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Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon Pepper Chicken is chicken marinated in a mixture of spices, lemon juice, lemon pepper, garlic and olive oil and then sautéed it until tender and juicy. An easy light meal! 

One of the things that I have learned throughout my years of cooking is that fat = flavor. That means that when it comes to chicken the dark meat and the meat with skin is what I usually gravitate towards. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, are not.

Until now.

Lemon Pepper Chicken on a white plate with a lemon wedge

If you, like me have had a hard time making a juicy, flavorful chicken breast, then this Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe is for you.

What ingredients do you need?

If you’ve spent any time on my blog you know that I love recipes that use ingredients that you likely have on hand and this recipe is no different.

Raw chicken breasts on a plate with paprika, garlic, lemon pepper, lemon and a striped napkin.

CHICKEN BREASTS: This recipe is written for boneless skinless chicken breasts. That being said, the marinade is great with all cuts of chicken.

LEMON PEPPER SEASONING: Lemon pepper seasoning is made with grated lemon zest and crushed black pepper. It’s a zesty spice that is a MUST in this dish.

GARLIC: Just a few cloves minced is great to give a touch of garlic flavor without over powering the dish.

LEMON: I Just love lemon with chicken. It brightens the whole dish. It also helps tenderize the chicken.

DES’ TIP: I recommend marinating this chicken no more than 4 hours. While the acidity in the lemon juice helps tenderize the chicken, if left too long it can also make the chicken mushy. 

PAPRIKA: Adds color and a touch of smokiness.

SALT: For flavor.

DRIED OREGANO: You can also use fresh oregano but remember the rule of thumb 1 teaspoon dried herbs = 1 tablespoon fresh.

OLIVE OIL: Helps keep the chicken juicy.

Lemon pepper chicken on a silver baking sheet

Step by Step Instructions:

Let me show you just how easy this recipe is to make!

STEP #1: Use a sharp knife to halve the chicken breasts lengthwise.

STEP #2: Place the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and hit with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they are a uniform thickness. This will help make sure that they cook evenly.

Chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap on a teal cutting board with a rolling pin.

STEP #3: Whisk together garlic, lemon pepper seasoning, paprika, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and oregano.

A spoonful of lemon pepper chicken marinade

STEP #4: Pour marinade mixture over chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but not more than 4.

Overhead photo of chicken marinating in lemon pepper seasoning in olive oil. Stripped towel with salt, pepper and lemon pepper seasoning,

STEP #5: Cook the chicken in a skillet 3 – 4 minutes per side or until browned and a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees.

Browning chicken breast in a skillet.

How to store leftovers:

Not only does this Lemon Pepper Chicken make a great dinner, it also makes a great make ahead protein to add to salads throughout the workweek! The perfect way to add some flavor to your lunch.

Here are some of my favorite side dishes to serve alongside:

Garlic Rice

Roasted Red Potatoes

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Sautéed Broccoli 

Looking for more easy chicken dinners for your family? Here are some of my family’s favorites!

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo 

Chicken Curry Recipe

Brined Fried Chicken

40 Clove Garlic Chicken Recipe

Baked Chicken Tacos from the Cookie Rookie 

Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2009. It was updated with new photos, step by step photos and nutrition facts. The recipe was also modified to feed 4.

Overhead photo of lemon pepper chicken on a white plate with a lemon wedge, arugula. Striped towel with lemon pepper and salt on the side.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon Pepper Chicken is an easy weeknight dinner and a great meal prep ingreident. Perfect as a light meal or to add to salads throughout the week!
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 254 kcal



  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • lemon wedges for garnish


  • In a bowl combine all ingredients except the chicken.
  • Use a sharp knife to half the chicken breasts lengthwise. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until they are a uniform thickness. This ensures that they will cook evenly.
  • Place chicken in a glass dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Turn the chicken to coat. Marinate for 2 hours.
  • After two hours, remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade.
  • Cook the chicken in a skillet 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges




Calories: 254kcalCarbohydrates: 3.3gProtein: 39.8gFat: 9.4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 406mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 2.9g
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: chicken, chicken breast, chicken breasts, diet, dinner, Food, healthy, lemon juice, lemon pepper, olive oil, paprika, Recipe

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Recipe Rating

  • Reply
    October 12, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    I just made this does the Marinade look red when its made up? Because mine is I thought maybe it was because of the Paprika in it.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    When you cook it in the skillet, do you put anything in the skillet? Olive oil? Butter? Just curious

    • Reply
      February 10, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      The oil in the marinade is enough that I don’t add any additional to the skillet when cooking :)

  • Reply
    December 9, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    So I have this marinating in my fridge for tomorrow night. The only thing I did differently is adding chopped onions to the marinade. I saw that on another site but decided that your spice mix dominated that one. I will be back tomorrow to tell you how it turns out! :-)

  • Reply
    Heather U.
    April 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    We just had this tonight, AMAZING! I will be making this a lot more often!

    • Reply
      April 8, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    How many calories are in this recipe?

  • Reply
    April 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Amazing made this tonight for my son and boyfriend. All my son eats is chicken so i decoded on something new for him and he loved it!!…

  • Reply
    April 2, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Made this last night exactly as stated. Absolutely delish!!!! Will definitely be making this many times more.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Excellent! Made this tonight on the grill, but substituted rosemary for oregano. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Can you give a baked variation of this recipe?

  • Reply
    January 24, 2011 at 7:30 am

    I made this a few nights ago. I loved it. Making it again tonight. I’m always looking for good easy food. And this was it.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Chicken blew up when i took it out of marinade.had 2 call fire dept.

    • Reply
      February 29, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      Haha was it that fire

  • Reply
    July 11, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I made this tonight. My husband really liked it. But it didn’t look as pretty as the picture here. The color was different. As soon as I took it out of the marinade it had a dark color to it.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    We made this tonight and it was great! I marinated it overnight and the flavor was perfect. Thanks for the quick and easy recipe!

    • Reply
      June 24, 2009 at 10:43 am

      You’re welcome Stephanie! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I am not much of a meat eater, but lately I have become a fan of chicken breasts. I will definitely have to try this! Simple but good!

  • Reply
    Amanda Formaro
    June 12, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    This really looks good, I have to try it! Very nice of you to help your friend. Boiled chicken everyday? ick!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Try mixing a healthy teaspoon of Tabasco with your lemon juice when you marinate. It will make the chicken “warm”, but not too hot. Yum!

  • Reply
    Mrs. L
    June 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

    In order to eat healthier we’ve been grilling chicken breasts in our cast iron skillet on the stove. This sounds like a great addition to our chicken repertoire.

  • Reply
    June 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Nice looking recipe, with clean simple flavours! I love the combination of lemon and black pepper.

    May I recommend adding a few tablespoons of plain or natural white yoghurt (or buttermilk) to the marinade mixture? I have found that marinating chicken breasts in tenderising yoghurt for two hours (maximum) makes the world of difference to their texture, preventing them from going stringy or dry when they’re cooked.

  • Reply
    June 12, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Yes, very nice! You’re an excellent friend! Chicken needn’t be boring, with a few spices it can be quite tasty! I have to say, there’s also so many choices when poaching chicken, tell your friend about them!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2009 at 5:32 am

    This chicken sounds delicious. I may not be a man, but I like simple cooking.

    • Reply
      June 12, 2009 at 7:48 am

      Thanks Risa! I enjoy simple cooking too, it makes thing so much nicer sometimes. :)


    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

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