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Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts

Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts

I recently saw a few recipes for the Barefoot Contessa’s lemon and thyme chicken breasts floating around the web, and the recipe looked so good I had to make it.  I adapted it a bit by using skinless chicken breasts and I used chicken broth instead of wine because that is what I had on hand.  The dish was very simple to put together and it smelled amazing while it baked.  I basted the chicken breasts a few times while they were in the oven so they would stay moist.  The meat turned out really tender, moist, and so delicious. I really loved the lemon flavor.  Both of my kids liked it and so did my husband.  A quick and simple recipe – perfect for a weeknight!

Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts

How to Make Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, making sure not to burn the garlic.  Add the chicken broth, lemon zest,  lemon juice, oregano, and thyme leaves to the pan.  Pour the mixture into the baking dish.  Season both sides of the chicken breasts with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  Place the chicken in the baking dish along with the lemon wedges and the two sprigs of thyme.

Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts

Place into the oven and bake, basting occasionally,  for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.

Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  Drizzle the pan sauce on top of the slices of chicken and serve.  Enjoy!

Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts

Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts

Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breasts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Pam / For the Love of Cooking / Original by Barefoot Contessa


  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic minced
  • cup of chicken broth
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • Two sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon cut into 4 wedges


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, making sure not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, and thyme leaves to the pan. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
  • Season both sides of the chicken breasts with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place the chicken in the baking dish along with the lemon wedges and the two sprigs of thyme.
  • Place into the oven and bake, basting occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
  • Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Drizzle the pan sauce on top of the slices of chicken and serve. Enjoy!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @4loveofcooking on instagram and hashtag it #4loveofcooking

Adapted recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
Original recipe by the Barefoot Contessa


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Recipe Rating


    1. I am so excited to say I have tried this recipe and it was so easy and delicious. I hope to find more recipe like this !

  1. I have made this many times and never get tired of it! The lemons come out of the oven tasting so, so good. And that juice! Can’t go wrong with Ina Garten in my estimation.

  2. I have made this recipe several times with boneless, skinless chicken breasts but otherwise as written by Ina Garten, and it is absolutely delicious! It’s amazing how tender and juicy the chicken is! I broiled the chicken at the end of the cooking time for a minute or two to give the chicken some color, too. It sounds like the chicken broth is a great substitute for the wine, but if you get the chance to make it with white wine you will not be dissapointed! What did you serve as side dishes for this, Pam? I usually serve it with buttered parsley egg noodles (the sauce is delicious over the egg noodles) and roasted broccoli, but I’m curious what you served with it! 🙂

  3. mmm, this looks good! will be trying it tonight…I too am on WW and looks like something everyone will enjoy…I might sneak in the white wine, I keep small wine “juice boxes” in the pantry to cook with 😉

  4. Hi Pam! I love that you actually made this and glad that my recipe was one of the ones that inspired you. Most people comment that they are going to make something from a post to be nice, but never actually do 🙂

    It’s funny you used skinless chicken breasts because I kept the skin on for appearance sake but we didn’t eat it. I may just rip off the skin next time before baking. Didn’t you just love the juices from the chicken. I poured them all over my cauliflower and chicken.

    I am loving your new site and am inspired to make a switch at some point. It’s just so professional.

  5. This looks so good! My Mom makes something similar whenever I am home for a visit. It looks like it will fit right into my Feel Good Plan 2012 and I can’t wait to give this a go over the weekend! 🙂

  6. I used to make a similar lemon chicken dish that I loved. I going to try this recipe as I’m always on the look out for healthy delicious chicken dishes for dinner. Thanks!

  7. I have been searching the Internet for days trying to find healthy & delicious recipes with no luck… until today when I found your blog. I LOVE IT!!! I even shared with all my co-workers!

  8. That looks incredible!!!! Rachael Ray has a similar recipe but with rosemary and it’s to die for. I just yesterday bought some fresh thyme and I think I might need to make this with my leftover Thyme!

  9. If there’s one thing Ina does well, it’s simple but delicious chicken recipes (and everything else. She does everything else well too.) This sounds delicious!

  10. You must have a lot of thyme on your hands to make this dish! (boooooo I know)
    This chicken looks like something I need to fire up on the Egg! That bit of fire roasting will make them sing.

  11. I have a similar recipe. But instead of garlic, i use sliced onion. I use paprika instead of black pepper and add rosemary too. Either way, the combination of the broth, the lemon and the herbs is delicious!!!

  12. In the oven as we speak! On Saturday, I am also making the pesto chicken and havarti sandwiches!! (Can’t seem to get Havarti here in Sweden, so will substitute Gouda and see how it goes). Keep those inspirational recipes coming please!! Thanks so much!! 😀

  13. My gosh, there is just something about a good lemon chicken recipe… yumminess of chicken mixed with the acidic citrus tang… add some oregano like you did here or rosemary- something savory to add depth and i am done, hook and line and sinker, for the dish.

    this looks… just perfect.

    as per always, love your page. thank you for keeping things interesting and sharing with us!
    @ clutzycooking.blogspot.com

  14. This was excellent! Thank you for sharing. Oh, and I skipped cooking it in the oven. Just put everything in the pan and cooked it all in the oven. Delicious and sooo easy!

  15. I absolutely love this chicken recipe Pam……I have made it several times and for company too and they loved it. I never had boneless skinless chicken breasts come out so moist and flavorful until I made your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I cook a lot and consider myself a fair to good cook, but this was def not all that. The chicken looked pale and unappetizing , thin, soupy broth, and not that much flavor overpowered by garlic, which btw I love. My husband wasn’t thrilled either. I usually like Ina’s recipes but wouldn’t make this again. 🙁

    1. Toiney, you can adjust the recipe to taste and you may like it. Sometimes some garlic is more potent than others which could account for the overly garlic flavor. You could thicken up the broth with some cornstarch and water or take some of the broth and mix cornstarch in it. For the color, you could put it under the broiler or brown it in the skillet that you use to cook the garlic in.
      I actually despise Ina Garten, but am trying this recipe in the crock pot next week. 🙂

  17. I’m not a cook– far from it, in fact. This recipe is delicious and the chicken comes out SO tender and juicy each time! I couldn’t mess it up if I tried. Thanks so much for posting an amazing recipe! It gives me hope for cooking other things in the future

  18. Hi,i would like to know whats that green bottle u have on the picture,its hard for me to see what it is,id really appreciate it.thank you.

    1. Katie Marie,

      I would double the recipe to be safe. Leftovers would be tasty in a panini or soup.


  19. Hi Pam,
    I tried this recipe last night and it was divine.
    One question – would it be okay to cover the baking dish with foil, like a makeshift lid, so that the juices don’t splatter in the oven, or would this affect how the chicken is cooked?
    Thanks! I’m looking forward to trying your other recipes.

    1. I have the same question, and might try it covered. One thing for sure – the sauce will be thinner if covered, and I suspect the cooking time should be reduced.

      I just made this exactly as in the recipe today and it was really good.

    2. Caitlin,

      I am sorry, I am just now seeing this question.

      I am sure it would be fine to add tin foil to the top. Let me know how it turns out!


  20. Is it ok to make everything ahead of time–make in the morning, put the chicken in the baking dish raw with the sauce, keep it in the fridge for the day and then pop it in the oven to cook for dinner?

    1. I wouldn’t recommend it. The lemon will break down the meat and make it a bit mushy. Also, the lemon pith can become bitter and will ruin the flavor of the chicken. It only takes a few minutes to prep before you put it into the oven.


  21. This is one of the best chicken recipes I have EVER made. Super easy, and the leftovers are almost even better because it sits in all those delectable juices. Thank you for this! I used pre-minced garlic and all dried thyme and it was still delicious.

  22. This is a delicious recipe! I took the suggestion of another reviewer. After I made the sauce and poured into the baking dish, I seasoned the chicken and lightly dredged it in flour. I browned it in the same pan that I had made the sauce — just a minute or two on each side. Then I put it in the baking pan with the sauce and baked as directed. The chicken was tender, juicy, and very tasty. This recipe is definitely on my “make often” list!

  23. I tested this recipe and it taste bland to me. the lemon flavour hardly seep into the chicken. NOTE to beginner : after 25 mins, the chicken breasts are thoroughly cooked through with not much juices left and if it stay in for 5 or 10 more mins, it will be too overcooked.

  24. I’ve made this several times. My 4 kids love it, which is always a bonus! Going to be trying it in foil packets on the grill tonight!

  25. I tried this a while ago during my daughters lacrosse season. I needed something easy. She and my husband loved it!! It is now in my recipe rotation!! Thanks for sharing!!

  26. Could you specify how much lemon juice exactly? “Juice from one lemon” is very vague. They come in different sizes and I like this recipe a lot, so I would like to double it with precision ( attemept #1 at doubling resulted in obviously not enough sauce and very dry chicken. a very sad thing since this is a great recipe)

  27. Just made this tonight for my family! Paired it with broccoli w/ cheese and a side salad. it was so yummy! The flavor of the lemon pairs well with the chicken. Loved it!!!

  28. Absolutely love the chicken.my chicken came out perfectly moist with the perfect lemon zest I’m new to cooking and this came out like I was a professional thank you

  29. I cut up and added bell peppers as well as a red onion. I found that there was no excess “pan sauce” and poured the mixed garlic, olive oil, chicken broth, lemon juice, etc over the chicken breasts before putting into the oven. Turned out delicious!

  30. My favorite I love it my kids love it my husband love it everyone I know love it now I just have to make something to go with it

  31. Omg! This is so great. I’m glad you decided to share this recipe. I’m completely surprised on how amazing it came out. Thanks to Kim in md I used her broiler trick and it was delicious. Thanks Pam for this wonderful recipe.

  32. I made this last night and it was very good. I did not have any oregano and I thought it was still delicious. I made it with roasted red potatoes and green beans simmered in chicken stock and bacon. I will be making this again.

  33. Use safflower oil to cook garlic (higher heat oil), then I added shallots cook til translucent, then remove garlic and onions to baking dish. You have the skillet dirty anyways so brown the chicken. Turn up heat a touch and brown the chicken on both sides, add a touch more safflower oil if needed. Adding salt and pepper to taste, then set aside chicken to baking dish. The juices from the browned skinless chicken add alot of flavour to the sauce. Turn heat back down add olive oil and the rest of ingredients for sauce, simmer, then pour over chicken. Use a small baking dish so chicken is 3/4 covered with sauce… add a little water or more broth if need be (I used wine and broth), then no need for basting. Serve with roasted vegetables (new potatoes quartered, bell pepper, carrots, tossed in olive oil and salt/pepper) on sprayed baking sheet. Add to oven 5-10 min after chicken (25-30 mins total). Then you can walk away for 30 mins and have cocktails on the patio.

  34. PS will add a couple teaspoons cornstarch disolved in warm water to skillet before finishing sauce next time. Will thicken sauce a bit while it bakes in oven. I also added a dash or two of poultry seasoning. It was yummy!

  35. Hello, I am new to the cooking world, so I have a question that may seem basic to many of you! I made the recipe this past week and my husband was happy with how it turned out! However, I did not do anything to the chicken while it was cooking. What do you recommend to use for basting? Thanks for the help!

    1. Amanda,

      Baste with the liquid in the baking pan (chicken broth & lemon juice mixture) that the chicken in cooking in. I hope this helps.


  36. Hi! I really do love this recipe and have made it couple of times, however last time i made it, the garlic turned out blue-ish. Any idea what i did wrong?

  37. Absolutely amazing! I followed this recipe exactly, and I cooked the chicken for 30 minutes. The chicken came out very moist and juicy!

  38. Made this last night with some linguine and it was delicious! Only thing I did different was add crushed red pepper along with the garlic in the oil. Oh I also added dried basil too. Dec will make again. Thanks.

  39. 5 stars
    This was great! I just wanted some chicken to put on my salads and this was perfect. I wanted the sauce to really stick to the chicken though so once it was done in the oven, I drained it into a saucepan, added a cornstarch slurry, and stirred over high heat until it thickened. Then I tossed it back with the chicken.

  40. 5 stars
    I needed a quick recipe for chicken breasts I had thawed. It took 45 minutes total including prep time.
    My food critic (husband) declared it “fantastic.” I served it with rice and cauliflower, broccoli, carrot mix.
    Didn’t find a calorie count but it seemed to be low cal and healthy.
    Definitely will prepare again!