5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Asparagus

103 reviews / 4.8 average

Lemon chicken and asparagus? It’s bright, fresh, healthy, and ready on your table in 20 minutes. Easiest meal of all time, right here, right now.

Friends. today is a throwback Monday.

Last week I stumbled across an old recipe (well, it’s only about a year old, but things get old fast in the inter web world – okay, fine, especially in my hungry food world) and I decided to make it again because I felt like it might be time to bring this 5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken Wonder to the front of the blog again.

I snapped a few new pictures, made a few recipe updates based on comments and reviews, and experienced a fresh love for its short ingredient list — which is perfect for all the good people of the world who have better things to do during the month of June than lose themselves in a grocery store.

Like me. Because HELLO SUN! There is life on this planet after all.


Lemon Chicken with Asparagus.

Shall we count the short, sweet ingredients for this Lemon Chicken together?






And a little bit of butter, and a little bit of salt, but you already have those things I bet, so I’m counting those as freebies.

I’m leaving the full “older” post text and photos from last year, so, sure, you can read that if you want, or you can just skip right on down to the recipe where I’ve made a few updates to improve the recipe, most definitely including that luscious honey lemon butter drizzle that you’ll see smothering the chicken and lemons like pure liquid gold in three, two, one…


Lemon Chicken with Asparagus in a skillet.
Lemon Chicken with Asparagus in a skillet.

It’s no secret that I love really simple recipes *cheers and applause* and one of my favorite things is making a recipe that doesn’t require a massive trip to the grocery store for 80 million ingredients.

Or should I say massive multiple trips to the grocery store – because without fail, I will go for asparagus and lemons and come back with peanut butter, oatmeal, almond milk, spinach, a few Amy’s frozen dinners, chocolate chips, bananas, and yogurt, and I’m putting the groceries away and it’s so great to have all these yummy foods in my house and what will I make with the chocolate chips and mmmmm smoothie possibilities and OMG I did not get the lemons and asparagus. WHAT and WHY. This is my life.

Lemons on a cutting board and asparagus.

The sad thing about all this is that I even use a list. I know, I know. Shameful and majorly S-A-D.

It’s proof that even an app can’t save my brain from the food distraction known as Grocery Shopping. Currently we’re using a grocery list app that is really awesome and syncs between our phones, so that I can get put all my important food stuff on the list (hello Nutella), and then I can notice that light bulbs, toothpaste, and contact solution have been added to the list by the one among us who does not think about food-type groceries, and so now I’m at the grocery store distracted and not buying the needed ingredients for my recipes, but checking out with a cart full of random household things. Perf.

But the fact that the practicals of life have been added to the grocery list app is a major step in the direction of normal, because the norm for our household practicals is that I see a huge package arrive at the front door and rip into it with surprise-online-order-loving anticipation only to find a box of laundry detergent and a lint roller. !? Amazon + Amazon loving husband makes me feel like I live in the future. Or in weird people land.

Chicken in a pan on the stove.

So this recipe technically has more than 5 ingredients, but the only ones you need to pay attention to are lemons, asparagus, and a lemon pepper seasoning because let me guess –> you probably already have chicken, butter, flour, and salt, you well-stocked pantry person, you.

This is so beautifully and awesomely easy. Coat the chicken, saute everything to golden brown perfection, serve. I’m serious THAT’S ALL. Put a little piece of whole wheat bread, brown rice, or quinoa on that plate and dig the heck into that fresh, bright, healthy dinner.

Yummy-roo. For you.

Lemon Chicken with Asparagus on a white plate.

PS. I bought this bag of beautiful, skinny, tender asparagus at the jumbo-America store that I equally despise and love: Costco. Which would mean that the bag is HUGE and therefore I will be making 5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken and Asparagus at least 80 more times before the week is through.

And it also means you’re going to tell me how I should use the leftover asparagus that’s not used up by all that lemon chicken business. Any favorites? Grilled, roasted, stir fried, soup-ed? Gimme whatcha got, friends!

Lemon Chicken with Asparagus on a plate with a fork and a knife.
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5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Asparagus in a pan.

5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Asparagus

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 34 (nutrition is for 4 servings) 1x


This 5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Asparagus is a bright, fresh, healthy dinner that comes together in 20 minutes! So good!



  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 12 cups chopped asparagus
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey + 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • parsley for topping (optional)


  1. Chicken: Cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound until each pieces is about a 3/4 of an inch thick. (NOTE: If your chicken breasts are really thick,you can just cut them in half horizontally to make thinner pieces rather than pounding. Works like a charm.) Place the flour and salt and pepper in a shallow dish and gently toss each chicken breast in the dish to coat. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat; add the chicken and saute for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown, sprinkling each side with the lemon pepper directly in the pan. When the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, transfer to a plate.
  2. Asparagus and Lemons: Add the chopped asparagus to the pan. Saute for a few minutes until bright green and tender crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lay the lemon slices flat on the bottom of the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side without stirring so that they caramelize and pick up the browned bits left in the pan from the chicken and butter. (NOTE: adding a tiny pat of butter in with the lemons also helps prevent sticking and promote browning.) Remove the lemons from the pan and set aside.
  3. Assembly: Layer all the ingredients back into the skillet – asparagus, chicken, and lemon slices on top.


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The lemons are going to be bitter, especially if you really let them caramelize like in the first picture in this post. With that in mind, you can use them just as a garnish (pretty!), or you can eat them if you like bitter things, or you can try to make them less bitter by boiling them for a few minutes before adding to the pan. I opted for the garnish.

For the honey butter sauce, I just melted additional butter and honey in the hot pan after caramelizing the lemons and poured it over the chicken. This mixture definitely picked up some of the residual lemon flavor from the pan, so if that isn’t your thing, be sure to melt the butter and honey in a separate pan.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon chicken, chicken with asparagus, chicken recipe

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This recipe is part of our must-have lemon recipes page. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I totally have all the ingredients for this! YUM. South Africa currently has this awesome skinny asparagus in season that I can use, too! I have some rosemary leftover from dinner last night that would be great thrown in.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      What an absolutely beautiful chicken recipe, I am going to double up on the asparagus and serve this recipe to my dieting group on Tuesday night. I love this recipe, it is so clean.

      Chicken is great for weight loss.

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      South African is my ultimate dream travel destination. Hey, I live in Niagara Falls, want to switch places for 2 weeks? hehe.

      Anyhow, I’m in love with this recipe and agree to throw the rosemary in, the more, the merrier. This looks a lot like a dish I order from the Olive Garden (I apologize to all you food bloggers for going there) but it’s good! That’s the point. Lemons and asparagus are the dream team.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        What could I substitute the flour with and could I use coconut oil instead of butter?

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          Hi, Paula! You could try using almond meal instead of flour. We have never made this using coconut oil, so I’m not sure what the flavor would be like. With so few ingredients, the butter does add a lot to the flavor. If you try it with coconut oil, let us know how it turns out! 🙂

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            When I made this I left the flour out completely & my family LOVED it!

          2. Pinch of Yum Logo

            I used a gluten free fliour (from Walmart) and used olive oil to cook the chicken to make it healthier. This is a delicious recipe. Made it twice since I found it a few weeks ago and my kids love it.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Asparagus coated in olive oil, grilled, then while still hot, sprinkle feta cheese over – very good!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just lit up like the Fourth of July when I saw this recipe.

    How easy can cooking get? Right Right, usually not this easy. And tasty.

    And the lemon on top? Reminds me of the last meal I had at the Olive Garden (not that I eat there or anything like that.)

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      This was a great, simple recipe. I didn’t have lemon pepper seasoning, so I spritzed some lemon on the chicken and veggies. I ended up throwing some white wine in the pan to deglaze it and used that to cook the veggies in. Really good, I will make this again. FYI, my boyfriend is avoiding flour so I left it off his chicken and he still thought it was good.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh man, I totally feel you on the grocery list thing. I regularly make a list and then forget it at home, which I feel is actually a good metaphor for my organizational life in general.

    In other news, this looks delicious. I’m also considering not pounding the breast flatter, and just searing them on both sides, putting in the lemon and asparagus then the chicken on top, and putting a lid on to let them steam to finish cooking. Although I guess then there probably wouldn’t be the yummy caramelized lemon. But maybe the lemon flavor would permeate the whole dish more? Indecision. Maybe I’ll just have to make it both ways!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    We LOVE simple and easy recipes, and this one is certainly that, with amazing flavoring. And the asparagus just tops the entire meal off. Love it!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am so making this this coming weekend. As for leftover asparagus? Roasted is our favorite way here. Olive oil, salt and pepper and then blast it at 450 until the tips are slightly charred. I love it plain, my daughter dips hers in balsamic vinegar. It’s also lovely in a frittata and! So not healthy, but tempura battered, fried and dipped in either lemon or garlic aioli.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    1) Grill that extra asparagus! It’s going to be eighty degrees on Tuesday!
    2) Text me next time you are going to go to CostCo. I’ve been wanting to try it out, even though I have a serious love/hate relationship already blazing with Sam’s Club.
    3) Tell Bjork that he’s not weird… or at least he’s not alone in his weirdness. Kevin has ordered the exact same things from Amazon.
    4) I’m not a huge fan of big hunks of meat, but that chicken looks dreamy!!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I would have expected you to be a Costco person – everyone else from school seems to be on that train! 🙂 I’ll text you next time! And 80 DEGREES! yahoooo

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yum! I love one-pot-type meals and this is a great combination for spring! As for the leftover asparagus, I’d put it in pasta (like orrechiette or farfalle), or in a risotto. Soup is always a good way to use up extra veggies too, but there’s something about asparagus with a light cream sauce (I like a combo of broth and cream cheese, heightened by a touch of dijon, garlic and parmigiano) and pasta. YUM!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Trying this soon! Looks absolutely delicious! We only wish we had a Costco close enough for a bag of asparagus. We would probably get 3 meals out of it for the 2 of us. We may be going a little heavy on the asparagus! 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I know – it’s the worst when you get a regular size bunch from the store and it’s gone after one meal for two people! At least for us! The big bag is the jackpot!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I was going to say grill or roast it in olive oil, S&P…then top with feta and a squeeze of lemon juice, but someone beat me to the punch! 🙂 The other way I love asparagus is grilled then brushed with toasted sesame oil, S&P. But who are we kidding? I love asparagus any way!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mmmmm….asparagus…..

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I don’t eat chicken, but I LOVE lemons and asparagus. Cooked lemons are delicious. One of my favorite salad toppings is a crispy, delicately breaded and fried lemon. They are soooo good!

    Ha! I totally feel the same way about Costco. I do love their flowers, especially the price. I have a dozen rose bushes waiting to be planted. My friends and I share produce, especially the large bags of potatoes or the boxes of mangoes.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just like to steam it and eat it through the week for snacks! Or on salads. Or with eggs! Or IN eggs! Or grilled. I love asparagus!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My challenge is not remembering to look at the app at the store (because my mind goes blank the second I step through the door … what am I having for dinner again, thank you app … it’s getting it on the list to begin with. “Oh, I’ll remember that,” I always think. “Psych!” says my brain.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yum! It’s like an easier piccata. Without the capers, because capers are an entirely separate trip to the grocery store.

    For all that extra asparagus – I’m a big ol’ fan of roasting/grilling with rosemary, garlic, and red pepper flakes, but I recently made a simple asparagus soup with a potato instead of cream, but I bet your cauliflower sauce would be a super-tastic base for that soup.

    Also, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus? Baked and served with melon balls, mozzarella balls, and balsamic?
    Sauteed with caramelized onions and/or balsamic is also delicious.
    Aaaand PIZZA. Cause my life revolves around how many times a month (er, week?) I can sneak pizza into my day.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay, this looks simply awesome! My favorite way to enjoy asparagus is simply roasted with a little garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. I did recently post an asparagus and goat cheese quiche that is wonderful, too. Happy asparagus eating!

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yum! This looks delicious! I am a huge lover of the asparagus and lemon combo. I can totally relate to craving simple recipes due to a lack of desire to lug a bunch of items home from the grocery store. My boyfriend and I share a scooter in China and any trip (to the grocery store or otherwise) ends up being a bit of a balancing act as it is! Haha. I will definitely be trying this recipe..thanks! 🙂

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best ones. I have been taking advantage of a fresh bed of asparagus right now so naturally I need to make this chicken.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yum! I love asparagus 🙂 I make extra at dinner and use leftover cold asparagus for sandwiches and paninis. Spread some cream cheese on good bread and add ham and cold asparagus. One of my favorite lunches!!

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love gorgeous photos + easy recipes! I love to add asparagus to my breakfast, scrambled eggs or omelettes or whatever. If I eat vegetables at breakfast, at least I definitely had some vegetables on any given day! 🙂 PS – your grocery shopping experience really resonates with me. I would also add that if something is NOT on my list, I will definitely NOT remember to get it once I walk in the door. I might forget it even if it’s on the list, but if it’s not, it’s game over. 100% of the time. 🙂

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So I need to ask what grocery app you use. I used to love mine, but I’ve been having trouble with it.