Crispy breaded chicken cutlets drenched in a citrusy glaze with a spicy kick of chilis and peppercorns for an amazing baked wet lemon pepper chicken dinner.
These easy, crispy, baked wet lemon pepper chicken cutlets are the best way to elevate your chicken dinner on busy weeknights. In just a few simple steps, you'll have golden brown, crispy oven-baked cutlets that are an absolute delight for the entire family.
The secret to their delicious flavor lies in the zesty lemon pepper sauce, which infuses every bite with a burst of tangy goodness. It's the tastiest lemon sauce that takes this dish to a whole new level, making it a go-to choice for a quick, satisfying meal that everyone will love.
Serve this dish with my Easy Oven Baked Pecorino Basil Pesto Corn on the Cob recipe.
Lemon pepper chicken, a beloved dish known for its zesty flavors, may surprise you with its origin—it actually hails from the vibrant city of Miami, Florida. This fusion of citrusy brightness and bold spices has become an iconic part of Miami's diverse culinary scene, adding a tropical twist to this delectable classic.
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Slice the chicken breasts horizontally in half, pound them out on a cutting board, and pat dry with paper towels. Next, set up a breading station with three shallow containers of all-purpose flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs.
Season the flour with Italian herb seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika powder, and salt. Then, season the breadcrumbs with the grated Italian cheese blend.
Dredge the chicken cutlets into the flour, dip them into the eggs, and coat them with the breadcrumbs. Place it on a baking sheet pan with a wire rack and bake in the oven.
Before the chicken is done, make the sauce. In a saute pan, cook the garlic with olive oil until it is aromatic and tender. Then add the low-sodium chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, cracked black pepper, red pepper chili flake, and salt. Reduce the sauce until it becomes thick. Finally, coat the chicken in the sauce.
See the lemon pepper chicken recipe card for quantities.
In this tutorial, step-by-step photos guide you through creating succulent and flavorful baked lemon pepper chicken cutlets. From achieving a crispy golden crust to smothering it with a delicious sauce, these photos will help you master this delightful recipe with ease.
Lay the paper towel-dried chicken cutlet flat onto a cutting.
Cover with a film of plastic wrap and pound out the chicken with a meat mallet to an even thickness.
Set up your breading station. Note: the egg tray SHOULD be in the middle.
First dredge the chicken in the flour remove any excess flour.
Then, place in the beaten eggs and cover completely; this will help with the bread crumbs adhering to the chicken.
Finally, press the chicken in the bread crumbs gently to coat well on both sides.
The result should look like this. Completely coated with no bare spots.
Then, place it on a sheet pan with a wire rack.
The wire rack will help to ensure the chicken cutlets cook efficiently and evenly.
Start the lemon pepper sauce by cooking the garlic and chili pepper in olive oil.
Then, add the chicken broth.
Add the olive oil.
Reduce the sauce until you see small bubbles.
Place the cutlets into the sauce briefly, one by one, to coat well.
Suggested Sides Ideas
- Olive Oil and Grated Italian Cheese Blend Tossed Pasta
- Garlic Sauteed Vegetables
- Green Beans
- Zucchini and Yellow Squash
- Easy Oven Baked Pecorino Basil Pesto Corn on the Cob
- Gluten-Free Option - Substitute the all-purpose flour with sorghum flour (try Bob's Mill Sorghum Flour) at the same amount and use gluten-free panko (try Kikkoman's Gluten-Free Panko Style Coating).
- Dairy-Free Option - Leave out the grated Italian Cheese Blend or replace it with Nutritional Yeast. Try Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning.
Change Heat Level - Modify the recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Air Fryer - Try making this recipe in your air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 minutes. Place it in the air fryer basket or the roasting pan if you have one, like my Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Electric Grill.
- Wet Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings - Replace the chicken breast with whole chicken wings.
- Wet Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs - Take it further and use bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs. Why? When baked, the fat will melt into the panko, creating an irresistibly crunchy, juicy chicken.
- Wet Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders - Even better! Replace the chicken cutlets with chicken tenders—no need for pounding. Look for "chicken tenderloins" in the poultry section of your local grocery store.
- Meat Mallet - Use it to pound the chicken out to make cutlets. If you don't have one, you might get away with using a small pot or rolling pin. Try the highly rated and popular KitchenAid Gourmet Meat Tenderizer.
- Meat Thermometer - It is always good to check the internal temperature. I use the popular ThermoPro Digital Meat Thermometer. It's just a simple design that does the job.
- Three Shallow Containers - To make your breading station that will have flour, beaten eggs, and panko breadcrumbs. Try the trusted Navaris Breading Trays that come in a set of three.
- Half-Sheet Pan with a Wire Rack - To bake your chicken on. The wire rack helps with air circulation for even cooking. However, if you do not have a wire rack, don't worry. Just place it directly on the baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Try the highly rated and popular USA Pan's Half Sheet Baking Pan with Nonstick Rack.
- Medium Saute Pan - To make the lemon pepper glaze sauce. I used the All-Clad HA-1 Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan to develop this recipe. Great on induction, and is oven broiler-safe at 500 degrees Fahrenheit!
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, you can place the lemon pepper chicken in a shallow 2-inch container to cool down quickly. Then, store it in an airtight container. As a result, the meal will last up to 3-4 days. I suggest keeping the cutlets separate from the sauce; it will last longer and be easier to heat up.
- Freezer - Follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. If you plan to freeze them for future use, do not coat them in the lemon pepper glaze. Freeze them separately. Then, place it in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
- Beautiful Presentation - Add thin lemon slices to the sauce, creating a great garnish.
- Easy Cleanup - Line the baking tray with aluminum foil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pound the cutlets Evenly. Before baking, make sure your chicken cutlets have an even thickness. This ensures they cook uniformly, preventing some parts from drying out while others remain undercooked.
Brine the chicken. Brining involves soaking the chicken in a saltwater solution for a few hours before cooking. This helps the chicken retain moisture and stay juicy during baking.
Use an instant-read thermometer: Invest in an instant-read thermometer and cook your chicken until it reaches the recommended internal temperature. For chicken cutlets, this is typically around 165°F (74°C). Avoid overcooking, which can lead to dryness.
Brush with Oil or Butter. Brush the chicken cutlets with a little olive oil or melted butter before baking. This helps lock in moisture and adds flavor. Then, cover with foil. You can cover the chicken with aluminum foil for part of the cooking time. This traps steam and moisture, preventing the cutlets from drying out.
Looking for other chicken recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other easy recipes like this? Try these:
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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