F, as the temperature will rise to 165 degrees F during the resting time.
  • Don’t Skip the Rest. Speaking of resting time! You absolutely need to let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing into it. During this time, the juices will reincorporate into the meat. It’s key to tender, juicy chicken.
  • Don’t Marinate Too Long. After more than 8 hours, the acid from the lemon will begin to break down the proteins in the chicken. And no one wants mushy baked lemon chicken! Worst case scenario, if you have a change of plans and can’t cook the chicken when you originally planned, pop it in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge, then bake as directed. (Freezing pauses the marinating process, but once the chicken is thawed, you need to cook it right away.)

Baked Lemon Chicken

4.85 from 53 votes
Tender, juicy, and SO easy, this garlic baked lemon chicken is a weeknight dinner your family will love. Fast and goes with anything!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts about 3 to 4 breasts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons divided

Instructions
 

  • Lightly pound the chicken breasts into an even thickness (place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top to keep it tidy). Transfer to a sturdy ziptop bag.
  • In a bowl or a large liquid measuring cup with a spout. Add the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Zest both lemons into the bowl, then juice in 1 of the lemons. Whisk to combine, then pour over the chicken. Reserve the second lemon.
  • Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, turn to coat the chicken, then place in a dish or on a plate to catch any drips. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  • When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the dish. Scatter the lemon wedges around the chicken.
  • Bake the lemon chicken for 14 to 16 minutes (for small/medium breasts that are about 6 to 7 ounces), 16 to 20 minutes (for medium/large breasts that are 8 to 10 ounces), or 20 to 25 minutes (for larger breasts). For absolute best results, use an instant read thermometer. When the breasts reach 165°F, they are done (I prefer to remove chicken at 155°F, as its temperature will rise as it rests).
  • Place the chicken on a cutting board. Cover and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with the baked lemon wedges

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken breast in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm chicken in a baking dish in the oven at 350°F, or cut it into pieces and gently microwave (splash some water or broth over the chicken to keep it moist).
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 398kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 49gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 145mgPotassium: 928mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 95IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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139 Comments

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  1. This looks great Erin, and thanks for including the nutritional information. Making it for tonight’s dinner!

      1. Erin, my family loved it so much, they made me make it again the next night! Thanks for such a great recipe. And to Nanci- if we were neighbors, there would definitely be a seat for you at my table!

        1. HOORAY, I’m so glad the recipe was a winner, Dean! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this lovely review. :)

    1. I wish Dean would make this for me, but alas…..I’ll have to do it myself (kind of like the laundry that doesn’t get done by itself)!!! Looks yummy – trying this week!

  2. This is like a spring-time version of my favorite kind of dinners!  Fast, easy, and full of fresh flavor!

  3. Whilst I won’t be including the chicken, I adore this flavour combination! So light and fresh for the Spring, its one of those meals that wipes away the months of carb loading!

    Thanks for the inspiration, I’m now looking forward to Spring meals!

    Lo
    http://www.themixtures.com

  4. Oh my goodness….this is so yummy! It made both parents and teenagers happy tonight. It has already been requested that I make it again. Thank you for such a great recipe!5 stars

    1. Kellie, I’m so glad to hear the recipe was a winner! Thank you so much for giving it a try and leaving this great feedback!

    1. I’m so excited to hear you enjoyed it, Patty. Thank you for taking the time to leave this nice review!

  5. Soooo yummy! I used boneless skinless breasts and thighs. The thighs were tastier and I’ll probably skip the breasts next time. Instead of garlic powder I used a blend called Garlic Garni. And I put the cut up potatoes, olive oil and rosemary in a big Ziploc bag to mix. Then I used the same bag for the asparagus, chicken, and lemon zest and juice. Made even less clean up. I always line my sheet pans with either foil or parchment paper. The flavors in this are so fresh and tasty.5 stars

    1. YAY Cyndi, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! I really appreciate your taking the time to leave this feedback and share your tips for flavors and easy cleanup. Yum!

  6. I made this dish last night and me and my husband loved it! The directions are so easy I was able to get it done while having my baby strapped to me. Not only is it flavorful, it’s healthy too. I will definitely keep it in rotation.5 stars

    1. Alexis, I’m so excited to hear that you and your husband enjoyed this dish—and that it’s still easy to put together even when you have a baby strapped on! :) Thank you for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

    1. Hi Maren! You could sprinkle fresh basil over the top just before serving. I think that would be delicious!

  7. I made this with fresh green beans instead of asparagus and it was delicious. I never thought chicken, green beans, and potatoes could be so flavorful, especially the fresh rosemary. Thanks for the one-pan recipes. I’ve never tried those before and I think they’ll be a life changer for me!!5 stars

    1. You’re welcome, Anne! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this—and green beans sound like a great substitution. Thanks so much for reporting back!

    2. Making this tonight with green beans! glad it worked. Although I have 2 teenage sons so the 1-sheet pan will probably end up being 2-sheet pans because boys eat a lot.

  8. Writing this while it’s in the oven because this is the second time I’ve made this recipe in 2 weeks! So flavorful and healthy! 5 stars

  9. Going to try for a pot luck dinner this weekend. Question: there are lemon slices in the photo. When do I add these?. Thanks

    1. Hi Debra, if you’d like, you can use the lemon slices as a garnish and put them on at the very end. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  10. Thank you for this great recipe. My husband and my picky 5 year old loved it. I’ll make this again, for sure. 4 stars

  11. I bought all the ingredients to make this tonight for dinner but forgot the freaking lemon ? can i use lemon juice as a substitute?

    1. Hi Annie, yes, you could substitute another cut of chicken, but keep in mind that the cooking time will differ. You would probably need to season the chicken separately from the asparagus and add it to the roasting pan with the potatoes a little earlier in the process to make sure it is cooked through.

  12. Hi, just curious if you could substitute sweet potatoes for the baby red potatoes. Would the cooking time be different?

    1. Hi Manny, yes, I think you could make that swap! As long as the pieces are cut to the 1 inch size in the recipe, it should take about the same amount of time. Enjoy!

  13. Thanks for posting this Erin,
    I came across this recipe via a web search but there was one question I wanted to ask, about substituting swede / rutabaga for the potatoes. As I understand these take longer to roast in the oven and I’m rather new to the art of cooking – would you say there’s any adequate replacement for potatoes in this dish, and would even subtly different flavours best less suitable when teamed with asparagus? Also, would ‘tougher’ substitutes require a little parboiling? Thanks again.

    1. Dion, if you use a harder veggie, I would still roast it—just start it at least 10 minutes earlier. You also could roast it on a different pan so that you can remove it from the oven once it’s tender. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  14. This was so yummy! I was craving baked potatoes so I did that instead of red potatoes. The chicken and asparagus was so good! I will go 15 minutes instead of 20 on the chicken next time. We loved this and will definitely make it again!5 stars

  15. Hi Erin, Than your for sharing your recipe! I’m going to make this for my troop. How would you adjust for a family of 6? Five adults and one child. We have three generations living in our home haha! Would you suggest two sheet pans and just double it or would you suggest tweaking the recipe numbers? I appreciate your thoughts!

    1. Hi Lyndsey, I think I would just double the recipe and use two sheet pans—leftovers will keep for a few days in the fridge if there’s extra! I hope you enjoy!

  16. This was a great recipe with amazing flavor! Chicken breasts were a little dry so will try with thighs next time!4 stars

  17. I’m not a poster or follow blogs or anything but this recipe is SO GOOD I have to tell you thankful Erin!! My 1yr, 2 yr & 4yr old picked out & at the asparagus 1st! Definitely going to know this recipe by heart. So glad i found Well Plated, you have a fan for life <3
    Ps your sugar cookie recipe is almost to good for words5 stars

    1. Hi Donna, I used them as a garnish for the photos, so they’re not in the recipe. If you’d like, you can add them after the dish is finished.

    1. Hi! I used the extra lemon wedges pictured as a garnish, but you can stick with the 1 lemon called for in the instructions if you don’t think you’d use the extra lemon. I hope you enjoy!

    2. What are some must have around the kitchen (seasonings, meats, ect) ????? (That accommodate your recipes specifically)

      1. Hi Cassie! I like using chicken and ground turkey or chicken. As for spices, I recommend garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, chili powder, and cumin. Those are some common ones, but you’ll want to check out individual recipes that sound good for complete ingredient lists!

  18. May be a silly question but do you cut the breasts into bite size chunks? Going to try this as a meal prep for lunches next week!

  19. I made this about a month ago and I’m making it again now! I absolutely loved the recipe, I make a lemon thyme skillet dish & thought this was a great way to change up my lemon chicken dish. The potatoes were crispy, asparagus were roasted delicious-ness and the flavor of the herbs with everything was perfect! I had a thought for those who wanted the lemons on the pan; roast the slices on the same pan, they become carmelized and so sweet, like candy. ?5 stars

  20. So easy!  I made this just as Erin directed and it turned out fantastic!  It will go on my meal plan rotation. 5 stars

  21. I love that this recipe did not require a lot of work. Prep was very simple and the food was DELICIOUS! Definitely going to be a regular dish in our household. My sister, who is not a fan of lemon, really loved this dish and that is saying a lot!5 stars

  22. Erin, this has been my favorite recipe of yours that I’ve made and one of my favorite things I’ve made period. I sprinkled some shredded Parmesan and Romano cheese on it before eating. I’ll be making this again for sure!

    1. Hi! I did that for the visual effect of the pictures so that you can tell that lemon flavor is in the recipe. You can serve with lemon slices if you like!

  23. Hello I love all of the recipes that I have tried from your website. This one looks great but I only have 1 bunch of asparagus. Can i substitute the second bunch with broccoli? Also, any chance your cookbook will be available for preorder in Canada? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Sue! I’ve never tried broccoli in this recipe, but you could experiment with it. Fresh green beans would also be tasty. I hope you enjoy it! You should be able to preorder my cookbook from Amazon.ca. THANK YOU for your interest! :)

  24. I made this tonight and it was delicious and easy. I did not have asparagus but I did have a package of snap peas and they worked out very well.5 stars

  25. One of the best recipes!  I have made it once with asparagus and sweet potatoes/carrots and twice with red potatoes and green beans.  Love that it is healthy, delicious, simple, and adaptable to available produce.

  26. I want to make this tonight but I don’t see when to add the lemon slices as in picture can you tell me

    1. Hi Debbie! I used them as a garnish for the photos, so they’re not in the recipe. If you’d like, you can add them after the dish is finished.

  27. This was absolutely excellent, herbs and seasoning spot on! I will definitely make again.  I did not have a lemon so used bottled lemon juice.  I did have to do the potatoes separately because there was not nearly enough room on one sheet pan for everything.  Also because the asparagus did give off juice like you said, I did drain it and put the asparagus and chicken on broil for a few minutes to brown because of a finicky husband.  I would recommend everyone try this you will not be disappointed.  Just delicious, I’d give it 10 stars if I could. 5 stars

  28. We used different vegetables in this, that we had in the refrigerator and it was great. I will be made again.5 stars

  29. Hi Erin, This recipe looks good but I would like to cook the chicken breasts whole and not cut them up. Would this change the temperature and/or the amount of time they should be cooked with the asparagus? Thanks.

    1. Hi Diana! I’ve never tried the recipe this way, so I can’t offer exact timing. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    1. I’m sorry that this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Courtney. I (and many other readers) have really enjoyed it, so I truly wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

  30. Made this for my family tonight……BIG hit!! Family raved! It was easy to put together, easy to clean up, copied recipe exactly and absolutely delicuous!! Thank you, we will be trying the fall chicken one pan next ??5 stars

  31. My family loved it. Made exactly as described. Will make again soon. Fresh lemon and rosemary were so tasty.5 stars

  32. This looks amazing. I’m not a fan of asparagus. Any suggestions for vegetables that would pair well with this recipe?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Lori! Other readers have reported success with using both potatoes and fresh green beans. I hope you enjoy it!

        1. Hi Lori! I haven’t tried the recipe with them myself, but other readers have used the cooking time listed with success. I hope you enjoy it!

  33. This was SO GOOD! I marinated the chicken in the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper mixture for several hours (not planned; I started dinner prep early and had to step away for longer than expected), and I substituted onion powder for garlic powder due to dietary restrictions. The chicken turned out so flavorful, and the potatoes and asparagus were cooked just the right amount. Will definitely make again!5 stars

  34. I’m not one for writing recipe reviews, but Erin deserves 5 stars for this one! It hits all 3 of my requirements for a perfect dinner: delicious, healthy and one-pan cleanup. As it was roasting in the oven, my husband of nearly 50 years kept saying how good it smelled, and he never said that before! We liked it so much, I sent the recipe to his sister up in NY. This one is definitely a keeper!5 stars

  35. Perfectly perfect! I used russet potatoes as I had them on hand. The fresh rosemary on the potatoes and the lemon on the chicken and asparagus made a perfectly tasty combination. Easy. Delicious. Quick. One pan. Great on calories. It just doesn’t get any better!5 stars

  36. I made this and it went over really well! We killed the left overs by adding garlic sausage medallions.
    We have fixed it twice now and batch 3 is in the oven!! This time we are substituting pork loin medallions for the chicken . We love it!5 stars

  37. This was delicious and so easy to put together. I was a concerned that the asparagus might be overcooked but it was perfect – nice texture and not overcooked at all. Excellent flavors, the lemon zest and juice really rounded it off. This is a keeper.5 stars

  38. Making this for a family whose infant just had surgery. Mom isn’t consuming dairy due to the baby having a dairy allergy and she is nursing, so this is perfect. So excited to give it a try!

  39. This recipe was so yummy and so easy! The chicken came out perfectly and the potatoes and asparagus were perfect! Highly recommend, especially if you want easy clean up!5 stars

  40. Hi Erin! This recipe sounds delicious! Have you ever made this using parchment paper kn the sheet pan?

    1. Hi Judy, I have not used parchment paper in this recipe before. If you decide to experiment with it, let me know how it goes!

  41. I’ve made this baked sheet pan Lemon Chicken numerous times now. Even if it’s not spring, it make us feel like it is. My family loves the fresh lemon/rosemary/garlic flavors and in addition to that, I love the east prep, the healthy meal and the easy clean up! Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

  42. This is delicious. I had asparagus and potatoes, but needed to use other veg. I roasted Brussel sprouts early with potatoes, added red pepper chunks, quartered huge button mushrooms, yellow squash with the chicken and asparagus. Did not have rosemary, so I sprinkled a bit of oregano and red pepper flakes. Wow! Served with a bit of less sodium soy and rice to soak up the delicious juices. I intended to follow recipe to the letter but the additional veggies were such a hit! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Shari. The recipe has worked well for myself (and others) but I know how frustrating it can be to try a new recipe and not have it work out, so I really wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

  43. Really moist and lemony! I will definitely make this again. I cooked 2 average sized breasts for 22 minutes in a Pyrex baking dish and it was perfect. I’ve been watching my weight and this was a great way to add flavor without too many calories.5 stars

  44. Made this tonight for my husband and 2 kids. Did not alter any of the spices, the only thing I did that wasn’t in the recipe was to pound the breasts to an even thickness. We all really liked this dish. The lemon flavor shines but is not overpowering.5 stars

  45. This has become my ‘signature dish’. Everyone in the family absolutely loves it & it always comes out perfect! I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve made it. I usually added asparagus and green beans to the pan and brushed with olive oil before adding the chicken. I have an entire meal without having to cook the sides separately. Thank you!5 stars

  46. So simple and yet delicious, and very moist. I made this as one of the mains for a special dinner.
    For this particular event, I wanted to individual pieces in a light sauce so I portioned the breasts before cooking and included the marinade without the parchment. I got lots of praise and was asked to share the recipe:-)
    I will definitely be cooking it again and will try a version in my air fryer.5 stars