Lemon Chicken

  • 5MINS
  • 20MINS
  • 201KCAL

We adore a Fakeaway and our slimming-friendly Lemon Chicken is one of our favourites – great if you’re calorie counting or following a plan like Weight Watchers!

  • Batch Cook pinchofnom.com
  • Dairy Free pinchofnom.com
  • Everyday Light pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy Lemon Chicken pinchofnom.com
4

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories201
  • Carbs15g
  • Protein30g
  • Fat2g
  • Saturates0.5g
  • Sugars7g

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!

We love a fakeaway and our slimming-friendly Lemon Chicken is one of our absolute favourites!

A Chinese takeaway is the perfect weekend treat, but these are often packed with calories which means they’re not always an option if you’re calorie counting or following a plan like Weight Watchers.

We may be a little biased, but we think that our Lemon Chicken tastes even better than the version you’d get from your local Chinese!

It’s also low on calories and super quick to make – ideal for when you’ve had a busy day or don’t feel like cooking anything too complicated.

What diets is this Lemon Chicken suitable for?

This Lemon Chicken recipe is suitable for gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions:

  • Stock cubes

You can also enjoy this Lemon Chicken if you’re dairy-free without having to make any swaps.

Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this Lemon Chicken recipe?

  • You need to count 2 Points per portion of this Lemon Chicken recipe if you’re on WW Green.
  • You need to count 0 Points per portion of this Lemon Chicken recipe if you’re on WW Blue.
  • You need to count 0 Points per portion of this Lemon Chicken recipe if you’re on WW Purple.

Do you need any special ingredients to make Lemon Chicken?

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You can buy all of the ingredients for this tasty, Chinese inspired dish at your local supermarket.

We use xanthan gum to thicken the sauce. It’s a great alternative to corn flour, low in calories and gluten free!

We think this Lemon Chicken works best with chicken breast and it makes it really quick to cook too!

This post contains affiliate links: what this means

You can find xanthan gum in the “free from” aisle at your supermarket. You only need a tiny amount so make sure to just add a little at a time!

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How many calories are in this Lemon Chicken?

There are 201 calories per portion in this Lemon Chicken, which means it falls into our Everyday Light category.

This Lemon Chicken is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Step 1

Spray the frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and cook the onions, chilli and chicken on a medium heat.

Step 2

When the onion has softened and the chicken browned, slightly remove from the pan and set aside.

Step 3

Add the stock, onion powder and no added sugar lemon squash to the pan and bring to the boil.

Step 4

Allow to simmer for a few minutes. Place half the sauce into a jug and whisk in the xanthan gum a 1/4 of a tsp at a time. You will need to whisk well – and keep whisking!

Step 5

When the right consistency is achieved, return sauce to the pan and add the chicken.

Step 6

Add the lemon slices and cook gently for another 5 minutes.

Step 7

Stir in the pineapple and remove from the heat immediately.

Step 8

Taste, and add a little granulated sweetener if it’s a bit too sour.

Step 9

Serve with your choice of accompaniment.

With so few calories, you can enjoy a beautiful accompaniment with Lemon Chicken. We think the following are perfect fits!

Whichever accompaniment you choose, don’t forget to account for the extra calories and/or other nutritional values.

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How do you know when Lemon Chicken is cooked?

You should cook this dish until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. The sauce should be thickened, glossy and delish!

This will take around 20 minutes on the hob

Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.

How long can you keep Lemon Chicken in the fridge?

Once you’ve served this dish, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill. You can keep leftovers of Lemon Chicken in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.

Can I freeze Lemon Chicken?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!

How do I reheat Lemon Chicken?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.

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Lemon Chicken

We adore a Fakeaway and our slimming-friendly Lemon Chicken is one of our favourites – great if you’re calorie counting or following a plan like Weight Watchers!
  • Prep Time
    5 MINS
  • Cook Time
    20 MINS
  • KCals 201
  • Carbs 15G
  • WW Points:
  • 2 Green
  • 0 Blue
  • 0 Purple

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breast
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 125 ml no added sugar lemon squash
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • granulated sweetener or sweetener to taste if required
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple cut into chunks
  • 1/2 chilli chopped - optional
  • low calorie cooking spray

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

Please do not screenshot this. Recipes are updated often

Instructions

  1. Spray the frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and cook the onions, chilli and chicken on a medium heat.
  2. When the onion has softened and the chicken browned slightly, remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the stock, onion powder and no added sugar lemon squash to the pan and bring to the boil.
  4. Allow to simmer for a few minutes. Place half of the sauce into a jug and whisk in the xanthan gum a 1/4 of a tsp at a time. You will need to whisk well - and keep whisking!
  5. When the right consistency is achieved, return sauce to the pan and add the chicken.
  6. Add the lemon slices and cook gently for another 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the pineapple and remove from the heat immediately.
  8. Taste, and add a little granulated sweetener if it's a bit too sour.
  9. Serve with your choice of accompaniment.

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41 comments

See what others have to say

JenniTuesday 23rd June 2020

What do I do with the other half of the sauce

Reply

    Holly LevellTuesday 23rd June 2020

    Hey Jenni, Once you have allowed it to simmer for a few minutes. Place half of the sauce into a jug and whisk in the xanthan gum a 1/4 of a tsp at a time. When the right consistency is achieved, return sauce to the pan and add the chicken. So that’s when you add it back in. Hope that helps!

    Reply

      JenTuesday 23rd June 2020

      Yes so you take half the sauce out, do you leave the rest of the sauce in the pan and then add the thickened sauce back into it?

      Holly LevellWednesday 24th June 2020

      Hi Jen, yes thats correct

HelenMonday 15th June 2020

Do I use 125ml of undiluted squash? Or am I supposed to dilute? Thanks

Reply

    SharonTuesday 16th June 2020

    Hi Helen, thanks for your question. The 125 ml of lemon squash is the undiluted amount. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

    Reply

JoThursday 11th June 2020

Can I use lemon juice instead of lemon squash

Reply

    LisaThursday 11th June 2020

    Hi Jo. We developed this recipe using lemon squash. If you wanted to use lemon juice you would need to experiment with amounts, dilution and would need to add some sugar or sweetener. If you decide to try it, please let us know how you get on.

    Reply

Kay wallisSaturday 23rd May 2020

Could I use tin pineapple instead of fresh for this lemon chicken please?

Reply

    LisaSaturday 23rd May 2020

    Hi Kay. Yes you could!

    Reply

LeanneWednesday 4th March 2020

I’ve made this tonight & wondering why on earth I’ve not made this before?! This is another winner & will be a firm favourite from now on, 10/10.

Reply

    LisaWednesday 6th May 2020

    Thank you for your comment, Leanne. So glad you enjoyed it!

    Reply

BarbaraMonday 6th May 2019

The most amazing book I have ever bought and I have bought a lot!
Could live on Lemon Chicken recipe
Can’t wait for new book to come out.
Big thank you x

Reply

Elaine PhillipsSaturday 6th April 2019

Hi could I use quorn in this recipe

Reply

    Emma TSunday 7th April 2019

    Hi Elaine,

    Yes! Use it as you would chicken ????

    Emma

    Reply

Nicola JohnstonSaturday 27th October 2018

Can the sauce be made in advance and warmed later? Having a dinner party and selected this as as the main but want to know if I can get most of it ready before hand and reheat (sauce that it, don’t want to over cook my chicken) TIA

Reply

EmmaSaturday 28th April 2018

Delicious! I’ve just made this and I thought it was great! I feel like I’ve had a take away without the bloating and guilt!!

I didn’t need the sweetener and added some more lemon squash but I don’t have a sweet tooth, I didn’t find it tart. Added extra veg to bulk up and get my superfree.

First time I’d used the gum – really straight forward to use and excellent thickener

Would definitely recommend, Thanks!!

Reply

Tracey tyeFriday 6th April 2018

Instead of lemon squash could I use lemon juice?

Reply

Irene MorrisonWednesday 14th March 2018

I have tried many a recipe for lemon chicken and this is “BY FAR” the best i have ever had…… i did not add the pineapple as is seemed wrong and no chilli. It is a stunning recipe and i will be having this often. The Xantham gum is an amazing find and we are grateful as ever – keep them coming 🙂

Reply

RebeccaSaturday 6th January 2018

Hi,

Thinking of making this but want to know if I use cornflour instead of xantham gum, how much should I use?
Becka

Reply

ClaireThursday 26th October 2017

Hi is onion powder the same as onion granules?

Reply

ROSIESaturday 14th October 2017

I’m probably being silly but when taking out 200ml of the liquid, do you add the gym to the remainder or just the 200 ml? TIA

Reply

Anne WoodwardFriday 13th October 2017

Didnt like this at all to tart and was so excited to try this never mind were all different!

Reply

MonicaWednesday 13th September 2017

Thank you for the Lemon Chicken recipe! It was a great success and tasted so authentic. Pinch of Nom you are amazing!
Best regards. Monica x

Reply

Jodie LeslieMonday 8th May 2017

Going to try this tonight for work. Is there anything I can add other than pineapple as it does not agree with me. Thanks looks lovely.

Reply

LeahWednesday 19th April 2017

I made this at the weekend for the family as i was really craving Chinese food! It was absolutely amazing, just like the real thing and my 4 children loved it too. Its really easy to make, so we will definitely be having this again! Thank you for sharing all your lovely recipes, they help keep us on plan! xxx

Reply

HeatherSaturday 18th March 2017

Sorry what is xantham gum and where do you get it. Thanks xx

Reply

    KateSunday 19th March 2017

    Hi Heather
    Xanthan Gum is used as a thickener, but you only need a very small amount compared to flour or cornflour. You can find it in the Free From section of most supermarkets

    Reply

PamelaSaturday 4th March 2017

Trying this tonight, fair drooling at the thought of a cheeky Chinese 😛

Reply

    KateMonday 6th March 2017

    Hi Pamela
    I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It tastes just like the real thing from the takeaway

    Reply

Kate dowlingMonday 13th February 2017

I made this yesterday and it was really delicious – definitely one of my new favourites to cook again! – Thank you so much.

Reply

    KateTuesday 14th February 2017

    Hi Kate
    We love this one too. We’re having it again this weekend 🙂

    Reply

JoSaturday 11th February 2017

Making this tomorrow – can’t wait as I’ve REALLY missed having a cheeky Chinese! B-)

Reply

Jude StokerThursday 26th January 2017

Made this tonight. I like it quite tart so added a few more lemon slices and it was delicious. Thank you for the recipe and the tip about the gum. What a great find ????

Reply

    KateFriday 27th January 2017

    Hi Jude,
    Glad you like it. Isn’t Xanthan gum great?!

    Reply

LucySaturday 21st January 2017

I assume the lemon squash is added as concentrate-?

Reply

    KateSaturday 21st January 2017

    Hi Lucy
    Yes it is added as is, not diluted

    Reply

NadiaMonday 16th January 2017

Just made this and found it hard to get the tartness out. Felt like I added quite a bit of sweetener. Also, I added more lemon squash as it just tasted like chicken stock to start with. I agree with the rating. First time I have used xanthan gum and I love it! What a find.

Reply

    KateMonday 16th January 2017

    Hi Nadia
    If the dish was too tart then you will have added far too much extra Lemon Squash

    Reply

Emma RhymesSunday 8th January 2017

Would you say that this is a freezer friendly recipe?

I have tried this recipe before and loves it. I am trying to find some recipes that I can make then pop in the freezer for days of no time or no food.

Reply

    KateMonday 16th January 2017

    Hi Emma,
    We’ve never tried freezing it, but I would imagine it would be fine in the freezer

    Reply

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