This keto lemon chicken recipe is taking deliciousness to a whole new level. Think tender chicken breasts browned in a skillet, with a rich lemon sauce. A restaurant quality high protein low carb dinner that's ready in just 20 minutes.
Table of contents
I couldn't decide what to call this dish - lemon garlic chicken or lemon pepper chicken or even "speedy chicken piccata" as the recipe contains capers, the signature ingredient of piccata.
Well, my low carb lemon chicken is all of these things. Garlicky, peppery, tangy, creamy and above all lemony!
And did I mention how easy it is?
It's a tasty everyday weeknight dinner, but also delicious enough to serve it when you're having friends and family over. We have it on regular rotation in our house, it is that good!
Here's a quick run-through of the ingredients:
Chicken breasts - If they are really thick, give them a bash with a rolling pin to flatten them. This way, they will cook more quickly.
Spices - Garlic, thyme, salt and pepper
Lemon - For an extra portion vitamin C. Should be unwaxed.
White wine - Dry white wine really adds depth to the dish and the alcohol will cook off. However, the recipe will work without.
Chicken broth - Use a good quality chicken stock or stock cube.
Butter and olive oil - Butter makes the sauce so much tastier. It also adds thickness and creaminess.
Capers - I love the tangy flavour of capers! Use capers in brine, not the salted ones.
Dijon mustard - or any other yellow mustard.
How to make keto lemon chicken
This section contains recipe instructions illustrated with images. You will find ingredient amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Put the chicken in a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes per side till almost cooked through.
It's important that you don't move the chicken breasts around the pan during frying. This keeps the meat tender.
Set aside and cover with aluminium foil to keep warm.
Heat the remaining oil in the same pan you cooked the chicken in. Add the garlic and thyme and fry for about one minute. Then, add the wine and cook off for 1 min.
Add the stock, Dijon mustard and/ or apple cider vinegar and butter and simmer on a medium heat for about 2 minutes until the sauce starts to reduce a little.
Now, add the chicken back into the pan together with the capers and lemon slices. Cook until the sauce thickens and the chicken is fully cooked through. The lemon juice will seep from the lemon slices and flavor the sauce.
Depending on the thickness of your chicken breast, this will take between 4-7 minutes.
Tip: Check the chicken breasts are fully cooked through by cutting one open slightly.
Garnish with fresh parsley and adjust the seasoning to taste. A little extra pepper never hurts!
I like to serve this lemon chicken with green vegetables. Sometimes that's steamed broccoli, or I make green beans, kale, roasted cabbage or sautéed zucchini. It also pairs magnificently with a crisp green salad.
Another idea is to serve it with a side of cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower to soak up the lovely flavours of the sauce.
Can I use cream in the sauce?
Yes! For a creamy lemon sauce, add ½ cup or 120ml heavy cream at the end. Grated parmesan also works well in combination with cream.
Will chicken thighs also work?
Of course. Choose boneless skinless chicken thighs - it just increases the fat content of the recipe by a little.
It's also possible to use chicken pieces with skin.
Instant pot instructions
Here are the steps to make this lemon garlic chicken recipe in an Instant Pot
- Set the pot to medium-saute, add oil and pre-heat. Add the garlic, thyme and chicken breasts. Lightly brown for 1 - 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pot.
- Add the wine and broth and scrape the bottom to incorporate the brown bits. Then add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir.
- Arrange the chicken on top. Seal and set the pot to high pressure for 4 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 3 minutes, then do a quick release.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
More keto chicken recipes
Low Carb Keto Chicken Nuggets Recipe - I've found a way to make a gluten free almond flour "breadcrumb" coating that is extra crispy.
Keto Chicken Tikka Masala - If you love a good curry, this is a must try.
Low Carb Keto Chicken Ramen - Asian food often contains a lot of hidden sugars. This easy ramen soup is keto friendly and tastes just like the real thing.
Keto Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry - Here's another quick lunch or dinner idea, with a super simple homemade sugar free teriyaki sauce.
Low Carb Keto Roast Chicken Soup - Everyone needs a really good chicken soup recipe and this is mine. Great for freezing!
Keto Chicken Pot Pie - A reader favourite. Creamy filling and a crisp low carb pie topping.
BBQ Keto Chicken Wings - Let me show you how I make crispy chicken wings in the oven!
Keto Chicken Curry Casserole - I've made this at several dinner parties and people love it. Hope you'll give it a go!
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Keto Lemon Chickenfrom Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- 4 skinless chicken breasts 26.8oz / 760g
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon sliced
- 3 tablespoon dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock 240ml
- 2 tablespoon butter or more olive oil
- 1 tablespoon capers
- ½ - 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or ½ teaspoon dijon and a dash or apple cider vinegar
- To serve: chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes per side till almost cooked through. Don't move during cooking!
- Set aside and keep warm by covering with aluminium foil.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for about 1 minute until the rawness goes. Add the wine and cook off for 1 minute.
- Add the stock, Dijon and/ or apple cider vinegar and butter and simmer on a medium heat for about 2 minutes until the sauce starts to reduce.
- Add the chicken back in and the capers and lemon slices and cook until the sauce thickens and the chicken is fully cooked through. Depending on the thickness of your chicken breast, this will take between 4-7 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and adjust seasoning to taste.
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