Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce Recipe

Nothing is more satisfying than a well-cooked, flavorful chicken dish. This particular recipe, Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce, is a delightful combination of citrus and herbs, which perfectly complements the succulent chicken. The sauce is made using fresh thyme and lemon, which gives the dish a tangy, aromatic flavor that is absolutely mouthwatering.

Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce Recipe

Photos of Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are common kitchen staples such as chicken, salt, and pepper. However, fresh thyme might not be readily available in every pantry. It's crucial for this recipe because its earthy and slightly minty flavor makes the lemon thyme sauce delectable. When heading to the supermarket, look for it in the fresh herbs section. If unavailable, dried thyme can be used as a substitute but the distinct flavor of fresh thyme is highly recommended.

Ingredients for Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

Chicken breasts: The star of the dish. A source of lean, low fat protein.

Salt: Used to enhance the flavor of the chicken.

Black pepper: Adds a slight heat to the dish.

Olive oil: Used for searing the chicken.

Chicken broth: Adds depth and flavor to the sauce.

Lemon: Provides a tangy flavor to the sauce.

Onion: Gives sweetness and body to the sauce.

Garlic clove: Adds a robust, earthy flavor.

Thyme leaves: Infuses the sauce with its minty, light-lemon aroma.

Heavy cream: Gives the sauce a rich and creamy texture.

Unsalted butter: Adds richness and helps to thicken the sauce.

Lemon slices: Used for garnish and extra tanginess.

One reader, Dorothea Caudill says:

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This skillet chicken with lemon thyme sauce recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so vibrant and the chicken turns out incredibly tender. The sauce is the star of the show - it's zesty and aromatic. I've made it multiple times and it's always a hit with my family. Highly recommended!

Dorothea Caudill

Techniques Required for Making Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

How to pound chicken breasts: Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin to ensure they are even in thickness, which will help them cook evenly.

How to zest a lemon: Use a zester or a fine grater to remove the outer yellow skin of the lemon, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith underneath.

How to juice a lemon: Roll the lemon on a countertop to release the juices, then cut it in half and use a citrus juicer or simply squeeze the lemon to extract the juice.

How to mince garlic: Peel the garlic clove, then finely chop it with a knife until it reaches a minced consistency.

How to cook and stir: Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet while cooking and stirring the ingredients.

How to reduce the liquid: Allow the liquid to boil gently, uncovered, until it reduces to around ¼ cup, which concentrates the flavors of the sauce.

How to bake the chicken: Place the skillet with the chicken and sauce in the preheated oven and bake for about 5 to 10 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through.

How To Make Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

This savory skillet chicken is made with juicy and tender chicken, all coated in a creamy-tangy sauce. Whip up a filling serving in just under 1 hour!

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • 5chicken breasts,skinless boneless
  • ¼tspsalt
  • ¼tspfreshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbspolive oil
  • 1cupchicken broth
  • 1lemon,(about 2 tbsp juiced), zested
  • ¼cuponion,finely chopped
  • 1garlic clove,minced
  • 2tspfresh thyme leaves
  • 3tbspheavy cream
  • 2tbspunsalted butter,cubed
  • lemon slices,and more thyme, for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. If the chicken breasts are uneven in thickness, pound them down so they’re all even. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.

  2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, turning once. Set chicken on a plate and cover tightly with foil.

  3. Remove the skillet from heat and add the broth, lemon zest and juice, onion, garlic, and thyme. Return to heat.

  4. Cook and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

  5. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to around ¼ cup.

  6. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the cream and butter. Stir until butter has melted. Add the chicken to the sauce and place the skillet in the preheated oven.

  7. Bake for about 5 to 10 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through.

  8. Serve the chicken with sauce spooned on top, garnished with lemon slices and extra thyme, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat to liking.


  • Calories: 525.34kcal
  • Fat: 34.20g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.70g
  • Trans Fat: 0.46g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 13.82g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.14g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.16g
  • Fiber: 0.68g
  • Sugar: 2.06g
  • Protein: 47.51g
  • Cholesterol: 171.68mg
  • Sodium: 374.17mg
  • Calcium: 44.55mg
  • Potassium: 593.67mg
  • Iron: 1.96mg
  • Vitamin A: 148.74µg
  • Vitamin C: 9.49mg

Technique Tip for Perfecting Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

When cooking the chicken breasts, ensure you don't overcook them as they can easily become dry. To avoid this, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, letting the chicken rest for a few minutes after cooking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a moister and more flavorful dish.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables, measure ingredients, and marinate meat the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

One-pot wonders: Opt for recipes that allow you to cook everything in a single pot or pan to minimize cleanup and save time.

Batch cooking: Prepare large quantities of staple ingredients like rice, quinoa, or roasted vegetables to use in multiple meals throughout the week.

Use kitchen tools: Utilize kitchen gadgets like a food processor, blender, or slow cooker to streamline the cooking process and save time.

Follow the recipe: Read the entire recipe before starting to ensure you have all the ingredients and understand the steps, preventing any last-minute confusion.

Efficient organization: Keep your kitchen organized and tidy to easily locate ingredients, utensils, and cooking tools, saving time and reducing stress during meal preparation.

Substitute Ingredients For Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce Recipe

  • Chicken breasts - Substitute with turkey breasts: Turkey breasts can be used as a lean and flavorful alternative to chicken breasts, providing a similar texture and taste in the dish.

  • Olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • Chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can be used as a vegetarian alternative to chicken broth, adding depth of flavor to the dish.

  • Lemon - Substitute with lime: Lime can be used as a substitute for lemon to provide a tangy citrus flavor to the dish.

  • Onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a substitute for onions, providing a milder and sweeter flavor to the dish.

  • Garlic clove - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic, providing a convenient alternative with a similar flavor.

  • Thyme leaves - Substitute with rosemary: Rosemary can be used as a substitute for thyme, adding a slightly different herbaceous flavor to the dish.

  • Heavy cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can be used as a dairy-free alternative to heavy cream, adding a rich and creamy texture to the sauce.

  • Unsalted butter - Substitute with ghee: Ghee can be used as a substitute for unsalted butter, providing a nutty and rich flavor to the dish.

  • Lemon slices - Substitute with orange slices: Orange slices can be used as a substitute for lemon slices, providing a citrusy garnish with a slightly different flavor profile.

Presenting Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the skillet chicken, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use fresh herbs and edible flowers to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.

  2. Incorporate texture: Add a textural element to the plate by including a side of crispy roasted potatoes or wild rice pilaf. This will provide a contrast to the tender chicken and creamy sauce.

  3. Emphasize the sauce: Drizzle the luscious lemon thyme sauce over the chicken with precision, ensuring that each plate showcases the rich and velvety texture of the sauce.

  4. Balance the flavors: Consider adding a small side salad of bitter greens dressed with a light vinaigrette to balance the richness of the dish and cleanse the palate between bites.

  5. Attention to detail: Pay close attention to the placement of each component on the plate, ensuring that the presentation is meticulous and reflects the care and artistry put into the dish.

Essential Tools for Making Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

  • Oven: You will need an oven to preheat and bake the chicken.
  • Skillet: A large ovenproof skillet is essential for cooking the chicken and preparing the sauce.
  • Plate: Use a plate to temporarily hold the cooked chicken while preparing the sauce.
  • Foil: Cover the plate of cooked chicken tightly with foil to keep it warm.
  • Grater: Use a grater to zest the lemon for the sauce.
  • Knife: A knife is necessary for slicing the lemon and mincing the garlic.
  • Cutting board: Use a cutting board to slice the lemon and mince the garlic.
  • Measuring cup: A measuring cup is needed to accurately measure the chicken broth and heavy cream.
  • Ovenproof skillet: An ovenproof skillet is used to cook the chicken on the stovetop and then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking.
  • Whisk: A whisk is essential for stirring and incorporating the ingredients of the sauce.
  • Spatula: Use a spatula to turn the chicken while cooking in the skillet.
  • Tongs: Tongs are useful for turning the chicken while cooking in the skillet and transferring it to the plate.
  • Spoon: A spoon is necessary for spooning the sauce over the chicken when serving.

Storing and Freezing Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

  • To store leftover skillet chicken with lemon thyme sauce, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When ready to reheat, place the chicken and sauce in a covered skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through, adding a splash of chicken broth or water if needed to thin out the sauce.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the cooled chicken and sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months. To prevent freezer burn, wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in the container.
  • To thaw frozen skillet chicken with lemon thyme sauce, transfer it to the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. Reheat as directed above, ensuring the chicken is heated through before serving.
  • If you have leftover sauce without the chicken, you can store it separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. The sauce can be used to dress up other chicken, fish, or vegetable dishes.

How To Reheat Leftover Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover skillet chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. This will help to retain the moisture and prevent the chicken from drying out. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the chicken on the stovetop. Place the leftover skillet chicken in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of chicken broth or water to the pan to help keep the chicken moist. Cover the skillet with a lid and heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.

  • To reheat the lemon thyme sauce, place it in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the sauce is heated through. If the sauce has thickened too much, you can add a splash of chicken broth or water to thin it out.

  • If you want to add some extra flavor to the reheated chicken, you can sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves or grate some fresh lemon zest over the top before serving.

  • For a quick and easy reheating method, you can also use the microwave. Place the leftover skillet chicken in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. Be sure to check the chicken every 30 seconds to avoid overcooking it.

Random Fact About Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

Skillet chicken with lemon thyme sauce is a delicious and versatile dish that can be easily customized with different herbs and spices to suit your taste preferences.

Is Making Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce Economical for Home Cooking?

The cost-effectiveness of this skillet chicken with lemon thyme sauce recipe largely depends on the availability and cost of ingredients in your area. Chicken breasts and lemons are generally affordable, while fresh thyme and heavy cream may be pricier. However, considering the minimal use of these ingredients, the recipe can be cost-effective for a household. The overall verdict for this recipe is 8/10, as it offers a flavorful and satisfying meal. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20-$25, making it a reasonable option for a delicious homemade dinner.

Is This Skillet Chicken Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

The skillet chicken with lemon thyme sauce recipe is a relatively healthy dish, but there are a few aspects that could be improved:

  • The recipe uses chicken breasts, which are a lean source of protein and low in fat.
  • Olive oil is used for cooking, which is a healthy fat option.
  • The sauce includes chicken broth, lemon, onion, garlic, and thyme, all of which are nutritious ingredients that add flavor without excessive calories.
  • However, the recipe also calls for heavy cream and butter, which are high in saturated fat and calories.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace the heavy cream with a lower-fat alternative, such as half-and-half or evaporated skim milk. This will reduce the overall calorie and saturated fat content of the dish.
  • Use a smaller amount of butter or replace it with a healthier option, such as olive oil or a small amount of margarine made with healthy oils.
  • Increase the amount of vegetables in the recipe by adding sliced mushrooms, zucchini, or bell peppers to the skillet when cooking the chicken. This will boost the fiber, vitamin, and mineral content of the meal.
  • Serve the chicken with a side of steamed or roasted vegetables and a whole grain, such as quinoa or brown rice, to create a well-rounded and nutritious plate.

Editor's Thoughts on This Skillet Chicken Recipe

This skillet chicken with lemon thyme sauce recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The chicken is perfectly seared and then baked to tender perfection, while the lemon thyme sauce adds a bright and aromatic element to the dish. The use of fresh thyme and lemon zest elevates the flavors, and the addition of cream and butter creates a luscious and velvety sauce. The dish is well-balanced and versatile, making it a great option for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion. Overall, it's a wonderful recipe that is sure to impress with its simplicity and deliciousness.

Enhance Your Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for soaking up the lemon thyme sauce
Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and topped with savory parmesan cheese, a great complement to the skillet chicken
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tender carrots glazed with honey, adding a touch of sweetness to balance the tangy lemon thyme sauce

Alternative Recipes Similar to Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

Grilled Vegetable Platter: Grill a variety of colorful vegetables and serve with a balsamic glaze for a healthy and delicious side dish.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Slow cook beef short ribs in a rich red wine and tomato sauce until tender and falling off the bone, then serve with creamy mashed potatoes.
Mango Coconut Rice Pudding: Create a creamy and tropical rice pudding by simmering rice in coconut milk and sweetened with ripe mangoes, perfect for a satisfying dessert or breakfast option.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a rich and flavorful filling. The combination of ingredients will tantalize the taste buds and leave your guests wanting more.
Bruschetta: Prepare a classic and refreshing appetizer by topping crispy slices of bread with a vibrant mixture of tomatoes, basil, and garlic. The burst of flavors and textures will awaken the palate and set the stage for the rest of the meal.
Decadent Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse that will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. This luxurious dessert is perfect for special occasions or when you simply want to treat yourself to something decadent.
Velvety Vanilla Panna Cotta: Experience the smooth and creamy texture of a classic vanilla panna cotta. This elegant dessert is a delightful way to end a meal, with its delicate flavor and silky consistency.

Why trust this Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce Recipe:

This skillet chicken with lemon thyme sauce recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The use of fresh thyme leaves and lemon juice adds a refreshing and aromatic touch to the dish, while the addition of heavy cream creates a rich and creamy sauce. The method of searing the chicken before finishing it in the oven ensures a juicy and tender result. With the careful balance of chicken broth and unsalted butter, this recipe promises a satisfying and flavorful meal that home cooks can trust.

Have you tried this Skillet Chicken with Lemon Thyme Sauce Recipe? Join the discussion and share your experience or any tips in the Recipe Sharing forum!
Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
Yes, you can absolutely use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time as thighs may require a few extra minutes to cook through.
Can I substitute the heavy cream with a lighter alternative?
Certainly! You can use half-and-half or whole milk as a substitute for heavy cream. Keep in mind that the sauce may not be as rich, but it will still be delicious.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
While the chicken is best served fresh, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and cook the chicken as directed.
Can I use dried thyme instead of fresh thyme?
Yes, you can use dried thyme instead of fresh. Just remember to use a smaller quantity, as dried herbs are more potent than fresh ones. Start with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and adjust to taste.
Can I make this recipe without using an ovenproof skillet?
If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, you can transfer the chicken and sauce to a baking dish before placing it in the oven. Just make sure to scrape all the flavorful bits from the skillet into the baking dish before baking.

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