Lemon Chicken with Garlicky Green Beans


Not my photography, obviously.
Credit, Real Simple magazine.

I’ll get to that lovely chicken dish in a moment, but first, some words about my photography skills, or lack thereof. See Exhibit A.

Exhibit A


Sorry gnocchi. You’re better than this.

Farabella is a fantastic brand of pasta that comes from Italy (bonus) and has many gluten free options, including the sadly photographed gnocchi above (recipe for the sauce coming soon). It’s unfortunate that I have yet to capture it  properly. Sigh. Maybe one day I’ll make it for lunch on a sunny day and you can see it in all its glory.

Until then, there’s this utilitarian but super tasty one pot dinner…

Lemon Chicken with Garlicky Green Beans and Red Potatoes

What it looks like at my house. On a very fancy paper plate.

Looks can be deceiving. Don’t judge. Please.

This is an old standby that I’ve been using ever since I cut out the recipe from Real Simple magazine more than a decade ago. It’s a keeper, clearly. Chicken breasts rest atop lemon slices, all tucked in with green beans and red potatoes, swirled with olive oil and lots of garlic. All it takes is a cutting board, one big bowl for tossing, a serving dish, and voila! I am a sucker for a good one pot (or dish) meal.

The original recipe uses bone-in chicken breasts, but lately I’ve been making it with boneless breasts, which cooks up faster, and is still very juicy. Something magical happens to the lemon slices on the bottom when they get all caramelized and sticky. Yum.

Lemon Chicken with Garlicky Green Beans, slightly adapted from Real Simple, whose food photography is just a hair better than mine (ha)

Yes, using 2x because it's that pretty.

Yes, using 2x because it’s that pretty.


  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound trimmed green beans
  • about 8 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless, or bone-in with skin, about 3 1/4 lbs)


1. Preheat oven to 400°F for boneless, 450°F for bone-in. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.

2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the edges of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up (if bone-in), in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.

My husband begged me not to post raw chicken pics, but this may help you with arrangement.

My husband begged me not to post raw chicken pics, but this may help you with arrangement.

3. Roast for about 40 minutes for boneless breasts, 50 minutes for bone-in. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet, after checking first that it is cooked through. Then place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender.

4. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally.

Enjoy! We do. And then make someone else do the dishes. Even one pot meals add up.

Do you have any fabulous one pot meals? If so, please share! I could use a few more. 

14 thoughts on “Lemon Chicken with Garlicky Green Beans

  1. Haha! I’m SO with you on the food photography front, as we’ve previously discussed. But I think your photos look good, even though as a vegetarian I should be totally disgusted by the raw chicken pic. Now, gnocchi in tomato sauce, that’s very hard to make look good, even for the professionals. Luckily we all know it TASTES good. Mmm, gnocchi.

    • You are a very kind human, not to mention vegetarian, to not be totally disgusted by my raw chicken pictures! Oh, yes, poor maligned looking gnocchi. I took some pics of it unsauced, and they were so horrifying I deleted them. The taste however is awesome! Hope you can find some near you. It’s a super easy and fast dinner.

  2. Dana love the recipe and yes I do think food shots would be challenging, especially when mine never look like the one in the book lol Thanks for sharing it.

  3. It’s nice to know that food photography doesn’t come easy to everyone. I struggle with light all the time and then I see these amazing photos with props…I’m just lucky if I remember to take the photo before it’s eaten. Love this recipe, will definitely be making it.

  4. I love the note to gnocchi: “You’re better than this.” Ha! 🙂 It actually looks delicious, but we are all so hard on ourselves when it comes to the topic of food photography. I can say without a doubt that I would post more recipes if I didn’t get so hung up on the picture thing. So I appreciate your humor and take it as a note to myself to have more fun. Plus, in the end, it’s about eating good food and this recipe definitely looks delicious. I think that the next savory dish I plan to share on the blog is a one dish meal: Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry. Hopefully I can post it soon!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad someone else enjoys my gnocchi humor 🙂 Food photography is definitely a challenge, at least for me. I honestly don’t have the time or funds (or the interest, honestly!) to make my food look magazine or Pinterest perfect. I think (hope) many people get that most of us aren’t living in a photography studio with perfect lighting, fancy props, and pricey cameras, and that sometimes food is just food, and if it sounds good, it probably tastes that way.

      All that said, I always think the food pics on your blog look great! I can’t wait for Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry. Sounds really good…

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