Dinner Occasions

Zesty Lemon Chicken and Rice Bake

A Flavorful One-Pan Meal for Busy Weeknights

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Zesty Lemon Chicken and Rice Bake

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 10 minutesCook time: 50 minutesRest time: minutesTotal time:1 hour Servings:4 servingsCalories:652 kcal Best Season:Suitable throughout the year


This Zesty Lemon Chicken and Rice Bake combines tender chicken breasts with aromatic rice, fresh lemon juice, and a medley of seasonings. It’s a simple yet delicious dish that’s perfect for any night of the week.



  1. Gather all the necessary ingredients.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Season both sides of the chicken thighs evenly with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs in the skillet, skin-side down, and cook until they are golden brown on both sides, approximately 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and set them aside. Do not clean the skillet.
  4. Add the garlic to the skillet drippings and cook, stirring constantly, until it becomes fragrant, about 10 to 20 seconds. Add the rice, cream of chicken soup, lemon juice, lemon zest, tarragon, and crushed red pepper. Whisk everything together until well combined. Gradually pour in the broth while whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on top of the rice mixture. Place lemon slices over the chicken thighs. Cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil or a lid, and transfer it to the preheated oven.
  6. Bake until the rice is fully cooked and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165°F (73°C), which should take about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven. Stir the rice mixture, and sprinkle with parsley. Divide the chicken, lemon slices, and rice evenly among four plates. Garnish with additional tarragon and crushed red pepper if desired.


  • – You can substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts if you prefer.
    – For a creamier texture, consider adding a half cup of cream to the rice mixture.
    – Adjust the seasoning to your taste; more lemon zest can be added for extra zing.
Keywords:Lemon chicken, rice casserole, one-pan meal, easy dinner

Can I use brown rice instead of white rice? 

Yes, but you may need to adjust the cooking time and liquid amount as brown rice takes longer to cook.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dish and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking.

Is this recipe freezer-friendly?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked casserole for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

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