Quick and easy Chicken in White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce is a restaurant-quality meal you can have on your table in 20 minutes.
After I posted my Chicken Francaise recipe, I got a little addicted to the buttery, lemony chicken pasta, but I wanted a quicker, easier version for weeknights. So this Chicken in White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce was born.
This recipe takes next to zero prep time, cooks from start to finish in just 20 minutes, and is a perfect midweek meal when you’re craving some comfort food but don’t feel like putting a ton of effort into cooking.
Chicken in White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce Ingredients
- Small chicken breasts: I call for small, 6-to-8-ounce chicken breasts for this recipe so that you can fit them all in your pan at once and so that they cook quickly while your pan sauce simmers. If you want to use larger chicken breasts here, use just two and cut them in half horizontally (place one hand on top of each chicken breast and slice the top and bottom into two even pieces).
- Butter and garlic: Garlic browned in butter until golden gives the sauce a delicious buttery, garlic-y flavor base.
- Low-sodium chicken broth: Regular chicken broth will work okay, but if you have it, go with low-sodium since the chicken broth will be reduced down in the pan sauce and full-sodium broth can make things a little too salty. Feel free to use Homemade Chicken Stock if you have it.
- Dry white wine: Use your favorite dry white wine (or whatever you have on hand) here. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are great options.
- Fresh lemon juice: I call for 2 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in the recipe (the juice from about 1 to 1 1/2 lemons). 4 tablespoons gives you a very intense lemon flavor and 2 a more mild brightness. If making for kids, I’d go with 2 tablespoons the first time and see how it goes.
- Pasta: Egg noodles are my preferred pasta for this dish, but almost any pasta shape will work. Fettuccine and farfalle would be particularly good alternative options.
How to Make Chicken in White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce (Tips and Tricks)
- Brown the chicken well. Browning the chicken in a little oil at the start of the recipe adds a ton of flavor to the chicken breasts and creates a delicious fond in the pan that will help flavor the pan sauce.
- Cool the pan slightly before cooking the butter and garlic. Once your chicken is browned, transfer it to a plate and give the pan just a minute to cool down before you add the butter and garlic. If your pan is too hot, the butter and garlic can burn. After the pan is cooled, you can melt the butter and toast the garlic until it is golden and smells delicious.
- Immediately add liquid ingredients once the garlic is golden. Garlic can go from golden to burned quite quickly. Have your liquid ingredients ready to add to the pan as soon as the garlic is ready to go.
- Return chicken to the pan and simmer until chicken is cooked through and pan sauce reduced. Then give the chicken a quick rest before slicing and serving over pasta with pan sauce drizzled over the top.
To make White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce on its own to serve over fish, seafood, or rotisserie chicken: Just skip browning the chicken and follow the rest of the recipe as written. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by about half and then spoon over whatever you desire.
For Creamy Lemon Butter Sauce: Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of whipping cream to the sauce after you’ve removed the cooked chicken breasts for slicing. If needed, gently heat the sauce over medium heat until re-warmed. Be sure to adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
Make it a Meal
Serve the Chicken in White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce with a loaf of crusty bread or rolls and simple sides like Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Zucchini or Roasted Green Beans. Maybe make a Small Batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert. 😉
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Chicken in White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce
- 8 ounces egg noodles or pasta of choice
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts *
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking spray or olive oil
- 1/4 cup (57g) butter salted or unsalted is fine
- 2 large garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup dry white wine *
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice *
- Minced parsley optional for garnish
- Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Chicken and Pan Sauce
- While your pasta water boils, generously salt and pepper both sides of your chicken breasts.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and lightly grease with cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil.
- Add chicken breasts to the pan and cook until the first side is well-browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and repeat with the second side. Remove skillet from heat and transfer chicken to a plate.
- Give the skillet a minute to cool down slightly and then return it to the burner and heat over medium heat. Add butter and once butter has melted, add garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden and aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Be careful not to allow the garlic to burn.
- Immediately stir in chicken broth, white wine, and lemon juice and bring to a low simmer. Return chicken breasts to the pan and simmer, flipping once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chicken breasts reads 165°F, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer chicken breasts to a cutting board and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into strips.
- Add salt and pepper to the pan sauce to taste. Serve sliced chicken breasts over cooked pasta and spoon pan sauce over the top.
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired and enjoy!
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I love easy skillet meals. It makes the whole weekday dinner process so easy 🙂 Great photography and superb recipe Tracy 🙂
I wonder how the sauce would taste over vegetables alone? I’ve desperate to find a way of incorporating more veggies and this seems like it would be a somewhat healthy something to spoon over them. Anyone else tried it? Tracy, can you recommend one of your sauce recipes that might work as well?
I reeeeeeaaaally love this sauce with steamed broccoli. I imagine it would also be good with green beans or zucchini. I don’t have a ton of veggie sauces on the site since I’m a big fan of plain roasted veggies, but this cheese sauce (https://bakingmischief.com/easy-cheese-sauce/) is always really popular if you don’t mind a cheesy option.
I was thinking it might also be good on cauliflower and asparagus. I’m sure it would be good on baked cod! Thanks! I’m going to give it a whirl!!
Amanda F Flynn says
I enjoyed your quick aioli sauce over roasted green beans , made from garlic , mayonnaise, and lemon. My son who was 11 at time, ate the roasted green beans when doused in it (he never liked them before, so I’m sure it was the sauce)!
I use spinach sautéed in garlic, butter, and olive oil. On tops of these chicken breasts. After cooking chicken as instructed in this recipe, I put them into a glass baking pan. I add the spinach on top of the chicken breasts. Then I pour the liquid from the sauce over the spinach in chicken in pan. Then I top with shredded and fresh mozzarella and bake until melted. My daughter and my mother both LOVE this sauce on spinach.
That sounds delish, Rob!!
This was a hit! My picky son and husband loved it and went for more. Told me OMG this is fantastic and thank you for making it! I just had to add a little corn starch to thicken it but flavor is WOW! Thank you
So glad the family enjoyed it, Salli!!
Family loved this. WIll def make again. I also used a tiny bit of corn starch to thicken (about a tsp). I would use closer to the 2 tbs of lemon and add more if needed. It was plenty of lemon for our taste.
Jeanne P says
So delicious, quick and easy! As substitutes to the ingredient list, I used vegetable broth & rose’ wine because that is what I had on hand. I also used 4 garlic cloves, pressed, and the juice of 1 & 1/2 lemons. I served with king crab mac & cheese and sautéed asparagus. Scrumptuous! I saw some other variations that others have done & will definitely try.
That sounds sooooo good! So happy you enjoyed it!
❤❤❤ thank you for a great recipe!