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Lemon Chicken Foil Packets make a family-friendly, healthy, and delicious dinner that is easy to make and even easier to clean up. Wrap up marinated boneless, skinless chicken breasts with green beans and potatoes in foil packs, and toss them on the grill or bake them in the oven. You have your entire dinner in one little pouch!
Originally published on March 23, 2013. Updated in August 2021 with new photos and more helpful information.
Easy Lemon Chicken Foil Packets – Grill or Oven!
When you need quick and easy dinner recipes, these hobo packs are the answer. A simple marinade, fresh ingredients, and layering in aluminum foil are all you need for this foil packet dinner recipe.
I can throw together these tasty little packets and toss them on the grill to cook while I set the table. About 20 or 30 minutes later, dinner is served.
If you don’t have a grill or it is too cold to grill, you can always throw the packets in the oven.
And that’s just part of the beauty of foil pack dinners.
Why this Recipe Works
The chicken is marniated in a mixture of Greek yogurt and lemon juice with a bit of thyme, salt, and pepper. The yogurt both tenderizes the chicken and helps it infuse with that lemony flavor. By adding just a bit of water, it also helps to create a little lemony sauce and some steam to cook the potatoes nice and soft while the green beans stay perfeclty crisp-tender.
Sealing it all in a foil pack not only makes cleanup a snap, but it also seals in all of the juices to get perfectly moist and tender chicken. It’s an easy way to make sure it ends up nice and juicy.
Chicken foil packets are a great summer meal to cook on the grill, but they can be baked in the oven any time of the year. And you can even toss the packs on the campfire on your next camping trip.
With simple flavors, it’s a meal the entire family will love. And with quick and easy preparation and no pans or baking sheets to scrub, it doens’t matter whether you are in charge of cooking, cleanup, or both, this is a recipe that will definitely make life easier, especially on a busy night!
The ingredients to make this foil packet recipe are super simple!
- Lemon: Zest the lemon and set the zest aside for the potatoes and green beans. Then squeeze the juice to add to the chicken marinade.
- Plain Greek yogurt: For the marinade.
- Fresh thyme: You can also use dried.
- Garlic: Crush or finely mince it to add to the marinade.
- Salt and pepper: Make sure to season everything.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: You’ll need four, about 4-6 oz. each. If you have two very large ones, slice them in half lengthwise.
- Red potatoes: You can also use white potatoes, as long as it is a waxy potato. Slice them about 1/4 inch thick
- Fresh green beans: Snip off the ends. Leave them whole or cut in half.
- Olive oil: For coating the veggies.
- Parmesan cheese: To flavor the potatoes and green beans.
- Water: A bit in each packet helps steam the vegetables and keep everything moist.
How to Make Chicken Foil Packets
Marinate the chicken: Combine the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in a plastic zip-top bag. Add the chicken, press out the air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20-30 minutes, or overnight.
Prepare the veggies: Wash the potatoes and green beans, slice the potatoes, and snip the end off of the beans. In a bowl, toss them with olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
Wrap up the packets: Take four squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil, or a double layer of regular aluminum foil, and spray the dull side with olive oil or cooking spray. Divide the potatoes and beans evenly between the packets, and place one chicken breast on top of the veggies in each packet. Fold up the foil into a pouch, add 1 Tablespoon water to each packet, then tightly seal all of the edges.
Grill or bake: Preheat your grill to medium-high or your oven to 350°F. Place the packets on a medium-high grill for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and chicken is cooked through to 165°F. Or place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
Prep ahead: While you only have to marinate the chicken for about 30 minutes, you can let it soak overnight. That will only make it more flavorful and juicy
Seal it tight: Make sure you tightly seal the chicken foil packets so none of the juices escape. I recommend placing the chicken and vegetables on one half of the foil, folding the other half over the top, then rolling up the edges starting from one side and working your way around to the end.
Use a thermometer: Undercooked chicken is unsafe to eat and overcooked chicken is dry and tough. An instant-read thermometer will help you cook it perfectly to 165°F. This ensures it is safe but still moist.
Make it your own: Use different vegetables, even swapping out the potatoes for cauliflower or another low carb vegetable to make this a keto-friendly meal. Add more or other fresh herbs to the marinade. Or swap the lemon juice for balsamic vinegar.
Add a sauce: You can garnish your chicken foil pack dinner with more parmesan cheese or lemon zest, or even some minced parsley. But you can also give it a drizzle or dollop. Try one of these ideas…
Things You’ll Need
- You can double up regular aluminum foil, but I prefer to use the heavy duty aluminum foil to make sure it doesn’t tear while it is on the grill.
- A zester is the best tool for getting the zest off of the lemon without the bitter white part.
- And handheld juicers get all that juice out with a simple squeeze.
- Don’t forget your instant read thermometer to cook that chicken to perfection.
Lemon Chicken Foil Packets
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or about 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt , divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- four boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 4-6 oz. each
- 1 pound red potatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 4 Tablespoons water
- Before making the marinade, zest the lemon before you cut it and squeeze it for the juice. Set the zest aside.
- Make the marinade by combining the Greek yogurt, the juice of the lemon, thyme, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a plastic bag.
- Add the chicken breasts, seal the bag, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20-30 minutes, or longer if you have time.
- In a bowl, toss the potatoes, green beans, olive oil, parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the reserved lemon zest.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high or your oven to 350°F.
- Take four squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil, or a double layer of regular aluminum foil, and spray the dull side with olive oil or coking spray.
- Divide the potatoes and beans evenly between the packets.
- Lay one chicken breast on top of the potatoes and beans in each packet.
- Fold up the foil into pouch, and before sealing, add 1 Tablespoon water to each packet.
- Place the packets on a medium-high grill for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and chicken is cooked through to 165°F, or bake in a 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Open up your packets and serve with additional parmesan cheese and lemon zest, if desired.