Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken 2

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken is a delicious way to perk up your weekly meal plan ~ the flavors are bright and sunny, and the whole dish looks as beautiful as it tastes!

This vibrant and citrusy roast chicken will make a regular old weekday meal feel special. It doesn’t take any more time than plain oven roasted chicken, but a quick sauce of Limoncello lemon liqueur, olive oil, lemon juice and stone ground Dijon mustard makes the whole thing sing.

Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons, and have delicate thin skins, so you can eat the roasted fruit right along with the chicken.

No one is exactly sure about the botanical origin of Meyer lemons, but they are probably a cross between a regular lemon and some type of orange. Cut the slices between 1/8 and 1/4 inch, and remove the seeds before adding them to the chicken…they become wonderfully tender in the oven.

I make it a point to get a bit of lemon with every bite of chicken. It’s fabulous.

This chicken roasts at 475F, hence the gorgeous color and crispy skin.

I love cooking at high heats, it must be a primal instinct. I love the sputtering, sizzling sounds and smells, and it’s fun to watch all the action safely through the oven window. Taking food just to the brink of burning develops an alluring flavor, especially in meat. Be sure to cover your pan well, because the sauce will burn. I would actually recommend taking the foil and wrapping it up around the lip of the baking sheet to be extra sure. I used parchment paper and had a messy pan to clean up.

Other chicken recipes you might enjoy ~

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken 2
4.28 from 11 votes

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken is a delicious way to perk up your weekly meal plan ~ the flavors are bright and sunny, and the whole dish looks as beautiful as it tastes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • I chicken, cut in pieces (I like to cut the breasts in half for more even cooking)
  • 2 Meyer lemons, washed and cut in 1/4 inch slices
  • a handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper

for the sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil I like O Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello lemon liqueur
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp stone ground Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar


  • Set oven to 475F
  • Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Sprinkle the chicken pieces liberally with salt and plenty of pepper.
  • Line a baking sheet completely with foil or parchment paper and lay the chicken out, along with the sliced lemon and some of the fresh thyme. Make sure your pan is big enough so you don't crowd the chicken.
  • Pour most of the sauce evenly over the chicken pieces, reserving a little for basting later.
  • Bake the chicken for about 35-45 minutes until golden and crisp on the outside. Baste the chicken with a little of the reserved sauce about 5 or 10 minutes before it is done.
  • Serve hot with the lemon slices on the side.

Cook's notes

Be sure your oven is nice and hot so the chicken and lemons can get beautifully crisped, and even a little bit singed.
This recipe was inspired by Yotem Ottolenghi
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 this easy Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken!

Meyer Lemon Roast Chicken pin

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  • Reply
    Shirley F
    January 17, 2021 at 5:59 am

    This is the absolute favorite dinner of both my roommates. We are from California but now live on the east coast, but have friends with Meyer lemon trees near Sacramento and they send us a box of them twice a year. We never manage to use the Meyers for desserts or lemonade. They have to be used for this dish.

    We don’t keep limoncello on hand and substitute with vodka mixed with triple sec or simple syrup. Also, dried thyme instead of fresh, most of the time.

  • Reply
    Billie Szumiak
    January 22, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    This was sooo delicious!! I LOVED the sauce!! It was also quick and easy to prepare and clean up. My new favorite chicken recipe!!!

  • Reply
    Carolyn O
    May 11, 2016 at 6:42 am

    This recipe was delicious. I wrote a more detailed comment that disappeared before I could post it, so I’ll make this one shorter. I used bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and regular lemons with great results;baked the the thighs for about 50 minutes and they were moist inside, crisp outside, deliciously seasoned. The lemon slices were tender and delicious as well, although not everyone ate them. I will make this recipe many more times; it was easy and so delicious. Everyone at my table loved it!

    • Reply
      May 11, 2016 at 7:17 am

      Thanks so much for posting Carolyn, I’m so sorry your first comment got lost, I hate that! I can imagine thighs would work great, I’m a recent convert to dark meat, I don’t know what took me so long. I’m also glad to know that regular lemons work well, too, I may need to test that out this week 😉

  • Reply
    February 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Is the baking sheet necessary? I don’t think we have those in Brazil D=

    • Reply
      February 26, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      I would just use a large pan, Ligia, so the chicken has enough room to crisp up in the oven.

      • Reply
        March 4, 2015 at 10:02 am


  • Reply
    December 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Is there anything I can substitute for the limoncello? We don’t typically use it and don’t want to buy a whole bottle for one recipe.

    • Reply
      December 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      You can substitute white wine, or chicken stock, or even water!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I made this the other night and it was easy and delicious…Making it again for another dinner party..Curious…what sides do you serve with this recipe?

    • Reply
      December 6, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      I like a green veggie with this, like beans, Brussels sprouts, peas, broccoli or asparagus. Except for the peas you can roast these in the oven or steam them. I like to keep it light with couscous for the starch. In the summer we go for a salad

  • Reply
    October 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Thinking of making this for dinner. But, I only use boneless and skinless chicken. Any changes I should make to the recipe?

    • Reply
      October 29, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      I think you could do it the same way, April, but just reduce the cooking time.

  • Reply
    July 11, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    This sounds amazing. I found this recipe on Pinterest but it wasn’t from your Pinterest. Have you heard of Best Recipes Ever? It looks like she reposts word for word recipes she has found and uses their original photo. At the very end she has in small type, “Recipe From: blah, blah blah.” I clicked on that and reached this page. Just wasn’t sure if you gave permission. I have caught people stealing my content and reposting it to look like their own and besides it being copyright infringement it just downright chaps my hide. It’a a blogspot blog. This is where I found it:
    — just in case you want to track her down if you didn’t give permission.

    And I will be trying this recipe soon! Looks and sounds great.

    • Reply
      July 12, 2014 at 7:02 am

      Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know, Ani, I appreciate it. It’s very discouraging, and this is one of my favorite recipes!

  • Reply
    Sharon Mervin
    January 31, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Sorry, Sue,
    The lemons I preserved ARE Meyer lemons! Please excuse the last post. I didn’t realize the post went through. I got the method to cure them from Nourished Kitchen along with a recipe. Your recipe sounded great as do so many of your incredible recipes. Hope the unpacking in your
    new home is proceeding apace.

  • Reply
    Sharon Mervin
    January 31, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Any changes I should make to use the preserved Moroccan lemons I have in my refrigerator as we speak? I would love to use them in yet another recipe with this
    luscious fruit.
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sharon Mervin
    January 31, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I have preserved Moroccan lemons which we adore and in different ways. Would the recipe be the same as to amount of lemons (mine were quartered and salted before tamping them down) and the rest of the instructions?

    • Reply
      January 31, 2014 at 11:57 am

      I think you’d be fine to substitute the preserved lemons, Sharon, although I imagine they have a stronger flavor than the Meyers do, so use your own individual taste as a guide. Sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    January 31, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I made this recipe again d it was just as fast, easy and delicious the SECOND time. My foodie friend made it for her husband and served it restaurant style plated on a bed of rice (a combo of wild and other types of rice) surrounded by baby peas and fresh sprigs of thyme. The presentation sounds beautiful. My friend and her husband agreed this was a dish they would pay $$ at a fine restaurant! I would try this next served with brown basmati rice..the nutty flavor of the rice with the lemon sauce would be a delicious combination.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Oh how I love Lemoncello. When I noticed the ingredient, I knew exactly what I would be making for dinner. It was bright yet rich and as you suggest, best with a bit of Meyer lemon in each bite. It was also beautiful (would love to send you a picture) and my house smelled like citrus heaven. Thank you for the inspiration, now I’ll be experimenting with Leomcello outside of the martini.

    • Reply
      January 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Please send a picture, Kami!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Fast, easy, simple and delicious (tastes like a dish I would pay $$ when dining out). I used skinless, boneless, chicken thighs (as nice that is what I had today), regular lemons (have never seen a Meyer lemon in my grocery store) and fresh Rosemary sprigs (from my Rosemary plant) and cut the cooking time by five minutes. Thighs were moist and flavorful. Served them accompanied by the sauce drizzled over wild rice. Saw several other recipes on you site that I also want to try!!!

    • Reply
      January 25, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Sounds great — the wild rice is a nice touch, I’ll have to remember that!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Absolutely fabulous way to roast chicken. The Meyer lemons and Limoncello really make this dish special. The aroma of the chicken while it’s roasting is intoxicating, and the meat is unbelievably tender and moist. Pour the drippings over the chicken when serving and OMG! Everything is so beautifully flavored, you’ll want to eat more than you should and then lick the plate clean. Thanks, Sue. . .you did it again.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 14, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Citrus flavored poultry is perfection. This looks and sounds delicious. The crisp skin, the seasonings, the juiciness – I love it all!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Do you cook this with the skin on or remove it first?

    • Reply
      January 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Skin on, Catherine.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Made this last night for dinner. It was awesome. Hubby loved it as well. Will be my go to roasted chicken recipe from now on.

    • Reply
      January 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

      Happy to hear it, Jane!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Now I know what I’m going to make when the kids come for Family Dinner night on Tuesday! Thanks. Can you get meyer lemons from the greengrocer or only home gardens?

  • Reply
    January 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    And I happened to have some Meyer Lemons! Thank you!

  • Reply
    adam @unorthodoxepicure
    January 11, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Absolutely gorgeous.

    • Reply
      January 11, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Thanks, Adam! This is one of those recipes where the visuals really reflect the wonderful flavors. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    January 11, 2014 at 8:23 am

    This looks wonderful and I’m so glad it has limoncello. I’ve just found another way to use the bottle in my frig. Gorgeous photos as always.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Great recipe, I love meyer lemons and use them for many things. 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    January 10, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    What a gorgeous chicken. Simplicity is perfection!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 10, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I love roast chicken with Meyer lemon, a perfect dinner!

  • Reply
    2 Sisters Recipes
    January 10, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    OMG Sue!! I made the same thing to post next week only I used basic lemons…. But your’s looks and sounds so delicious with the Limoncello in there, great idea!!

    • Reply
      January 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      I look forward to your recipe…I can imagine this would be equally as good, if a little more puckery (in a good way!) with regular lemons…

  • Reply
    Sarah Toasty
    January 10, 2014 at 10:30 am

    the picture of all of the roasted pieces of chicken? amazing!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2014 at 9:22 am


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