Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Here’s a one-pan meal that’s jam-packed with bright and satisfying flavors. Perhaps even better, it’s easy enough for weeknights, but special enough for weekends and company. Note: This recipe has been recently retested and changed. The original recipe had a step where lemon slices were browned. Skipping this step made the sauce less bitter, and also reduced the cooking time, as did skipping the step of browning the potatoes before adding the liquid. This recipe is now tastier AND easier to make. Yay!

Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this one-skillet meal, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:

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  • 4 (6 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme, rosemary, or Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes (about 10-12), cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves


  1. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the pepper, and the thyme.
  2. Zest 1/2 teaspoon from the lemon, and then juice the lemon.
  3. In a very large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until well-browned underneath, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4.  Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 30 seconds. 
  5. Add the chicken stock, the lemon juice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to lift up browned bits, if any.
  6. Add the potatoes. Stir and then make sure that all of the potatoes are mostly submerged in liquid. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are just fork-tender, 8-9 minutes.
  7. Stir in the cream. Nestle the chicken in amongst the potatoes. Bring up to a strong simmer and then immediately reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until chicken is cooked through to 165F, as read on an instant-read thermometer, 4-5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the lemon zest. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper, if desired. 
  9. Stir in the spinach just to wilt.