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Whip up this Lemon Basil Chicken in one skillet and about 25 minutes for a flavorful main dish. No marinating required! We love the tender chicken breasts paired with a rich, buttery, basil-infused lemon sauce that is bursting with flavor.

Large skillet full of lemon basil chicken breasts with extra lemon wedges on top as a garnish.

Why We Love It

Everyday ingredients come together in an elevated way to make this simple lemon basil chicken recipe. It’s especially enticing with freshly-grown basil picked when it’s most plump and flavorful. This is a light yet satisfying chicken skillet, and definitely a summer favorite.

We love the tender, lightly-seasoned chicken, but the real star here is the sauce. Sweet, mild basil is infused into a white wine lemon sauce with lightly browned butter. (Easily substitute broth if cooking with wine isn’t your thing.) This simple pan sauce sends the chicken to a new level and is perfect for dressing up your side dishes, too.

Based on my popular brown butter sage chicken, this recipe is also done in less than 30 minutes. It’s great for busy weeknights, but the taste is definitely special enough to share with guests!

Ingredient & Substitution Notes

A few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need; find full amounts in the print-friendly recipe card below.

  • Chicken breasts: use the best-quality chicken that you can, and slice or pound it into thin cutlets for quick, even cooking.
  • Fresh basil: a must!
  • Fresh lemon: juice half into the sauce and reserve the other half to serve as wedges.
  • White wine or low-sodium chicken broth: I recommend a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for best results.
  • All-purpose flour: this is just for dredging, which helps the chicken develop a delicious golden crust. Substitute almond flour to keep the dish gluten-free.
  • Butter and olive oil: to sear the chicken and start the sauce.
  • Garlic: fresh minced is ideal, jarred is good, use powdered only in a real pinch.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper.
Labeled overhead image of chicken breasts seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper, a whole lemon, fresh basil, white wine, garlic, butter, and olive oil.

Variations

  • To intensify the Italian flavors, sprinkle the chicken with an Italian seasoning blend or a pinch of dried basil in addition to the kosher salt and black pepper prior to dredging in flour.
  • Serve the same sauce over pan-fried shrimp or seared salmon.
  • Try my lemon rosemary or lemon thyme chicken for another herbed chicken skillet.

How To Make Lemon Basil Chicken

This is an overview; find full ingredients & instructions in the printable recipe card below.

Begin by ensuring the chicken breasts are nice and thin, either by pounding them to an even thickness, or slicing them in half lengthwise to make cutlets. This lets them cook quickly and evenly.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, dredge lightly with flour, then brown in a mixture of olive oil and melted butter until golden on the outside and cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside.

To make the sauce, melt more butter in the same skillet used for the chicken. When lightly browned, add the garlic, followed quickly by lemon juice, wine or broth, and about half of the basil leaves. Let this simmer for at least 2-3 minutes, or longer if you prefer a thicker, richer sauce.

Pro Tip

We find this a good amount of sauce to drizzle over the chicken plus veggies or a light serving of pasta on the side. If you want enough for a traditional pasta sauce, consider doubling the sauce ingredients.

Return chicken breasts to the skillet, spoon sauce on top, and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining basil leaves and lemon wedges, then serve.

Skillet of lemon basil chicken with extra lemon wedges and basil scattered nearby.

Serving Suggestions

  • I love this chicken with an extra lemon wedge for each plate, and a grating of lemon zest for the real citrus lovers.
  • Serve with a side of rice, orzo, or another small pasta that will soak up that extra pan sauce. So good!
  • A salad or steamed veggies make a nice pairing. Try a simple Parmesan arugula or French carrot salad for something light and fresh.

Storage & Reheating

  • Storage: Place leftover pieces of chicken in any airtight container, top with sauce, and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. (These are our favorite meal prep boxes for the fridge.)
  • Warming: Reheat on 50% power in the microwave until warmed through. Using half power reduces the odds that your chicken will dry out in the microwave; it’s worth the extra few seconds it takes. You can also warm in a small covered skillet; add a splash of broth or water if needed to thin out the sauce a bit.
Angled view of a golden brown chicken breast dressed in a buttery basil-infused lemon sauce.

Related Recipes

Love easy chicken dinners? Try my lemon chicken pasta, creamy lemon chicken, chicken Florentine, or creamy Tuscan chicken with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes next.

If you try this Lemon Basil Chicken recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.

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Lemon Basil Chicken

A quick and flavorful main dish bursting with bright citrus, fresh herbs, and the richness of lightly browned butter. No marinating required!

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced or pounded thin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon use the other half for serving as wedges
  • 1/2 cup white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves a generous handful, divided

Instructions

  • Season both sides of the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl or plate, then dredge each piece of chicken through it to form a light coating, shaking gently to remove any excess.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of the butter and 2 Tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When butter melts, add the chicken and saute for 2-4 minutes per side, until cooked through and lightly golden. Remove the chicken to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.
  • Add remaining 4 Tablespoons butter to the skillet. Allow the butter to brown and bubble, about 2-3 minutes, until it begins to give off a warm, nutty aroma.
  • Add garlic to the skillet, followed after just 30 seconds by the lemon juice, wine or broth, and about half of the basil leaves. Simmer the mixture for 2-3 minutes, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Taste sauce and adjust with more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • When the sauce is slightly thickened, return chicken to the skillet to warm through. Top with remaining basil leaves, garnish with extra lemon wedges, and serve.

Notes

  • Flour: Almond flour can be substituted for all-purpose, or just skip the dredging entirely, to keep this dish gluten-free.
  • Storage: Keep leftovers tightly covered for 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Reheating: Warm in the microwave at 50% power or in a small skillet, adding extra broth if needed to thin out the sauce.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 366 kcal, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 25 g, Fat: 24 g, Saturated Fat: 12 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 117 mg, Sodium: 135 mg, Potassium: 465 mg, Fiber: 0.3 g, Sugar: 0.3 g, Vitamin A: 664 IU, Vitamin C: 2 mg, Calcium: 21 mg, Iron: 1 mg
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