This easy Chicken Piccata recipe will transport you straight to Italy, but it is simple enough to make as a weeknight dinner. The juicy chicken is drizzled with a lemon piccata sauce and topped with salty capers. Watch the video tutorial below to see how this may just become your favorite chicken recipe!
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While the name may sound fancy, this recipe is really a quick and easy chicken dinner that makes you feel like you’re dining at a fine Italian restaurant. It is a popular menu item, offered alongside Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti and Meatballs at well-known restaurants like Olive Garden and The Cheesecake Factory. Also, leftovers (if you’re lucky enough to have them), reheat well.
Watch How to Make Chicken Piccata
This classic Italian recipe tastes decadent and fresh thanks to the combination of white wine and lemon over the juicy chicken, but it’s actually quite simple. I hope you’re inspired to make this easy chicken dinner recipe. PS: Be sure to watch the extended taste test at the end of the video.
What is Chicken Piccata?
Chicken Piccata is an easy, one-pan chicken dish made on the stove. The chicken is dredged (covered) in flour and pan-fried. Then, a delicious caper lemon piccata sauce is made in the same pan and then drizzled over the chicken to serve. The sauce goes with a variety of side dishes, making this chicken dish a versatile recipe. We’ve shared some of our favorite Chicken Piccata sides below.
The simple step of dredging the chicken in flour makes the chicken breast quite juicy, forming a crust and sealing in the natural juices and flavor. It is the same method we use for our well-loved Chicken Marsala recipe.
You can pick up each of these classic chicken piccata ingredients at your local grocery store, making this recipe a go-to dish for your family’s table.
- Chicken breasts—3 large chicken breasts cut in half will make 6 cutlets. You can buy precut chicken cutlets and skip the first step of the recipe
- Flour, salt, and pepper—to dredge the chicken, give it a nice crust and seal in the juices
- Butter—adds flavor to the chicken and makes for a creamy lemon piccata sauce
- Olive oil—keeps the chicken from sticking to the pan
- Dry white wine —such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, most of the alcohol will be cooked off
- Lemon juice—a staple in the piccata sauce. Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor
- Capers—adds saltiness to off-set the sour lemon flavor, just be sure to rinse them first
- Parsley—a tasty garnish for the chicken
How to make Lemon Chicken Piccata
In a few short steps, you can create this delicious Italian dish in your own kitchen. It’s perfect for beginners and seasoned cooks alike.
- Cut the chicken lengthwise into thin cutlets, or buy pre-sliced cutlets. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
- Coat (dredge) chicken cutlets in the flour and gently shake off any excess.
- Sautee the floured chicken in a large skillet. Once cooked through to 165 degrees, transfer the chicken to a serving dish.
- Whisk lemon juice, butter, wine, and capers in the same pan to create the piccata sauce. After one minute, dip each side of the chicken into the sauce and return the chicken to the serving dish. Allow the sauce to thicken for two minutes, then drizzle over the chicken to serve.
Pro Tip: Cook the chicken for 2-4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your chicken. Use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness when the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Classic lemon Chicken Piccata is made with white wine, lemon juice, and capers, but you can make some easy substitutes that will still taste great, although not exactly the same.
- Garlic – Some recipes add garlic. You can add it in the fourth step when making the lemon piccata sauce
- Chicken stock – Avoid using alcohol by substituting all or half of the white wine with chicken stock, although most of the alcohol cooks off in the pan.
- Lemon juice – you can omit the white wine altogether to make Lemon Chicken.
- Veal – For a more decadent meal, try substituting the chicken breast for veal cutlets.
- Green olives – swap green olives for capers, or you can omit them.
Can I Substitute the Capers in Chicken Piccata?
While capers are pretty classic to chicken piccata and are an easy way to add so much great flavor and freshness to this dish, my original recipe didn’t call for them. So, if you were curious, you can make this dish without capers, or you can swap capers for olives. But if you haven’t tried the recipe before, capers add such great flavor, I highly recommend you give them a try!
I was making my Lemon and White Wine Chicken for years without capers, and after watching an episode of Giada, I realized it was basically Chicken Piccata!
What to Serve with Chicken Piccata
This Chicken Piccata recipe is classically served with spaghetti or your favorite pasta. Simply cook The pasta according to package directions, drain, and then stir in a tab or two of butter. Pasta pairs perfectly with the flavors of the chicken piccata sauce.
We also love serving it with our Creamy Mashed Potatoes or our quick-cooking Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes. Roasted vegetables, salad with Homemade Italian Dressing, crusty garlic bread, or even a scoop of rice complement the creamy lemon sauce quite well.
Lemon Chicken Piccata typically disappears fast but leftovers (if you’re lucky enough to have them), reheat really well.
- Refrigerating – Store the leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days, according to the USDA.
- To Freeze – transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.
- Reheating – Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator. Then put it in a 350˚F oven for 20 minutes. This will keep the chicken’s crispy coating from getting soggy in the microwave.
More Chicken Dinner Recipes
Our family loves chicken recipes and chicken is the protein we use most often. These are our best-loved chicken dinners:
Chicken Piccata Recipe (VIDEO)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Chicken Piccata is an easy and delicious one-pan chicken dinner with a light lemon and caper sauce that makes you feel like you’re eating in a restaurant.
Cost to Make:
Servings: 6 as a main course
For the Chicken Piccata:
chicken breasts (large), boneless, skinless
salt , or to taste
black pepper, or to taste
unsalted butter, divided
dry white wine such as chardonnay
fresh lemon juice , (juice of 1 large lemon)
capers, rinsed under cold water
small lemon, sliced into rings
Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you end up with 6 cutlets. Sprinkle both sides of cutlets with salt and pepper.
Add 1/2 cup flour to a shallow dish. Dredge chicken to coat with flour, shaking off the excess. Transfer to a large plate in a single layer.
Place a large skillet (non-stick or stainless steel will work) over medium/high heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter. Once butter melts and begins to sizzle, add 3 pieces of dredged chicken and saute 2-4 minutes per side or until 165˚F on an instant-read thermometer (timing will depend on thickness of chicken). Remove to a serving platter, add additional 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter and sauté remaining chicken.
In the same skillet without reducing heat, add 1/2 cup wine, 1 Tbsp butter, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 cup rinsed capers. Simmer 1 minute then dip your chicken pieces into your sauce a few pieces at a time and place them back on your platter. Continue simmering sauce another 2 minutes to slightly thicken. Drizzle sauce over chicken and garnish with lemon slices and fresh parsley.
Chicken Piccata Recipe (VIDEO)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Vitamin A 474IU9%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.