Creamy lemon chicken with asparagus is an easy one pot meal that feels elegant but takes just 30 minutes of your time ~ chalk up another dinnertime win!
creamy lemon chicken is restaurant quality in 30 minutes
This meal looks like something you’d get in a restaurant, it has that refined flavor and enticing look on the plate…but man is it easy to throw together. And it’s a concept that you can tweak for so many other meals that involve quick cooking meats or fish. The fact that it all happens so quickly in one pan is just icing on the cake (or chicken!)
gather your ingredients
- 2 large chicken breasts, cut into 4 cutlets
- flour ~ just a dusting to coat the chicken. This helps it brown and will help give the sauce more body.
- olive oil and butter ~ I use both to sauté the chicken. The oil raises the smoking point and the butter adds flavor.
- shallot and garlic ~ don’t skip the shallot, it’s essential for that refined flavor.
- lemon juice
- Parmesan cheese
- asparagus ~ once you trim the woody ends you can leave the stalks whole, or slice them into sections, your choice.
what are chicken cutlets and why they’re my favorite
Chicken cutlets are boneless skinless chicken breasts that have been cut crosswise, as if you were cutting a cake layer into two. They make more manageable portions, and they cook much quicker than a full breast, so the chicken stays tender and juicy. If you like breast meat, this is the best way to do it.
Look for packaged cutlets in your meat section, but don’t hesitate to ask the butcher to slice breasts into cutlets for you.
lemon chicken’s a surprisingly simple one pot dinner
It all cooks right on the stove, in one pot; either a large skillet (with lid) or a Dutch oven. The key is that both the main ingredients, the cutlets and the asparagus, are extremely quick cooking. In fact, both cook so quickly that most people make the mistake of over cooking them. I treat chicken cutlets like I do fish ~ they’re basically done in the time it takes them to brown. And asparagus just needs a kiss of heat to turn it bright green and take the raw edge off.
The flavors aren’t fancy but they’re super satisfying ~ no herbs or spices, just shallots, garlic, lemon, and cream. Browning the chicken first gives plenty of savory umami to the dish.
creamy lemon chicken variation suggestions
make it keto: omit the flour, and feel free to use more cream. Asparagus are naturally low carb.
make it with thighs: use bone in or boneless skinless chicken thighs.
make it with broccoli, broccolini or zucchini : cut into thin pieces that will cook quickly.
make it saucier or cheesier : feel free to double the sauce or the cheese.
make it with white wine: use white wine instead of, or in addition to the lemon juice.
serve it over pasta: cut the asparagus into 2-3 inch lengths and cut the chicken into strips (after cooking) and serve over linguine or pasta of your choice.
- Creamy Lemon Asparagus Pasta
- Saffron Risotto with Roasted Asparagus
- Asparagus Gratin
- Chopped Asparagus Salad Recipe
- Simple Asparagus Puff Pastry Tart
Creamy Lemon Chicken with Asparagus
- large skillet with a lid, braising pan, or Dutch oven
- 1/3 cup flour for dredging the chicken
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4 cutlets
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 lb asparagus, trimmed (chop into 3" pieces if you like, but I prefer to keep them whole.)
- Toss the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt together on a plate.
- Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour. Shake off any excess.
- Heat the olive oil and the butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Brown the chicken on both sides for a total of about 7 minutes or so. Remove to a plate.
- To the same pan add the shallots and garlic and stir to soften for a minute or so. The moisture from the shallots should loosen any browning from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the lemon juice to the pan to deglaze it ~ let it bubble and continue to scrape up any remaining brown from the bottom. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Add the cream and cheese and stir to combine well. When the sauce has come up to a simmer nestle the chicken back in, along with the asparagus and slices of lemon.
- Cover the pan, turn the heat down, and let simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes, just to heat everything through, finish cooking the chicken, and steam the asapragus to crisp tender. Note: check your pan often, it should just be very gently simmering, not furiously boiling. And be sure to cover the pan.
- Serve immediately with some fresh cracked black pepper to taste.