This juicy Baked Lemon Chicken Breast recipe is easy, healthy, and perfect for busy weeknights. The lemon marinade makes the most flavorful and tender chicken that is perfect for meal prep, in tacos, on a salad or with your favorite side dish.
Easy Baked Lemon Chicken Breast Recipe
This easy Baked Lemon Chicken recipe is as easy as throwing a few ingredients in with your chicken and baking whenever you're ready. This lemon chicken marinade also works great for chicken thighs, chicken tenderloins, or grilled chicken. It's so versatile, super easy to make, and even incredibly healthy.
Baked Lemon Chicken is one of my favorite recipes for meal prep because it can be used in so many different ways. It's great on salads, in tacos, or just as a main dish with your favorite side.
Ingredients in Baked Lemon Chicken
- Avocado Oil- I like to use Avocado Oil for this chicken marinade recipe. It has a high smoking point and it doesn’t add a lot of flavors.
- Lemon Juice– Good marinades call for some kind of acidic element- For this recipe, I like to use lemon juice. White vinegar would be another good option. The acidity in the marinade will help break down the muscle fibers and tenderize the chicken.
- Salt-Be sure to salt the chicken breast like you would if you were grilling it.
- Cayenne Pepper- This adds just a little heat to the chicken marinade. You can certainly take this out if you don't like heat but this adds a nice little bit of warmness to the chicken marinade.
- Cumin- This will add just a little bit of a smokey flavor to the chicken recipe.
- Rosemary- Of course fresh is best but you can use dried if you don't have any on hand. In that case, be sure to marinate your chicken breast at least 4 hours so the rosemary can reconstitute and you can get some of that amazing flavor.
- Thyme- the perfect pairing with lemon and rosemary.
- Chicken Breasts- It's best to use chicken with the fat trimmed off. If your chicken breast if thick, follow the steps the tenderize and flatten the thickest part of the chicken breast.
How To Make Baked Lemon Chicken Breasts
- Tenderize the chicken. To tenderize the chicken breasts, place them in a freezer bag and seal. Using a rolling pin, mason jar, or the flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound the thickest parts until each breast is about ¾" thick.
- Marinade the chicken. In the freezer bag, add the avocado oil, lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, rosemary, and thyme. Seal the bag and toss to evenly coat. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 2-24 hours.
- Bake. Remove chicken from the marinade and place in a 9" x 13" baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Once cooked, remove from the oven and spoon the juices over the chicken breasts.
- Broil. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown.
- Let rest before serving. Remove chicken from the broiler and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations for Lemon Chicken Breast
Here are a few simple variations that will give you a range of flavors to choose from. Don't forget you can also swap out the chicken breast for thighs, drumsticks, or tenders. Or, you can choose to grill the chicken.
- Lemon Pesto Baked Chicken: Spread a layer of pesto sauce over the chicken breasts and drizzle lemon juice on top before baking.
- Lemon and Artichoke Baked Chicken: Combine lemon with canned or marinated artichoke hearts and pour this mixture over the chicken before baking for a tangy and slightly briny dish.
- Lemon Rosemary Almond-Crusted Chicken: Coat the chicken in crushed almonds, fresh rosemary, lemon zest, and a drizzle of olive oil for a nutty and aromatic crust.
- Lemon and Ginger Baked Chicken: Marinate the chicken in a blend of lemon juice, ginger, soy sauce, and honey for an Asian-inspired twist.
- Lemon Coconut Baked Chicken: Combine lemon with shredded coconut for a tropical-inspired baked chicken. Dip the chicken in a lemon juice mixture, then roll it in coconut flakes before baking.
- Greek-Style Lemon Chicken: Marinate the chicken with lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and minced garlic. Serve with a side of tzatziki sauce and a Greek salad for a Mediterranean-inspired meal.
Tips for Baking Lemon Chicken Breast
- Tenderize your chicken. It will really make a big difference when grilling your chicken. It’s really easy to do and only takes a couple of minutes. You can place the chicken between two sheets of parchment paper and whack it on the thickest part of the chicken breast with a rolling pin or mason jar You can also put it in a gallon ziplock bag and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Don’t over-pound your meat. A few good whacks will do the trick. Just whack on the thickest part of the breast to help even it out. Your chicken breast will cook a lot more evenly if the meat is a uniform thickness.
- Marinate your chicken. The high PH from vinegar or lemon juice helps break down the muscle fibers in the chicken and the oil will help keep it moist.
- Don’t overcook your chicken. The best way to assure you’re not overcooking your chicken is to use a digital meat thermometer. Grill the chicken only until it reaches 165 degrees.
- Cook at a lower heat for longer to keep the chicken breast tender and juicy.
- When the chicken is done, keep it in the baking dish or place it on a platter with foil over it for 5 minutes to redistribute the juices and to keep the chicken warm and juicy.
Frequently Asked Questions
The time it takes chicken breasts to bake at 350 degrees depends on how big the piece of chicken is. It typically takes 25 to 30 minutes to bake a 4 ounce chicken breast at 350°F. But, the best way to determine whether or not chicken is fully cooked is by checking that the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F.
The average grilling times for chicken is:
-Small Chicken breast, boneless, skinless (6 – 8 ounces ): between 8 to 12 minutes over direct medium heat (350° F)
-Medium Chicken breast, bone-in (10 – 12 ounces): between 30 to 40 minutes over indirect medium heat.
-Large Chicken leg or thigh, bone-in: 30 to 40 minutes over indirect medium heat.
There are so many uses for baked lemon chicken recipes! You can serve it as is with rice, pasta, or your favorite veggie side dishes. You can also make a batch and have it on hand to use throughout the week for tacos, salads, pizza toppings, or pasta.
Yes! Just make sure your chicken has cooled completely before transferring to freezer bags or another airtight container. You can store your chicken frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, just transfer to the fridge overnight.
Storing And Reheating
- Refrigerator: store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: freeze in freezer bags or another airtight container and store frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, transfer to the fridge overnight.
- To reheat: either microwave or reheat in a preheated 325 degree oven until warmed through.
Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe
- 4 Chicken Breasts boneless, skinless
- 4 tablespoon Avocado Oil
- ¾ cup Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
- 1 pinch Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Rosemary (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon Thyme (chopped)
How to Marinade Chicken Breasts
- To tenderize the chicken breasts, place them in a freezer bag and seal. Using a rolling pin, mason jar, or the flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound the thickest parts until each breast is about ¾" thick.
- In the freezer bag, add the avocado oil, lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, rosemary, and thyme. Seal the bag and toss to evenly coat. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 2-24 hours.
How to Bake Chicken Breasts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove chicken from the marinade and place in a 9" x 13" baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Once cooked, remove from the oven and spoon the juices over the chicken breasts. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown.
- Remove chicken from the broiler and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
More Quick and Easy Chicken Recipes
- 3 Citrus Chicken Marinade
- Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
- Garlic and Herb Drumsticks
- Grilled Apricot Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Teriyaki
- Rosemary Garlic Chicken Breasts Marinade
- California Grilled Chicken Salad.
- Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
- Mediterranean Grilled Drumsticks
- Grilled Caprese Chicken Breast
- Grilled California Chicken
- Garlic and Herb Grilled Chicken Drumstick
- Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks
- Lemon Rosemary Chicken Kabobs
- Southwest Chicken Kabob
- BBQ Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- More Easy Dinner Ideas
- More Chicken Recipes
More Lemon Recipes
- Lemon Syrup
- Lemon Herb Rice
- Lemon Ginger Chicken
- Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe
- Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon
- Mint Lemonade
- Lemon Rosemary Chicken Kabobs
This recipe for Baked Lemon Chicken is easy and healthy. It's a chicken marinade that works great for baked chicken breast or baked chicken thighs and is perfect for meal prep, in tacos, on a salad or with your favorite side dish. Your family is going to love this easy baked chicken recipe.