Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs: Flavoring with Lemon instead of Salt

by Jennifer Hudy on July 21, 2014

in Recipes, Sponsored Posts

Thank you to Sunkist for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try seasoning with lemon as an alternative to salt!

Using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to flavoring with salt with a recipe to try it out for yourself. For more healthy tips and recipes, check out @winetoweights at www.winetoweightlifting.com.

Most people in the health and fitness world are conscious of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, but how many of you actually look at the sodium content in your foods? To be honest, I rarely do! Since almost all Americans consume more sodium than necessary in their diet, Sunkist has introduced an initiate to substitute lemon for salt in pretty much any recipe that you would typically use salt! The handy infographic below gives some suggestions on flavoring with lemons instead of salt.

Salt Alternative using Lemons. Using lemons instead of salt can help to reduce overall sodium intake as part of a healthy diet. For more healthy living tips, check out @winetoweights at www.winetoweightlifting.com

If you know me, or follow me on Twitter or Instagram, at some point you would have noticed that I LOVE chicken thighs. As in, not a week goes by that they are not on the meal prep menu, at least twice. I have a couple of recipes that I switch back and forth between, so when I had an opportunity to come up with a recipe using lemon, I had a strong foundation to start with and just had to make a couple tweaks! ;)

Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs. Using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to flavoring with salt, these chicken thighs are flavorful and juicy without a high sodium content. For more healthy tips and recipes, check out @winetoweights at www.winetoweightlifting.com.

Broiled Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins


  • 1.5 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2-3 Sunkist lemons
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature or melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Preheat broiler on HI.
  2. Combine zest of one lemon, and juice of both lemons, garlic, and butter into a small bowl. Mash butter, if needed, or mix well if not.
  3. Toss chicken thighs into a bowl and coat with lemon-garlic mix from above.
  4. Fit chicken thighs into cast iron skillet, skin side down.
  5. Broil on HI for 10 minutes. Flip chicken thighs, and broil for another 10 minutes or until browned on top.
  6. Squeeze additional lemon on top for more flavor (optional!) and enjoy!

YUM! This was probably one of the first times I have ever used lemons in a recipe, and likely one of the few times I have ever not used salt in a recipe, and I was pleasantly surprised!

Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs. Using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to flavoring with salt, these chicken thighs are flavorful and juicy without a high sodium content. For more healthy tips and recipes, check out @winetoweights at www.winetoweightlifting.com.

Click HERE for more recipes and ways to use lemons in place of salt!

Your turn..
Do you monitor your sodium intake?
Have you ever subbed an ingredient to make a healthier version of a meal?
Are you as obsessed with chicken thighs like I am?
Have you ever zested a lemon?


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan July 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Gonna Try these tonight as i don’t have a lot to work with in my fridge (NOTHING!) and thighs defrosting for dinner!


Kat July 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm

I LOVE cooking with lemon!
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~jenniferlynn July 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Have any favorite recipes?


Shelly July 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm

This is an awesome post because I love all things lemon, like a lot! I will definitely be giving this recipe a try, thanks for sharing!
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Twitter: mast2mar
July 21, 2014 at 10:46 pm

LOVE seasoning with lemons! I don’t watch my sodium intake since I (have previously tracked a few daily meals) don’t consume much salt in the food I normally eat. Nor do I add salt (much if any) when I cook. Thats what spices are for :) Sometimes after a few consecutive days of workouts, I do crave more salty things, but I just drink some Nuun instead (since I think my body wants the electrolytes). Sounds like a nice chicken recipe! Wonder if you could make a lemon juice/lemon zest paste with a little EVOO, pepper and chili powder…yum!
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Lisa RunFastMama
Twitter: runfastmama
July 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

YUM! Gonna totally try to make this as I love chicken thighs too! I don’t monitor my salt too much and I crave it, lol, but my BP is like 107/79 or so on average and salt does not seem to have an effect on it. I am much better than I used to be though.
Thanks for sharing!
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Melanie July 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I don’t monitor my sodium intake so much, but I definitely don’t like things are overly salted (don’t get me wrong… salt does add something great.) I’ve never thought of lemons as a way to get a salty flavor, but you’re totally right… it really does sort of replace salt.

Some other things that I use to replace salt is vinegar (think pickles) and baking soda (obviously not together, that would be a mess.)

I put baking soda in spaghetti sauce because it neutralizes the acid (I get mad heartburn from tomato-based things) and it gives a salty taste so you don’t have to add any salt. When you put it in the sauce, it’ll foam a bit which is really gross looking, but it’s fine.

I’m going to have to try this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. :)
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Daniel July 25, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Thanks for the great-looking recipe!
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