Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives |

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is an easy meal bursting with the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean. These Greek style chicken thighs in a silky lemon sauce are on repeat all year long at our house.

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

Egg yolks to make the lemon sauce for Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives |
4.28 from 36 votes

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives

Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is an easy meal bursting with the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean. These Greek style chicken thighs in a silky lemon sauce are on repeat all year long at our house.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 487kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • Set oven to 400F
  • 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.
  • While the chicken is cooking, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Cook’s notes

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


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 380mg | Sodium: 575mg | Potassium: 771mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 452IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

don’t forget to pin!


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

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    July 7, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Sounds like a fabulous chicken dish. Love the colour of that sauce ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Nancy | Plus Ate Six
    July 7, 2016 at 2:04 am

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

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 11:26 pm

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

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    July 6, 2016 at 4:10 pm

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

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      July 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      This is music to my ears, Jane, thanks so much for the kind words…

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    July 6, 2016 at 11:39 am

    That sauce is just like a savoury version of custard sauce ๐Ÿ™‚ The chicken must be very tasty, Sue, and I love the colour.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    July 6, 2016 at 10:02 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Katherine | Omnivore's Cookbook
    July 6, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Would love to dig into that awesome sauce!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    July 6, 2016 at 8:52 am

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    July 6, 2016 at 8:21 am

    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!

    • Reply
      July 6, 2016 at 8:45 am

      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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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