Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken Breasts are a nourishing main dish that is easy to prepare, perfect for pairing with just about any side dish, filling, and healthy! Make it for meal prep or for a quick weeknight dinner.
If you’re looking for a weeknight staple or for a fresh and healthy changeup to your cooking routine, lemon garlic baked chicken breasts check all the boxes!
It’s rich in lemon and garlic flavors, plenty juicy, tender, and so easy to make!
Plus, it’s low in fat and high in protein, making it ideal for those looking for macro-friendly meals or simply enjoy clean eating.
This is an easy recipe that is absolutely goof-proof and just a win! Serve it up with salad, pasta salad, roasted vegetables, green salad, etc. for a well-balanced meal.
Chicken is a staple in my household, and it comes in all forms and cooking methods.
In addition, if you enjoy using your air fryer, my Lemon Garlic Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs are dreamy.
Tips for Perfect Chicken Breasts:
I’ve made mention of this in the past, but I’m very picky when it comes to chicken breasts because for me, life is too short for dry meat. Bland chicken breast or dry chicken is the risk we run when we don’t give boneless skinless breasts a little forethought. Unlike
That said, I have some tips that will ensure your chicken turns out tender, juicy, and flavorful. May
Tip #1: Use thinner chicken breast filets or chicken tenders Most chicken breasts are voluptuous with the center being much more voluminous than the edges. This presents an issue when cooking breasts because in order to get the breast fully cooked, you must over-cook the majority of the breast to ensure the thickest part of the breast cooks all the way through.
The solution to this is cutting the breasts in half lengthwise so that you end up with two tin filets with even thickness, or simply buying chicken breast filets that are already cut.
This omits the need for a meat mallet or going through the process of flattening out the chicken into an even thickness by hand.
Tip #2: Marinate the Chicken. As long as your marinade contains a good amount of salt and flavorful ingredients, you’re almost guaranteed tender chicken (so long as it doesn’t get overcooked).
The marinating process not only allows the salt time to penetrate the meat deeply, thereby tenderizing it, but it also helps inject the chicken with flavor and ensures you’re left with juicy chicken breasts.
How long to marinate chicken? For the absolute best result, I recommend marinating chicken for at least 4 hours (up to 12 hours), but any amount of time you can give it is better than none.
Tip #3: Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature. A meat thermometer is one of the few kitchen gadgets I recommend every single meat eater owns.
Chicken is considered fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and wait for a minutes or so until the numbers stop moving.
This ensures your chicken turns out perfectly cooked without running the risk of cooking it to a point that it’s too dry.
Now that we have these basic tips for perfect chicken breasts out of the way, let’s discuss the fresh ingredients for this lemon garlic baked chicken breasts recipe.
Ingredients For Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken Breasts:
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: For the best result, buy either boneless chicken breast filets (chicken breasts that have been sliced in half to create thinner filets), or pick up regular boneless chicken thighs and slice them in half. To do so, place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and use one hand to stabilize it while slicing through the middle lengthwise with a sharp knife.
Thinner chicken breasts will not only take less time to bake, but they will absorb the marinade more fully (since there is less meat to penetrate) and will cook to tender perfection:
Avocado Oil: Because chicken breasts are so lean, cooking them with some oil ensures they turn out nice and juicy. Because we’re baking the breasts, a high temperature cooking oil like avocado oil is best. If you only have olive oil on hand, you can use a little olive oil instead.
Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice: Lemon zest and lemon juice bring powerful lemon flavor to these delicious breasts! I like having both to ensure the chicken turns out very lemony. If you like less lemon flavor, use either zest or juice but not both.
Fresh Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are what generate that huge inviting flavor that makes chicken breast much more enticing! You can scale the amount you use up or down depending on your personal taste.
Paprika and Garlic Powder: Paprika gives a subtle smokiness and garlic powder adds even further to the garlic flavor. Neither one are mandatory but both help round out the flavor.
Sea salt: A major tenderizer, salt goes a long way in ensuring animal proteins turn out nice and soft and juicy. Don’t skip the sea salt unless absolutely necessary, as the longer the chicken marinates with the sea salt, the more tender it will turn out.
Optional Additions: onion powder, chili powder, Italian seasoning, or any simple seasoning or spice rub can be put to use here! For simplicity, I like making the recipe as written, but feel free to get creative.
Let’s make it!
How to Make Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken Breasts:
Transfer all of the ingredients to a ziplock bag. Seal the bag and shake everything around until the chicken is well coated in the ingredients.
Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, ideally several hours (up to 12 hours).
When you’re ready to bake, take the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transfer the chicken breasts to a roasting pan, baking dish, rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish, including the marinade.
Bake chicken breasts for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches just below 165 degrees F. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken to get an accurate read.
Switch the oven to the high broil setting and broil on the second-to-top shelf for 5 to 10 minutes, or until there’s a nice crisp on the outside of the chicken.
Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving with your favorite side dishes.
Note: If you’re using thicker chicken breasts, bake for 25 to 30 minutes, then broil for 5 to 10.
I enjoy making these lemon garlic baked chicken breasts in a big batch as a meal prep recipe, along with my Big Batch Roasted Vegetables.
Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How Long To Bake Chicken Breasts:
The exact cooking time depends on the temperature of the chicken going into the oven and its thickness.
Thin chicken filets take 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees, and thick chicken breasts (regular breasts that have not been sliced into filets) require closer to 30 minutes. Smaller chicken breasts or chicken tenders will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to use your meat thermometer for the best results!
If the chicken is very cold (fresh out of the refrigerator), it will take slightly longer to reach 165 than chicken that has been sitting at room temperature for 10 minutes or longer.
And that’s it! Everything you need to know about making the juiciest chicken breast recipes that turn out fabulously every time for a lovely easy chicken dinner.
Side Dishes for Serving With Oven Baked Chicken Breast:
If you’re looking for healthy sides for chicken, here are some of my favorites!
- Greek Potato Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Mayo-Free Macaroni Salad
- Creamy Cauliflower Casserole
- Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Lemon
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon
- Green Bean Salad with Walnuts and Feta
Enjoy this simple healthy chicken recipe and put it on repeat for easy weeknight meals the whole family will surely love!
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 3 Tbsp avocado oil
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder, optional
- 1 tsp paprika
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp sea salt, to taste
1. Transfer all of the ingredients to a ziplock bag. Seal the bag and shake everything around until the chicken is well coated in the ingredients.
2. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, ideally several hours (up to 12 hours).
3. When you’re ready to bake, take the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the chicken breasts to a roasting pan, baking dish, rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish, including the marinade.
4. Bake chicken breasts for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches just below 165 degrees F. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken to get an accurate read. Switch the oven to the high broil setting and broil on the second-to-top shelf for 5 to 10 minutes, or until there’s a nice crisp on the outside of the chicken.
5. Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving with your favorite side dishes.
If you’re using thicker chicken breasts, bake for 25 to 30 minutes, then broil for 5 to 10.
Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 Serving (of 4)
Amount Per Serving Calories 241Total Fat 0gCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gProtein 39g