Quick and easy doesn’t need to mean bland and boring, and this Lemon Garlic Chicken and Asparagus is proof! Bright, fresh, flavorful and so filling, this simple dinner requires just one skillet and 30 minutes.
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Okay garlic lovers, this delightful spring dinner is for you!
We’re takin’ the humble chicken breast and elevating it into a ZOMG TASTY dinner in just a few quick and easy steps. And one of those steps involves loads of fresh garlic, followed up by a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of basil. The result of this simple combo of real foods is ridiculous – fresh, tangy, GARLICKY goodness.
We’re also tossing in some bite-tender asparagus, because chicken and asparagus are spring besties. Crispy mushrooms round out this one-skillet wonder into a 30-minute meal that will fill you up and flavor bomb your tastebuds. It doesn’t even need a side, so shove that rice cooker back into the cupboard right now.
This super clean dinner can be knocking your socks off in just 30 minutes, so roll up your sleeves, grab your favorite chef’s knife, and let’s get cookin’!
How to Make Lemon Garlic Chicken and Asparagus Step-By-Step
I don’t know about you, but the spring season is bananas in our house. In-between sports, school events, and soaking up every moment of the glorious non-humid weather that we can get our greedy hands on, we have to squeeze in dinner. And not just any dinner, but something that can keep us full and fueled throughout the non-stop mayhem. And that doesn’t require a bazillion ingredients, or all of the planning, or all of the time. Simple, right?
Easy one-skillet meals, like this Lemon Garlic Chicken and Asparagus, are my weeknight workhorses! This recipe requires just a handful of real whole foods, one pan, and 30 minutes. It’s fast and filling and it tastes awesome.
First things first – mis en place! This recipe moves fairly quickly (it’s just a touch over a 30-minute meal!) so get your prep sorted out first.
- Slice the chicken against the grain into 1/4″ strips. Sliced chicken is amazing in a stir-fry type recipe – it stays moist and tender and cooks quickly.
- Prep the asparagus by holding a spear in your hand and then bending until the woody end snaps off. Then slice the spear in half.
- Clean the mushrooms using a damp paper towel, then slice.
- Portion out your spices and mince the garlic.
You’ll want to use a 12″ skillet for this recipe. It’s large enough to cook the chicken in a single layer, achieving a nice sear, and then large enough again to sear, not steam, the mushrooms and asparagus. I tested this recipe in both a cast iron skillet and non-stick skillet, and both worked perfectly.
Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add some olive oil, then add the chicken strips. Sprinkle the chicken with italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, and pepper and then stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink and the edges start to brown. Stir fairly frequently and try to cook the chicken in a single layer for best texture. Remove the chicken using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add another splash of olive oil to the skillet, allow to heat, then add the mushrooms. Sautee the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid and the pan is dry. At this point, the mushrooms will be cooked through and just starting to brown around the edges. Push the mushrooms to the edge of pan to finish crisping up.
Add a final splash of olive oil to the center of the skillet, then add the garlic to the olive oil. Sautee the garlic until it’s fragrant, but not browned.
Add the asparagus to the skillet and toss with the garlic and mushrooms. Sautee the asparagus until it’s just barely tender, but still bright green – anywhere from 3-5 minutes depending on size. Thinner asparagus will cook more quickly than thicker asparagus for obvious reasons. Once you see the first char marks starting to appear, it’s time to move onto the next step. Don’t cook until the asparagus is totally tender, or it will be mushy by the time the recipe is finished.
Add the chicken back to the skillet, along with any juices it released onto the plate. Add the lemon juice, then give everything a good toss. Sautee a further 1-2 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have melded.
Turn off the heat, sprinkle the chicken and asparagus with fresh basil, and serve!
We found this recipe entirely filling on its own, which means that it’s also Whole30 compliant, gluten free, and low carb. Lots of dietary flexibility in this dish. Woot!
Chicken and Asparagus Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use chicken thighs? Sure! As with chicken breast, slice them 1/4″ thick against the grain. Also feel free to use a combo of chicken breast and thigh.
Do I have to blanch the asparagus first? Nope! It cooks to perfect bite-tender texture in the skillet. Do keep an eye on the asparagus though, as it can go from bite-tender to mushy quickly. As soon as you see the first char marks during step 4, add the chicken – the asparagus will still be a bit raw at this point, but the heat from the chicken and the moisture from the lemon juice will finish the cooking process. If you wait until the asparagus is bite tender in step 4, it will be too soft by the time the dish is complete.
I don’t like/can’t find basil – is there another herb I can use? Flat leaf Italian parsley also pairs well with this dish.
Is this really totally filling on its own? Can I serve it with a side? It sure is!! Cameron and I had this on its own and we were both stuffed. If you’d like to serve it with a side, I recommend white or brown rice or quinoa. There isn’t much of a sauce to this recipe, so I don’t recommend pasta.
Can I use less garlic? Blasphemous!! Ha. But yes, do feel free to use less garlic, but I wouldn’t go less than 2 cloves.
More Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes
- Mostly Veggie Steak Stir Fry
- Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Salmon Quinoa Salad with Honey Soy Dressing
- Avocado Strawberry Chicken Salad
- Seared Salmon with Cucumber Mango Salsa
Did you make this Chicken and Asparagus recipe? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave me a comment and a rating!
Lemon Garlic Chicken and Asparagus SkilletPrint Recipe Rate This Recipe
- 1.5 lb chicken breast sliced into 1/4" strips
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 8 oz crimini mushrooms sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb asparagus cut into 2" pieces
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice from one 1 lemon
- 1/4 c julienned fresh basil
- Heat a 12" skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken, then sprinkle with the italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sautee the chicken, stirring frequently, until no longer pink, 6-7 minutes. Remove the chicken using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add a second tablespoon olive olive oil to the skillet and allow to heat. Add the mushrooms to the skillet, then toss to coat in the fat and residual spices. Sautee, stirring occasionally, and until the mushrooms have released their liquid, the pan is dry, and the mushrooms are browned and starting to crisp around the edges, 5-6 minutes.
- Push the mushrooms to the edges of the skillet. Add the third tbsp olive oil to the center of the pan, then add the garlic to the oil. Sautee the garlic for one minute.
- Add the asparagus to the olive oil and garlic. Sautee the asparagus with the garlic and mushrooms, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is tender but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes depending on thickness.
- Add the chicken back to the skillet, along with any juices it released onto the plate, then add the lemon juice. Toss all ingredients together, and sautee an additional 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have melded.
- Turn off the heat, add the basil, and toss. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Portion into bowls and serve immediately.
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