Recipe: 5-Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Spinach

Photo by: Michelle Dudash ©Scripps

Michelle Dudash, Scripps

Here’s a one-pan chicken recipe for dinner to add to your arsenal. It’s complete with plenty of protein and gives you a double serving of dark leafy greens, which are loaded with beta carotene and also plentiful in vitamin C, folate and iron. You can prep and cook this dish in under 30 minutes, not counting the time for marinating, which tenderizes the chicken and infuses it with a bright and mellow lemony flavor.

To mix things up, replace the spinach with arugula, which adds a peppery, pleasantly bitter taste.

5-Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Spinach

Total Time: 2 hr 25 min; Prep Time: 15 min; Cook Time: 10 min

Serves 4


1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, each cut in half

1 medium lemon, zest finely grated,

1/2 of the fruit juiced

2 smashed garlic cloves

2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

8 cups lightly packed baby spinach (about 6 ounces by weight)

Directions: Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, oregano and ground black pepper in a container large enough to hold the chicken.

Coat the chicken in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, up to overnight. When ready to cook, sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat a large saute pan on medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and garlic tightly in a single layer to make it all fit. Cook chicken until lightly browned on one side, about 6 minutes, reducing heat to medium after a couple of minutes. Turn and cook through, about 3 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a plate. Add the spinach and immediately turn off the heat, then toss with tongs occasionally while “mopping up” the browned bits from the bottom of the pan to collect the flavor, until the spinach wilts, about 1 minute.

Per serving: Calories 280; Fat 15 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 107 mg; Sodium 280 mg; Carbohydrate 3 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 32 g; Vitamin A 91% DV; Vitamin C 14% DV; Calcium 8% DV; Iron 18% DV

Michelle Dudash is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef consultant and the creator of Clean Eating Cooking School: Monthly Meal Plans Made Simple.

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