Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken

4.46 stars average

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Lemon pepper baked chicken breasts are brushed with a homemade spice rub then baked until golden and crispy on the outside, but tender and juicy on the inside.

Lemon pepper baked chicken.

Baked chicken will always bring me right back to my childhood, as my mom probably made it multiple times a week. And it was perfection every single time! Now that I’m a mom myself, I love serving baked chicken to my boys as a quick and delicious, protein packed meal. Baked chicken is so versatile in how you can season it with really anything you have on hand, but today I thought I’d share my Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken recipe.


  • Chicken breasts: I prefer to use bone in, skin on chicken breasts for this recipe as it creates a deliciously crispy skin while keeping the meat tender and juicy.
  • Olive oil: Heart healthy oil that helps to coat and marinate the chicken.
  • Lemon juice and zest: Bright, fresh, acidic flavor that pairs well with the bold pepper flavor.
  • Garlic: Pungent and bold flavor that is spicy when raw, but sweetens and is somewhat nutty when cooked.
  • Salt & pepper: The simple seasoning that with the lemon and garlic is all that the chicken needs.

How to Make Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken

Grating garlic into bowl

Start your lemon pepper baked chicken by making your simple spice rub. In a small bowl, take a microplane and grate your garlic.

Zesting lemon into bowl

Then zest your lemon into the bowl.

Juicing lemon

Make sure you zest your lemon first, as it’s significantly easier, then cut it in half and juice it into the bowl, catching any seeds.

Adding salt to bowl

Sprinkle in your salt.

Adding pepper to bowl

And stir in your pepper.

Adding olive oil to marinade

Finish by whisking in the olive oil.

Coating chicken in marinade

Then take your chicken breasts that have been patted dry, and brush your lemon pepper mixture on both sides of each breast.

Marinated chicken

Put your seasoned chicken breasts on a prepared baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes at 375, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160. If you remember to, baste the chicken in the juices about halfway through to ensure a nice, crispy skin.

Cutting a bite of lemon pepper baked chicken.

Once skin is crispy and chicken is cooked through, remove from the oven, serve with fresh lemon slices, and enjoy your Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use chicken thighs or boneless breasts?

Of course! But the cooking time will shift based on the type of chicken you decide to bake. The best way to know when the chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer.

How do I bake chicken so it’s not dry?

A big part of baking chicken so it isn’t dry, is not overcooking it. I find using a thermometer and checking for when the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 is the best method of making sure your chicken is cooked, but pulling it out of the oven before it dries out.

Should baked chicken be baked covered or uncovered?

You don’t have to worry about covering your chicken, it’s totally fine to bake it uncovered.

Lemon pepper baked chicken breasts.

More Chicken Dinners

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Liz eating lemon pepper baked chicken.

If you have leftover Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken, they are delicious the next day on a salad or in a sandwich. You can also shred the meat to use in soups, stews, or pasta!

Your fork is waiting.

Lemon pepper baked chicken

Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken

4.46 stars average
Chicken breasts are brushed with a homemade lemon pepper rub then baked until golden and crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 1 hour
TOTAL: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 4 bone-in, split chicken breasts (skin-on)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon juice and zest of
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper


  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients (oil through pepper) and brush evenly on both sides of each chicken breast.
  • Bake until juices run clear, 45-60 minutes.

Last Step:

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Cooking Tip: Zest the lemon before you juice it! It’s too hard to zest the lemon once you’ve squeezed it to death.


Serving: 1breastCalories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 47gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1887mgPotassium: 510mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 188IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Post a pic and mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl!

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4 responses to “Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken”

  1. Brandon Miller Avatar
    Brandon Miller

    Never thought that chicken can be that tasty, soft and delicious! You’re a wizard, haha! I greatly appreciate such detailed recipes too because I’m definitely way worse cook than everyone else in here and only starting to get a decent grip on more complex things so it helps a ton, thank you! I have to admit that I went a little too far with the lemon juice and it made it a little weird and a bit more sour than I’d like but still – I didn’t even notice how quick it all disappeared when our we starting our dinner with colleagues, had a celebrating party for our 3 years together and I’m set to cook for the 4th year and further as well with such recipes!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this Brandon! Isn’t it great?

  2. Xenia Avatar

    Looks wonderful! Just wondering how you calculated the calories, as a chicken breast size can vary so much! Do you know the approximate weight of each breast? Thanks!

    1. rich051 Avatar

      Hello! Bone in, split chicken breasts with the skin on are generally the same size so we went with the average size. :)