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Creamy Lemon Chicken

Creamy Lemon Chicken -an easy weeknight meal the whole family will love. Pan-fried chicken breast fillets paired with a rich, dairy-free lemon sauce. The perfect springtime dinner, bursting with tangy, citrus flavor. Great for those who are paleo, dairy-free or on a Whole30 reset!

There’s something special about a hearty and satisfying meal that tastes like a dairy-heavy dish but is actually completely dairy-free. This recipe is absolutely one of those meals.

Lightly coated in light almond flour and flax seed mix, the chicken is then pan-fried to a light crisp and topped with a rich, totally dairy-free lemon cashew cream sauce.

The sauce alone is about as good as it gets. Not to mention, creamy lemon chicken is low carb, paleo, and Whole30 compliant. It’s definitely one you’ll want to add to your weekly rotation.

💗 Why You’ll Love Creamy Lemon Chicken

Tired of the same chicken recipes week after week? This one is the perfect way to brighten up boring chicken breast.

It’s made with basic, whole-food ingredients that fit a dairy-free, paleo, and Whole30 lifestyle.

It’s a quick one! Once the cashews are soaked, crispy chicken and a luscious lemony sauce in 30 minutes or less making it a great option for a weeknight meal.

You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenderloins in place of the chicken breast which allows you to customize it.

The vegan and dairy-free creamy lemon sauce goes great with so many other recipes or can be used on its own with pasta, steamed veggies, zoodles, rice, or even thinned out as a dressing for a big green salad.

🥣 Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken Breasts Chicken breasts filet into cutlets are great for pan-frying. Chicken breasts can be purchased already cut into tenders or you can cut the chicken breasts into thin strips.
  • Almond Flour – Lightly coats the chicken, creating a light, crispy crunch without adding any gluten or wheat.
  • Ground Flax Seed – Gives the chicken a light nutty flavor and adds a slight crunch.
  • Ghee or Avocado OilIs used to fry the lightly “breaded” chicken breast in a skillet.
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper – Enhances the flavors and balances the sweet, tangy, and savory flavors.

🍋 For the creamy lemon cashew sauce:

  • Cashews, raw unsalted – when soaked and pulverized, are an incredible Vegan dupe for dairy-based, creamy sauces.
  • Lemon Zest – adds bright, tangy flavor to the sauce.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – because how else would we make the sauce lemony?
  • Chicken Bone Broth or Water – thins the cashew cream. Broth boosts the flavor.
  • Italian Seasoningadds a great variety of herbs and spices to recipes in one step.
  • Garlic Powderbecause garlic makes everything better.
  • Salt & Pepper – helps balance out the acidity from the lemon juice, creating a delicious well-rounded sauce.
lemon chicken ingredients

🍗How To Make Dairy Free Lemon Chicken 🍋

1️⃣ Soak 1 cup of raw unsalted cashews in water. Make sure they are completely submerged and soak for 2 hours or until soft.

2️⃣ Drain and rinse the cashews and add them to a high-speed blender along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, bone broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pulse at first then blend into a creamy smooth consistency.

3️⃣ Filet chicken breast into two pieces of even thickness or purchase already thinly sliced chicken breast.

4️⃣ Add almond flour, milled flaxseed, salt, and pepper into a bowl and whisk until combined.

5️⃣ Heat up ghee in a skillet over medium-high heat.

6️⃣ Coat the chicken breast pieces evenly in the almond flour mixture. No egg is needed for dredging.

7️⃣ Fry in the skillet for 5-8 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through reaching an internal temperature of 165F. Make sure the chicken stays on the skillet long enough on each side to brown and create a crust.

8️⃣ Plate cooked chicken breast and drizzle with creamy lemon sauce. Serve hot.

What To Serve with Creamy Lemon Chicken

I love the simplicity of this healthy chicken dinner recipe because it goes so well with so many side dishes. Served with a starchy side and a veggie, it becomes a delicious and nutritious entree.

👩🏻‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

It is very important that the cashews are RAW. They are a little trickier to find in stores, but if you use roasted cashews, it won’t end well.

It’s okay to use water in the sauce, but using bone broth or stock makes it more flavorful and nutrient-dense.

The sauce thickens a bit once cooled. To achieve a thinner consistency, add more broth (or water) until the sauce loosens up to your liking.

The skillet needs to be hot to get that light crisp on the chicken, but not so hot that it burns. The ghee (or oil) should be hot enough to sizzle but not hot enough to smoke.

Using a meat thermometer guarantees perfectly cooked chicken.

To save yourself the extra step, buy pre-cut chicken breasts or kindly ask your grocer’s meat department to do it for you.

Air Fryer Chicken Breast

The chicken for this recipe can also be prepared in an air fryer or your Ninja Foodi cooker on the air fryer setting. Follow the breading instructions then follow these easy steps:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375F
  2. Spray each side of the coated chicken lightly with avocado oil.
  3. Air fry at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes flipping halfway.
  4. Cook or until lightly browned, crisp, and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165F.
  5. Top with creamy lemon sauce and your favorite side dishes.

Storing & Freezing

Storing Cashew Cream Sauce: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 months.

Storing Cooked Chicken Breast: Store cooked chicken breast in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and up to 6 months in the freezer. Be sure to store the sauce and the chicken separately. Otherwise, the coating on the chicken will get soggy.

Freezing: While cooked and cooled chicken breast can be frozen for up to 3 months, freezing cashew sauce is not recommended.

What does vegan cashew sauce taste like?

Soaking cashews before blending them creates a smooth textured sauce with a subtle nutty and sweet flavor. It’s a great replacement for dairy in creamy foods because the consistency is so velvety and liquid cheese-like.

Why should you soak raw cashews?

Soaking cashews will soften them to the point where they make a creamy sauce that is similar to the texture of a thick alfredo. This makes an excellent base for vegan and dairy-free sauces in many recipes.

How long should you soak cashews?

Soak for up to two hours in cold water, but you can speed things up by soaking in boiling water for 15 minutes or covering with water and microwaving for 2 minutes.

Can I use roasted cashews?

No. Roasted cashews change the structure of the cashew which does not allow them to break down and become smooth when soaked then blended together.

sliced creamy lemon chicken

More Healthy Chicken Dinner Recipes

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Creamy Lemon Chicken

Creamy Lemon Chicken -an easy weeknight meal the whole family will love. Pan-fried chicken breast fillets paired with a rich, dairy-free lemon sauce. The perfect springtime dinner, bursting with tangy, citrus flavor. Great for those who are paleo, dairy free or on a Whole30 reset!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Soaking Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 192kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb Chicken Breast filet
  • ⅓ cup Almond Flour
  • 2 tbsp Flax Seed ground
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder

For The Creamy Lemon Sauce

  • 1 cup Raw Unsalted Cashews
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice
  • ½ cup Bone Broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Soak 1 cup of raw unsalted cashews in water. Make sure they are completely submerged and soak for 2 hours or until soft.
  • Drain and rinse the cashews and add them to a high speed blender along with lemon zest, lemon juice, bone broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pulse at first then blend into a creamy smooth consistency.
  • Filet chicken breast into two pieces of even thickness or purchase already thin sliced chicken breast.
  • Add almond flour, milled flax seed, salt and pepper into a bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Heat up ghee in a skillet over medium high heat.
  • Coat the chicken breast pieces evenly in the almond flour mixture. No egg is needed for dredging.
  • Fry in the skillet for 5-8 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through reaching an internal temperature of 165F. Make sure the chicken stays on the skillet long enough on each side to brown and create a crust.
  • Plate cooked chicken breast and drizzle with creamy lemon sauce. Serve hot.

Notes

Air Fryer Chicken Breast

The chicken for this recipe can also be prepared in an air fryer or your Ninja Foodi cooker on the air fryer setting. Follow the breading instructions then follow these easy steps:
  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375F
  2. Spray each side of the coated chicken lightly with avocado oil.
  3. Air fry at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes flipping halfway.
  4. Cook or until lightly browned, crisp, and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165F.
  5. Top with creamy lemon sauce and your favorite side dishes.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 722mg | Potassium: 478mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg

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