This lemon dill chicken is a quick flavorful fix for any weeknight. Juicy chicken thighs smothered in an easy lemon dill sauce that's light but so delicious.
Whether you pair it with a side or serve as is, expect clean plates and happy faces.
Looking for more delicious chicken recipes? Try my creamy truffle chicken next.
Here are some helpful notes on ingredients you'll need. See the recipe card below for exact quantities.
- Chicken thighs – boneless and skinless. But feel free to use skin-on, bone-in thighs. Cooking time will be longer though (15 to 18 minutes in total).
- All purpose flour – required for dredging chicken and also for making the sauce base.
- Cooking oil – olive oil or any other you prefer.
- Butter – unsalted is preferred, but don't worry if you've got salted butter. We need a small quantity so over saltiness won't be a risk.
- Garlic – I prefer freshly minced or grated garlic for its vibrant flavor – but pre minced will be fine too.
- Chicken stock/broth – use unsalted or low-sodium options. If you have regular salted variety, cut down the quantity of added salt a bit.
- Lemon juice and slices – use freshly squeezed juice. Bottled juice will not be the same. And cut a few thin slices of lemon for garnishing.
- Yellow mustard – for some depth of flavor. Dijon mustard also works.
- Fresh dill – the star ingredient. Chop very finely.
- Seasonings – include salt, ground black pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder, ground white pepper and red pepper flakes. Feel free to adjust the quantity of salt and pepper flakes to suit your taste preference.
How to make lemon dill chicken
Follow these simple, photo-assisted instructions to prepare this recipe. Check out recipe card below for a printable version that has quantities, instructions and notes in one place.
Step 1 – combine flour, salt, pepper, dried oregano plus garlic powder in a dish and mix well. Lay a chicken piece in this mixture, press down to coat. Then flip and coat other side. Repeat with remaining thighs.
Step 2 – in a pan/skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. When hot, put the chicken in a single layer – flat side down. Press down lightly with a spatula for a few seconds. Cook undisturbed 5 minutes or until it looks golden brown. Turn, then cook the other side for 4 minutes. Remove from the pan.
Step 3 – reduce the heat to medium low and melt butter in the same pan. Then add garlic, saute 1 minute until fragrant. Sprinkle in the flour, stir 1 more minute. Add chicken broth/stock and whisk until the mixture looks smooth.
Step 4 – add lemon juice, salt, black pepper, white pepper plus crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well and turn up the heat to medium-high. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it thicken slightly. Stir frequently.
Step 5 – stir in chopped dill and yellow mustard, cook another minute.
Step 6 – return the cooked chicken to the pan/skillet and let it warm up for a minute. Garnish with chopped dill and lemon slices and serve immediately.
- Dry/chewy chicken - that's overcooked chicken. Follow the cooking time mentioned in the recipe or use a meat thermometer – 165°F (74°C) is the temperature you're looking for.
- Chicken sticking to the pan - make sure the oil in the pan is adequately heated. When you put the chicken it should slightly sizzle upon contact. Also, avoid moving the chicken around too much initially. It will release easily once a crust has formed. I prefer non-stick pans for easier handling.
- Uneven cooking/browning of chicken - this can happen because of inconsistent pan heat. The pieces that aren't quite done, let them cook a bit longer. Move them around a bit and press down gently with a spatula for better browning.
- Oil splattering while cooking chicken - that's unavoidable and will likely happen more when you press down the chicken with spatula. A splatter screen can be handy.
- Sauce too thick or thin - if it's too thick, add more broth. If too runny, let it simmer longer.
Substitutions and variations
- Chicken breast - you can use boneless, skinless breasts instead of thighs. Slice each piece horizontally through the center to make cutlets. Cooking time will be slightly less though.
- Creamy variation - stir in some heavy cream or coconut milk just before the sauce is done cooking. Lower the heat first and add a little at a time so the sauce does not become runny.
- Lemon zest - add a small quantity to the sauce for a more citrusy punch.
- Citrus variations - if you have fresh lime, feel free to use that instead of lemon.
- Capers or olives - add a tablespoon of drained capers or some sliced kalamata/green olives to the sauce for a briny tangy taste.
- Mushrooms - sauté some sliced fresh mushrooms in the pan after cooking the chicken and before making the sauce. Set them aside then return to the pan when adding back the chicken.
- Taste balance - if the lemon flavor is too tart for your liking, a teaspoon of brown/white sugar in the sauce will help balance the acidity.
- Grilled chicken variation - in summertime, grilling the chicken is a great alternative to pan frying. Just leave out the flour dredging part and season the thighs with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.
What to serve it with
- Rice – plain or buttered rice. Or jazz it up with some chicken bouillon.
- Quinoa or couscous – wonderful for soaking up that delicious sauce while adding a subtle nuttiness.
- Green beans – sautéed with a bit of garlic.
- Roasted potatoes – seasoned with fresh flavors. I make mine in an air fryer – much quicker that way!
- Salad – fresh garden salad with a light vinaigrette.
- Bread rolls or warmed up baguette – perfect for mopping up the sauce.
- Buttered noodles – simple yet satisfying.
- Mashed potatoes – make them simple and creamy or give a gourmet touch.
- Roasted asparagus – seasoned with some salt and pepper.
Storage and reheating
- Storage – pop into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Not a very freezer friendly dish.
- Reheating – warm it up slowly on the stove over low heat. If the sauce gets too thick, add some water/broth. I don't like to use the microwave for this one. But if that's the only option, reheat in 30-second spurts. Mix the sauce between intervals for even heating.
Just so you know
- The lemon dill sauce in this recipe is fantastic with other proteins too. Try with pan seared salmon or white fish. Or drizzle over roasted veggies – yum!
- If you like these flavors, you'll want to try my lemon dill rice, lemon dill potatoes and my lemon dill hummus recipes. Can you tell I'm obsessed with this flavor combo? 😀
- 1.5 pounds (680 g) chicken thighs - boneless, skinless (around 6 thighs)
- ¼ cup (31 g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil - or any cooking oil
For Lemon Dill Sauce
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) butter - unsalted (Note A)
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 4 teaspoons all purpose flour
- 1 cups (237 ml) chicken stock/broth - low sodium (Note B)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice - fresh
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill - finely chopped
- few lemon slices
- some chopped fresh dill
Cook the chicken
- In a dish combine flour, salt, ground black pepper, dried oregano plus garlic powder – mix well.
- Lay a chicken piece in this flour mix, press down gently to coat. Then flip and coat other side. Lift and gently shake off any excess flour. Repeat with remaining thighs.
- In a pan/skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. When hot, lay the chicken in a single layer – flat side down. Press down lightly with a spatula for a few seconds. Then cook undisturbed 5 minutes (depending on thickness) or until it looks golden brown.
- Turn, then cook the other side for 4 minutes (internal temperature of 165°F / 74°C is the goal). Once cooked, remove from the pan.
Make the lemon dill sauce
- Next, reduce the heat to medium low and melt butter in the same pan. Then add garlic, saute 1 minute until fragrant – but not browned.
- Sprinkle in the flour, stir 1 more minute. Add chicken broth/stock and whisk until the mixture looks smooth.
- Add lemon juice, salt, black pepper, white pepper plus crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well and turn up the heat to medium-high. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it thicken slightly (takes around 5 minutes). Stir frequently.
- Stir in chopped dill and yellow mustard, cook another minute and then return the cooked chicken to the pan/skillet. Let it warm up for a minute or two.
- Garnish with some fresh chopped dill and lemon slices and serve immediately.
- Step-by-step photo instructions
- Recipe troubleshooting
- Substitutions and variations
- Serving ideas
- Storage and reheating
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