Crockpot lemon pepper chicken breasts are easy to throw together, healthy, and a favorite meal served over rice at our house. Tender and packed with flavor!
Do you love healthy meals that cook all day without much effort on your part? Me too! That’s where this crockpot lemon pepper chicken comes into play. It has TONS of flavor and only a few natural ingredients. Try this and our other easy crockpot recipes here on The Typical Mom blog and let us know which one you like best. (affiliate links present)
- Yes! This is all you need to make lemon chicken in a slow cooker.
All. Fresh. Ingredients is the key. Okay well if you can’t find good looking lemons in your produce section then I give you permission to buy it bottled, but they should easy to find too. Found on our easy cheap crockpot meals post it is just that. Inexpensive and hearty!
This is the ingredient list to make our easy lemon chicken crockpot recipe here:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- could substitute for chicken thighs
- cooking time may be a bit less for them depending on how many were added
- Chicken broth
- Red onion
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
- add another 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top when done too
- Salt and pepper
- We serve this over Instant Pot white rice or wide egg noodles
- these are cooked separately
Ready to start throwing this easy slow cooker recipe together?
Now lots of lemon pepper chicken marinades call for a jarred seasoning, we aren’t using that here. You could if you’d like a more intense lemon and pepper flavor. I would rather use non processed ingredients if and when possible.
- Yes I have used this in the past when I have forgotten to pick up lemons and I want to make this chicken recipe. However, I will tell you it is SO much better the way we explain it to you below.
What can I use instead of lemon pepper?
- What we share below. Fresh lemon juice, zest, and ground pepper far better!
What is lemon pepper seasoning made out of?
It is essentially granulated lemon zest and cracked black peppercorns. The lemon zest is mashed with the pepper to allow the citrus oil to infuse into the pepper. Like I said, I do have this in the cupboard for “OH NO I forgot” moments.
Does lemon pepper have sodium?
Actually most of them include the flavors you love without the added salt. This makes it perfect for individuals following a low-sodium diet.
Now let’s get to the basic directions for Crockpot lemon pepper chicken:
First get out your slow cooker and spray the inside with a bit of non stick spray (makes it easier for cleanup). I should just buy this olive oil spray by the case full because I use it ALL the time!!
- In a skillet on your stovetop add seasoned chicken breasts and butter.
- Sear/brown on both sides (insides will not be cooked at this time, just outside)
- Into slow cooker put chicken and add chicken broth or stock in your skillet.
- scrape bits of stuck on meat off pan
- then add lemon juice
- Pour this liquid into your pot on top of your meat
- Put onion pieces around chicken, zest lemon, add minced garlic and cube rest of butter on top of everything.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6 hours for best results. Ensure meat is cooked to the correct internal meat temperature before taking out.
- Place meat on a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Pour liquid from crockpot into pot on stove and whisk in parmesan and heavy cream until it is reduced and thick!
If you want it REALLY lemony can you marinate chicken in lemon overnight beforehand?
- First off, you never want to marinate with lemon in a metal container.
The acid can react with the metal. Instead, marinate chicken in a lemon marinade for up to 2 hours in an airtight container or gallon freezer bag. Longer than 2 hours in lemon juice can break down which will ruin the texture of the cooked meat. You won’t like it believe me. Take out, follow step one below, and then discard the leftover marinade.
What makes chicken tough and chewy?
If you’ve ever cooked a chicken breast and had it turn out tough and chewy, it might not have been your fault. Some chickens are affected by a condition called woody breast which are hardened muscle fibers. To lessen the chance of getting a batch with this buy your chicken from smaller farms.
- I have had the best luck buying organic free range chicken. Never have I had this experience in doing so. I’m not always as picky when it comes to beef, but organic chicken is the way to go for tender fall apart meat.
Over-marinating may also be a culprit so do so in short durations.
Looking for more slow cooker chicken recipes like this?
We will start with our most popular Crockpot recipes!
There are 5 of us at home and we are all about comfort foods, especially when it’s chilly outside. That doesn’t always mean heavy in calories too though. Here are a few you should try next. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
- Like this Crockpot cheesy chicken and rice dish.
- Crockpot chicken cacciatore is healthy with just a few ingredients.
- Slow cooker chicken drumsticks are cheap.
- Our slow cooker scalloped potatoes are a great side to this.
Below you can print recipe and keep it handy, or just come back here and grab it. 😉 Nutritional information is displayed below too. Calories, saturated fat etcetera are calculated by the recipe card. I cannot guarantee accuracy but on the whole this is a healthy slow cooker recipe for sure.
Crockpot Lemon Pepper Chicken
- Season chicken breasts generously on both sides with salt and pepper
- In a skillet melt 1/4 c butter, sear pieces of chicken on both sides. Remove
- Spray inside of crockpot with non stick spray. Put chicken breasts at bottom of the pot.
- Add chicken broth or stock into skillet and scrape with a wooden spoon to remove stuck on bits. Add lemon juice to skillet.
- Pour this mixture over your chicken pieces.
- Put sliced or wedges of red onion around the chicken in pot. Top with lemon zest, minced garlic, a bit more ground pepper, and remaining butter cut into small cubes.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6 hours. I recommend low setting for this.
- Remove chicken. Keep warm on a plate.
- Pour broth from pot into a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Add parmesan cheese and whisk together. Then add heavy cream and cook until reduced by half whisking along the way.
- Serve chicken on plate with this cream sauce poured on top topped with fresh parsley if desired.