Skillet Lemon Glazed Chicken

If you ever find yourself with the busiest week of your life and yet somehow end up with 100 pounds of cherries in the back of your truck that can’t be ignored, don’t worry, I’ve got your back. You can still sweat it out in the kitchen canning those babies, kill it in the work/kid/laundry/Netflix department and get dinner on the table, too.

Because. Skillet Honey Lemon Glazed Chicken.

Super fast. Super simple. And of course, super delicious.

Skillet Lemon Glazed Chicken

It’s kind of a riff off a beloved Orange Chicken recipe except that it’s lightened up a bit (no breading/frying) and doesn’t require you to turn on your oven. No Oven recipes {<–100+ of my favorites right there in that link} make me happy whether the temps are 30 degrees or 97 degrees.

The key to perfection is getting your skillet piping hot so that the chicken instantly develops that golden caramelization on the outside while staying juicy and tender on the inside. Smothered in the lightly sweet, lemony glaze, you’ve got a real winner. (Just say it with me, you know you want to: winner, winner, chicken dinner). Mmm, we love this one.

What To ServeRoasted or steamed broccoli or these skillet green beans
Hot, cooked rice (stovetop brown rice version here) or quinoa
Fresh fruit

Skillet Lemon Glazed Chicken

One Year Ago: Classic Chocolate Mint Brownies
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Skillet Lemon Glazed Chicken

Yield: Serves 6

Skillet Lemon Glazed Chicken

For the fresh ginger, I always freeze 1-inch, unpeeled pieces of ginger and pull them out of the freezer to use in recipes like this. Straight from the freezer, the fresh ginger grates beautifully on a microplane/rasp grater or on the small holes of a box grater.

If you like a little heat with your sweet, add hot sauce to the lemon glaze mixture to taste. It's really important to add salt and pepper to taste at the end to help balance the flavors of the lemon sauce.


  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (from about 1 lemon, zest before juicing)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite-size pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or olive oil
  • Sprinkle of parsley or cilantro for serving, optional


  1. For the lemon glaze, whisk together the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper (don't skip this step or else your chicken will be bland and tasteless).
  3. Heat the sesame or olive oil (or a combination - yum!) in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until rippling. It should be very hot to get that chicken nice and golden.
  4. Add the chicken in a single layer to the hot skillet and brown on all sides (this is why it's important to have a hot skillet). It will cook all the way through in the next step.
  5. Whisk the honey lemon glaze mixture to recombine and pour it into the skillet with the chicken. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro, if using. Serve over hot, cooked rice, quinoa, or whatever else your heart desires (or just serve on its own).

Recipe Source: variation from this favorite Orange Chicken recipe

30 Responses to Skillet Lemon Glazed Chicken

  1. Jennie P says:

    Another winner! My recipe binder is pretty much all your recipes. My family and I adore them!!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Hi! Do you think I could be lazy and cook this in the oven? Cut up the chicken, put it in a pan, pour the sauce on top and bake? Or would it not do it justice? My large skillet has bit the dust and I haven’t had a chance to get a new one… (do you have a favorite?)

  3. Julie says:

    Hi! Love your blog! Can I use Meyer lemon or should I stick with regular?

  4. Anna says:

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was great! I added a little sriracha for some heat! My 2 1/2 year old loved it! He kept calling it honey nut sauce!

  5. Danit Gottfried says:

    Hi Mel, just wanted to mention that you’re great, I tried the chicken with lemon and honey recipe and it was delicious. Thanx for your wonderful blog!
    Danit, a mom from another side of the world (Tel Aviv, Israel).

  6. Claire says:

    Hi Mel, so I’ve pretty much been lurking round your website for months; thinking that your recipes look amazing, loving your style of writing and sense of humour, marvelling at how you juggle your family and still get great looking food on the table….basically just enjoying your work. And then, tonight I thought it was time to actually branch out and make something instead of sticking to my same old fail safe recipes. OMG, totally loved this. I served it with brown rice and pak choi & spring onions. Since I was only making it for hubs and myself (the kids had been fed before I got home from work) I now have heaps of yummy leftovers and have the confidence to dive on in with your recipes. Win win! Thanks so much for doing what you do, I don’t know if you have many followers here in the UK but if you haven’t I’m happy to be your 1st 🙂

  7. Jana says:

    I saw, I drooled, I made, I loved. Thank you SO much! I didn’t have any rice, but I did steam up some broccoli and that was a great idea for a side. Really though, I could have just slurped this from the pan all by myself – and no sides needed. Next time, I’ll probably do that, if I can find a corner to hide in while I chomp down. 🙂

  8. Kate says:

    I really liked this! I used only 1 lb of chicken thighs and added a bell pepper to the mix. Next time, I’ll do some broccoli with it, too. I prepared it stir-fry style by cooking the meat first, veggies second (separately), and then putting everything in the pan together with the sauce. Delicious!!

  9. Natasha says:

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner! This will be added to our dinner rotation. Thank you Mel!

  10. Louise E. says:

    I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. I will definitely be making this again. This web site is the first place I go for new recipes. I love that you test and refine your recipes before you post them.

  11. Mel says:

    I am making this next time I get to the store to buy chicken! It looks so yummy! Congratulations on your half marathon by the way. That is such a huge accomplishment! I love your blog. I used your pizza recipe for dinner tonight and it was great!

  12. Karina says:

    This looks delicious! I think I’m going to try making it tonight, but I’ve got limes in my fridge, so I think I’ll use those instead of lemons. Thanks for such a yummy dinner idea!

  13. Julie says:

    Hi Mel, I’m so glad you said this meal only took 30 minutes to prepare. Having been too busy to cook for, um, months? I decided to break out the pan. I did have to buy lemons, ginger and cilantro, but otherwise I was set. But then I decided to make inari sushi (I used the canned skins), and I wanted gyoza (from Costco, but still, I had to cook them). So this took me way longer than 30 minutes, but it was so good. My sweet husband, thrilled to have a real hot meal, even noticed the citrus flavor. “This is really good.” I love you. Thanks so much.

  14. Michelle says:

    Looks great! I’ll have to try it soon!

    As an aside, last night I was reorganizing my recipe binder- it had gotten a little out of hand! I could practically have a “Mel’s” section of my binder, so many are from you! THANK YOU for sharing all these fabulous recipes with us!

  15. Laurel says:

    Mmm…Lemon! This makes me happy. I love anything lemon.

  16. Katie says:

    Hi Mel! I am a huge fan of your recipes and rely on them all the time. Thanks for all you do and your hard work in the kitchen!!! Do you think the glaze could be made say half a day in advance and refrigerated for use later in the day?

  17. That’s a lot of cherries! Glad you still had time to make an amazing dinner!

  18. Kim in MD says:

    This chicken looks delicious! I’m very curious about how you ended up with and what you’re doing with 100 lbs. of cherries!

  19. Lindsay says:

    This looks so yummy, and kid-friendly too. I will be making it for my family soon!

    Side note: Every time I watch Chopped, I think about how much fun it would be to see a food blogger edition. You, against The Girl Who Ate Everything, the girls at Our Best Bites, and Chef in Training or Six Sisters. Haha. My bet would be 100% on you!

    Congrats on your first half marathon, by the way! Such an accomplishment, way to go!

  20. Helen says:

    Thanks to you and the fact that this was posted on Twitter .. And I happened to check Twitter .. Dinner was saved and served .. This is delicious !! Loved it !! Adding this to my list of sanity saving meal ideas from you. Again you have saved the day #winnerwinnerchickendinner

    • Sheila says:

      Thank you, Helen, for sharing this comment on Mel’s newest recipe. I love Mels’ original recipes and feel they are the best. Your remarks confirmed what I already knew. Off to the store to buy lemons — many times my sanity needs salvation! 🙂 Excited that the technique is easier and less time consuming.

  21. Christine says:

    Quick question…your notes say the ginger is frozen, unpeeled. When you grate/microplane it, do you just include the peel? Thanks for your help. This will be tomorrow’s dinner! Supposed to be in the 90’s. No oven here!

    • Mel says:

      Yep, I just grate it peel and all – the peel is so thin it’s undetectable and saves a step of peeling the ginger.

      • meg says:

        Ah!! I can’t believe I didn’t know the unpeeling-the-ginger thing!! I always take my entire root out of the freezer and scrape of the peel with a knife before microplaning. It’s worth it for the flavor (yum!!) But I never look forward to it! Unpeeled! Brilliant! Thanks Mel:)

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