Lemon Butter Chicken Thumbnail

Lemon Butter Chicken

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main course
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


An easy one pan dinner recipe that combines thin-cut chicken breasts sauteed in butter with a quick lemon butter pan sauce. Creamy and tart, and just divine for a weeknight dinner! 



  • 4 thin-cut chicken breasts, about 1/2 inch thick (1  1/41 1/3 lb. total) (see note)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. butter, divided
  • one small onion, or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream (optional)
  • Garnish: thinly-sliced lemon and fresh herbs (optional)


1. Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium high heat.

2. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts. When the butter is foaming, add the chicken breasts and cook about 3 – 4 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. When the chicken is cooked, remove to a plate and cover loosely with foil.

3. Add the chopped onion to the hot pan and saute for around 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onion begins to soften. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan while the onion cooks. 

4. Sprinkle the flour over top of the onion and stir to combine, cook for 30 seconds or until the flour has combined with the butter and onions and there are no visible white bits of flour remaining.

5. Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine, bring to a simmer and cook for about three minutes. The sauce should thicken during this time. 

6. Turn off the heat. Cut or break the remaining 1 tbsp. butter into chunks and stir into the sauce gradually. Stir in the lemon zest and half the lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt and pepper if needed. If using, stir in the 2 tbsp. heavy cream.

7. Add the chicken breasts and any juice that accumulated back into the pan. Rotate the chicken breasts into the sauce to coat. Garnish with thinly-sliced lemon and fresh herbs (optional). Serve immediately.


You can purchase chicken breasts at the grocery store that are already thin-cut, or, cut 2 regular chicken breasts in half horizontally to create 4 thin-cut chicken breasts.

Keywords: lemon butter chicken, easy lemon butter chicken, one pan lemon butter chicken, lemon butter sauce