This easy and flavorful recipe for Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs is seared in butter then baked with lemon slices. It’s a succulent and filling one-pan weeknight meal the whole family will love!
I’m a big fan of saving time and effort in the kitchen. Who knew it could be so easy to create delicious and satisfying meals with only a handful of ingredients and almost no clean up? That’s why I love this Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs recipe so much!
Made in one skillet with six simple ingredients, this chicken thigh recipe is ready to enjoy in less than an hour. Plus, it’s a family favorite that pairs well with almost any side dish! My favorites are Honey Roasted Carrots and Pesto Potato Salad.
I decided to flavor these chicken thighs with a simple combination of lemon and butter. The two were practically made for each other! The butter soaks into the chicken and helps get the skin nice and crispy while the lemon brightens the flavors, making the baked lemon chicken thigh recipe taste light and fresh.
How to make lemon butter chicken in one pan
Dry the chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken thighs until the skin turns golden brown.
Turn the chicken over, add the lemon slices and thyme, then bake. When it’s done (or has an internal temperature of 165ºF), serve the chicken hot with your favorite side dishes.
How to tell when chicken thighs are done cooking
The best way to tell if your chicken thighs are done cooking is to use a high-quality meat thermometer. Chicken (boneless or bone-in) needs to have an internal temperature of 165ºF in order to be considered safe to eat. When you think it’s close to done, stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh to get a reading.
Tips and substitutions
- You can use boneless chicken thighs in place of bone-in. They may take a few minutes less to fully cook through.
- If using chicken breasts, bake them for only 18 to 22 minutes instead. Again, use a meat thermometer to ensure they’re cooked all the way through.
- To get a good sear on the chicken thighs, it’s important that you pat the chicken completely dry with a paper towel. This also helps the seasonings stick!
- Chicken can be marinated and stored for up to 24 hours before cooking. Simply add the chicken thighs to a ziploc bag along with the seasonings, herbs, and oil. Shake it around so they’re fully coated and refrigerate until it’s time to cook.
What goes well with lemon chicken thighs?
I love pairing crispy chicken thighs with roasted vegetables to maximize their flavor. This dish goes perfectly with a side of Roasted Vegetables and Polenta or a Roasted Garlic Vegetable Salad.
Feel free to pair this chicken with your favorite grain dishes as well, like Quinoa or Garlicky Carrot Brown Rice. When all else fails, potatoes are a delicious back up! Add a side of Oven Roasted Potatoes or Spicy Mashed Potatoes for an ultra comforting meal.
Storing and reheating leftovers
To store, place the cooked and cooled chicken thighs in an airtight container or a food safe storage bag in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
To reheat cooked chicken thighs, warm them up in a skillet on the stove. Alternatively, place the chicken on a sheet pan and warm in a 350ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through. To get the skin crispy again, broil the chicken skin side up for 1 to 2 minutes.
Need more easy chicken dinner recipes?
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
- Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan
- One Pan Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Jambalaya
Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs
- 5-6 chicken thighs
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 whole lemon, sliced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh thyme
- Pat dry chicken with paper towels. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside
- In a cast iron skillet melt butter and add oil in medium-high heat. Place chicken thighs skin side down and sear for 4-5 minutes of each side or until skin starts to turn golden brown. Turn chicken skin-side up and add in lemon slices and thyme.
- Transfer skillet to 425F degrees oven and bake for 25 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken registers 165F degrees.
- Optional to broil for 2 minutes to get the skin crispy and deep golden brown.
great work thanks
I don't have a cast iron skillet. Do you think it would be okay to use my stainless steel oven safe skillet? This recipe looks like it could be a repeat, regular go to for me. Thank you!
Silvia Ribas says
Hi Kim, as long as it is oven safe should be good! Let me know how it turns out.
This dish is so easy and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly and it did not disappoint. My family and I have been trying to eat healthier and this fit the bill. While still being so tasty.