Quick Sautéed Lemon and Garlic Chicken

Chicken tapasLooking for a boneless skinless chicken recipe that actually tastes good and doesn’t require a dozen ingredients? Well, I have the perfect recipe. I have been making this chicken for years. It is probably the most flavorful recipe I have come across using  boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Inspired by a Spanish tapas recipe, this sautéed lemon garlic chicken is quick, easy to make and very tasty. And it has all those good-for-you Mediterranean ingredients: olive oil, lemon and garlic.

I’m not a big fan of boneless, skinless and I usually will roast a whole chicken or make Greek style chicken stew in tomato sauce using drumsticks and other whole pieces (with skin and bone), but I make the exception for this recipe. It is so good and the secret is the intensity of the lemon and the garlic. Although this is more of an appetizer, a meze or tapas, I often make it as a main course accompanying it with a salad or mixing it with pasta. The kids love it. There is no “raw chicken” smell or texture and the chicken is very moist and juicy.

Quick Sautéed Lemon and Garlic Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 2 -3 as a main, 3-6 as an appetzer
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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  • 3 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Rind or zest of 2 lemons
  • Lemon juice of two lemons
  • A handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt/pepper


  • Cut the chicken in very thin slices crosswise (widthwise)
  • In a pan, large enough to fit the chicken heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the chicken and sauté for about 10 minutes until it starts to brown on the edges.
  • Add the lemon juice and half of the lemon zest, and bring to a boil, while deglazing the pan with a wooden spatula, scraping all the pieces stuck on the pan.
  • Remove from heat, add the parsley and blend.
  • Sprinkle with the rest of the zest, salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.
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Photo by Elena Paravantes© All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply Julie August 4, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    Very tasty and summery chicken recipe! We loved it. I just had to cook the chicken longer as it wasn’t browning that quickly. I had it on medium heat.5 stars

  • Reply Janis January 5, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Elena, in your cookbook you have “jarred red peppers” as an ingredient in a recipe. Exactly what peppers are these? I’m switching from Keto to Mediterranean and so glad I have found you. Thanks.

  • Reply Carla December 31, 2020 at 11:43 pm

    Just made this, inhaling it now. Excellent. The sauce….perfect.5 stars

  • Reply Carla December 31, 2020 at 11:43 pm

    Just made this, inhaling it now. Excellent. The sauce….perferct.5 stars

  • Reply Ferd April 29, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    This was easy to make and delicious to eat on a warm spring day as today.
    Thanks, inspiring in its simplicity.
    I’ll surely be back for more (no threat, just a promise to myself 😉 )5 stars

  • Reply Daniela December 22, 2019 at 4:49 am

    This looks amazing -for an inexperienced cook (no names mentioned ha ha), are you heating this on medium high?

  • Reply Bjorn February 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Looks realy good; I assume this can be served at almost any temperature? Cold/luke-warm/warm?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN February 4, 2019 at 6:39 am

      Thank Bjorn! I find that this is best served warm, right out of the pan. Keep in mind for food safety reasons, you need to refrigerate chicken within 2 hours

  • Reply Hannah October 24, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Is there anything I can use to replace the parsley? Thanks

    • Reply LizB July 21, 2019 at 10:19 pm

      I didn’t have parsley so I chopped up a handful of fresh spinach instead, and it worked very well! This recipe is excellent.

  • Reply Jill hanley UK September 23, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    I have just made this for Sunday supper it was so tasty will become a go to quick dish in our house! We are off to cephalonia this week so it’s getting us in the Greek mood! Loved it thank you

  • Reply Siobhan Reilly January 24, 2018 at 12:13 am

    This has become my quick go to chicken. Thank you

  • Reply Apostoli February 20, 2017 at 3:03 am

    Can you bake these at all if so how long and at what temp?

  • Reply Sharon January 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Tried this tonight. A delicious, summery and easy dish for a work night. Will be on the ‘regular’ meal list.

  • Reply George January 13, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Would love to try this. Sorry but boil? What? Thank you.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      Hi George,
      There will be liquid in the pan from the lemon juice, you want that to bubble or “bring to a boil”.

  • Reply Janice January 13, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Elena, is there an error in the instructions or does the recipe only call for the zest of one lemon? The recipe calls for half of the zest, but I did not see where the other half was to be added. Looking forward to trying this . Thanks.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 13, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Hi Janice. You sprinkle the rest of the zest on the chicken right before serving. Thanks for catching that.

      • Reply Janice January 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm


  • Reply Judy Reveal January 12, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    how does one select a good olive oil?

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