4-Ingredient Lemon Ranch Baked Chicken Recipe: Another Crazy Good Chicken Dinner by Donna John

4-Ingredient Lemon Ranch Baked Chicken Recipe: Another Crazy Good Chicken Dinner

Baked chicken is on the menu quite often at my house. Baking chicken is easy, quick, requires minimal ingredients and is a tasty dinner everyone enjoys. This four-ingredient lemon ranch baked chicken was inspired by a jar of lemon-pepper seasoning, a bottle of ranch salad dressing and a basket of lemons from the farmers market. The flavors of ranch and lemon complement each other perfectly. This was another delicious chicken dinner!

Start this easy chicken recipe by marinating bone-in chicken pieces (I used chicken legs) in bottled ranch salad dressing. Add enough ranch to the bag or bowl to completely coat the chicken. Pop it into the refrigerator and marinate for as long as you have time to. When ready to cook, slice a lemon or two and cover the bottom of a baking dish. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place the pieces on top of the lemon slices. Not only does this provide a bed for the chicken to cook on, but the lemons add even more flavor to the chicken as it bakes. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with lemon-pepper seasoning and some parsley flakes, and roast in the oven until crispy, browned and cooked through.

The lemons on the bottom get tender and soft as they bake. Be sure to serve the chicken with some lemon slices and use the soft flesh on the chicken. You could use boneless chicken, but be sure to adjust the cooking time. Serve this lemon baked chicken with your favorite side dishes. I served mine with Caesar salad, roasted green beans and air fry carrots.

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes plus time to marinate
Cook Time: 40 minutes (ovens vary)
Total Time: 45 minutes plus time to marinate
Servings: 4


  • 6 bone-in chicken legs or thighs (or your favorite chicken pieces)
  • ranch salad dressing (I used about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 - 2 lemons, sliced
  • lemon-pepper seasoning (I used Kinder's Lemon Pepper Seasoning)
  • parsley flakes (optional)

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Put the chicken into a plastic zipper bag or bowl. Add the ranch dressing and black pepper, if desired, toss to coat the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. (I marinated mine for about 2 hours.)
  2. Put the lemon slices onto the bottom of a baking dish.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it on top of the lemon slices. Sprinkle liberally with lemon-pepper seasoning. Sprinkle with parsley flakes, if using.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for about 40 minutes or until chicken is browned and cooked through.

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Elisa Schmitz
Wow, that looks delicious, Donna John ! I especially love your suggestion to use the soft, fleshy part of the lemon as you enjoy the chicken. So tangy delish!
I love your simple salad dressing chicken recipes.

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