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Best Easy Honey Lemon Chicken

14 reviews / 4.7 average

Honey lemon chicken. ♡

I see you over there with your crispy golden brown skin and the bright, lemony sauce and a side salad + hunk of hot crusty bread for dipping, and to be honest, not much else because you don’t need much else when the classic, simple ingredients and the basic cooking method are this utterly perfect.

This is simple, rustic, and extremely bright and lemony. This is for those of us who want our lemon chicken to actually taste like LEMONSSSS.

Chicken in a pan.
Pouring lemon dressing on chicken in a skillet.
Honey Lemon Chicken in a skillet.

What we’re doing here is simple: we’re using simple, delicious, fresh ingredients (think chicken thighs, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and basically that’s it) with a high quality piece of beautiful, American-made, #liveauthentic, rustic cookware called a CAST IRON SKILLET. And now for our next trick, using these ingredients and tools, we shall pull a faux-fancy, real food, simple and beautiful chicken dinner out of nowhere.

When we got married, long before the idea for this blog ever existed, my in-laws gave us a Lodge Cast Iron skillet. Because they knew: Lodge is kind of (absolutely) the gold standard when it comes to high quality cast iron. Fun fact – Lodge is the ONLY company that manufactures a full line of cast iron in the United States of America, and they’ve been doing their cast iron thing in a tiny town in Tennessee for over 100 years. My in-laws almost always cook with cast iron, so naturally they wanted to pass on the love to their daughter in law who loves to cook.

One small thing about the cast iron tho I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING. My sweet little Lodge skillet sat in the back of my cookware cabinet for a long while (would you be mad if I said years?) before I pulled it out when we moved and was like, hm, wait a second. This looks like it might be AMAZING.

So I started using it at which point I became completely obsessed. Three years later and I literally feel like my cast iron skillet is a part of our family. File under Things Your Food Blogger Friend Says.

As an added motivation, over the last year or so, I’ve gone on a quest to really embrace “clean living”, like, whatever that means, right? Eye roll.

For me, it just means simple swaps for a better home environment. Not perfect, but better. For example -> Getting rid of plastic food storage containers and replacing them with glass. Buying natural cleaning products without added chemicals and fragrances. Not burning candles that smell like 100 bottles of perfume broke on the hardwood floor of the living room. And slowly but surely trading out our flaking non-stick pans higher quality stainless steel and cast iron.

Remember back when I wrote that post about how much I loved my Lodge Dutch Oven? That was really my first true foray into cast iron. If you’re not sure in terms of maintenance and care and how to cook with a cast iron and all that, the Dutch Oven is an amazing place to start. It’s an enamel coated cast iron which gives you the benefits of cast iron (even cooking, oven-to-stovetop flexibility, heavy quality) without needing to care for it in any special way. Just wash and dry as you would with any pan.

Then for your basic standard cast iron skillet, when you’re ready (trust me – you’re ready), I highly recommend the Lodge 12-inch Round Frying Pan. I use it as often as I can – it has basically become a fixture that sits on top of my stove because I just never put it away. It creates a perfect even heat, it can go from the stovetop to the oven (to the grill – yes, we live boldly here), and it maintains a natural nonstick texture that is just divine.

Lots of you are maybe nervous about the care and maintenance involved (I’m actually just speaking to myself 5 years ago here), but I’m here to tell you that it is nothing. Consider me your lazy girl ambassador. I have zero tolerance for things that are unnecessarily difficult, and this passes my very strict test for ease of use and care. Here’s how I wash mine after each use:

  • Rinse and dry.
  • Rub a little oil on it.

Also, pro-tip from my friend Liz that I’m also doing these days: put it back on the heat for a while to really get hot-dry so the pan absorbs the oil. Just if you wanna be an overachiever.

Three cheers for team cast iron!

Now let’s get a simple honey lemon chicken dinner on the table for you and your family. Toss up a green salad and bust out a loaf of bread and you are a domestic boss right now.

Hands holding a skillet with honey lemon chicken.
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Honey Lemon Chicken in a cast iron pan.

Honey Lemon Chicken


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Honey Lemon Chicken – so easy to make with just honey, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chicken. Perfect for easy entertaining!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs (4 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. Turn the oven to the broil setting (about 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the chicken skin-side down in a well seasoned cast iron skillet (we use LODGE all the way baby!). Broil for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over so the skin is facing up – broil for another 15 minutes.
  2. Make the sauce by whisking the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and oregano together.
  3. Dip each chicken piece in the sauce (lazy girl pro-tip – you can also just pour or brush a little bit of the sauce over the chicken) and return to the hot oven for a few minutes. The exterior of the chicken should get crispy and golden brown.
  4. When the chicken is done, set aside. Pour out the drippings from the pan (reserve them!), wipe out any large residual chicken bits, and put the cast iron back on a warm burner. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved chicken drippings and the remaining sauce + honey. Simmer for just a few minutes until the sauce is bubbly and hot. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread for soaking up the very lemony sauce!

Notes

If you have a convection oven, the convection broil setting will bake the chicken much faster – more like 15-20 minutes total. The lemon sauce can start to get a little weird (like overly browned) if you cook it for too long, so just be gentle with it.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: honey lemon chicken, chicken recipe, lemon chicken, honey chicken

Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo

Shout out to Lodge Cast Iron for sponsoring this post.

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Recipe rating

81 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I inherited a few cast iron skillets. I didn’t use them for months either because I didn’t know the “best” or “proper” way to clean them. Then, it hit me that my grandmother-in-law would have thought I was silly for researching how to wash a skillet. I simply wash it and oil it and I haven’t ruined them yet. Sometimes we definitely over think stuff.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      GK

      Try thrift stores, even if you have to rehab an item (you can find out online). Much cheaper, and most have been seasoned for years and have just not been used recently or been stored.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Kristina

      I made this tonight with chicken tenderloins and real California lemons. This is my new favorite recipe! The sauce is the perfect balance between zest and sweet and all of my kids loved it!






  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    HDeffenbaugh

    I have always struggled to find chicken thigh recipes that I enjoy. I am not much of a dark meat eater, but when I can find dishes that have great flavor, I actually enjoy them. I am eager to try this out as I think the cast iron will create a full flavor I enjoy.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I am the same – I don’t love dark meat, but in this case the meat is so juicy and that crispy skin… ugh. I’m a sucker for that.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Yes – my enamel coated cast iron (same idea, different brand since we use Lodge) is one of my all-time favorite pieces of cookware! Especially for soups and stuff in the winter. It gets such a nice caramelization on all the meat / veggies.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Robin @ A Shaggy Dough Story

    I, too, had a fear of cast iron—now I’m hooked. Nothing like it to get a good sear. It’s definitely easy to clean but if I ever have anything that’s acting stubborn, I found a gadget called the Ringer that does a fantastic job. It’s like a little piece of chain mail for your cast iron. (No affiliation here, just a fan of the product.) And that’s some awesome looking chicken!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Chad

      I have a cutco turner (in addition to my lodge 12″ skillet, another thing I can’t live without) and I will use that to scrape off anything tough while the is still hot–even if I didn’t use it for cooking the recipe.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    John

    Over all looks pretty good.
    Question – I tried a similar recipe a few years ago. The chicken skin spattered grease everywhere, and made a horrendous mess of my oven. Did you encounter any similar problems?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Yes, they do get a little splatter-y, but it wasn’t so bad that I needed to do a deep clean of the oven or anything. You could cover it for the first part I guess (haven’t tried it but just assuming that would work), but you really do want the skins to get crispy at which point you need them uncovered and exposed directly to the heat.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Yep I am! I just sometimes forget about it when I’m drafting the post 🙂 and then come back and add it in a day later. Thanks for checking!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love simple, delicious, fresh ingredients and my cast iron skillets! My mother gave me one or two, and we’ve given some to our kids.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mauricio Mendes

    Hi Lindsay, I think you forgot to tell, on the recipe, when the honey is added to the sauce. It is before dipping the chicken , or after that, on the Simmering phase.
    I Guess that is before dipping the chicken, but I just want to be sure.
    😉

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oh, I’m all about my cast iron skillet and I’m happy to have another recipe to try with it! This looks so TASTY. Honey and lemon… that’s some good flavor to look forward to. Beautiful, too!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ve cooked in a cast iron pan a grand total of… Umm… Three times? But you have TOTALLY convinced me that needs to change — ASAP! I’m always up for healthier, cleaner living, especially if it involves amazing meals like this gorgeous chicken of yours. And the fact that all of Lodge’s pans are made in a tiny town in Tennessee?? That’s SO neat! Definitely need to get my hands on one! 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      It’s so super cool. I love their brand! 🙂 It’s only fitting that it would be made by a family business out in the Tennessee countryside. Thanks for the comment Amy!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amy

    We’re obsessed with our cast iron skillet too. My boyfriend bought me a Lodge for my birthday last month and we’ve been cooking with it all the time.
    Chicken looks great by the way 🙂

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lindsay

    So yeah this sauce was finger licking incredible. I are way too much bread with it just to have more sauce. Sorry not sorry. On the funny side of cooking we also dropped one of the thighs in the oven and consequently set off the fire alarm but I don’t even care because the sauce was that. Good.






  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I bought a Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron skillet a few months ago and it sits unused in my cupboard! I feel like such an awkward, cast-iron newbie and have felt intimidated the few times I’ve cooked with it.

    There are so many recipes like yours that make it seem easy breezy – I really should give mine another go!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Cindy Skarin

    So making this right now and I have an electric oven and Broil on High after 15 minutes chicken looks the same as when it went in! Transferred to stovetop and starting over and I think it will turn out the same ( at least I hope so)!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yummy! I”ll have to try this soon. My hubby is forced to clean up his diet so your healthy recipes are very helpful. I plan on using my fresh mint from the farmers market for the watermelon smoothie( I rooted the leftover mint in a glass of water on my window sill) and now my oregano essential oil for this chicken. Wish me luck as I figure out if I prefer spearmint or peppermint essential oils in the smoothie.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sylvia

    You are an all round achiever!!
    Love your recipes. I loved cooking, had my own cafe/restaurant but now I’m alone so I don’t cook that much anymore but when I do, it’s immediately to try one of your recipes. Thank you!!
    Regards
    Sylvia

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Maria

    I used to be grossed out by cast iron skillets, because of the whole “you can’t wash it” thing. But one day, while surveying all the non-stick pans I’d successfully murdered, I had a revelation: if I had a cast iron, it would get better with age instead of slowly dying. Haven’t looked back since.