Sticky Lemon Chicken

Sticky Lemon Chicken is packed with flavor and crunch while being healthier because it is baked. Very reminiscent of Chinese Lemon Chicken but without the added fat and calories. Easy to make and family approved. 

A serving of Sticky Lemon Chicken sitting on a bed of short grain brown rice.This post may contain affiliate links which I earn a small portion in sales if a purchase is made. Rest assured though, it is never at any additional cost to you.

Chinese Lemon Chicken that has been baked and garnished with sesame seeds, lemon slices and green onions.

Ingredients and Tools Needed

Below you will find the image of the main ingredients that makes this recipe so amazing with taste and texture. However, the image does show the entire list. Please see directly below the picture for the entire list. 

Image of the Sticky Lemon Chicken Ingredients.

How to Make Baked Chicken Pieces Extra Crispy

Here are the steps to making breaded chicken pieces that stay crispy, even after tossed in the hot Lemon Sauce.

  1. Preheat oven to 425℉.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into larger bite size pieces.
  3. Lay out 3 separate shallow dishes or pie pans (see above section for link). In the first pan add the flour with 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir well. 
  4. Whisk eggs in the second pie pan.
  5. Add breadcrumbs to the third pie pan. 
  6. Line 2 large sided cookie sheets with Aluminum foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
  7. Working in an assembly line fashion, dip chicken pieces into flour mixture, then egg mixture and finally breadcrumb mixture. Make sure to coat all sides evenly with each dipping.
  8. Place coated chicken pieces onto cookies sheets making sure to leave a small amount of space around each piece for even cooking. 
  9. Spray each piece with cooking spray. (This is one of the secrets to achieving gorgeously crisp chicken.)
  10. Bake for 20- 23 mins or until golden brown and crisp, making sure to rotate cookie sheets hallway through baking.
  11. Once baked remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheets for a few mins.
  12. Toss in Lemon Sauce. Pro Tip: To keep the chicken extra crisp wait until chicken has been served and drizzle sauce over chicken and eat immediately. 

Want to know why I am so crazy about using avocado oil and why I highly recommend using avocado cooking spray? If yes then you will want to check out 9 evidence-Based Health Benefits of Avocado Oil

Panko vs Breadcrumbs

Whether you Use Panko or breadcrumbs for this recipe really boils down to your personal preference. Here is the breakdown of what I have noticed with each coating. 

Panko– Using Panko will create a lighter crust. It is recommended that once the chicken pieces have finished baking do not toss in Lemon Sauce. Rather serve the chicken and then drizzle the hot sauce over the chicken pieces. Eat immediately. 

Breadcrumbs– For this recipe I prefer using Homemade Breadcrumbs that are made from homemade sourdough baguettes. The reason is that these breadcrumbs crisp up very well and stay crispy even after being tossed in the hot lemon sauce. If using store bought breadcrumbs, use the drizzle method mentioned above. 

Chinese Lemon Sauce

The secret to achieving an absolutely amazing Lemon Sauce is to use a plentiful amount of lemon zest. The recipe below is written to include 3 tbsp of lemon zest. However, I highly encourage the use of a full 3 heaping tbsp and even possibly 4 tbsp (3 tbsp will be approximately from 3-5 lemons depending on size), especially if you are a lemon lover like myself. If you enjoy lemon but don’t want it to over power, stick with just 2-3 tbsp. Here are the steps for making this Lemon Sauce. 

  1. In a small sauce pan add the honey and sesame oil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, garlic powder and ginger. Set aside until after chicken is in the oven. 
  3. Once chicken is in the oven, place sauce pan over medium heat until honey has thinned. This will take about 2 mins. 
  4. Stir lemon mixture into honey. Continue simmering over medium heat making sure to stir consistently until sauce has reduced by half. This will take about 7- 8 mins. You will know it is done when it coats the back of a teaspoon after submerging into the sauce. 
  5. Take off heat and let rest until chicken is done. 


What to Serve with Sticky Lemon Chicken

This recipe is amazing served over brown rice and garnished with lemon slices, sesame seeds and diced green onions (as seen in the photos). Additionally, this Sticky Lemon Chicken would be amazing over cauliflower rice, quinoa or fluffy jasmine rice. Here are a few other recipes that would beautifully with this Crispy Lemon Chicken. 

Spring Rolls

Simple Sesame Bok Choy

Lazy Day Chinese Chicken Salad

Green Curry Soup

Cauliflower Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice


More Recipes For Lemon Lovers

If you are a bonafide LEMON LOVER like myself, then you have to try Mom’s Lemon Butter Bundt Cake, Lemon Shortbread Cookies, Lemon Dill Hummus and Lemon Garlic Pasta. Here are a few more lemon recipes that I think you will also adore.

Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

One Pot Lemon Chicken and Rice

Smokey Lemon Garlic Wings

Lemon Chicken Soup

Lemon Rosemary Crockpot Potato Soup 

If you enjoyed this Sticky Lemon Chicken please let me know by leaving a comment and review below. Doing so helps to encourage others to make the recipe also. Thank you!

Chinese Lemon Chicken that has been baked and garnished with sesame seeds, lemon slices and green onions.

Sticky Lemon Chicken

Sticky, crispy and so tasty, this Sticky Lemon Chicken is an absolute treat for lemon lovers. Easy enough for weeknights and family approved.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American/Asian
Keyword: Baked Chinese Lemon Chicken, Chinese Lemon Chicken, Sticky Lemon Chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 649kcal
Author: Heather


For the Chicken

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

For Lemon Sauce

  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest *3 lg lemons or 5 small
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce *or Tamari
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sriracha *optional


  • sesame seeds
  • diced green onions
  • lemon slices



  • Preheat oven to 425℉.
  • Line 2 large sided cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Line up 3 separate shallow dishes. In the first dish mix together flour, garlic powder and salt. In the second dish whisk eggs and in the third add breadcrumbs.
  • Cut chicken into large bite sized pieces.
  • Working with about 4 pieces at a time dip chicken pieces into flour mixture making sure to coat well. Next dip into egg mixture, coating all sides and then into breadcrumbs.
  • Arrange chicken on cookie sheets allowing space around each piece.
  • Bake for 20-23 mins or until chicken pieces are golden browned and crispy. Rotate halfway through baking.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes. Toss in lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce

  • In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Set aside.
  • In a sauce pan add honey and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until honey thins, about 2 mins.
  • Once the honey has thinned, stir in lemon mixture. Continue simmering over medium heat, stirring consistently until sauce has reduced by half, about 7-8 mins. *You will know the sauce is done when it coats the back of a teaspoon after submerging into sauce.
  • Once the chicken has rested, toss with Lemon Sauce or serve chicken over rice and drizzle sauce over chicken pieces. Garnish and eat immediately.


*Please use as many organic ingredients as possible. 
Recipe Notes
  • Order of preparation for quickest cooking.
  1. Start Brown Rice.
  2. Assemble sauce but do not cook.
  3. Cut chicken.
  4. Prepare coating in shallow dishes. 
  5. Line up chicken, shallow dishes with coating and cooking sheets in an assembly line. 
  6. Bake chicken and then start sauce. 
  • Using Homemade Breadcrumbs made from Homemade Sourdough Baguettes helps to make perfectly crispy chicken that remains fairly crispy the next day. The Homemade Sourdough Baguette is not overly sour as the baguette turns out more like a Tuscan Loaf. However, this dish will still taste amazing with store bought breadcrumbs. 


Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1094mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 4mg
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  1. Sorry, I didn’t like it! The chicken was crispy yet bland! The sauce was ok, but we ended up using prepared sweet chili sauce ..
    I won’t be making this again!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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