Brown Butter Lemon Pepper Chicken

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Juicy chicken is coated in lemon pepper seasoning and baked to tender perfection in this easy recipe. The brown butter garlic lemon sauce on top is absolutely incredible!

Lemon pepper is one of my favorite seasoning combos because it’s both savory and zesty! You can find it in some of my other favorite recipes like these wings, pan-seared salmon, and grilled chicken!

Top-down view of lemon pepper chicken, garnished with lemon, in a metal skillet.

Brown Butter Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe

Spring is here so I like to break out all of my lemon recipes to welcome in the warmer temperatures! Actually, I love lemon all year round but I like to take advantage of it while it is popular. Lemon pepper is one of my favorite seasonings to use and is so easy to make at home! It really takes this chicken dish to a whole different and delicious level.

This recipe is so easy to make but so impressive! I bake the chicken in the oven and then broil the tops so they can get that nice crisp edge and tender and juicy center. It tastes absolutely amazing. It’s savory, it’s zesty, and has the most amazing texture! This lemon pepper chicken with brown butter garlic lemon sauce is everything you could want from a spring dinner. Serve it with some fresh veggies like this perfect steamed asparagus and a side of brown rice for a hearty dinner your family won’t forget!

Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Ingredients

It only takes a handful of simple ingredients to make this amazing brown butter lemon pepper chicken. It’s packed with so much flavor, it’s the kind of meal the whole family will go crazy over! All measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Chicken: I used chicken thighs because they’re nice and juicy, but chicken breasts will also work!
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning: This is what is going to give your chicken its perfect flavor, so you don’t want to skimp when adding it! You can buy this premade or make it at home for a more customized blend.
  • Olive Oil: Used for searing the chicken in.
  • Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter here! This acts as the base of the delicious sauce.
  • Chicken Broth: Adds a boost of flavor and helps thin out the sauce.
  • Minced Garlic: Because nothing complements lemon quite as well as savory garlic! It’s a match made in heaven.
  • Lemon Juice: This can be fresh lemon juice or bottled, it just adds a pop of zestiness to your brown butter sauce. Note: if you’re using fresh lemon juice, save your rinds for a bit of lemon zest for garnish at the end!

How to Make It

Right before the chicken was done, I made the amazing brown butter garlic lemon sauce. Holy yum! The brown butter is just one extra step and is absolutely amazing. All of the flavors in the sauce came together so well and it was the perfect finishing touch to the lemon chicken.

  1. Preheat Oven, Sear Chicken: First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the chicken thighs with lemon pepper seasoning. Add olive oil to a medium-sized skillet. Sear the chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes until each side is golden brown. Remove and set aside on a plate.
  2. Prepare Brown Butter Sauce: Melt the butter in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Continue to whisk for a few minutes until the butter starts to become frothy and brown. Add in the chicken broth, garlic, and juice of one lemon. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and coat in the lemon butter sauce.
  3. Bake: Next, bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout and no longer pink.
Closeup of brown butter lemon pepper chicken in a metal skillet.

Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Lemon Butter Chicken

Brown butter lemon pepper chicken is a quick and easy recipe that is full of such delicious flavor! It’s one that you are going to love! Here are a few ways to make sure it turns out perfectly every time.

  • Check Temperature: To keep your chicken from overcooking and becoming dry, use a thermometer to check internal temperature. Once your chicken reaches 165 degrees F internally, it’s ready to eat!
  • Make Sauce Thicker: If you want your sauce to be more like a glaze, mix a tablespoon of flour together with cold water to create a thickening agent, then stir it into your sauce.
  • Make Sauce Creamier: If you want your sauce to be richer, add a tablespoon of heavy cream in at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Serve With: The flavors of this dish pair well with so many different sides! Mashed potatoes, green beans, noodles, white rice, and cauliflower steaks are just a few of my favorites. A green salad is also great for contrasting flavors.

Storing Leftovers

Lemon pepper chicken with brown butter lemon garlic sauce is great for leftovers! You’re going to love having it for a quick lunch.

  • In the Refrigerator: You’ll want to store both your chicken and sauce in the fridge in airtight containers. The lemon pepper chicken will last for 3-4 days and your brown butter sauce will last for up to 1 week.
  • Reheating: I like to reheat my chicken and sauce over the stove on medium heat until warmed through. Once your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees, it’s ready to eat!
Taking a bite of chicken with a fork.

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Brown Butter Garlic Lemon Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Juicy chicken is coated in lemon pepper seasoning and baked to tender perfection in this easy recipe. The brown butter garlic lemon sauce on top is absolutely incredible!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 thigh chicken chicken breasts can also work
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • Juice of one lemon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season the chicken thighs with the lemon pepper seasoning. Add olive oil to a medium sized skillet. Sear the chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes until each side is golden brown. Remove and set aside on a plate.
  • Add the butter and cook over medium high heat. Continue to whisk for a few minutes until the butter starts to become frothy and brown. Add in the chicken broth, garlic, and juice of one lemon. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and coat in the sauce.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout and no longer pink.

Video

Notes

Originally posted April 17, 2016
Updated April 28, 2022

Nutrition

Serves: 4

Calories115kcal (6%)Carbohydrates3g (1%)Protein1g (2%)Fat12g (18%)Saturated Fat7g (35%)Cholesterol31mg (10%)Sodium210mg (9%)Potassium63mg (2%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar1g (1%)Vitamin A371IU (7%)Vitamin C3mg (4%)Calcium19mg (2%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. The chicken sounds delicious but my question is, why is the video and written recipe so different? Do you bake prior to making the butter sauce or do you bake it in the butter sauce? Either way being acceptable i’m sure, but i’m also sure that one way is better than the other. I do plan to try the chicken.

    1. And tell the recipe was changed in April, you only baked the chicken. This is why the video and directions are inconsistent with one another. Very, very confusing!

  2. I did this with 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts and brushed them with small amount of olive oil prior to coating with lemon pepper and baking. Perfect recipe for diabetes type 2. Served with baked squash and zucchini dish.

    1. This will make the brown butter for you:
      In a medium skillet add the butter and cook over medium high heat. Continue to whisk for a few minutes until the butter starts to become frothy and brown. Add in the chicken broth, garlic, and juice of one lemon. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and coat in the sauce. Let simmer for a couple of minutes before serving.

  3. Made this – with chicken breasts – along with roasted potatoes and roasted broccoli for a wonderful meal. This is a keeper. The sauce, as you stated, is so so so good. I know it will be good on rice but this was great with the broccoli and the potatoes too.

  4. Made this last night and it came out tough & rubbery. I didn’t pound the breasts to even thickness and I cooked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Which of these things caused it or is there another reason?

    1. Your chicken was not cooked throughly. The heat was way too high for thick pieces of chicken. Also, in the future, never pound chicken.

  5. I cooked leg quarters seasoned with the lemon pepper seasoning on celery stalks with onion. I added the drippings from the pan and the pan vegetables to the lemon garlic butter sauce with the cooked chicken. I added extra lemon to account for the chicken drippings. Cooked broccoli and rice with It. It was awesome and easy!

  6. I made this the other night with enough for leftovers. I am glad I did; just finishing up what was left for lunch today.
    Easy & very tasty. I used breasts, as it was what I had on hand and served it over rice w/vermicelli and broccoli.
    Will definitely be serving this dish on a regular basis.

    —-Nancy Stephanos

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