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Healthier Honey Lemon Chicken

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Skinny Honey Lemon Chicken |

Happy New Year’s, everyone!

Is your 2015 off to a good start? Make any big resolutions? Or, like me, did anyone choose a word to help define the new year? For anyone interested, my word for 2015 is “dare“. (And bonus, we’re kicking off a series of monthly dares on the blog and would love to have you join in this January as we are daring to move in the mornings. You can read about it here!)

Well, whatever your plans for the new year may be, I figure we’re all going to need some protein-packed meals to make ’em happen. So as is my tradition here on the blog, we’re kicking off this January with an entire month of healthier recipes on the blog. I have a bunch of quick and easy weeknight dinners ready to share with you, some winning game-day appetizers, a few healthy snacking options, and — yes — even some healthier desserts. So if one of your goals for the new year is to spend more time in the kitchen, let’s do it together!!

To kick off the new year, I thought I would start with a simple sweet and savory meal that’s sure to please a crowd. And since it only requires about 20 minutes of prep and cook time, I’d say it’s sure to please the cook as well. It’s sauteed, not fried. It’s naturally sweetened with honey. And it is crazy good.

I’m calling it Skinny Honey Lemon Chicken.

Skinny Honey Lemon Chicken |

Actually, this recipe is a follow up to the wildly-popular Skinny Orange Chicken that I posted last New Year’s Day on the blog.

It’s basically a quick chicken stir fry that is tossed in a naturally-sweetened honey lemon sauce. I kept it simple with just chicken, and served it over protein-rice quinoa instead of rice. But this recipe is meant to be more of a “base” recipe, and is perfect for adding in your favorite vegetables, or some cashews, or substituting in any other proteins that might sound good.

Skinny Honey Lemon Chicken |

To make it, begin by marinating some chicken with some soy sauce and rice vinegar. (If you are making this gluten-free, be sure to use GF soy sauce.)  Then saute it up, while whisking together the ingredients for your sauce. Transfer the chicken to a separate plate, and then cook the sauce until it’s nice and thick. And then toss it all together.

Skinny Honey Lemon Chicken |

And then you can serve it however you’d like! I was craving traditional rice, so opted instead for some protein-rich quinoa. But you could serve it over vegetables, noodles, in a salad, or whatever sounds great.

Skinny Honey Lemon Chicken |

Feel free to also adjust the sauce to your desired level of sweet-and-sour-ness. Everyone has different preferences with lemon and sweeteners, so once you have made the actual sauce, feel free to add in extra lemon juice or honey to taste.

Skinny Honey Lemon Chicken |

All in all, it’s a quick, flavorful, easy, and healthier base recipe that I love tinkering around with. So play with it and make it your own, and hopefully can serve as some delicious fuel for the new year.

Cheers to 2015!

Skinny Honey Lemon Chicken |

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Honey Lemon Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 13 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This Honey Lemon Chicken recipe is quick and easy to make, made naturally lighter and gluten-free, and it’s absolutely delicious!



Honey Lemon Chicken Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless (raw) chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (if making this gluten-free, be sure to use GF soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Honey Lemon Sauce (see below)
  • optional toppings: toasted sesame seeds, thinly-sliced green onions, extra lemon zest, lemon slices

Honey Lemon Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey (or more/less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • (optional: sriracha, for heat)


  1. Combine the chicken, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to a large ziplock bag, and toss until the chicken is evenly coated.  Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
  2. When you are ready to cook the chicken, drain and transfer it to a separate plate.  Season the chicken on both sides with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper.  And in a separate bowl, whisk the honey lemon sauce ingredients together until combined.
  3. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and saute for 5-7 minutes or until it is cooked through and no longer pink inside, stirring and turning the chicken occasionally for even cooking.  Transfer the chicken to a separate (clean) plate with a slotted spoon.
  4. Pour the (whisked) honey lemon sauce into the empty saute pan.  Cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce reaches a low boil and thickens.  Add in some sriracha if you would like for extra heat, to taste.  (Feel free to also season with extra salt and pepper, or extra honey or lemon.)
  5. Add the chicken back into the pan and toss until it is evenly coated with the sauce.  Remove from heat and serve the chicken immediately, topped with optional toppings if desired.


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174 comments on “Healthier Honey Lemon Chicken”

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  1. This is takeout fakeout at it’s finest! And it’s skinny and super quick and easy?
    I am calling this a major winner winner chicken dinner. Happy New Years and pinned! :)

  2. I’m with Taylor! This looks like a major winner. Can’t wait to try it! Pinning!

  3. These are some of my favorite flavors! I love how quick and easy this is.  

  4. Dare is an amazing word to define the new year to come. We decided to make monthly goals and challenges this year, instead of trying to predict what we want out of the next 12 months.  So far day one is going pretty good… especially now that I’ve found this skinny honey lemon chicken! My boyfriend is a huuuuge honey lover, and I’m all for anything lemon, so this one is a must! 

  5. I actually just posted my 2015 “food resolutions” today (! I love taking on projects in the kitchen, so I’m hoping to push myself a little this year. And this dish looks incredible, Ali! I pinned it, and I’ve got a feeling it will be gracing our dinner table in the very near future!

  6. I love this idea! I’m in need of a month full of healthy cooking, thats for sure! Especially healthy desserts, can’t seem to get away from those! Love your blog, such an inspiration for me all the wonderful things you do with yours.  Can’t wait to try this out this weekend!

  7. This looks super delicious!  Can’t wait to try it out.

  8. I’m so excited to try this recipe. So inspirational!

    Happy new year!

  9. This recipe sounds spectacular.  I love the flavor of lemon and although I recently saved a recipe for honey orange chicken, I am far more likely to try this one.  Thanks for a great start to the new year (from this recipe to your dare challenge, to your move in the morning challenge).

  10. HA! My new years resolution is to clean my house. So right now I’m in the midst of cleaning out my pantry and cabinets. I had to take a break to do some blogging, though. ;) My other goal, or whatever you want to call it, is to not be so shy when I get around large groups of people I don’t know. 

    This recipe is a must try. I’ve been craving takeout for a few days now. I think I found my fix! Happy New Year, Ali!

  11. This is my kind of dinner and I have everything to make it!  Happy New Year!

  12. Making this RIGHT NOW. Chicken marinading…

  13. I love that your new dare is to move in the mornings! I went to yoga this morning and always reminds me how much energy I have throughout the day when I start with exercise. AND I so want this chicken for din!

  14. Oh my word, this is happening at our house very soon!!!

  15. This looks wonderful and way better than a take out!

  16. Just made this like 30 minutes ago. It was good, but definitely not my kind of thing. In my opinion it is just too sweet, even though I followed the recipe. Maybe adding something spicy like chili would help this dish.

  17. This looks super delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  18. Just had Ginger Honey Chicken at PF Changs, and this reminds me of it! Looking forward to trying this recipe for work lunches. Bagged lunch can be so blah at the start of the New Year, with trying to be extra-healthy, but this will kick it up a notch! Thanks!

  19. This looks delicious!!!

  20. This recipe looks delicious. It is a tasty dish to share with my friends. The steps are clear and helpful. Thanks!

  21. This dish looks so light and sunny. Not only delicious and healthy but it reminds me of warmer temperatures. 

  22. This was so easy and delicious! Thanks for the recipe! Happy New Year!

  23. This looks so fabulous!! And I LOVE that it’s skinny too – I definitely need to lighten up my dinners after all the Christmas indulgence! 

  24. This looks AMAZING! Cannot wait to try it next week. 
    Question for you… I am allergic to rice, wondering what you would think would be a good substitute for the rice vinegar. Thanks so much!

  25. I love pretty much all of your recipes!  However, it would be really helpful to know the calorie count and nutritional value of each recipe. What determines a ‘skinny’ recipe?  Thanks for reading this. 

  26. I want this in a bad way! You had me at lemon! <3

  27. Gosh such a beautiful looking dish!!

  28. Delicious—made this last night and my husband and I LOVED it! I added steamed broccoli and served the broc/chicken on top of brown rice noodles. Wonderful, Ali!! Thank you!

  29. Just made this for dinner tonight! I added some steamed snap peas and brown rice. I liked how it turned out, except that the sauce was just a bit too thick for us. I might add less corn starch and also less honey next time, and just drizzle it over the chicken. Overall tasty with good flavor though, and very easy to make! Thanks for sharing! 

  30. this looks really good, will have to try this skinny version out ;)

  31. This was super easy and very good! We didn’t have siracha on hand, but I put in 1t chili garlic sauce and it really was a nice addition and helped balance the sweetness. I will be making this again! Thanks! 

  32. Tried this recipe for dinner today and it was delicious! Quick and easy to make, especially if you’re in a rush! I added a little bit of red chilli to the recipe for an added kick. :) And it’s great that the whole recipe is dairy-free and gluten-free (if you use Tamari soy-sauce). Thanks for posting!

  33. I made this last night, added two cloves of garlic, topped with green onions and sesame seeds and served it on top of a bed of fried cauliflower rice….it was unreal good!! For sure making this again! 

  34. I’m going to make this tonight. Does the marinade get mixed with the lemon sauce?

  35. just made this and it was EXCELLENT!  Definitely add the Siracha and/or some red pepper flakes if you like heat.  Thanks for a great recipe

  36. I just made this and it was absolutely amazing!!!!! It looked and tasted like a professional chef made it. Everyone loved it. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!!

  37. Wow! How does one come up with these skinny recipes?! Love it, thank you so so much! You are making my goal of loosing weight easier <3

  38. What do y’all recommend I serve this over? Brown rice or Quinoa?!

  39. I love the “skinniness” of this recipe! Great for summer dieting!

  40. The pictures here look soooo good! I will definitely have to give this a shot next time we’re making chicken – looks like it’s pretty easy to prepare, too!

  41. Do you think you could make this skinny orange chicken if you swap out the lemon for orange? 

  42. Your food pictures look amazing! Making me hungry =)

  43. It goes really good with brown rice 

  44. I made this tonight and it was delicious, but I really want to know the nutritional info!

    • Hi Laura, I’m glad you liked the recipe! Unfortunately though, we’re actually not publishing nutrition facts on the site at this time. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. I hope that helps!

  45. Pinned this at the beginning of the week and just made it. Threw it on top of rice with a dime of Sriracha. It was delicious. I plan to throw it on a cucumber spinach and tomato salad. Very light tasting even though the sauce is nice and thick.

    • That’s awesome, Jordan! So glad you liked it, and your idea of eating it overtop that salad sounds so good! : )

  46. Oh wow – this looks insanely delicious! Think I’d pick this over take out any-day!

  47. This looks DIVINE! Can’t wait to try it… thanks for sharing!

  48. Do you have nutritional info for this recipe? Calorie count? 

    • Hi, Octavia. Unfortunately, we don’t. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  49. This looks amazing. My mouth is watering as i write this.
      I’ve never tried quinoa , I eat a lot of rice and pasta and get taste fatigue so this could be the perfect addition.
      I can’t believe it’s 20 minutes in total. That’s fantastic.It will probably take me an hour tho.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • We hope you enjoy this, and that you like the quinoa — we’re hooked! Especially since it’s so healthy!

  50. I made this last week and it was tasty and simple to make and I had all the ingredients on hand. I served with “fried rice/quinoa” that my picky 16 year old had two helpings of. My 18 year old was asking if I was making it again before he even finished it. This was a winner.