Two second-half goals from John Terry helped Chelsea move five points clear at the top of the table with a stylish victory at The Valley.
Damien Duff put the Blues ahead with a cool finish from a tight angle but they were fortunate to survive when Ricardo Carvalho headed against his own post.
Terry's powerful header made it 2-0 and he sealed the points with a close-range finish soon afterwards.
Eidur Gudjohnsen slotted home a fourth to round off an impressive display.
Chelsea had made seven changes from the side that drew with Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Petr Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Terry, Claude Makelele and Tiago all returned, along with Duff and Gudjohnsen.
And the league leaders were quickly into their stride, taking the lead after four minutes with their first real attack of the game.
Gudjohnsen fed a precise ball into the path of Duff who held off the challenge of Paul Konchesky before prodding his shot past the sprawling Dean Kiely.
In response, Charlton managed to cause the odd moment of confusion in the Chelsea penalty area - but it was the visitors who continued to create the best chances.
Carvalho should have made it 2-0 when he headed Robben's corner over the crossbar from close range - then went close at the other end soon after.
He headed against his own post while trying to clear the danger from Luke Young's long free-kick into the box.
That was the closest the Addicks came to scoring in the first-half - and their hopes of getting anything from the game ended soon after the restart.
Terry made it 2-0 with a thumping header from Duff's corner on 47 minutes - then made certain of victory with his second three minutes later.
From another Duff corner Radostin Kishishev could only nod Tiago's header towards Terry, who got enough on his shot to beat the diving Kiely from inside the six-yard box.
It now seemed just a question of how many Chelsea would score, and Gudjohnsen made it 4-0 before the hour mark when he latched on to Lampard's through ball and confidently slotted home.
Charlton boss Alan Curbishley's response was to bring on three substitutes to try to salvage some pride.
And two of those replacements - Hermann Hreidarsson and Dennis Rommedahl - almost combined to produce a consolation, Hreidarsson's downward header bouncing wide.
With Chelsea briefly content to sit back, the Addicks were being invited to attack and Talal El Karkouri fired narrowly over before Jason Euell brought a smart save from Cech.
However the visitors were not done yet - with Lampard in particular driving forward until the end.
He twice came close to getting on the scoresheet himself, with Kiely denying him on both occasions.
The final whistle could not come quickly enough for the Addicks, while Chelsea looked capable of scoring at will.
Charlton: Kiely, Young, El Karkouri, Fortune, Konchesky,
Kishishev (Rommedahl 64), Murphy (Euell 64), Holland,
Thomas (Hreidarsson 63), Johansson, Bartlett.
Subs Not Used: Jeffers, Andersen.
Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, Gallas,
Tiago, Lampard, Makelele, Duff (Geremi 71),
Robben (Babayaro 79), Gudjohnsen (Drogba 61).
Subs Not Used: Smertin, Cudicini.
Goals: Duff 4, Terry 47, 50, Gudjohnsen 59.
Ref: M Clattenburg (Co Durham).