Sorry to break your heart, but a plate of takeout lemon chicken contains 1,400 calories, two thirds of a day's fat and no vegetables. Traditional lemon chicken is breaded, deep-fried, and covered in a sugary sauce. This healthy lemon chicken is fresh, tasty, and super easy. And you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already.

By frying the chicken in scant oil you cut the calories down, and using fresh lemon juice as opposed to the classic sweet stuff contributes to lower sugar and better flavor. Play around with the quantities of honey and Sriracha to spice it up or down to your taste preference. 

Healthy Lemon Chicken

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:25 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Medium


  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 lemons both juiced and 1 zested
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • Thinly-sliced green onions
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Rachel Dickey
  • Step 1

    Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, and Sriracha in a plastic container or bag. Add the chicken pieces and marinate for 1-8 hours.

    vegetable, sauce, pork, sweet, meat
    Rachel Dickey
  • Step 2

    Place the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, drain the marinade from the chicken. Add the chicken pieces to the pan with the chopped onion and sauté until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

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    Rachel Dickey
  • Step 3

    Whisk the stock, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, arrowroot flour, and fresh ginger in a small bowl. The arrowroot flour serves as a thickening agent and helps the sauce to evenly coat all the yummy flavours in the pan.

    sweet, chocolate, milk, cream, dairy product, coffee, flour, cereal
    Samantha Cheng
  • Step 4

    Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and add the lemon sauce ingredients. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until it boils and reaches a thicker consistency. Taste and adjust the honey and Sriracha to your liking.

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    Rachel Dickey
  • Step 5

    Return the chicken to the pan and toss to coat. Remove from heat and serve with slices of lemon and green onion. Enjoy.

    Rachel Dickey

Serving this dish with a fresh salad or brown rice makes it a perfect, healthy, delicious takeout alternative. Healthy lemon chicken is sure to satisfy any Chinese food cravings without all the fat and sugars.

If lemon chicken isn't your takeout preference, check out our Healthy Slow-Cooker Orange Chicken, Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and Chicken Spring Rolls.