Lemon Pepper Chicken

Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and full of amazing flavor! This crispy lemon pepper chicken is sure to become a family favorite in no time!

This crispy lemon pepper chicken is flavorful without being overly peppery. It has an amazing lemon flavor but is NOT sweet. It goes great with just about anything like my Instant Pot Mashed PotatoesInstant Pot Rice PilafEasy Butter Garlic Noodles, or Better Than Takeout Chow Mein

Crispy Lemon Pepper Chicken | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Crispy + Delicious

I’ve made it my goal this year to simplify our family meals.  This crispy lemon pepper chicken is just that-simple but delicious!!

Crispy lemon pepper chicken has been a favorite of ours for a little over a year now. It’s something my kids are always asking me to make and they devour every last bite. We’re all a little obsessed with the crispy breading, tender inside and flavor all around.

You’ll need three lemons, two chicken breasts (or 4 cutlets), good quality olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, and a few seasonings and spices. Let’s get started!

Lemon pepper chicken in skillet

How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken

First, decide what cut of chicken you are going to use, breasts, cutlets, tender, thighs, wings etc. I prefer chicken breast/cutlet (A chicken cutlet is simply a chicken breast that has been cut in half and pounded to an even thickness). They cook faster than a thick chicken thigh and I love the thinness of the cutlet! 

To make a chicken cutlet take your regular chicken breast, place it on a cutting board and then cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. Take a meat mallet, or the side of a can, and pound the chicken until it is at an even thickness. 

I don’t marinate the chicken for this recipe. The breading for this recipe is where you will get all of your flavors!

Let’s get cooking!

  • You’ll start by coating the chicken in the lemon zest oil, then breading it in the mixture of flour/panko/seasoning.
  • In a large skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil in it, you’ll fry the chicken until it’s nice and crisp on both sides AND reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  • It’s important to remove the chicken from the skillet right away and to place it on a cooling rack for a minute or two before you plan on serving it.
  • Do not let it sit for more than 5 minutes (before serving it) or you’ll start to lose crispness. In our house, that’s never an issue because it gets inhaled before anything else. โ˜บ๏ธ

Lemon pepper chicken recipe

Storing + Side Ideas

If you have leftovers, let it cool completely before placing it in the fridge. Rather than keeping it in an air-tight container place the chicken on a plate and cover it with a piece of foil.

The trick to reheating this lemon pepper chicken is trying to keep the breading nice and crispy! To reheat and keep it crispy bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes while covered with a piece of foil.

Delicious side dishes:

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

 For more chicken recipes, check out:


Crispy Lemon Pepper Chicken | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Lemon Pepper Chicken Recipe

Juicy on the inside and full of amazing flavor! This crispy lemon pepper chicken is sure to become a family favorite in no time!
4.79 from 52 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 cutlets
Calories: 403kcal
Print Recipe


For the Lemon Oil
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • zest of 3 lemons
For the Breading
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
For the Chicken
  • 4 chicken breast cutlets - or 2 breasts cut in half
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon - cut into 1/4-inch thick slices


  • In a small rectangular dish, combine the olive oil and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • In a small rectangular dish, combine the flour, bread crumbs, pepper, garlic powder, salt, parsley, and paprika. Set aside.
  • Set a large deep skillet over medium heat, add remaining olive oil.
  • Take each chicken cutlet and dip both sides in the olive oil mixture, then in the breading. Place onto a plate or piece of aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
  • Place into the pan, cook on one side for 5-6 minutes before flipping. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Place the lemon slices in the pan and continue cooking until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.ย 
  • Remove from the skillet and place on a cooling rack. Let rest for 2-3 minutes before slicing and serving.



- The chicken MUST be thin to be cooked throughout in a timely manner. If the chicken is not thin enough the breading will begin to burn.
- Do not add the lemon slices until the last 5 minutes of cook time or they will end up burnt as well. Timing is everything!
- For crisp chicken serve immediately.


Serving: 4g | Calories: 403kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 743mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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  1. Delicious – not as heavy as a chicken schnitzel. Loved the lemon flavour and the panko crumbs gave a delicious crunch. Will make again for sure.ย 

  2. Not everyone knows what a “cutlet” is, your instructions to cut the breast in half were not clear. My chicken burnt on the outside and was raw inside. Please fix your recipe to reflect what a “cutlet” is or just simply put you need two breasts sliced in half, for beginner chefs. Thanks!

    1. Glad I read the comments before trying this.
      I now know a “cutlet” is two breasts sliced in half of a breast ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Looks like a really nice dish. Going to make tonight.

  3. Great chicken! Iโ€™m definitely adding this into my rotation! I may adjust the amount of pepper to adjust to my personal taste.ย 

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious!! My husband likes spicy food and I don’t. This was a perfect compromise–a little spicy but not overwhelming. The lemon zest in oil add the perfect amount of lemon flavoring to the chicken.

    1. Yes, it’s a great middle ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy you liked it & thank you for letting me know!

    1. Thank you, it really is! This chicken is great with anything..veggies, salad, potatoes, pasta…anything you like!

  5. 5 stars
    Deslish. I had plenty of lemon and breadcrumb mixture for 10 thin cutlets. I used white whole wheat flour and whole wheat panko crumbs.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was really good! ย I served with rice a roni noodle side and Normandy veggie mix by birds eye, I wish I could post a picture. It was super yummy ๐Ÿ˜‹ thank youย 

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious, made this tonight and we gobbled everything up, no leftovers, definitely will stick this recipe in my back pocket and make it again! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.ย 

  8. 5 stars
    We used thin chicken thighs and they were amazing. chicken came out sooo juicy! Picky eaters loved it! Great recipe!! thank you for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! My daughters loved it. I will continue to make this meal for years to come. I made a larger amount, I also used a little extra Panko. I used kosher salt also. It was an amazing meal.ย 

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! Iam making it for the second time tonight โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

  11. 5 stars
    Oh wow! My family absolutely loved this chicken especially my daughter! So delicious and juicy! Definitely making these again soon!

  12. 5 stars
    It’s perfect and I love your recipes! I made this for lunch today and the family just enjoyed it! Thank you for making this delicious recipe.

  13. 5 stars
    This recipe was delicious. I will definitely make it again. The chicken was very juicy.

    1. Thank you!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s a favorite around here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you!! I’m so glad you found the recipe and loved it. Thanks for sharing!

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe is SO GOOD!!! I’ve made it twice now, and both times were a hit! Although, I definitely improved the second time. First time I bought chicken cutlets, and the second time I prepared cutlets from chicken breasts. But either way works great! I served the chicken with broccoli and carrots seasoned and cooked in the air fryer and mac and cheese. Thank you for this recipe!!