Chinese Lemon Chicken

  • This easy Chinese Lemon Chicken comes together in less than 30 minutes. The sticky, sweet, and sour sauce is so addicting and this version is made healthier! This is a classic Chinese takeout recipe, but can be easily made at home!

    Overhead view of chinese lemon chicken in a bowl over white rice and a side of steamed broccoli.

    If you are in need of some new weeknight recipes that won’t break the bank or take too long to make this is a great one! It’s a quicker and healthier version of Chinese lemon chicken. We aren’t breading or frying the chicken which is what makes it so fast to make.

    Ingredients needed to make this super easy chinese lemon chicken.

    INGREDIENTS

    CHICKEN: I am using chicken breast for this recipe but chicken thighs will also work. Just be sure to cut the chicken into bite sized pieces so it cooks up quick and is easy to eat.
    LEMON: Use fresh lemon only for this recipe.
    SOY SAUCE
    RICE VINEGAR

    HONEY
    SESAME OIL
    GARLIC:
    I like to buy the garlic in the squeeze tube to save time when making chinese dishes but a minced garlic clove also works great.

    GINGER: You can grate your own or buy it in a squeeze tube just like the garlic (makes it so easy!)
    CORNSTARCH

    Three pictures showing how to make this fast and easy lemon chicken dish.

    HOW TO MAKE CHINESE LEMON CHICKEN

    PREP: I like to prepare all the ingredients BEFORE starting this recipe because it moves so fast. Cut all your chicken and mix all the sauce ingredients ahead of time.

    COOK: Brown the chicken pieces until no longer pink. Stir in the sauce mixture and cook until thickened and you are ready to serve!

    Two pictures one showing the lemon chicken in a pan with a lemon slice in it and the other is a close up to see the yummy sauce.

    FAQs

    Do I have to use chicken breast?

    No, you can use chicken thighs.

    Why is my sauce not as yellow as it is in the restaurant?

    Most restaurants use yellow food coloring and probably don’t add soy sauce to their sauce mixtures. I prefer to not use food coloring and I add the soy sauce for flavor and to balance the sweetness.

    How do I store this Chinese Lemon Chicken?

    Completely cooled leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

    Close up of lemon chicken in a black bowl served over fluffy white rice.

    SERVING SUGGESTIONS

    • Hot cooked rice
    • Steamed vegatbles of choice (broccoli, green beans, asparagus)
    • Or a simple side salad

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    Chinese Lemon Chicken
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    25 mins
     

    This easy Chinese Lemon Chicken comes together in less than 30 minutes. The sticky, sweet, and sour sauce is so addicting and this version is made healthier! This is a classic Chinese takeout recipe, but can be easily made at home!

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Chinese
    Keyword: 30 minutes or less, lemon chicken
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 229 kcal
    Author: Malinda Linnebur
    Ingredients
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • cup (160ml) fresh lemon juice
    • cup (160ml) water
    • ½ cup (120ml) honey
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • pounds (1.1kg) skinless boneless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
    Instructions
    1. In a medium bowl combine the zest, lemon juice, water, honey, cornstarch, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, and garlic; set aside.

    2. In a large skillet over medium high heat brown the chicken until no longer pink. Stir in sauce mixture and stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Serve over rice.

    Recipe Notes
    1. STORAGE: Store cooled leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
    2. SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve over hot cooked rice with your favortie steamed vegetable or side salad. 
    Nutrition Facts
    Chinese Lemon Chicken
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 229 Calories from Fat 36
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 4g6%
    Saturated Fat 1g6%
    Trans Fat 1g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
    Monounsaturated Fat 1g
    Cholesterol 91mg30%
    Sodium 301mg13%
    Potassium 561mg16%
    Carbohydrates 17g6%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 13g14%
    Protein 30g60%
    Vitamin A 44IU1%
    Vitamin C 10mg12%
    Calcium 11mg1%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.


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