Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe

Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe from

When I was growing up, I remember boneless, skinless chicken breasts becoming really popular. It was around the time of everyone becoming convinced that even a drop of fat on your plate meant instant death by heart attack, so while I don’t believe that myself, I can understand why this cut of meat seems to be one of the most stocked in my grocery store.

The good news is, there are many things you can do with a boneless, skinless chicken breast – my Mayo Free Waldorf-Inspired Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe recipe being one of my favorites. The bad news is, because there is no skin and no fat on this cut of meat, it is very easy to make it dry and tasteless.

Because of that, I’m all about infusing chicken breast with flavor by steaming them with something – in this case, garlic and lemon. The secret here is cooking them in a covered pan. That way you’re cooking the chicken breasts in the ingredients directly (by placing them on top of the garlic and lemon), and the moisture in the pan is also infused with the garlic and lemon which steams it into the chicken meat. It’s the most moist and flavorful way I’ve ever found to cook a plain chicken breast.

As an added bonus, cooking up a few of these is an excellent way to have a fast, nutritious meal for the week. Here’s our secret:

Garllic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe from

Once a week I’ll chop up a bunch of mixed vegetables (shown here: red onions in one bowl and red peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, celery and zucchini in the other bowl. Usually there are also cucumbers, but I used them up in the Cucumber Salad Recipe. I also cook up some hard-cooked (not boiled) eggs, cook some Garlic Lemon Chicken Breasts, and stock the fridge with spring mix lettuce. Then, if I’m having a busy night, I can just toss all the ingredients in a bowl and head to the back porch for a lovely meal al fresco – next to the herb garden, of course.

Garllic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe from

Doesn’t that chicken breast just look amazing on top of that salad? It was so juicy and the lemon made for such a vibrant dish.

Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe Photo Tutorial
(Printer friendly version below)


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic
2 small lemons
1-2 tablespoons cooking oil
salt and pepper

Step 1: Warm cooking oil in a pan over medium/medium-low heat (depending on your stove). Crush and chop garlic. Add the garlic to the oil and cook for about a minute.

Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe from

Step 2: Slice the lemons and add about half of the slices to the bottom of the pan. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and lay them on top of the garlic/lemon slices in the bottom of the pan. Top the chicken breasts with the rest of the slices.

Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe from

Step 3: Cover the pan with a lid and turn down to medium low. Cook until the chicken breasts are cooked through, turning once. The amount of time this will take will depend on how thick the chicken breasts are. Just keep an eye on them. But try not to open the lid too many times because you’ll let the moisture out.

Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe from

Step 4: (Optional) Once they’re cooked through, take the lid off and turn up to medium. Let cook for a minute or two on each side to brown them a little. If I have enough liquid left in the pan, sometimes I’ll brown them a little, then remove the chicken breasts and keep the liquid in the pan cooking a little to thicken it. Then, you can use the pan drippings like a gravy. It’s very tasty.

Step 5: Once they’re done, either serve and enjoy, or slice them up and store in the fridge to serve and enjoy later!

Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe from


  1. […] Nutrition Facts Serving Size Servings Per Container 4 Amount Per Serving Calories 438 Calories from Fat 117 % Daily Value* Total Fat 13g 20% Saturated Fat g 0% Trans Fat g Cholesterol 192mg 64% Sodium 610mg 25% Total Carbohydrate 6g 2% Dietary Fiber 2g 8% Sugars 2g Protein 74g 148% *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Inspired From Domestic Soul […]

  2. Can you please give just an estimate on about how long to cook the breasts over the garlic & lemon? Are we shooting for around 5-10 min, or more like 30-40, or somewhere in between? I know it will depend on how thick the cut is, but I could really use an estimate! I have had some really dry chicken breasts because I couldn’t tell at all when they were done and just kept over-cooking them.

    • Hey Elaine,

      I almost hate to give an estimate only because it varies so much by thickness. I’ll give it a shot, but know this will vary a bit based on your chicken vs my chicken and your stove vs my stove. If they’re really thin, you probably only need a few minutes – maybe 5 total. Those would probably be harder to get juicier anyway, I’d think. The chicken breasts I usually use for this are usually pretty thick and take around 20 minutes, give or take. I’d think 30-40 minutes would probably be way too much and would dry them out. If I’m ever unsure, I’ll take one out and cut a small slice in the middle – if there’s no pink, it’s done. If pink, add back to the pan for a few more minutes.

      Hope that helps!


    • I would guess you’d be shooting for closer to 20-30 minutes, but the best thing to do is to invest in a meat thermometer. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius). Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, until it’s about in the middle, and read the temperature. Try not to do this too much, though, because poking the chicken like that can cause the juices to run out, which will result in your chicken being less juicy when it’s done. Experience with cooking chicken will help you figure out when it’s close to being done, and then you can use the meat thermometer to double-check.

  3. Chicken was beautifully moist. I added too much lemon so will go a bit easier next time. Any ideas on adding Ginger?

    • Thanks!

      I do, actually. I’ll warn you that I haven’t tried this yet. However, I love ginger and eat it a lot, so I’m familiar enough with it to think this will work. First, either sub out the garlic for finely chopped/grated ginger or use half garlic half ginger. Then, sub out the lemon slices for lime slices. I think that would be really lovely as those three spices play well together. Let me know how it works out!

      – DS

  4. The garlic burnt shortly after adding the chicken causing a terrible aroma. I had mine set on low since I have a chef quality oven. Still burnt the garlic.

  5. Stumbled upon this today and made it this evening…wow! So simple and the flavor was phenomenal! I was surprised how much the lemon slices actually imparted into the dish. This is an instant recipe staple for me. Will try with limes (my fave) next time. Thank you!

    • You’re so welcome! Let me know how it turns out with the limes. That might be really tasty with a little chipotle seasoning too. Oh wow, I might have to play around with that one a bit. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  6. wow… all i can say is WOW! this is amazing. super easy and absolutely fantastic! Will make this again….often!!! the chicken was incredibly tender, falls apart. I had the butcher butterfly the breast and pound it out so it was pretty thin.

  7. […] 6. Garlic Lemon Chicken Breast This recipe reminds us that you don’t have to put on a three ring circus to make a delicious meal, and that if you simply add the right ingredients together you’ll come up with a winner. Here they’ve chosen garlic and lemon, a timeless classic that works on chicken and fish. They use the chicken to sit on top of a salad, which shows that they’re in tune with the Paleo way of eating, and chicken always makes a great salad topper. We recommend spinach or kale as your salad, especially the baby versions of each for maximum flavor. […]


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