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Lemon Chicken Thighs, Quinoa + Lemon Butter Sauce

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
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Why we love it:

Quick and simple to prep sometimes means a longer cooking time - which is the case with thighs. I think it’s worth it for a mostly hands off cooking method. The sauce is quite simple and is inspired by a much more formal, culinary school staple - Beurre Blanc. This shortcut version is decadent but weeknight easy.


  • 2 pounds Chicken Thighs (bone-in)
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Pepper Seasoning (your favorite kind)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more depending on your lemon pepper blend)
  • 112 cups Quinoa
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 pound Asparagus
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 Lemon (zest + juice)

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. CHICKEN

    Place chicken thighs, skin side down, on a baking sheet with space in between. Drizzle each with a few drops of olive oil and add a pinch of salt to each one. Flip over, skin side up. Drizzle the tops with just a few drops of oil. Evenly divide lemon pepper spice blend over top.
    *Read the label of your spice blend and if it does NOT include salt, add another pinch of salt to the skin side of each piece of chicken*

    Place in the top third of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

  • 3. QUINOA

    Meanwhile, combine the 1 ½ cups quinoa and 3 cups water in a small pot. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to maintain a simmer; partially cover the pot. Stir occasionally and cook for 15 - 18 minutes - or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. When done, turn off the heat and cover until ready to serve.


    Trim the bottom ¼ - ½ inch off each stalk. When chicken has cooked for 25 minutes, add the asparagus between the thighs and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven.


    Make the sauce by melting the 3 Tablespoons butter in a small pot. Smash the garlic clove with the side of your knife so it breaks open but is still in one piece. Add to the butter. Zest the entire lemon in. Turn off the heat, and whisk the butter vigorously, while pouring in the lemon juice. The butter will thicken as it emulsifies. Season with a pinch of salt to taste.

    When the chicken is done, pour the juices off the pan into a measuring cup or bowl. Lift ½ to 1 teaspoon of the chicken juice out of the bowl (avoiding any solids) and whisk into the butter sauce.

  • 6. SERVING

    Plate the quinoa and top with chicken. Add asparagus. Drizzle sauce over top to taste.

Check out our new features!


    use chicken breasts instead - if you can find them with the skin on and bone in that’s better for this cooking method. If not, just remove from the oven earlier so they don’t overcook
    you choice of grain, lentils, rice, orzo, couscous
    any green veggie is nice - zucchini, broccoli, peas
    serve with a store bought pesto, yogurt sauce, hummus, balsamic glaze, or BBQ sauce to meet your preference

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. You could roast the chicken ahead of time and reheat for about 5 – 10 minutes
  2. The potatoes really are best served right away
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