This creamy lemon cumin chicken is a super easy, one pan recipe that uses dairy-free yogurt to create a pefectly, tart sauce for chicken, pasta and even fish like salmon or tuna steak. The sauce cooks in less than 10 minutes and is dairy-free, gluten-free and lactose-free.
My grandmother used to make a salad dressing with lemon, olive oil and cumin that I LOVED. It is the inspiration for this recipe. Cumin is a great complement to the bright, fresh flavor of lemon. It adds an almost smoky, earthy flavor.
Fresh squeezed lemon juice is best for this recipe. The prepared stuff just doesn’t taste the same. You’ll need 2-3 lemons to get 1/2 c of juice.
Green onion is my onion of choice but shallots or Vidalia onion would work well in this recipe.
If you are ok with dairy, use a plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a good easy thickener to give a sauce a creamy smooth texture.
The base for this sauce is low-sodium veggie broth or chicken broth. It combines with the yogurt to make the sauce the perfect consistency. Be sure to use a low sodium one so you can better control the salt level. If you’re pescatarian and using the sauce for fish, Imagine Low Sodium “NO-Chicken” broth is the best tasting veggie broth available.
A small amount of sweetener is included in the recipe. It is needed to balance the sourness of the lemon juice and just a couple of teaspoons does the trick. I use agave, but honey would add another tasty layer of flavor. Sugar or other other sweeteners will work too since it is a small amount and meant to be a balance.
Easy, Creamy Lemon Cumin Chicken-One Pan Dish
- 1¼-1½ lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- ⅓-½ c broth
- 1 stalk green onion
- ⅓ c lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
- ½ Tbsp plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (dairy-free subs ok)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp sweetener (agave, honey, sugar)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1-2 pinches red chili flakes
- Chop the stalk of green onion into ¼" rounds
- Juice the lemon and strain out the pulp and seeds.
- Pat the chicken with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with a light coating of salt.
- Place a large skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Add a light coating of olive oil and heat another 30 seconds.
- Place the chicken in the pan, turn the heat to medium and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Add the lemon juice and flip the chicken over to coat both sides with lemon.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate.
- Add half of the green onion and all of the cumin to the pan and simmer 2 minutes.
- Add the yogurt, ⅓ c of the broth, sweetener, salt and chili flakes and stir well with a wire whisk.
- Cook, stirring constantly for one more minute. The sauce will thicken more once removed from the pan. But if it is too thick, stir in ¼ c of broth.
- Taste. If it's too sour, add a half teaspoon of sweetener and a pinch of salt.
- Place the chicken back in the pan and coat with the sauce.
- Serve over, pasta, rice or quinoa and top with the remaining green onion.