Lemon Chicken Breasts with Cucumber Feta Salad

Say goodbye to dull, dry chicken breasts. This recipe makes chicken that’s unbelievably tender, juicy and flavorful. The salad is delicious, too. It’s effortless to make with cucumber, tomato, feta cheese and an easy lemon dill dressing. You can even make it ahead of time. Jump to the Lemon Chicken Breasts Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Lemon Chicken Breasts with Cucumber Feta Salad

More chicken breast recipes: Try our Oven Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken Breasts or this Easy Pan Roasted Chicken Breast Recipe.

Four Steps for Perfectly Cooked Chicken Breasts

Chicken breasts are a staple in most kitchens, including ours. Read below for our tips for making sure they are juicy and flavorful.

Lemon Chicken Breasts


Even the simplest marinade can make a huge difference — marinated chicken becomes moist, juicy and flavorful. Just 20 minutes in a marinade will make a difference. You could leave it for longer, but there is no need to go past 2 hours for chicken breasts (a whole chicken can marinate overnight). A resealable plastic bag or small rimmed dish makes marinating easy, too.

For this recipe, we went with a simple marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, fresh dill, salt, and pepper. The lemon and dill work nicely with the light cucumber feta salad, but you could switch lemon for lime or dill for other herbs if you wanted. This lemon and garlic chicken marinade is also one of our favorites.

Sear Until Golden

After 20 to 30 minutes of marinating, remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry — this helps with getting that golden sear when we cook. Whenever you sear meat, especially chicken, it’s critical that you pat everything dry. If the chicken were still wet from the marinade, the chicken breasts would steam, not sear.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add some olive oil (or other fat like vegetable oil, coconut oil or a combination of butter and oil). As soon as the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and cook 2 to 3 minutes until golden.

How to Cook Chicken Breasts

Cover, Turn Heat to Low

Once golden on one side, flip the chicken and turn down the heat to low. Then cover and walk away — you want to let it cook 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, there is no need to open the lid or flip the chicken. The chicken breasts become moist, juicy, and plump. While the chicken cooks, you can make the cucumber feta salad. We use this method when making these chicken breasts and these juicy pork chops!

Let It Rest

Last step — Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. As the chicken rests, the juices redistribute. This way, when you cut into the chicken, all the juices stay in the meat instead of running out on the plate or cutting board.

Cucumber, Tomato, and Feta Salad

Once the chicken has rested, slice it up and serve with the salad. Don’t forget to spoon extra dressing from the bottom of the salad bowl on top — that’s gold!

Recipe updated, originally posted June 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Lemon Chicken Breasts with Cucumber Feta Salad

  • PREP
  • COOK

Chicken breasts are a staple in most kitchens, including ours. To make sure that they are juicy and flavorful, we marinate the chicken in a simple marinade for about 20 minutes, although you could go longer. Then we sear it in a pan until browned, flip and cover the pan until the chicken is plump, juicy, and cooked through.

Makes 2 servings

You Will Need

Lemon Chicken Breasts

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; 6 to 8 ounces each

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or other fresh herbs

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cucumber Feta Salad

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pure honey, depending on how sour lemon is

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or other fresh herbs

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Half of a hothouse or seedless cucumber, chopped

2 ounces feta cheese, cubed

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • Cook Chicken
  • Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Use the back of a small spoon to press garlic and dill into other ingredients, releasing more flavor from the dill and garlic. Add marinade to a resealable plastic bag or small rimmed dish then add chicken breasts. Marinate 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

    Brush extra garlic from chicken and pat dry. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium frying pan (with lid) over medium-high heat. As soon as the oil is hot and looks shimmery, add the chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Flip, reduce heat to low then cover with lid. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.

    Transfer chicken to a plate then cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, slice, and then serve with salad.

    • Make Cucumber Salad
    • Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, honey, and dill in a medium bowl then add tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese. Toss gently, season to taste then refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to a day.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 421 / Protein 32 g / Carbohydrate 15 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 9 g / Total Fat 27 g / Saturated Fat 7 g / Cholesterol 109 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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27 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Lorraine Walters March 17, 2015, 8:39 am

    i am looking forward to making this tonight..I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • rob July 14, 2014, 6:37 pm

    this was amazing it is going to be rotated into being one of our weekly dinners

  • Viveka June 26, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Hi, there have done this recipe a couple of times and I love it – easy and very tasty. Brilliant recipe – only thing I have changed it that after quickly given the breast a great golden grill finish I finish it off in the oven, because I think the breast stay more moist that way. 15 min on 180C under cover.

    Had to this evening again – with +27C on my balcony 7pm – this dish was perfect again.

  • Tricia May 21, 2014, 7:05 pm

    Looks good…always looking for new recipes.

  • Nancy March 15, 2014, 7:28 pm

    looking forward to making this next week – any sweepstakes coming up soon?

    • Joanne March 17, 2014, 2:58 pm

      Great Nancy. Yes, we do have a few. You should see them in the next week or so.

  • Liya November 13, 2013, 11:58 pm

    This was amazing! I drizzled a little bit of balsamic vinegar in the salad which turned out great!

  • Marti34639 October 25, 2013, 8:58 pm

    This recipe definitely improves with age. I had the leftover a day or two later and it was better than the first day. Great for single people who have to eat leftovers.

  • Jen August 21, 2013, 8:46 pm

    Made this tonight and it was really light and delicious! Served with some grilled whole wheat pita brushed with olive oil. Will definitely make again!

    • Joanne August 23, 2013, 10:50 am

      Wonderful. Love your idea of grilled pita bread as a side.

  • Ryan August 15, 2013, 9:07 am

    This looks delicious and light yet satisfying! We might have to try this one.

  • Joanna June 30, 2013, 9:09 pm

    This was excellent. I made this using a locally made sheep’s milk feta for the salad. As I made this for dinner one night during the recent heatwave I cooked the chicken on the grill outside. It came out wonderful and my family really enjoyed it. We will certianly be making this again during the summer.

  • Linda June 26, 2013, 12:14 am

    What can be used instead of fresh dill? I live in a small town and can’t find it anywhere.

    • Joanne June 26, 2013, 5:16 pm

      Basil, parsley or even cilantro work well.

  • Ryan T June 7, 2013, 3:21 pm

    I made this and it was great! I’m on a diet so I substituted the Feta with Tofu so I can only imagine how good the salad is with Feta. I purposely enough for left overs and cut up the chicken and threw it in with the salad and it made for a great lunch the next day.

  • andrew June 5, 2013, 10:50 pm

    this was good.

  • Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste June 5, 2013, 12:54 pm

    This looks so refreshing and like the perfect summer meal! Thanks for sharing!

  • Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare June 3, 2013, 1:21 pm

    This recipe looks awesome! So light and fresh for the summer. I especially like that the recipe calls for fresh dill!


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