Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast

When I was a wee lass we always had lemon pepper in the spice cabinet.  It was one of the basics, but at the time kind of a new hip basic, right next to the basil and the oregano, the cinnamon and the ginger.  A total staple, as was lemon pepper chicken, the most common way to make use of this assertive spice blend.  It was a real thing in the 80s.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

But frankly I forgot all about it.  For like a really long time.  But then a little stash of spices arrived at my doorstep, which included lemon pepper and I decided to take a little walk down memory lane.  

What is Lemon Pepper?

Lemon pepper is in fact basically a combination of finely grated and minced lemon zest and ground pepper.  Fact is, though, many blends do contain additional ingredients.  Many contain salt, so you’ll want to adjust any additional salt to your recipe with that in mind. 

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Other ingredients that might be part of a blend are citric acid, lemon oil, garlic, sugar, and possibly some anti-clumping ingredients and coloring.  If you are a spice purist, be sure to take a close look at the ingredients and find a brand that meets your comfort level with additives.

How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken

You can just sprinkle lemon pepper onto chicken and bake it (this recipe is for boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can definitely use it on skin-on bone-in pieces of chicken. Make sure to add to the cooking time if using bone-in pieces to make sure the chicken is cooked through).

I decided to add a few additional ingredients, since my blend was on the clean and pure side.  I added brown sugar for a bit of sweetness to balance the spicy pepperiness and sharp citrus flavor.  I also added a little garlic powder, and cayenne, along with kosher salt for more layers of flavor.  

And then I mixed the whole spice blend with some melted butter so I could brush it onto the chicken and add a bit of fat to keep them moist as they broiled.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

I do wish I had lined the pan with foil or parchment.

Cooked and sliced, they were delicious.  I served them up with roasted carrots drizzle with Creamy Cilantro Sauce and a simple spinach salad and it was a terrific combo.

Leftover lemon chicken is great added to chopped salad, used in wraps, sliced for sandwiches, cubed and tossed into soups.

Lemon Pepper Chicken: The classic spice blend mixed with a bit of butter, brown sugar, garlic powder and cayenne makes a great seasoning for chicken breasts.

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Lemon Pepper Chicken

What to Serve with Lemon Pepper Chicken:

Try these perfect sides with Lemon Pepper Chicken.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Other Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Recipes:

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Lemon Pepper Chicken

The classic spice blend mixed with a bit of butter, brown sugar, garlic powder and cayenne makes a great seasoning for chicken breasts.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted


  • Preheat the broiler.  Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.
  • Brush the chicken with the butter mixture. Broil for about 5 minutes until the top is starting to turn golden brown, then flip the chicken and broil the other side for 5 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Let the chicken sit for a couple of minutes, then slice and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 848mg | Potassium: 879mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 339IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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  1. Was I supposed to filet the breasts before I broiled them? I put the chicken breasts in the oven to broil without filleting and they came out very dry and it took much longer to cook.

    1. these days chicken breasts range SO much in size. each chicken breast should be no larger than 8 ounces for this recipe, and if they are larger or very thick (as some are!) then yes, filet them horizontally first.

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