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 Madeira
- Spatchcock Chicken
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Baked Chicken Breast
- Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
Chicken Piccata Recipe (VIDEO)
4.98 from 80 votes
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.
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Chicken Piccata
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $10-$12
Servings: 6 as a main course
For the Chicken Piccata:
- 1small lemon, sliced into rings
US Customary – Metric
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 254Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Vitamin A 474IU9%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
What is chicken piccata? It's pan-fried chicken in a piccata sauce, which is a combination of butter, oil, fresh lemon juice, and capers.What does Giada serve with chicken piccata? ›
In her culinary presentations, Giada De Laurentiis often pairs chicken piccata with a hearty side of garlic mashed potatoes and a light, crisp mixed green salad. The creamy, savory potatoes perfectly complement the tangy, lemony chicken, while the salad adds a refreshing touch.Why is my chicken piccata bitter? ›
If your chicken piccata tastes bitter, it may be due to overcooked lemons, excessive lemon juice, overcooked capers, or burnt butter or flour in the sauce.What is a substitute for lemon juice in chicken piccata? ›
Best Option: Lime Juice
Lime juice wins the spot for best overall substitute for lemon juice because of its similar taste (just a little sweeter) and acidity level. You can use it in both savory and sweet dishes, as well as cocktails.
The best substitutes for capers are chopped green olives, chopped kalamata olives, lemon juice, pickles or pickled onions, green peppercorns, nasturtium seeds, anchovies, artichoke hearts, wine, and vinegar.What is a substitute for capers in chicken piccata? ›
what can substitute for capers in chicken piccata? There are two best alternatives for capers in a chicken picatta recipe: fresh thyme or green olives.What is a substitute for capers in piccata? ›
The best substitute for capers? Chopped green olives! Use large green olives packed in water if you can find them — and don't get the filled kind! They can mimic the briny flavor of capers. Roughly chop them, then you can use 1 tablespoon chopped olives in place of 1 tablespoon capers.What do Italians eat with chicken piccata? ›
In summary, chicken piccata is usually served with a variety of starches, such as rice, pasta, couscous and noodles. Quinoa and polenta are also great options.What wine is best for cooking piccata? ›
The real key to the best chicken piccata, though, is nailing the buttery, lemony caper sauce. Use a dry Italian white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Vermentino, and have it ready to pour into the pan the minute the garlic turns golden so that nothing burns.What is the best wine to use for chicken piccata? ›
Look for dry whites that can hold up to the citrus flavors and acidity of piccata. Some good options include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or dry Riesling. If you prefer red wines, a lighter-bodied red such as a Beaujolais or Gamay may be a good choice.
If you've already made your chicken piccata, just store it in an airtight container and freeze. To reheat, thaw it and bake it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes. Reheating the chicken in the oven helps reduce the sogginess that can occur after freezing.What is capers in food? ›
Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they're picked by hand, they're fairly pricey, but they're a versatile storecupboard ingredient that's ideal for adding a distinctive sour/salty flavour to many savoury dishes.Can you reheat chicken piccata? ›
To reheat the leftover chicken piccata, heat a nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and allow to heat for 1 minute per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet, add the sauce to the pan, and heat until simmering. Serve the sauce over the chicken.What's the difference between chicken francese and chicken Picatta? ›
The difference between the two is for Francese, the chicken breast is first dipped in flour, then into a beaten egg mixture, before being cooked. For piccata, the chicken is first dipped in egg and then in flour. Both are then simmered in a lemony butter sauce, but the piccata sauce includes capers.”What is the difference between chicken scallopini and chicken piccata? ›
Piccata refers to a sauce (made with lemon, capers, broth, and butter) that's often partnered with chicken, while scallopini refers to the method for preparing the chicken.What does piccata mean in Italian? ›
Piccata, though, is an Italian word meaning larded. It seems to be a translation of the French word pique (sharp, as in piquant). When used in a reference to a way of preparing food (particularly meat or fish) it means sliced and sauteed in a sauce containing lemon, butter, and spices.