Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice

Juicy, flavorful chicken coated in parmesan cheese, flavorful spices and of course, lots of garlic! Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice.


a cast iron pan full of simple garlic butter parmesan chicken with lemon rice


I was talking on the phone with my mom while making this Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice and when I took the first sampling I was blown away. I kept saying in her ear, “my goodness this is so yummy! It’s so much better than any other brown rice, Mom! It’s so much more vibrant and flavorful! And ohhhhh the chicken is perfect!”

The poor thing just kept saying, oh I wish I could just come to dinner at your house! And it’s not because I’m some fantastic cook, it’s because she lives in another state and after cooking for 5 kids for so many years she’s ready to not cook dinner every night. Maybe you feel that way too after just 5 years of cooking for kids! 

It’s one thing to try to eat healthy for yourself, but throw in cooking healthy for a family, or healthy dinner ideas for kids and that’s a whole new ball game. The meal has to be something simple enough that kids won’t freak out, but still packing in the flavor and calories you need to maintain a healthy diet.

Our Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken was my search for just that. A healthy dinner recipe that kids will eat, but adults won’t feel like is just boring, bland chicken either.


a cast iron pan full of simple garlic butter parmesan chicken with lemon rice


Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice

We are going to start and end our simple garlic butter parmesan chicken with lemon rice recipe by cooking the chicken. I know, the rice takes longer and you’d totally start with that or put it in a separate pan, but we are making a one pot meal. You’re welcome for less dishes.

Actually, there’s a purpose in using one skillet for this dinner recipe. When you cook this chicken in the pan something called a fond is created, and that’s pretty much gold in the cooking world.


a cast iron pan full of simple garlic butter parmesan chicken with lemon rice



What is fond? Friends, fond is your new best friend. It’s the little caramelized bits of butter, garlic, seasoning etc that stick to the bottom of the pan. Think about it, you’ve seen it before, those little browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.

This sounds really simple, but you keep that pan and make rice, a sauce or even veggies to that pan to finish off a dish and those little caramelized bits add essential flavor to the recipe. You go from a well seasoned recipe to a packed with flavor recipe and I always want all the goodness.

So see, you want to use one pan so that the bits from the chicken end up helping to flavor the rice as well. Don’t worry, it won’t make the dish taste all the same, it will just add a depth to the rice and brown rice is so hearty it needs that.


Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken

Alright, this chicken is going to throw you for just a moment. Yes, you coat it in cheese, no bread crumbs, just cheese, but it doesn’t burn off, so don’t worry.

In a dish, mix together parmesan cheese, lots of freshly minced garlic- actually we use our favorite garlic press. If you have yet to invest in a Kuhn Rikon, now is the time. Yes, it’s a little more spendy than one from Ikea, but it works 100 times better and I’ll never buy another.

In fact, I also only use a Kuhn Rikon Potato Peeler which is only a few bucks for three. They are just the best, hands down.

Anyway, in a dish mix together fresh grated parmesan cheese, never the powder, garlic, and the seasonings. It’s going to turn a nice red, which is good as it will add more color to your chicken. You eat with your eyes as much as your nose and mouth, so the better your food looks the more you’ll enjoy it. That’s pretty dang important with healthy eating because you secretly want the pizza.


Check out our post on how to cook chicken in a pan if you haven’t done that in the past. It’s a super quick and easy method to use so that you’ll never have to cut through the middle of your chicken again.



a cast iron pan full of simple garlic butter parmesan chicken with lemon rice


Lemon Brown Rice

After cooking your chicken, set it aside on a plate and tent with foil. We don’t want to continue cooking the chicken, so don’t wrap the foil or that heat will be trapped and you’ll end up cooking the chicken a little further. Instead, we are tenting to allow juices to redistribute and to keep the chicken warm.

Now it’s time to make that lemon brown rice.

You want to warm some garlic and butter and then toss in the rice. Cade learned this trick from a family while living in Brazil. They taught him to toast the rice before cooking it and it’s the only way we do it now.

Add the rice, broth and lemon juice along with salt and bring to a boil. Put a lid on the dish and turn the heat to medium low to keep a simmer. Allow the rice to cook for 45 minutes and then add the chicken back in and place the lid back on to re-warm the chicken.

Serve with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese!


a cast iron pan full of simple garlic butter parmesan chicken with lemon rice


Brown Rice

  • Can white rice be used?

You can switch the brown rice to white rice if that’s all that you have or all that your family eats. The cooking time on brown rice is different than white rice.

  • How long to cook brown rice

Because brown rice is a heartier grain than white rice it requires a longer cook time. Bring a pot of water to a boil with the brown rice. Turn down to a simmer and place the lid on top. Simmer for 45 minutes. It’s even better if you leave the lid on for an additional 15 minutes after removing it from the heat.

  • Is Brown Rice Good for You?

Brown rice is heartier and has more fiber than white rice. It will keep you feeling fuller longer and yet is lower in calories, meaning it’s a low-energy-density food. While many people are cutting grains out entirely from their diet, it’s a better option to limit and be mindful of what grains and when you eat them.


How Many Weight Watchers Points

“11 freestyle points, for anyone on Weight Watchers, at 6 generous servings per recipe (instead of the suggested 4), and worth every point!” We got this amazing comment from reader, Laura who not only gave the best compliments but she also gave you weight watchers point information!


Yield: 4-5 servings

Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Ricei

Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Ricei

Juicy, flavorful chicken coated in parmesan cheese, flavorful spices and of course, lots of garlic! Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3 large Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Parmesan, finely grated
  • Salt and Fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped

For the Rice:

  • 2 Cups Brown Rice
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Juice of 1 Lemon


  1. In a pie dish or pan, combine the parmesan cheese, grated garlic, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on each side; dredge in the parmesan mixture; shake off excess and set aside.
  2.  In a large skillet that has a fitting lid, melt just 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook chicken until golden on each side and cooked through – about 4-6 minutes for each side, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 additional cloves of garlic. Quickly add the rice and stir continuously for 1 minute.
  5. Add the broth and lemon juice along with the salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn the heat to medium low and place the lid on the skillet. Cook until fluffy and no liquid remains, about 40-45 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  8. Add the chicken back in and cover with the lid. Place over the heat and re-warm the chicken.
  9. Serve with fresh parmesan and parsley.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

6 ounces

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 346 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 72mg Sodium: 1396mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 2g Protein: 18g


Looking for more chicken recipes? Tender Slow Cooker Whole Chicken, Citrus Greek ChickenGrilled Hawaiian Chicken,  Easy Instant Pot Honey Chicken or One Pan Creamy Lemon Chicken!


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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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16 comments on “Simple Garlic Butter Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Rice”

  1. This was so yummy! My whole family loved it! 

  2. I fixed this the other night, using the exhaust fan over the stove, and I just had to tell you… My husband was across the street talking to a neighbor, and she said, “WHERE is that smell coming from?!” And he said, “I don’t know, but I hope it’s my house!” And then a lady, walking by with her dog, said, “You can smell it all the way up the street! WHAT is that!?” So I came out and called him in to dinner, and he told me all this.
    We both absolutely loved this recipe! It is 11 freestyle points, for anyone on Weight Watchers, at 6 generous servings per recipe (instead of the suggested 4), and worth every point! It was outstanding and my ten-year-old granddaughter scarfed it down. The only thing I did differently was add the juices from the chicken that had accumulated on the plate after it rested, back into the rice and stirred it in. It was amazing the second day, too. Thanks so much for the recipe! Destined to become a family heirloom, and good enough for company.

    • Thank you Laura!! This totally made our day! We have added the WW info you included into the original post. Thank you again for the feedback! Sooooo glad you love it as much as we do!

  3. On the nutritional information, the calories for one chicken breast are listed as 31. Obviously this is a typo but I’m wondering not only about the calories for the chicken but for the rice as well. Thank you!

  4. I just made this in my new Curtis Stone skillet. OMG it is the best thing I’ve ever cooked!!! I was really skeptical about brown rice because I’ve never been a fan. Til now! 

  5. When do add the lemon zest?

  6. This was SO GOOD!!! I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time, and your recipes never disappoint.  The chicken was tender and flavorful, and the rice was also really good. Thanks for a healthy and tasty recipe!

  7. This is really great! Thanks for sharing

  8. Can.u use no boil rice? U put it in microwave in bowl of water 10 mins. After cooked could you brown it? (White rice)

    • I have never used no boil rice, but I bet it would work great. I would just use the broth and lemon juice to cook it in rather than water so you keep all the yummy flavor. And yes, I would brown it afterward a little bit so it gets some of the chicken flavor in it too. Let us know how it goes!