Lemon pepper chicken tenders are made from scratch along with a buttery-rich sauce infused with fresh lemon and a peppery kick.

lemon pepper chicken tenders

Lemon pepper chicken tenders just might be the best meal to make this spring! It comes together quickly using chicken tenders rather than chicken breast.

The tenders are coated in a spice mixture, pan-cooked, and served in the most luscious lemon butter sauce.

This one-pan meal is bright, lemony, and makes the perfect dish to serve at a large gathering or dinner for your family.

Why This Recipe Works 

This chicken recipe works for so many different reasons. 

  • It’s easy to make with ingredients you can find at any grocery store.  
  • The black pepper, fresh lemon juice, garlic, and parsley make the sauce incredibly flavorful and delicious to the last bite. 
  • The chicken can be served over pesto pasta, mashed cauliflower, or rice so that every drop of sauce is soaked up and enjoyed. 
  • The breading on the chicken is made with flour and seasonings, and it’s light and not overly heavy, making them perfectly crispy and tasty. 
ingredients for lemon pepper chicken tenders

How to make lemon pepper chicken tenders 

Whisk together the flour with spices. Sprinkle over the chicken and toss to coat.

chicken tenders with spices in a bowl

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and when it’s hot, add the chicken tenders and cook until browned and fully cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan. 

cooked chicken tenders in a skillet

Melt butter in the skillet, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Then add the lemon juice and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the remaining butter and lemon zest. 

lemon butter sauce in a pan

Return chicken tenders to the pan and cook until heated through. Sprinkle in the parsley and serve while it’s hot. 

lemon pepper chicken tenders skillet

What are some other ways to cook lemon pepper chicken tenders?

While this recipe cooks the chicken in a saute pan before making the sauce in the same pan, you can also cook the chicken with other methods.

Try using the air fryer for delicious crusted chicken. Bake them in the oven on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil, grill them outside, or use a grill pan on the stove.

Check to ensure the chicken is fully cooked using a digital thermometer before serving with the lemon butter sauce.

How to Serve

Place a scoop of rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes on a plate, lay chicken over the top, and spoon sauce over it. Sprinkle with extra parsley if you have some saved. 

You can also serve it with garlic sourdough bread, roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes, or a crunchy green salad

The key is to balance the flavors and textures of the main dish with the side dishes. 

How to Store

Refrigerate: Store any leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to four days in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave with 30-second increments until the chicken has reached 165F. 

Freeze: This is also a great dish to freeze and save for later. You can even make two batches, one to eat and one to give to a friend or family member. 

Place the chicken and sauce in an airtight container and freeze for three months. Remember to label it with the title and date, so you don’t forget what you’ve frozen when you pull it out later. 

Set it in the fridge to thaw for 24 hours before reheating.

lemon pepper chicken

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use chicken breast for this recipe?

Yes, you can use chicken breast in this recipe. I would recommend pounding the breast to even thickness before cooking.

What is lemon pepper sauce made of?

This lemon pepper sauce is made with butter, garlic, chicken broth, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley.

Can I make lemon pepper chicken keto-friendly?

Yes, you can definitely make this dish fit for a keto diet. All you need to do is leave out the flour altogether or use almond flour as a substitute.

More Chicken Recipes

Here are some more delicious recipes for you to try: 

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lemon pepper chicken recipe

Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Lemon pepper chicken tenders are made from scratch along with a buttery-rich sauce infused with lemon flavors and a peppery kick. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Chicken

  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 23 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more as needed

Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 12 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

Chicken

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Toss chicken with the flour mixture, making sure to coat all over. Set aside. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add chicken tenders in a single layer, and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove to a plate. Do not crowd the pan and cook the chicken in batches if needed. Also, cook time will vary with the size and thickness of the tenders. 

Lemon Butter Sauce

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly.
  2. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer, while scraping the bottom of the pan to release browned bits. Add lemon juice. Simmer for about 2 minutes or until reduced by half.
  3. Stir in remaining butter and lemon zest. The sauce should be thick and velvety. Season with salt and pepper to taste before adding the chicken. 
  4. Return the chicken to the pan and cook for about 1 minute longer, while spooning the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Notes

  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 tenders with sauce
  • Calories: 319
  • Sugar: 0.3 g
  • Sodium: 768.6 mg
  • Fat: 22.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.6 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Cholesterol: 93.7 mg

Keywords: pan cooked chicken tenders, kid friendly, lemon butter sauce