This Baked Honey Lemon Chicken is healthier than your favorite takeout joint but so easy and full of flavor!
So I love lemon desserts. I’m all for the sweet and tangy combination!
On the other hand, I’ve actually never really been a fan of lemon in savory dishes. I think that it’s really, really easy to do badly.
But I was browsing one of the cookbooks I got from my Grandma’s house after she passed away (the same cookbook that these amazing Fudge Puddles are from!) and I saw this Honey Lemon Chicken recipe.
I actually must have passed over the fact that there’s a whole pile of lemon juice in the recipe, because I put it on the menu plan.
When I realized there was lemon juice in the sauce I was a little nervous, but — you guys — I’m a total convert!
This is a recipe for those who think they don’t like savory lemon recipes. The lemon is not overpowering, but it is definitely there.
This Honey Lemon Chicken has an incredible, tangy flavor that is totally balanced out by the honey, soy sauce and garlic. It is awesome over some plain cooked rice with a side of steamed veggies (if that’s your thing!).
How to make Honey Lemon Chicken:
- Coat your chicken — to get that crispy coating like your favorite takeout joints, we use crushed Corn Flakes and season with salt and pepper. See my tips below for other variations.
- Bake your chicken just until done — a meat thermometer is the best way to get it just right! You’re looking for 165 degrees F in the thickest point.
- Make your sauce — this couldn’t be easier! Just whisk it up in a large glass measuring cup (or bowl), and microwave in 40-60 second intervals on high, whisking each time, until thickened. You do need to keep close to the microwave and watch that it doesn’t bubble over — be sure to leave a few extra inches of space in your dish!
- Combine the two! You can either put the chicken in a bowl and pour the sauce over, or you can serve the sauce on the side and dip the chicken in if you like it extra crispy.
Variations on this Honey Lemon Chicken:
- Want to add some veg? Throw some on the baking sheet with the chicken! Broccoli or green beans would work great with this meal.
- Don’t have Corn Flakes? Swap for Panko bread crumbs — they are my other choice for truly crispy coatings!
- Want a milder flavored sauce? Swap out some of the lemon juice for chicken broth.
- Want to use less butter? Swap out some of the butter for chicken broth.
- Want to use less sugar? Swap our some of the honey for chicken broth.
Updates from the original Honey Lemon Chicken recipe:
Originally, the recipe called for the sauce being added to the pan with the chicken after the chicken was crispy.
When I was retesting this recipe, I found that the chicken then became overcooked, and the coating was not crispy any longer.
For that reason, I switched up the recipe and now bake the chicken just until crispy but still juicy, and while that’s going down I microwave my sauce until thickened, stirring regularly. This way, I get the best of both worlds!
Baked Honey Lemon Chicken
- 3 chicken breasts cut into 1.5" pieces (about 1 lb)
- 4 cups Corn Flakes crushed, or Panko crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the Corn Flakes, salt and pepper in one large freezer bag. In another large freezer bag, place the chicken. Add the egg to the bag with the chicken, seal, and turn to coat the chicken in the egg. Transfer the chicken to the bag of Corn Flakes. Seal, and turn to coat completely.
- Place chicken in a single layer on a greased rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the butter, honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, corn starch, and garlic with a whisk until combined. Microwave on high in 45-60 second intervals, stirring each time, until thickened. (*Watch carefully at the microwave in case it starts to bubble up)
- Pour over cooked chicken and serve with rice or noodles.