One Pan Creamy Lemon Chicken and Asparagus is a soul warming meal you’ll want make over and over again. This baked chicken in lemon cream sauce is so flavorful and tender, and the asparagus so delicious, you’ll be hard-pressed to have any leftovers.
I used to struggle with my cookware. I didn’t really know what to get when my husband I first got married. Sure, we both had the usual hand-me-down, random, pieced-together pots and pans that every young adult inherits from friends and family members, but we went ahead and passed those right along in favor of something new. A set we could learn to cook on together. And that first set worked for a while, but as my cooking knowledge and business grew, so did my need for new cookware.
I have purchased more skillets than anyone really has a right to in this life. I often felt like Goldilocks — this one is too small, too big, too heavy, too light, and I could never find one that was just right. Until I found cast iron enamelware. Now, I want to make all the things in this dish. It is especially great for cooking one-pan meals.
So all that being said (get to the point, Tiffany…) the whole reason behind this dish (other than it’s simply delicious) is that I’m always looking for an excuse to use my favorite skillet. Now, if you don’t have one like this that doesn’t matter at all. We all have a cooking style we adhere to and we all have our own cooking needs. You can do this just fine in the biggest skillet you have. It’s okay if the chicken and asparagus seem too crammed into your skillet even — they will still cook.
And, if you don’t have a big enough skillet, don’t worry. You can use one for the chicken and one for the asparagus. If you could have seen me back in the day, using just about every pot and pan I had to make a meal. After all, my hope for you is that you learn to enjoy cooking and I hope to make it as easy as possible for you to achieve that. One pan, six pans — do whatever you need to do. It’s going to be delicious no matter how you make it.
WHAT ARE SOME SIDES THAT GO WITH CREAMY LEMON CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS?
My other favorite part of making dishes like this is deciding what I’ll use to soak up the lemony juices with. Sometimes, it’s nothing — I pour it over the chicken and make sure to run each bite through the sauce over and over again until I can see clean plate at the bottom. But other times, I use a starch or bread. Here are my go-tos:
- Over rice: Make a cup or two of rice to put under your chicken. I like long grain white rice or basmati. That rice will soak up the sauce and be oh-so-good.
- Over pasta: I like to use wide egg noodles or a “holey” noodle like penne because it holds the sauce really well with every bite.
- Crusty bread: Try a chunk of baguette, French, or sourdough bread to act as a “mop” for that creamy goodness.
- Over orzo: Okay I know orzo is technically a pasta, but I feel like it’s a pasta/rice hybrid deserving of its own category. Orzo cooks up quickly and absorbs all that yummy lemon butter sauce.
- Gnocchi: Have you ever had gnocchi? If not you are missing out. They are mild flavored little potato pillows that look and taste like pasta and go GREAT with buttery, rich sauces like this one.
WHAT VEGETABLES CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR ASPARAGUS?
Me, I like asparagus, but it’s not for everyone. If you want to make this without the asparagus, the chicken will cook just fine on its own without it. One thing to note though, if you do want to make it with a veggie, you’ll need to go with a quicker-cooking vegetable or other veggies cut small enough to cook faster so they are done with your chicken. You don’t want to be waiting on your veggies to cook, while your chicken is drying up in there.
- Bell pepper slices will cook in the same amount of time as the asparagus would.
- Zucchini and yellow squashes will also cook quickly in the oven.
- Cut whole or baby carrots, parsnips, and/or turnips will cook up nicely with the chicken.
- Shaved Brussels sprouts will cook up in a jiffy and crisp up on the edges to boot.
- Broccoli and cauliflower florets will cook just enough, so long as they are cut small and spread out evenly.
- Sliced mushrooms and green beans will cook well too and go great with simple seasonings like salt, pepper, and lemon.
One Pan Creamy Lemon Chicken and Asparagus
small-medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
Italian herb blend
asparagus, ends trimmed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub chicken all over with oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and dried herbs. Add 2 tablespoons butter to a large skillet over medium heat, once melted stir in honey. Place chicken in the pan and brown 2-3 minutes one each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add garlic to the pan and stir over medium heat 1-2 minutes until browned and fragrant. Stir in broth and cream. Stir in salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of cracked black pepper) and juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon). Thinly slice remaining half of the lemon and set aside.
Add chicken back to the pan, making sure to scoot it all to one side, and add asparagus to the other portion of the pan. Season asparagus with salt and pepper to taste and place lemon slices between the spears.
Bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and asparagus is tender. Spoon cream sauce over the chicken and asparagus and serve.
DIY Italian blend herbs: 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme + 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley + 1/4 teaspoon dried basil + 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano