Lemon Pepper Chicken

This Lemon Pepper Chicken post is sponsored by Mirum, but opinions are my own.

THIS LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN with asparagus is on your table in JUST 20 MINUTES!

This Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe is outrageously delicious with juicy, seared chicken breasts, crisp-tender asparagus and better-for-you buttery lemon garlic herb sauce.  It is not only full of flavor but made with pantry staples that all cook in one skillet for easy prep and cleanup, perfect for all those busy weeknights.  You may only cook the Lemon Pepper Chicken or cook the lemon chicken and asparagus or swap out the asparagus for whatever veggies you love or have on hand.  Serve this skillet chicken with rice, pasta or mashed potatoes or low carb zoodles, cauliflower rice etc.  No matter how you serve this easy Lemon Pepper Chicken, everyone will be singing your praises, and licking their plates.

top view of lemon pepper chicken and asparagus in a skillet

Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe

This Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe is all about minimum ingredients and maximum flavor AKA your new “what should I make for dinner?” ace.  With only 20 minutes to chow time, this is the easy one-pot dinner recipe of your dreams. Not only do you get both a protein and a veggie (no double work!), but you only have to clean ONE pan. Life just got easier and more delicious with Lemon Pepper Chicken.

In this Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe, the chicken gets smothered in zesty, peppery seasonings, is seared to golden perfection then simmered with minced garlic, buttery Brummel and Brown® Original Spread, herbs and lemon juice.

Asparagus is added the last few minutes of cooking to soak up all the buttery bright, citrus glory.  You seriously will be AMAZED at how flavorful the asparagus are!  You will be making this buttery lemon sauce just for your asparagus and all your veggies thanks to Brummel and Brown® Original Spread – proper introduction below.

What makes this the Best Lemon Pepper Chicken?

This Lemon Pepper Chicken is so fresh, so easy, and so full of buttery lemon garlic herb goodness!  While this recipe might appear to be about the zesty lemon pepper chicken, it wouldn’t be the same without the buttery lemon sauce.  And the buttery lemon sauce wouldn’t be the same without Brummel and Brown Original Spread. 

Have you heard of Brummel and Brown Original Spread?  If you haven’t picked it up at your local Walmart yet, NOW is the time!  This velvety finish makes EVERYTHING better.  It’s a creamy buttery spread made by blending plant-based oils, purified water, and REAL ORGANIC yogurt.

Yogurt delivers the delightfully rich, creamy taste with 50% less fat and calories than butter!  It’s also gluten free, cholesterol free with 0g Trans-fat per serving and no artificial flavors or preservatives.  It’s Non-GMO, USDA certified organic, and RSPO certified. 

For dinner, I love to sauté shrimp, pork, meat and chicken like this Lemon Pepper Chicken.  It’s also fabulous to create buttery sauces, as a starter for creamy pasta sauces, or stir fries. 

What is lemon pepper seasoning made of?

The “lemon pepper” in Lemon Pepper Chicken comes from lemon pepper seasoning. Lemon pepper is a delightful flavor bomb of bright and tangy lemon with feisty pepper.  It is made by mashing granulated lemon zest with cracked black peppercorns to infuse the pepper with the citrus oil. 

I love lemon pepper because it delivers dynamic lemon flavor that is hard to achieve any other way other than marinating and the pepper pumps of the flavor.  Anything you smother in lemon pepper seasoning is guaranteed to have flavor.  Its fabulous sauteed with Brummel and Brown Original Spread on chicken, salmon, veggies, rice and more!

far away top view of lemon pepper chicken and asparagus in a skillet

lemon pepper chicken breasts

I chose chicken breasts for this Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe because they are more popular, and emerge wonderfully juicy with my cooking technique. 

I used 4 chicken breasts fillets to equal one pound. You can either purchase 4 small chicken breasts and pound them thin, 4 chicken fillets or two large chicken breasts and slice them through the equator to create fillets.

If using small chicken breasts, you need to pound them to a uniform size before cooking. Pounding the chicken tenderizes the chicken by breaking down the stringy fibers and the uniform thickness ensures they will cook evenly.   

To pound the chicken, lay the breasts on a cutting board or flat surface.  Cover the chicken with plastic wrap then gently pound to an even thickness with a meat mallet.  If you don’t have a meat mallet, you can use the side of a can.  

Can I use Chicken Thighs?

Absolutely! Chicken thighs are inherently juicier and would make delicious Lemon Pepper Chicken.

How to Trim Asparagus

The asparagus is one of my favorite parts of this Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe! Before we cook the asparagus, we need to eliminate the chewy, woody stems.  To easily do this, hold one piece of asparagus and bend it until it snaps in two.  The asparagus will naturally snap where the tough end begins.

Instead of breaking the ends off of every individual piece of asparagus, I save time by snapping one asparagus, then line the rest up with it and chop off all the ends at this same point.

showing how to make lemon pepper chicken and asparagus by cooking asparagus in a skillet

How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken

To make Lemon Pepper Chicken, we first combine lemon pepper seasonings, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika in a large bowl.  Use a bowl that is large enough to hold your chicken so that way you don’t have to dirty more than one dish.  Whisk the seasonings with some olive oil and lemon juice.

Add the chicken to the seasonings and turn to coat.  You can use a spatula to generally coat the chicken but then I like to use my hands to massage the spices into the chicken to ensure every piece is evenly coated.

showing how to make lemon chicken by marinating chicken

If you have time, let the chicken sit for 15-30 minutes at room temperature.  This short time will help to tenderize the chicken and bring it to room temperature so it cooks more evenly.  If you are running short on time, just let the chicken sit while you prep the garlic and asparagus.

Alternatively, you can cover the chicken and refrigerate for up to 8 hours for even more flavorful chicken.

How to cook lemon pepper chicken

Cooking chicken in the skillet is one of my favorite ways because it is so quick and convenient.  In addition, adding Brummel and Brown Original Spread to the skillet infuses our chicken with buttery goodness through and through. 

  • Sear chicken: To cook our Lemon Pepper Chicken, we are going to sear it in Brummel and Brown® Original Spread and olive oil.  The Brummel and Brown Original Spread delivers buttery flavor, the oil prevents the spread from burning and searing locks in moisture which means juicier chicken.
showing how to make lemon pepper chicken by adding butter to skillet
  • Make lemon butter sauce: Next, we’re going to flip the chicken over, sauté garlic with more Brummel and Brown Original Spread then stir in lemon juice, oregano, parsley and thyme for tantalizing buttery, lemon herbalicious sauce. 
  • Cook chicken: Now, my key to juicy chicken breasts – cover the chicken and reduce heat to medium-low.  The bottom will still sear from residual heat but reducing the temperature and covering ensures the chicken doesn’t dry out on the outside before the inside is cooked.  Another key to juicy, soft chicken breasts – DON’T overcook!  I recommend an instant read thermometer so you know exactly when your chicken is done.

You can stop here if you like and devour your Lemon Pepper Chicken bathed in buttery lemon garlic sauce or you can proceed to cook the asparagus – I vote asparagus.

showing how to make lemon pepper chicken by cooking chicken in a skillet until golden
  • Add asparagus: The asparagus cooks in the same skillet as the chicken so they can drink up all of the buttery sauce. Once you remove the chicken from the skillet, sauté the asparagus just until crisp tender about 3-4 minutes – they take less time than you think, so make sure you don’t overcook them.  If you have thin asparagus, they will require even less time, extra thick asparagus will require more time.  I like to check for doneness by stealing a piece of asparagus at 3 minutes – and then try not to steal more. 
showing how to make lemon pepper chicken by adding asparagus to skillet

Cooking tips for this recipe

  • Don’t skip the resting time. After you season the chicken, let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to help bring it to room temperature. Chicken should never be cooked straight from refrigerator or it will not cook evenly.
  • Pound chicken to an even thickness. This quick step: 1) tenderizes the chicken as it breaks up the tissues and, 2) the uniform thickness allows the chicken to cook evenly all over – without the thinner bottom becoming overcooked while we wait for the thicker top to cook through. 
  • Use butter and olive oil. I almost always use a combination of butter and oil whether it’s for making a roux or for pan frying chicken. The butter adds the undeniably scrumptious buttery flavor and the oil prevents the butter from burning.
  • Scrape up golden bits. After you sear the chicken there will be golden bits on the bottom of the pan – these are flavor gold!  Make sure to scrape up the bits while you cook the sauce.
  • Use a hot pan. Add your chicken only once the pan is hot – you should hear the chicken sizzle the second it touches the pan. If you add chicken to a lukewarm pan it will not sear, and as we all know from Gordon Ramsey, color = flavor.  Searing the chicken results in the Maillard reaction, also known as the flavor reaction, in which amino acids and reducing sugars produce browning and complex flavor. Note that hot doesn’t mean high heat, but it means it’s reached full temperature (medium-high, in this case). 
  • Only flip chicken once. Adding the Lemon Pepper Chicken to a hot skillet heated to medium-high heat is only half the battle. Resist the urge to move the chicken as it cooks or to flip it more than once.  The chicken needs to stay in the same place for a continuous amount of time to brown. When the chicken is browned, it will naturally release from the pan.
  • Don’t overcook chicken. Chicken, especially chicken breasts, are juiciest when not overcooked. The best and most efficient way to check for doneness is to insert a meat thermometer into the chicken; chicken breasts are done when they register 165 degrees F.

RECIPE VARIATIONS 

  • Fresh herbs. Use fresh herbs in the sauce; the rule is 3x fresh to 1x dried.
  • Swap seasonings. Mix up the flavor profile and swap the lemon pepper in the recipe for Cajun seasonings, Jerk seasoning or Fajita seasonings.
  • Make it spicy. Add red pepper flakes to the sauce.
  • Use salmon: The lemon pepper seasoning and lemon butter sauce would also pair well with salmon.     
  • Add veggies: Add any chopped vegetables instead of the asparagus such as broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, etc.

How to Store lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon Pepper Chicken and Asparagus should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When properly stored, it should last up to five days.

top view of a piece of lemon pepper chicken and asparagus on a plate garnished by lemons with a fork

HOW TO REHEAT lemon pepper CHICKEN recipe 

  • Microwave: Chop or thinly slice the chicken so it cooks evenly. Transfer chicken to a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds then at 15 second intervals as needed.
  • Skillet: Skillet: Reheat in a nonstick skillet just until warmed through, flipping the chicken occasionally.  
  • Oven: Transfer chicken to a baking sheet, cover with foil and reheat at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or just until warmed through.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Meal Prep

Lemon Pepper Chicken makes fabulous meal prep! To meal prep, slice chicken after its been resting for at least five minutes, this will allow the juices to be reabsorbed throughout the chicken. Equally divide chicken, asparagus and any renaming sauce between 4 airtight containers along with rice, pasta, etc.

Can you Freeze Lemon Pepper Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze Lemon Pepper Chicken and Asparagus but the asparagus has the tendency to get mushy if initially fully cooked. If you know you’re going to freeze, then only cook your asparagus for one minute instead of cooking completely.

To freeze, cool chicken and asparagus before adding to an airtight container or separate containers for individual servings. If adding to a bag, squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the microwave or skillet.

What Goes with Lemon Pepper Chicken?

This Lemon Pepper Chicken is practically a meal-in-itself with the juicy chicken, and outrageously flavorful asparagus.  I like to serve it with smashed potatoes,mashed potatoes, rice or quinoa.  For a low-carb version, you can serve it with spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice or broccoli rice.

I also like to serve Lemon Pepper Chicken with fruit salad, and some crusty bread, dinner rolls or breadsticks to mop up every last drop of the tantalizing buttery lemon sauce. Better-for-you buttery sauce. Thank you
Brummel and Brown Original Spread, thank you.

up close of a piece of lemon pepper chicken and asparagus on a plate garnished by lemons

Want to try this Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe?

Pin it to your CHICKEN, DINNER, or ONE POT Board to save for later!

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

top view of lemon pepper chicken and asparagus in a skillet

Lemon Pepper Chicken and Asparagus

This Lemon Pepper Chicken with Asparagus is on your table in just 20 Minutes! It’s outrageously delicious with juicy, seared chicken breasts, crisp-tender asparagus and better-for-you buttery lemon garlic herb sauce. It is not only full of flavor but made with pantry staples that all cook in one skillet for easy prep and cleanup, and the perfect dinner for busy weeknights. You can just cook the lemon pepper chicken or cook the lemon chicken and asparagus or swap out the asparagus for whatever veggies you love or have on hand. Serve it with rice, pasta or mashed potatoes or low carb zoodles, cauliflower rice etc. No matter how you serve easy Lemon Pepper Chicken, everyone will be singing your praises, and licking their plates.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken fillets (large chicken breasts sliced through the equator) or thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH paprika, salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice divided
  • 3 tablespoons Brummel and Brown® Original Spread divided (may sub butter)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2/3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried parsley, dried thyme
  • 1 pound asparagus (1 bunch) ends trimmed, cut in half

Instructions

  • Add lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt to a large bowl and whisk together with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add chicken and evenly coat, massaging spices into chicken. Let sit at room temperature 15-30 minutes, time permitting (you can prep your garlic, asparagus, etc. at this time).
  • Melt one tablespoon Brummel and Brown® Original Spread with one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden. Flip chicken over and add garlic and 2 tablespoons Brummel and Brown® Original Spread to the middle of the pan and sauté 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, oregano, parsley and thyme.
  • Spoon sauce over chicken a few times, cover chicken, and cook an additional 3-5 minutes (depending on thickness) or until chicken is cooked through/registers 165 degrees F. Remove chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
  • Add the asparagus to the pan with the remaining sauce and sauté until crisp tender, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken back to the pan along with any accumulated juices and warm for a minute. Serve with rice, potatoes, pasta, etc.

Notes

*For juicer chicken breasts, brine before seasoning by combine 4 cups warm water with ¼ cup kosher salt together in a glass dish.  Stir until the salt dissolves. Add chicken and let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.  Remove chicken from the brine, rinse in cold water and pat dry.

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13 Comments

  1. Debby says

    Sounds delish! Just wondering…in place of Brummel & Brown what could I substitute as I don’t believe I’ve ever seen that here in Canada! Thank you! Love your site.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Debby! Yes you can substitute butter if you don’t have Brummel & Brown in Canada. Enjoy!

  2. Paddy says

    Hey Jen,
    I am making this dish today I was going to make it the day it came out but I could not find Brummel & Brown at Walmart & I tried a few stores I don’t normaly go to & low & behold I found it at the little market I shop at every day I couldn’t believe it they even told me it was very popular, any way my question is this…. I always read thru your entire posts and in this recipe you say in the beginning about lemon Zest yet there is no fresh lemon in the recipe, do I just use lemon juice? I just don’t want to screw it up, I hate to bother you with this question!
    As always thank you again for all your recipes & for always making me look like a hero in the kitchen to my family, you have become a householed name in my house we are always talking about “Jen” like you live here!
    -Paddy

    • Jen says

      Hi Paddy, as always thanks for your kind words! I’m honored to be a household name! There is actually no lemon zest in the recipe – just lemon juice and lemon pepper seasoning. I refer to the chicken as “zesty lemon pepper” and talk about how lemon pepper is made from granulated lemon zest – but you don’t need lemon zest for the actual recipe. I hope that helps! enjoy!

      • Paddy says

        Thank You Jen for responding so fast u rock!
        It helped huge!
        I will let you know
        how good I did tomorrow!
        I am making this now & listening to the Red Sox game, not to happy with the sox this year but…..
        Go Sox
        -Paddy

  3. daricelynn says

    DELICIOUS – Thank you for recipe.
    I did add lemon zest just because I always use the zest whenever I use a lemon = more flavor!
    Making the smashed potatoes tonight.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome, thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m so pleased you loved the chicken and I hope you love the smashed potatoes just as much!

  4. Therese says

    Super DELICIOUS!! Another favorite to the already list of favorites we love! I made the Smashed potatoes to go with it. Those are addicting! 🙂

    • Jen says

      YAY! Thanks so much Therese! I’m thrilled you loved the chicken AND the potatoes!

  5. Teresa says

    I made this dish yesterday using half skinless chicken breasts and half chicken thighs. OMG— absolutely the best flavored new dish I’ve tried in awhile. Where can I find the nutritional info? Thanks for the post. I will be checking out your other posts for another great find.

  6. Connie says

    This was a yummy recipe. It was easy and so delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Connie, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it!

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