My deep loathing of washing dishes and corresponding passion for dinners that cook in one pan is well documented by now (see: one pan meals). Latest love: Lemon Butter Chicken.

Lemon Butter Chicken breast in a skillet with green beans

Tender, juicy chicken breasts bathing in a creamy lemon butter sauce that (impossible though it may sound) contains no cream, this easy chicken dinner is Paleo friendly, keto friendly, and people-who-love-delicious-food extra friendly.

This recipe also includes two healthy food groups, making it a complete meal.

Your choice of green vegetable cooks in the sauce right alongside the chicken. We opted for green beans the first time.

Given how much we also love this Baked Lemon Chicken, I suspect a version of Lemon Butter Chicken with asparagus is soon to follow.

easy Lemon Butter Chicken with coconut milk in a skillet with green beans and lemon wedges

How to Make Lemon Butter Chicken

This easy Lemon Butter Chicken starts on the stove, then transitions to the oven.

  • Start with the Sear. See that gorgeous golden color on the outside of the chicken breasts? That’s the very first step to this recipe. Heat your skillet, melt the butter, then place your chicken breasts in the skillet and try to forget about them for a few minutes. The less you move the chicken, the better the sear will be.
  • Sauté Them Veggies. Once the chicken is seared, it’s time to cook the veggies. Shallots, Italian seasoning, and a generous heap of garlic keeps it breezy and delicious.
  • Sauce It Up. Most Lemon Butter Chicken recipes call for heavy whipping cream. Instead, I took a note from my favorite Thai Chicken Curry and used full-fat coconut milk. DELICIOUS.
A skillet of the BEST lemon butter chicken with green beans

My Lemon Butter Chicken no cream spin yielded a sauce that was velvety rich and begging to be mopped up with a big hunk of crusty bread.

The mild coconut milk flavor tastes dreamy with the lemon yet is subtle. It supports the Lemon Butter Chicken without overpowering the recipe.

Once all the ingredients have been added to the pan, all that remains is to…

  • Bake. This chicken recipe begins on the stove, then transitions to the oven. In the oven, the chicken cooks to juicy perfection, the sauce thickens, and the vegetables turn crisp-tender.

Another side effect of baked lemon chicken: your entire family is likely to show up in your kitchen while it cooks. The aroma of garlic and golden chicken baking in butter and citrus is not to be resisted. (This Crock Pot Chicken Marsala is another recipe that will smell incredible while it cooks.)

A skillet full of lemon butter chicken without heavy cream topped with green beans and lemon wedges

What to Serve with Lemon Butter Chicken

As written, this recipe yields a generous amount of protein and veggies and a good amount of the lemon butter sauce too.

If you’d like to round it out with another side, here are a few ideas:

  • Pasta. Serve the chicken and vegetables over whole wheat noodles. Linguine or penne would be especially nice.
  • Brown Rice. How we ate it! I cut up the chicken and vegetables into smaller pieces, then mixed it and the sauce with brown rice.
  • Lemon Rice. For true citrus lovers.
  • Cauliflower Rice. Ideal for those looking to keep the recipe low carb or seeking keto lemon butter chicken breasts.
  • Warm Baguette. Ideal for sauce dunking.
  • Roasted Vegetables of Your Choice. Try Roasted Potatoes and Carrots or Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

creamy lemon butter chicken breast baked with green beans in a skillet with shallots, garlic, and lemon wedges

While I ever adore one-pan meals, I’m especially appreciative of this chicken at the moment because we don’t have a dishwasher or kitchen sink!

We’re in the midst of a kitchen remodel, which means that we’ve either been eating out or “cooking” things that don’t have any cleanup, since we don’t have a good way to wash things.

If you’d like to see the kitchen’s progress, be sure to follow Well Plated on Instagram and watch my Instagram stories.

Even after our kitchen is complete and I have a place to wash dishes again, this Lemon Butter Chicken is destined for the regular rotation.

With its fast prep, bright and creamy sauce, and one-pan prowess, I know it will be a well-loved go-to for you as well.

A skillet with three chicken breasts in a lemon butter sauce

Lemon Butter Chicken

5 from 23 votes
Easy lemon butter chicken with green beans cooks in one pan! Made without cream, this healthy lemon butter chicken is made with coconut milk.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs or a mix!
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided (swap ghee to make Paleo or vegan butter to make dairy free)
  • 1 pound green beans ends trimmed and cut in half (or swap trimmed asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 medium lemon zest and juice, plus additional lemon slices for serving
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (14 ounces) Do not use light or the sauce won't thicken properly
  • Chopped fresh thyme or parsley

For serving:

  • Steamed brown rice
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Crusty bread
  • Whole wheat pasta

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • In a large, ovenproof skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until deeply golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, then the green beans, shallot, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring often, until the green beans are crisp-tender.
  • Remove from the heat. Zest the lemon into the pan, then squeeze in the lemon juice. Slowly pour in the coconut milk while stirring to combine.
  • Return the reserved chicken to the skillet.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 15 to 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear. (Note: the cooking time will vary based on the size of your chicken).
  • Top with parsley. Serve with extra lemon wedges and rice, pasta, and/or fresh bread for mopping up the sauce, if desired.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Lemon butter chicken leftovers may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: For best results, warm the lemon butter sauce in a small saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat until steaming. Reheat the chicken and green beans in the microwave until heated through. Top with warm sauce and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 508kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 41gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 25gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 131mgPotassium: 1152mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1108IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 5mg

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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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Recipe Rating




51 Comments

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    1. Definitely Jana! I’d use a reduced amount. Start with 3/4 cup, then if you want it more saucy, pour in some extra at the end.

  1. We made this on Friday night and it was delicious. Served with a baguette and it was the perfect ending to a busy week.5 stars

  2. Husband gave it 8 “wow, this is a great dish” compliments–6 during the meal and 2 afterwards. He thought it was a dish worthy of being served in a ritzy restaurant and loved the sauce with the green beans. He would have given it 6 stars out of 5 if he could. I don’t have a big oven proof skillet so I browned the chicken and pulled the sauce together with the green beans in a skillet, then transferred to a pyrex casserole dish. Not quite 1 dish but not bad. Thanks for another great recipe, Erin!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Beverly. What a compliment! I am so pleased. I really appreciate the 5 star rating too. It’s super helpful for others as well!

  3. Erin – this recipe was a huge hit with the whole family and super easy to make! Even my super-picky 5 year old loved it.5 stars

  4. I had only 2 chicken thighs so I added beef polish sausage to my asparagus-shiitake mushroom veggie mix. I thought I truly mangled the recipe, but it is delicious. The sauce is yummy regardless of the meat. Thank you!5 stars

  5. I am thrilled with the coconut milk instead of cream – wow! What a silky twist with the lemon. I used asparagus for an incredible win, win, win! Thank you for, yet again, another fine meal!5 stars

  6. Erin could you do the whole dish on top of the stove instead of baking. My oven is not working. Or maybe crockpot.

  7. This was so incredibly good!! I put it over cauliflower rice to help eat as much sauce as possible. Super easy being in one pan. Will definitely make this again. 5 stars

      1. Hi Erin, this recipe was fabulous. I’m super picky and I loved everything about this recipe. It was so delicious and easy to make. I’m keto and do IF so this easily kept my carbs in check. It was filling even without any side dishes or bread. I will definitely be adding this to my rotation of favorite meals. I’m so glad I tried this recipe.
        Thank you.5 stars

  8. I now know the recipe behind the phrase ‘Winner, winner, chicken dinner!’ Like literally every other recipe I’ve made from this site this is AMAZING! My 5 year old brother – who like nothing but pizza and ice cream – said ‘I actually like this chicken!’ WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE? My mind is blown! The problem is, I’m writing a review for every recipe I make. Soon, I’m going to run out of glowing things to say. Would you be mad if I had a default ‘amazing recipe’ review? Anyway, this is yet another going on the dinner schedule! Love that it limits the dishes, too!5 stars

    1. Hi Kassidy! You MADE my day with this incredibly kind review! I’m so happy your brother enjoyed this recipe too!

  9. A very tasty, easy recipe with limited prep and next to no cleanup! Bonus all around. My husband loved it and couldn’t say enough about how delicious it was. I will definitely serve this again and again.5 stars

      1. It was very tasty. I will be making this recipe again, but would like advice on how to get the sauce a bit thicker. I used the full fat coconut milk, but it really didn’t thicken up.5 stars

        1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Becki! Thank you for sharing this kind review! I haven’t tried thickening this sauce myself, but you could experiment with letting it simmer uncovered for a bit on the stovetop before adding the chicken back in and baking it.

  10. I truly love this recipe! I’m making it again for some folks that aren’t fans of coconut, so I’d like to use dairy of some sort. Would you recommend heavy cream or half and half?

    Thanks for sharing!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Adam! Another reader has reported success with using cream in this recipe. I’d suggest using a reduced amount. Start with 3/4 cup, then if you want it more saucy, pour in some extra at the end. I hope this helps!

  11. Has anyone tried making this with broccoli florets? I was planning on making chicken piccata with a side of roasted (frozen) broccoli tonight but I’m thinking maybe I should try this instead because it sounds really good!

    1. Hi Lynn! I haven’t tried it myself, but I think it would be delicious served alongside my Roasted Frozen Broccoli recipe. I hope this helps!

  12. Excellent meal. Love a one pot dish that everyone can eat. I used dairy free butter for my allergy son and it was great. My 5 year old said “this is the best meal of all the other meals”. That’s one heck of a compliment!5 stars

  13. Made this wiwitwiwith asparagus instead of green beans. It was excellent! I have not used coconut milk in recipes that were not going to be coconut flavored and I was a little concerned, but this really did not have a coconut flavor. The lemon and other seasonings flavored the rich sauce.5 stars

  14. This is my family favourite recipe. I have made it several times already and each time there is no leftovers!! I love the lemon part of this recipe makes it so good with the coconut milk. I am a big fan of coconut milk (healthier and less fattening than cream). Please don’t skip searing the chicken as that’s the trick to having that smoky smell. I tried with flat beans, asparagus and okras. I liked the combination with okras the best!! Thanks Erin for such a great and simple recipe. Hope to try your other healthy recipes!! I am all in for healthier version recipes.5 stars

  15. This is one of the best things I’ve ever made! Thank you for creating – I love how the recipe is broken down and timing is clear – really set me up for success! Amazing!5 stars

  16. Hi Erin,

    I made this tonight and the whole house hold loved it. I did have to use lite coconut milk cause that is all the store had. Like you say it doesn’t thicken so I again removed the chicken and added a tablespoon of cornstarch diced the chicken and served it with mash potatoes and asparagus, yum!5 stars