The easy Lemon Butter Chicken is my latest love in my collection of one-pan recipes. Made with the BEST lemon butter sauce for chicken, this healthy version swaps heavy cream for a can of coconut milk.

Lemon Butter Chicken breast in a skillet with green beans

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Lemon and chicken are just a match made in heaven, and it’s clear that I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Anytime I share recipes that involve lemon and chicken (like Baked Lemon ChickenChicken Piccata, or Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup), readers just seem to eat them up… figuratively and literally.

However, this creamy lemon butter chicken recipe may just be the best of the bunch:

  • Made in under an hour in only ONE pan (like this Skillet Tomato Chicken), it’s an easy lemon butter chicken that is simple to prep, easy to cook, and a breeze to clean up.
  • My healthy version skips the heavy cream and instead opts for rich and creamy coconut milk.
  • This endlessly versatile recipe can be made with your choice of green vegetable. We went with green beans, but lemon butter chicken with broccoli, asparagus, or spinach would all be delightful.

With its fast prep, bright and creamy sauce, and one-pan prowess, get ready because this will be the BEST lemon butter chicken recipe you’ve ever made.

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

5 Star Review

“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.”

— Patti —

How to Make Lemon Butter Chicken

Tender, juicy chicken breasts bathing in a creamy lemon butter sauce made without cream (similar to Garlic Butter Shrimp), this easy chicken dinner is quick enough for weeknights yet impressive enough for a dinner party with your in-laws.

This easy lemon butter chicken starts on the stove, then transitions to the oven.


The Ingredients

  • Chicken. Lean, juicy chicken breasts are my go-to protein for this easy lemon butter chicken recipe (if you love chicken breast too, don’t miss the best-ever Baked Chicken Breast).

Substitution Tip

Feel free to swap the breasts for their dark meat counterpart if you’d rather make lemon butter chicken thighs. You can also do a combination of breasts and thighs if your household enjoys both.

  • Lemon. You can’t have lemon butter chicken without plenty of bright and zippy lemon flavor that comes from using both the juice and zest. (Lemon lovers, check out this Lemon Basil Chicken recipe.)
  • Full-Fat Coconut Milk. 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.

Ingredient Note

Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk in this recipe, or the sauce will not thicken properly. While I’m usually all for using light or low-fat versions of ingredients, this is one recipe that truly needs the additional fat content.

creamy lemon butter chicken breast baked with green beans in a skillet with shallots, garlic, and lemon wedges
  • Garlic and Shallots. Add depth to the sauce and make it smell truly divine.
  • Green Beans. Offer a full serving of veggies to make this a complete meal in a single pan.

Market Swap

Feel free to swap the green beans for any green vegetable your family enjoys. Asparagus is a super easy swap, since it cooks in about the same amount of time as green beans.

  • Butter. Adds just a touch of extra richness and provides enough fat to sear and saute the chicken and vegetables to perfection.
  • Italian Seasoning. Give the sauce a little Italian flair and complements the garlic and shallots.
  • Fresh Herbs. The perfect fresh green garnish. Parsley and thyme are great year-around; basil or oregano would also be lovely.

What Goes with Lemon Butter Chicken?

As written, this recipe yields a generous amount of protein and veggies and a good amount of 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. This Pasta al Limone would be especially nice too.
  • Brown Rice. How we ate it! I cut the chicken and vegetables into smaller pieces, then mixed them and the sauce with brown rice. See Instant Pot Brown Rice for a simple cooking method.
  • 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 Bread. A crust baguette or this Rosemary Olive Oil Bread is ideal for sauce dunking.
  • Roasted Vegetables of Your Choice. Try Roasted Potatoes or Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
A skillet of the BEST lemon butter chicken with green beans

The Directions

  1. Sear the chicken breasts in butter.
  2. Reduce the heat, add the remaining butter, then toss cook the green beans, shallot, garlic, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Remove from the heat, and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and coconut milk. Return the chicken to the sauce.
  4. Bake lemon butter chicken for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degree F until cooked through.

TIP!

Chicken is fully cooked when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165 degrees F, and the juices run clear. (The total cooking time will vary based on the size of your chicken.)

  1. Garnish with herbs and extra lemon wedges, then serve. ENJOY!
A skillet full of lemon butter chicken without heavy cream topped with green beans and lemon wedges

Storage Tips

  • 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.

What to Serve with Lemon Butter Chicken

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

The Best Cast Iron Skillet

Staub’s special cast iron requires no seasoning and results in exceptional browning. Plus, it works on all stovetops and is oven-safe.

A skillet with three chicken breasts in a lemon butter sauce

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Warning: this baked lemon butter chicken smells incredible. Side effects may include your entire family showing up in your kitchen while it cooks. (This Crock Pot Chicken Marsala has a similar effect.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Thicken Lemon Butter Sauce?

If you’d like a thicker sauce, you may try reducing the sauce further on the stovetop before baking. Alternatively, you can also try whisking in a few teaspoons of cornstarch after baking and returning to the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. While I have not personally tried thickening the sauce, others have reported success with these methods.

Can I Make Lemon Butter Chicken with Potatoes?

I have never added potatoes to this recipe. However, I think it could be a fantastic addition. If you’d like to experiment, I suggest parboiling the potatoes in a pot of water while the chicken sears. Then, add them to the sauce with the chicken before baking in the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.

Can I Make Lemon Butter Chicken in the Crockpot?

I have not tried to make a slow cooker lemon butter chicken before, so you would be experimenting. I’m unsure if the sauce would thicken the same way in a crockpot. If you decide to give it a try, however, I’d love to hear about your results.

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




53 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

  17. Hi Erin, I’d like to make this to serve to guests. Do you think I could make the recipe to the end of step 3 in advance and continue with the recipe after my guests arrive?
    Love your site/blog/recipes and your emphasis on healthy eating. Thank you,

    Holley

    1. Hi Holley! I would not recommend partially cooking the chicken and then waiting to cook it the rest of the way later. It could turn out not to be safe to eat. Hope you enjoy the recipe!