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Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Broccoli

This parmesan lemon chicken and broccoli is a perfect quick weeknight meal ready in just 20 minutes.

Takeout Chinese menus are probably one of the few things in life that leave me speechless.

A 70+ year old Italian man in a leopard print g-string speedo thong I saw in the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago was another.

I’ll open one and literally stare (most likely with my mouth open a bit) for minutes on end with absolutely nothing to say and no clue what to order before inevitably ending up with wonton soup and chicken & broccoli.

How exciting.

Parmesan lemon chicken and broccoli

I guess the wonton soup could actually be considered exciting since the meat stuffed inside those things is pretty suspect, but I try to push that kind of excitement out of my mind temporarily.

Which leaves us with chicken and broccoli, pretty much the most basic American combination one can think of just drowned in some mysterious brown sauce and with a fortune cookie on the side.

So basically, I have no business ordering Chinese takeout when that’s what I end up with.

Lemon chicken and broccoli

Which is why this parmesan chicken and broccoli recipe now exists.

A Chinese takeout craving shot down by myself and turned Italian.

It couldn’t be simpler, there’s no suspect meat, mysterious brown sauce or waking up at 3am with unquenchable thirst from all the salt and it cooks in about the same time as it’d take you to pick up the takeout anyway.

Follow our guide for cutting broccoli the right way to get the perfect sized florets and this dinner is ready in a snap.

20 minute lemon chicken and broccoli

And while there’s no fortune cookie afterwards, you know you really didn’t care about how to say that random word in Chinese.

Chances are you’d butcher the pronunciation anyway.

Craving More Takeout-Worthy Meals?

Give these spicy udon noodles or this sweet and sour tofu a try. General Tso shrimp is also a classic, that ooey gooey sauce can’t be beat!

Parmesan Lemon Chicken and Broccoli

This parmesan lemon chicken and broccoli is a perfect quick weeknight meal ready in just 20 minutes.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into strips or chunks breasts will work too
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 large crown broccoli washed and cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


  • Place broccoli florets in a medium skillet with about 1/4 cup of water, cover with a lid and turn to high heat. Bring water to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes. Drain water and set broccoli aside.
  • While broccoli is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once hot, add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes, until softened.
  • Season chicken generously with salt & pepper.
  • Add chicken to the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes until it’s no longer pink.
  • Add chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice to the pan and simmer for a minute or two.
  • Add the broccoli and parmesan cheese to the pan and toss to combine.
  • Serve and top with more parmesan cheese and lemon zest if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1SERVING | Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 588mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Cuisine American
Course Main Dishes
Keyword lemon chicken and broccoli, parmesan lemon chicken and broccoli


Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

Recipe Rating

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Sunday 30th of November 2014

[…] Thursday: Parmesan Lemon Chicken […]

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Wednesday 16th of October 2013

[…] adapted from here. Ingredients (serves 2-3) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 small yellow onion, chopped Dash of garlic […]

Candace @ Cabot

Thursday 19th of September 2013

My favorite combo. It looks infinitely more delicious than takeout around here. Sign me up!


Tuesday 26th of March 2013

Made this tonight for dinner! Will definitely be having it again, and hopefully next time I won't overcook the broccoli :) It was yummy, healthy, and great for a quick weeknight meal!


Thursday 21st of March 2013

Roasted broccoli in pan with garlic, onions instead of steaming. Added water instead of stock, cooked chicken in same pan and served over chicken ricearoni. It was good!