Fresh Lemon Pepper Chicken

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5 from 3 votes

Ditch the store-bought lemon pepper seasoning and make your own in 5 minutes to spread on the juiciest baked chicken thighs ever, with a quick lemon pepper pan sauce. This lemon pepper chicken couldn’t be more delicious!

Why You’ll Love This Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe

You could say I’m the chicken queen with the success of my simple and quick recipes for How to Bake Chicken Breast (at 425) and How Long to Bake Chicken Thighs for the juiciest chicken every time. So if you’re sick of your usual rotation of chicken recipes, this lemon pepper chicken will be your new go-to! The homemade lemon pepper seasoning is game-changing, flavorful, and easily baked just like my Chicken Adobo! Here’s the top three reasons why you’ll love this chicken:

  • 30-minute meal from start to finish. We all love a good 30-minute meal, don’t we? It sure doesn’t taste like it takes 30 minutes, too!
  • Homemade flavor. My quick 4-ingredient lemon pepper seasoning makes all the difference. Plus an accompanying pan sauce will be ready before the chicken is out of the oven!
  • Make ahead magic. Chicken thighs reheat well since they’re already so juicy. Store the pan sauce separately and reheat whenever you’re ready for a quick lunch or dinner that tastes just-made!

What Is Lemon Pepper Seasoning?

Lemon pepper seasoning is commonly found in the grocery store with the other seasonings and spices. It’s typically made of dried lemon zest or lemon flavoring, black pepper, and salt.

While you can buy it, lemon pepper seasoning is SO much better homemade! And – it’s simple to make at home too! All you need is fresh lemon zest, freshly cracked black pepper, salt, and a little olive oil to help the seasoning stick to the chicken and not burn when cooked. The end result is vibrant flavor that makes all the difference, especially with a quick lemon pepper pan sauce that’s out-of-this-world good!

Lemon pepper chicken ingredients
Lemon pepper chicken ingredients

How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken

Make lemon pepper chicken with a homemade lemon pepper seasoning and quick pan sauce! Full instructions in the recipe card; this is an outline.

  1. Mix.

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For the lemon pepper seasoning, combine lemon zest, olive oil, black pepper, and salt.Mix lemon pepper seasoning.

  2. Brush.

    Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet. Using a basting brush to evenly spread the seasoning on top of the thighs in a thin layer.Brush lemon pepper seasoning on chicken.

  3. Bake.

    Bake for 18-23 minutes.

  4. Sauté.

    While the chicken is in the oven, add olive oil, shallot, and garlic to a pan over medium-high heat, sautéing for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Simmer.

    Add the broth, wine, lemon juice, and mustard, simmering over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Finish.

    Remove from heat and stir in the butter, parsley, salt and pepper.

  7. Serve.

    Serve sauce with lemon pepper chicken!Serve lemon pepper chicken with sauce.

Tips for Success

  • Use chicken thighs (not breasts) for the juiciest, most tender lemon pepper chicken.
  • Don’t skip the olive oil in the lemon pepper seasoning! It prevents the seasoning from burning when baking.
  • Ingredient variations? Use all chicken broth if you don’t want to use wine. You could also use cream instead of the broth and wine! Trying adding in some capers for a briny kick. Or even try Grilled Chicken Thighs instead of baking them! Slather on the lemon pepper seasoning post-grill.
  • Like it saucy? Make double the sauce!

What to Serve With Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon pepper chicken goes well with a variety of side dishes, from a small portion of Lemon Pasta (Pasta Al Limone) or Garlic Naan Bread, to potatoes like Colcannon Potatoes, Smashed Potatoes, or veggies like Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes to simple Broiled Asparagus, a Greek Salad, or Vinegar Coleslaw.

Make Ahead and Storage

  • Make ahead: the great news is lemon pepper chicken is great to make up to 3 days in advance! Store the chicken and sauce separately in airtight containers in the fridge. I don’t recommend freezing.
  • Reheating: reheat the chicken in a foil package in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes until warm. The sauce is best reheated gently on the stovetop. You can also microwave the chicken and the sauce together in a pinch!

More Easy Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!

Fresh Lemon Pepper Chicken

Ditch the store-bought lemon pepper seasoning and make your own in 5 minutes to spread on the juiciest baked chicken thighs ever, with a quick lemon pepper pan sauce. This lemon pepper chicken couldn’t be more delicious!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: any season, spring, winter
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 383kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Ingredients

Lemon Pepper Chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 medium lemons zested
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Lemon Pepper Pan Sauce

  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium shallot finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • Small handful fresh Italian parsley torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425℉. In a small bowl for the lemon pepper seasoning, combine lemon zest, olive oil, black pepper, and salt.
  • Place chicken thighs on a dry baking sheet. Using a basting brush or spoon to evenly spread the seasoning on top of each thigh in a thin layer.
  • Bake chicken for 18-23 minutes until the internal temp registers at least 165 degrees (it’s okay if it’s over!).
  • While the chicken is in the oven, make the pan sauce. Add olive oil, shallot, and garlic to a pan over medium-high heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the broth, wine, lemon juice, and mustard. Let simmer over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter, parsley, salt and more pepper if desired.
  • Serve sauce over or underneath the lemon pepper chicken!

Video

Notes

  • Don’t want to use wine? You can use all chicken broth if preferred.
  • Dry white wine examples include pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
  • Like a lot of sauce? Double the sauce ingredients!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 223mg | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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6 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    June 2, 2024 / 8:51 pm

    5 stars
    A quick weeknight dinner with so much flavor! Will be making this again.

  2. Anonymous
    June 2, 2024 / 8:48 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy recipe! Thanks for the tip on what type of wine to use in the sauce.

    • June 3, 2024 / 9:05 am

      Thanks for the review! I’m so glad the tip helped!

      Grace

  3. Erica
    May 30, 2024 / 3:23 pm

    5 stars
    Love this! I never thought to make my own lemon pepper seasoning…so smart. Thank you!

5 from 3 votes

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