What Goes With Lemon Chicken? Perfect Pairings

Lemon Chicken has a lot going for it. It’s quick to throw together, healthy, and tastes great. It is perfect for busy weeknights or even for special family gatherings. But what other dishes are perfect to pair with this dish?

Here are what goes with lemon chicken:

  • Side dishes: white rice, rice pilaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, etc.
  • Other dishes: Chicken parmesan, Pork tenderloin, Lemon-herb cod fillets, etc.
  • Desserts: Baked apples, Pumpkin pie, etc.

What are the other dishes that go well with lemon chicken? And how to prepare them? Let’s find out!

Lemon Chicken: What Is It?

lemon chicken
Lemon chicken thighs. Credit: canva

Lemon chicken is a dish found in cuisines from around the world that includes chicken and lemon.

This lemon chicken dish is quick and easy to make and is very great for busy weeknight meals.

What is a lemon chicken sauce made of?

The sauce for this recipe is made up of two main ingredients, fresh lemon juice, and butter.

It may also include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, or other spices.

Is lemon chicken actually Chinese?

No, it’s not.

But many dishes have been influenced by Chinese cuisine. Some people think that lemon chicken was invented in China.

What country does lemon chicken come from?

Kostopoulos lemonato
Kostopoulos lemonato (Greek lemon chicken). Credit: canva

There are so many versions of lemon chicken dishes around the world.

In the Canadian and British-Chinese version, it’s usually made from pieces of chicken that are sautéed or battered and deep-fried and then coated with a thick, tangy, sweet lemon-flavor sauce.

At the Panda Hotel in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, they used to serve their version of lemon chicken with chicken pieces coated in batter and rolled in almond slivers. They would then deep fry them and serve them with a lemon glaze sauce.

An Australasian version of lemon chicken involves coating the chicken in batter and frying it. Then, cover the chicken with a lemon sauce.

Lemon chicken in Italy (Pollo al Limone), Greece (Kostopoulos lemonato), consists of a whole chicken roasted with white wine, lemon, fresh thyme, and mirepoix.

A similar dish in Spain, Pollo al Romero con Limon y piñones, includes pine nuts, rosemary, and ham.

French poulet aux citrons include Dijon mustard in the sauce and are served with roasted potatoes.

What Goes with Lemon Chicken?

Lemon chicken can be paired with just about anything.

Side Dishes that Go Well with Lemon Chicken

If you want to make your meal more interesting, you can add accompaniment for lemon chicken. Try pairing lemon chicken with one of these side dishes:

Rice

lemon chicken and rice
Chinese lemon chicken with white rice. Credit: canva

Lemon chicken and rice go together like peanut butter and jelly. The combination works well because lemon chicken has a tart flavor that complements the sweetness of cooked rice.

Rice Pilaf

This classic Asian side dish pairs nicely with lemon chicken. It’s a simple mixture of rice, onions, carrots, celery, and peas.

Green beans

This vegetable is often served as an appetizer at restaurants. However, if you’re looking for something different, try serving green beans alongside the lemon chicken.

Green beans are perfect because they add crunchiness to the plate.

Mashed potatoes

You don’t need much else to complete mashed potatoes. If you want to make them extra special, try adding cheese, herbs, or bacon bits.

Sautéed vegetables

Try sautéing some veggies along with the chicken. You can use any kind of veggie you’d like. Try carrots, broccoli, onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc.

Vegetable soup

Another way to enjoy lemon chicken is by having it over a bowl of hot vegetable soup. It makes a great lunchtime meal!

Creamed corn

Corn on the cob is always delicious when it’s topped with melted butter and sprinkled with paprika. But if you prefer creamy corn instead of crispy, try creamed corn. It’s a great way to enjoy corn without all the fuss.

Sweet potato fries

Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, making them a natural choice for dipping into the lemon chicken.

Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus is another vegetable that pairs perfectly with lemon chicken. Roasting it brings out its natural sweetness.

Grilled zucchini

Zucchini is also a good match for lemon chicken. Grilling it adds a smoky flavor.

Fried okra

Okra is a Southern staple. Fried okra is a popular snack in the South. To make it even better, pair it with lemon chicken.

Cucumber salad

When you combine cucumber with lemon chicken, you get a refreshing salad that will leave your mouth feeling clean.

Cucumbers are low in fat and high in water content, making them ideal for cooling down after eating spicy foods.

Pasta

italian lemon butter chicken
Italian lemon butter chicken with pasta. Credit: canva

Pasta is a great option for those who love to eat but don’t have time to cook. Just boil pasta until it’s done, then toss it with the lemon chicken.

Fresh fruit

Some fruits work better than others when you’re trying to balance out the flavors in a dish. For example, pineapple tastes sweet enough on its own, so it doesn’t need much else added to it.

On the other hand, applesauce adds a tangy flavor to apple pie. You’ll know what fruit works best for you by experimenting.

Other Recipes That Go Well With Lemon Chicken

Here are some other recipes that go well with lemon chicken:

Chicken Parmesan

Parmesan cheese pairs perfectly with lemon chicken. The sharp taste of parmesan balances out the milder flavors of the chicken.

Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin can be used in place of chicken. Pork tenderloins are usually leaner than chicken breasts, so they complement the richness of the lemon chicken.

Lemon-Herb Cod Fillets

Cod fillets are a healthier alternative to fried fish. They’re easy to prepare and are delicious. Serve cod fillets over a bed of steamed spinach or sautéed greens.

Grilled Salmon

Grilling salmon is a fun way to cook seafood. When you grill salmon, you get a flavorful piece of fish that’s packed with omega 3 fatty acids.

Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the most popular types of seafood. Grilling shrimp brings out all of its natural sweetness. Try grilling shrimp with fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme.

Oven-Baked Fish Fillet

Fish fillets are an excellent source of protein. Oven-baking fish lets you enjoy the benefits of fish without having to worry about cooking it yourself.

Fish Sticks

Fish sticks are a quick and easy meal option. Just pop the frozen sticks in the oven and let them bake until crispy.

Desserts That Pair With Lemon Chicken

For dessert, there are plenty of options. Here are three ideas:

Baked apples

Apples baked with cinnamon and vanilla are a classic dessert. Serve this apple recipe alongside the lemon chicken for a tasty treat.

Apple crisp

A warm crumble topping paired with juicy apples is a favorite fall dessert. This recipe from Food Network is a great place to start.

Pumpkin pie

The pumpkin spice latte craze has made pumpkin pie more popular than ever before. Make sure to serve this version of the dessert alongside the lemon chicken.

How Do You Make Lemon Chicken?

Simple Lemon Chicken Recipe

This is a simple, yet tasty, recipe for lemon chicken. This lemon chicken meal is made with just four ingredients, making it a perfect weeknight dinner. It’s also gluten-free!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into florets

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the chicken cutlets and cook, turning once, until the chicken crust and golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from the pan; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour half of the mixture into the same skillet where the chicken was cooked; add the broccoli and toss to coat.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally until the broccoli begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate.
  6. Repeat with the remaining chicken, lemon juice mixture, and broccoli. Top with the reserved chicken pieces. Garnish with additional lemon slices if desired.

Lemon Chicken with Buttery Sauce Recipe

This is a favorite recipe for perfect lemon butter chicken with a creamy and buttery sauce.

Ingredients

  • 4 (5 oz) boneless chicken breasts, pounded to an even 1/3-inch thickness
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, sliced into 1 Tbsp pieces, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth (chicken stock)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pat the chicken breasts dry and season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Put flour in a shallow dish, then coat both sides of each piece of chicken in flour, one at a time.
  3. Heat 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add olive oil and one tablespoon butter, let the butter melt, then add in chicken breast meat in a single layer.
  5. Sear until the chicken browns at the bottom, about 4 – 5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until chicken registers 165 degrees (internal temperature) in the center, about 4 – 5 more minutes.
  6. Transfer chicken to a plate while leaving any little bit of excess oil in the pan.
  7. Reduce to medium heat. Add garlic to the pan, cook for 20 seconds or until lightly golden brown. Then add chicken broth while scraping up any brown bits.
  8. Add lemon juice, then bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and let simmer for about 2 minutes.
  9. Add in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and lemon zest and stir to melt the butter.
  10. Return chicken to skillet, spoon sauce over chicken, and garnish with parsley. Serve warm.

Cooking Tips

Perfect lemon chicken is easy to make when you know how to do it. Here are some tips that will help you get delicious results every time:

  • You can use frozen chicken instead of thawed chicken. Just be sure to defrost it first.
  • You can also use skinless chicken thighs for a more flavorful dish. Put the chicken thighs skin side up when searing.
  • When using fresh lemons, always squeeze them before juicing. The juice should be bright yellow and not cloudy. If your lemons are sour, they’re too ripe and won’t work well in this recipe.
  • When cooking meat, don’t overcrowd the pan. It’ll take longer to sear the meat properly.
  • To avoid burning the outside of the chicken, turn down the heat after searing it.
  • If you have leftover chicken, try making chicken salad sandwiches.
  • If you want to serve this as a main course, double the recipe and freeze half for another day.

 FAQs

What sides are good with chicken?

Try mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, couscous, pasta, or even roasted vegetables like sweet potato or butternut squash.

What is Chinese lemon chicken made of?

Chinese lemon chicken is usually made from chicken thighs or drumsticks. They’re often marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and other spices.

What does lemon pepper go good with?

Lemon pepper has a strong citrusy flavor, so it pairs well with many things. Try it on grilled fish, salads, and soups. You can also make lemon pepper chicken.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftover chicken tastes great reheated in the microwave. You can also toss it into a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes and then drain off the liquid.

For best storage, wrap leftover chicken tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days.