Lemon Pepper Chicken

5 from 2 votes

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This 🍋 Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe is for you! Although yogurt is not a secret ingredient to me, or in cultures such as India, Middle East, and certain European countries, it is a secret ingredient to a lot of other people around the world. My family and I have been cooking and tenderizing meat with yogurt for generations and it’s by far my favorite way. ⏲️

Why You’ll Love Lemon Pepper Chicken

This recipe is a dream for busy weeknights! You can have the 🍗 chicken marinating overnight, so all you need to do when you get home is bring it up to room temperature and air-fry until done. The results are juicy pieces of chicken thighs, with a flavourful spice blend and the crispiest skin. Serve this with a side of potatoes, a 🥗 quick salad or steamed broccoli and carrots for a wholesome weeknight meal the whole family with love.

How to Prepare Lemon Pepper Chicken

🍗 First, add the chicken to a bowl, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Massage it altogether really well with clean hands.

❄️ Now, cover the chicken and let it sit and marinate on the counter for one hour or in the fridge overnight.

🔥 Next, transfer it into the air-fryer and air-fry at 380F for 15-20 minutes.

🌡️ The cook time will depend on the size of the chicken but you can always insert an instant-read thermometer to be sure.

🥗 Finally, remove the chicken from the air-fryer and enjoy with your favorite side dish.

Nonna’s Tip 🍗

No air-fryer? You can absolutely prepare this Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe in the oven. Bake it at 400F (200C) for 45 to 60 minutes uncovered. Be sure to put it on broil for a few minutes at the end to crisp up the skin and get a beautiful colour.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Variations and Substitutions for Lemon Pepper Chicken to

  1. No air-fryer? You can absolutely prepare this Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe in the oven. Bake it at 400F (200C) for 45 to 60 minutes uncovered. Be sure to put it on 🔥 broil for a few minutes at the end to crisp up the skin and get a beautiful colour.
  2. If you don’t have lemon-pepper feel free to use black pepper and some freshly grated 🍋 lemon zest instead.
  3. Any cut of chicken will work here. I do like skin-on because it gets nice and crispy!
  4. I used Balkan yogurt here for the marinade, but you can use any plain yogurt, or even sour cream or mayo instead.
  5. Go dairy-free and use your favourite plain non-dairy yogurt or sour cream in this marinade.

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Common Questions

CAn I prepare this Lemon Pepper Chicken in the oven?

You can prepare this recipe in the oven! Bake it at 400F (200C) for 45 to 60 minutes uncovered. Be sure to put it on broil for a few minutes at the end to crisp up the skin and get a beautiful colour.

How do i know when the chicken is cooked perfectly?

lf you are unsure or nervous about knowing when the chicken is fully cooked, please use an instant-read thermometer. It is recommended to cook chicken leg/thigh meat to an internal temperature of about 170-175°F (77-79°C).

What air-fryer do you have?

This is the air-fryer that I use and love to make this Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe!

What can i do if i dont’ have lemon-pepper in my spice drawer?

If you don’t have lemon-pepper feel free to use black pepper and some freshly grated lemon zest instead.

What can i use instead of yogurt?

For this Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe, you can also use sour cream or mayonnaise instead of plain yogurt.

Can i make this dairy-free?

You can certainly make this recipe dairy-free by using your favourite non-dairy yogurt, sour cream or vegan mayonnaise.

Can i use chicken breast instead of thighs?

Any cut of chicken will work here but I do like skin-on because it gets nice and crispy in the air-fryer!

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon Pepper Chicken

This is the juiciest Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe using yogurt to tenderize the meat. In my last few viral videos I was asked if you can make this in the air-fryer so I created this new recipe and video for you all.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 6 pieces bone in, skin on chicken thighs, or boneless, any cut of chicken will work
  • ½ tablespoon salt, more or less to taste
  • ½ tablespoon lemon pepper, more or less to taste
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons plain Balkan yogurt, or plain Greek
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil, or any oil you like

Instructions 

  • Add the chicken to a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and massage it really well with clean hands.
  • Cover it and let it sit and marinate on the counter for one hour or in the fridge overnight.
  • Transfer it into the air-fryer and air-fry at 380F for 15-20 minutes. Read your air fryer manual for the recommended temperature and cook time as each air-fryer could vary.
  • The cook time will depend on the size of the chicken but you can always insert an instant read thermometer to be sure. Feel free to bake the chicken instead at 400F for 45-60 minutes + a few minutes on BROIL at the end to crisp up the skin.
  • Enjoy with salad, mashed potatoes, on wraps, with rice, or with any side you like.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 1754mg, Potassium: 103mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 54IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this with boneless skinless chicken thighs in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Came out juicy and the taste was great. Will definitely have to try the original recipe one day in the air fryer with the skin on!

  2. Planning on making this tonight. I’m going to cook in the oven in a cast iron skillet. Would the yogurt burn if I sear the thighs skin down before putting them in the oven?

    1. The yogurt may burn that way I would suggest putting them on broil at the end to crisp up the skin