Creamy Lemon Chicken with Thyme is an easy, weeknight dinner that just needs one skillet and is ready in 30 minutes.
We are talking about flavorful, lemony, thyme chicken breasts that are tossed in a creamy sauce that doesn’t have any heavy cream, which makes this meal light, healthy and easy.
Like you, I’m always looking for easy weeknight dinner recipes. Which is how this super easy lemon chicken recipe with thyme was born. One of those late evening experiments which turned out to be so yummy that since then, we’ve been making them again and again.
This simple recipe uses a small list of ingredients – chicken, olive oil, butter, garlic, thyme, lemon, flour and milk. I usually have most of these in my pantry, and don’t worry if you don’t have fresh thyme, although I really love the flavor. Dried thyme works in a jiffy!
Thyme and lemon are flavors that always complement each other which is why I love using them together in this recipe.
I definitely like using chicken breasts in this recipe, simply because they cook really fast. And when it’s time for dinner, I have a family that doesn’t like to wait. They are also leaner and healthier than red meat so thats a win win. But it’s very important to cook them right or they can taste dry and rubbery.
I usually start by rubbing minced garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper over the chicken breasts and leaving them to marinate for 15-20 minutes. This helps add more flavor to the breasts and the lemon juice tenderizes them slightly.
In they go into a really hot pan for a quick sear till they are golden brown and then cook for another couple of minutes to make sure they are almost done.
Once the chicken is cooked, you use the same pan to make the sauce. Add a little more butter, cook some flour till light golden in colour and whisk in the milk and thyme for a simple flavorful sauce that coats the chicken and gives this recipe its creaminess.
What to serve lemon chicken with?
When we want to keep this low carb, I serve this with steamed broccoli, mashed cauliflower “potatoes” or asparagus. But this lemon chicken also goes really well with brown rice, mashed potatoes and quinoa.
This is the kind of dinner that will have everyone licking their plates clean. And its simple and easy enough for you to be able to make it on demand!
I hope you try this recipe and love this as much as I do.
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Creamy Lemon Chicken with Thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts boneless skinless
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh Thyme Leaves
- Rub the chicken breasts with garlic, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add chicken breasts. Cook the breasts for 5-6 minutes on each side till cooked though and not pink from inside. Once cooked, take the chicken breasts out of the pan and set them aside on a plate. Cover the plate with foil to keep the breasts warm.
- In the same pan heat butter and add the flour. Stir the flour for a minute and slowly start whisking in the milk till all the milk is incorporated and there are no lumps.
- Simmer the sauce while stirring occasionally till the sauce thickens slightly. Add the remaining salt, lemon zest and thyme and mix. Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer for two more minutes. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Repin this Easy Chicken Recipe
Very good. Impressed with such little work on my end. Will definitely make again.
Unlike so many recipes, this was AS DELICIOUS AS PROMISED!
I used some extra olive oil instead of butter to make the sauce, as we don’t eat butter-it worked well.
My husband declares that he dislikes sauces, prefers ‘plain’ meat….but he LOVED this one-maybe because it’s light, with no cream THANK YOU!
So happy to hear that, Cathie! You will have to add this one to the rotation!
Tried this recipe for dinner and absolutely loved it! So delicious and so easy to make. My family loves strong tastes so I put in extra garlic, seasonings, and lemon juice. I also used cornstarch in place of the flour due to allergies. Came out perfectly. My picky little sister licked the whole plate clean! Thank you for this!!
You’re welcome Nina! So happy to hear that!
If there was zero stars I would select that. All the proportions were off and it does not taste good at all. I’m baffled.
I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you Bill.
Bill, I’d be curious to hear your specifics regarding this recipe. I made this tonight. I had 7 breasts @ 2 1/2 lbs so I doubled the recipe although kept the milk at 2 cups. That being said, the only extra added was a touch of salt. I thought this was delicious and very glad I didn’t have to go buy heavy cream.
So glad you enjoyed this recipe Dawn!
Made this to try and use up the last of my fresh thyme – and I think it came out really great. I marinated the chicken for a little bit longer, and then for the sauce I didn’t end up needing all the milk but I went a bit rogue and added some parmesan to it right at the end. It was delicious! Can’t wait to do this one again, with enough for second servings next time.
Great additions Maureen! Parmesan would be delicious.
What’s a good substitute for non-dairy people? Would almond milk work?
We have only tried this recipe as written, Bella, but almond milk or soy might be a good substitute!
This recipe is a mess. Proportions are all off. Don’t try this recipe.
Based on the reviews, most readers have had success with this recipe. What problems did you have so I can help you or look at what needs to be updated in the recipe?
Caution the the lemon zest will curdled the milk.
Oh no, sorry that happened to you TG. But it shouldn’t curdle if the milk is fully mixed into the recipe.
This is pretty great! Maybe a little bit of less milk next time. But definitely would recommend adding a little bit of lemon juice to the sauce and adding more thyme! Just my taste though… The recipe as is is amazing. We served it with wild rice and roasted garlic asparagus.
That sounds delicious Tiffany, thanks for sharing!
Delicious! It was a big hit!
Made this tonight for my mums birthday tea, went down an absolute treat. Very easy to make and even tastier to eat.
So glad everyone loved it Holly! (great name by the way) ;)
Thanks! I love this recipe. Instead of cooking the chicken on a pan, I just stuck it in the oven for 20-25 mins. For those who love the creamy & sour combos, try adding some lemon/lime juice into the sauce. Adds a nice surprise.
I’ve been eyeing this recipe, looks so good. I had a bunch of chicken breasts so I tried this out last night for dinner. It was wonderful! I served it over white rice along with some green beans on the side. The flavor was delicious. Thank you for this recipe…I’ll be trying more with time and my health allows.
I’m so glad you loved it Mary!
Thank you for the delicious recipe… my ex wife used to make a lot of good desserts and now I’d like to make some for myself…
So glad you love the recipe Al! Let me know how it turns out!
This is my kind of recipe! It looks perfect for a weeknight meal and that sauce — WOW!
Chicken and thyme is such a great combo and this looks and sounds absolutely delicious! Such a great idea for dinner!
I love quick and simple meals that still taste like a chef made it! Lemon and thyme are always delicious together.
Mmmmm….love lemon chicken and the thyme is a lovely touch! Such a sucker for anything cooked in a skillet and you can’t beat dinner on the table in 30 minutes!