Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is an easy meal bursting with the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean.

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives |

Imagine perfectly roasted chicken, thighs and breasts, nestled in a silky lemon sauce, dotted with blue-black olives and a shower of fresh picked thyme.  If you lived in Greece or Tuscany or you could do this in your sleep, and I swear it’s so easy that by the end of this post you’ll be able to do it in your sleep, too.  But stay awake — you don’t want to miss a single bite!

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is a quick and glorious Mediterranean inspired meal, just perfect for summer evenings. |

This quintessentially Greek lemon sauce has starred in several of my recipes before, and I highly recommend giving them all a try~

The sauce stands out because while it’s thick and ‘creamy’, the base is just chicken stock that’s been enriched and thickened with egg yolk and lemon juice — there’s no dairy or flour in it, and the texture is sublime.   The lemon flavor is bright and vivid, and unlike a lot of sauces, this one is super simple to do.

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is a quick and easy meal bursting with the flavors of the mediterranean! |

I chose breasts and thighs for our meal, but any chicken parts will work, and you can choose bone-in or boneless.  For this recipe I prefer the skin on and I bake it separately in the oven, first.  When I present the dish I make sure not to immerse the chicken completely in the sauce so it stays nice and crispy.

Roasting chicken for Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives |

The lemon sauce is without question the highlight of this meal.  I think you could leave out the chicken entirely and I wouldn’t complain ;)

Egg yolks to make the lemon sauce for Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives |

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives

Yield: serves 4

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives


  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 small chicken breasts, skin on
  • olive oil for brushing
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup black olives (I used oil cured)
  • fresh thyme leaves


  1. Set oven to 400F
  2. Arrange the chicken pieces in an oiled baking pan and brush liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and bake for about 35 minutes, or until done through. Baste several times during the cooking, and finish under the broiler if you need more color.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Set aside.
  4. Heat the chicken stock to boiling in a saucepan, and then add about 1/2 cup of the hot stock to the egg yolk mixture, adding it in a slow stream, while whisking. This will get the yolks' temperature up without scrambling them. Then add that back into the pan with the rest of the chicken stock, and heat gently on medium, stirring constantly, until the mixture just begins to get silky and thicken. Don't bring it to a boil, or even a simmer. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour the sauce on the bottom of a casserole bit enough to hold all the chicken. Arrange the cooked chicken on top of the sauce. Scatter the olives and thyme over everything and serve right away.


  • This Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives isn’t exactly a 30-minute meal, but it’s darned close.  Get the oven preheating right away and you can have this on the table in 40 minutes.  We served it with quick cooking couscous and pan roasted asparagus.
  • If for any reason your sauce curdles slightly, just strain it.  But you shouldn’t have any trouble if you keep your heat moderate and stir or whisk constantly.


don’t forget to pin it!

CHICKEN WITH LEMON SAUCE & OLIVES is a fabulous light meal that's quick to prepare and has tons of flavor! |


used for Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives… (the photos are clickable)




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23 Responses to Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives

  1. Harmony says:

    I just found this and pinned it. I often cook just for myself. Does this sauce reheat well? Do you know? I’ll be making it soon! (I have to go grocery shopping first.) I love lemony dishes :)

  2. denise says:

    I was excited when I read this sauce was without dairy. . . . until I read there is an egg yolk in the sauce. Is that not dairy? Any other way to thicken the sauce without dairy?

    • Sue says:

      As far as i understand it, Denise, eggs are not technically dairy products. Dairy refers to milk products. You could definitely make this without the egg yolk, maybe thickening the sauce with cornstarch?

  3. Lori Lynn says:

    Hi Sue – I am so glad that you left a comment on my site. I have been absolutely enjoying perusing your recipes. I especially like this one, going to save and pin (of course).

  4. Sue R says:

    I pinned this recipe and will try it soon, loved the flavours from the Greek soup with lemon and egg etc when there on honeymoon very much. Good to hear you are going to visit family, so am I next week after a few years. Wondering what you did when you said you remade your homemade ricotta cheese. Can’t wait to hear about it, I make versions of it sometimes. Sometimes with goats milk, buffalo milk from a farm up the coast here in Queensland, Australia one time and then cows milk too.

  5. SallyBR says:

    that is soooo up my alley it’s not even funny… the photos are all amazing, but I must say I had a big smile with the egg yolks shot – genius!

    I was nodding my head non stop with your advice to keep the skin part above the sauce – these type of details can make or break a recipe, and I’m glad you mentioned… who wants soggy chicken skin, right? ;-)

    • Sue says:

      I know, I’ve done it so many times at the LAST minute and ruined a perfectly crispy piece of chicken ;)

  6. Adina says:

    I love your Greek, lemony recipes, I have already made the avgolemono soup twice already and the meatballs once. Absolutely great both of them, so I cannot wait to try these chicken legs.

  7. cheri says:

    such an elegant looking dish, love your lemon sauce and the fact that this takes a little over 30 minutes to prepare. Pinned!

  8. Sounds like a fabulous chicken dish. Love the colour of that sauce :)

  9. This has gone onto my to-do list for next week – with a crusty baguette and asparagus. It looks and sounds so delicious.

  10. Jane says:

    I really like the look of this. Do you think it would work with green olives?

  11. Wow, Sue, this dish has everything – beauty, taste, healthy, easy – it’s even budget friendly. Love that egg picture. You’re on fire, girl!

  12. Jane says:

    I don’t know how you do it. Nearly every recipe is one that I would like to try. I have pinned many of your recipes. There is so much food porn on the Internet but your site is one with which I can have a real relationship. This is definitely a recipe that I will make since our main protein is chicken and we both love lemon and olives. Thanks.

  13. That sauce is just like a savoury version of custard sauce :-) The chicken must be very tasty, Sue, and I love the colour.

  14. I can see why everyone loves this beautiful chicken dish. I love that it’s quick and easy and yet it looks like dinner-party fare to me!

  15. Would love to dig into that awesome sauce!

  16. I have been drooling over your gorgeous lemon sauces for a while now – I’m just going to make it! What a wonderfully beautiful dish and I can’t wait to taste it. Your photos are as inspiring as this dish! Pinning and sharing :)

  17. I love this type of lemon sauce! And I agree, the chicken is almost optional. Haven’t made a Greek-style lemon sauce in ages, but you’ve inspired me. Thanks!

    • Sue says:

      It’s become a staple in our house because everybody loves it and it goes with so many things…I’m going to do some sort of seafood next to round out my collection of recipes ;)

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