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Lemon Chicken Piccata, you are a delicious work of beautiful simplicity. Chicken cutlets are lightly floured, then pan-cooked in a lemon butter caper sauce for a quick and easy dinner that pleases profoundly.

a skillet of easy lemon chicken piccata

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Piccata Recipe

  • Surprisingly Quick and Easy. When you’re looking for something fast (aren’t we all?), chicken piccata is it. Like Pan-Fried Chicken Breast, it’s quick-cooking and gives moist, juicy results. Start to finish, this easy chicken piccata recipe cooks in about 25 minutes, fewer if you are speedy.
  • Feels Kinda Fancy. As is the way with many Italian recipes (like Chicken Marsala, Chicken Saltimbocca, Chicken Fricassée, and Tuscan Chicken), chicken piccata will make your dinner feel a little extra special.
  • Big Flavor. Lemon chicken piccata is browned on the stovetop and finished with a luxurious sauce made of lemon, butter, capers, white wine, and pan drippings. The lemon butter sauce is so yummy, you’ll want to mop up every last speck.
juicy lemon chicken breast piccata

5 Star Review

“This chicken piccata is as flavorful as one you would get out at a top notch restaurant but muuuuuch healthier!! I was so surprised how little butter yet so creamy and delicious!”

— Maggie —

How to Make Lemon Chicken Piccata

The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breast. The pan-fried chicken breasts stay perfectly juicy in this chicken piccata recipe. If you prefer, you can make it with chicken thighs.
  • Flour. Gives the chicken a light crust on its exterior, thickens the sauce, and helps lock in moisture.
  • Butter. Cooking the chicken in butter and adding it to the sauce makes this simple recipe irresistible.
  • Shallot. Once cooked, the shallots help build flavor for the sauce. You also could use a finely chopped sweet onion if you don’t keep shallots on hand or have them accessible.
  • Lemon. Both the zest and fresh lemon juice add brightness and acidity to the dish. (If you love chicken recipes with lemon, you’ll love this Lemon Basil Chicken, too.)
  • Broth + Dry White Wine. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gavi, and Pinot Grigio are great choices. If you prefer to make chicken piccata without wine, you can swap it for additional chicken broth.
  • Capers. The final ingredient that makes the piccata sauce pop. They’re delightfully salty and briny!
  • Parsley. Fresh parsley is the perfect finishing touch.

Dietary Note

Want to make your chicken piccata gluten-free? Rather than dredging the chicken in regular flour, opt for your favorite gluten-free flour. Arrowroot flour would work especially well since it is a great gluten-free thickening agent for sauces.

The Directions

Two raw chicken breasts on a cutting board
  1. Prepare. Split the chicken breasts in half horizontally into an even thickness (see this video for a tip). Season chicken with salt and pepper.
A chicken breast being coated in flour
  1. Coat. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. (No eggs required.)
Two chicken breasts in a cast-iron skillet
  1. Brown. Sear the outsides of the chicken, then transfer to a plate.
Chopped shallot in a skillet
  1. Soften. Cook the shallot.
Shallots in a sauce in a cast-iron skillet
  1. Simmer. Stir in the wine and broth. Let simmer.
Chicken piccata sauce in a cast-iron skillet
  1. Finish. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, capers, and butter. Let the butter melt, then add the parsley. Serve the chicken with sauce over the top. ENJOY!
a skillet of lemon chicken piccata for pasta

Recipe Variations

  • Extra Lemon Chicken Piccata. Bump the lemon juice up to 1/4 cup to make a lemon-caper sauce with an extra boost of bright citrus flavor.
  • Garlic. Traditionally, chicken piccata sauce does not contain garlic. However, you can add up to 4 cloves of minced garlic for a garlic-lovers’ twist.
  • Creamy Piccata. For a touch of indulgence, add a splash of cream and Parmesan cheese.

Leftover Ideas

Dice up leftover chicken and toss it with cooked whole wheat pasta noodles, spooning any leftover sauce over the top. This chicken would also be delightful over a bed of greens.

a plate with lemon chicken piccata

What to Serve with Lemon Chicken Piccata

sliced juicy chicken piccata on a plate

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Make Cutting Easier. Cutting chicken breasts into cutlets cab be tricky! To make it easier, you can place the chicken breasts in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes prior to cutting. This will firm them up enough to make slicing them in half a breeze.
  • Check That the Cutlets Are Even in Thickness. If they’re not, I recommend pounding them. This ensures that they’re evenly cooked and that the cutlets finish cooking at the same time.
  • Don’t Crowd the Pan. Don’t let the cutlets touch each other in the pan; if you cram them in, they won’t get that nice pan-sear on the outside, which means they won’t be as flavorful. Cook in batches if you have to!

Lemon Chicken Piccata

5 from 8 votes
Lemon chicken piccata is an easy 30-minute dinner that pairs tender cutlets with a flavorful pan sauce. Like a fancy Italian restaurant meal!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 shallot peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine or additional chicken stock
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1/4 cup brined capers rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley plus additional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Split each chicken breast in half horizontally to create two thinner pieces of chicken. I like to do this by carefully placing my hand on top to give myself a feel for whether or not I am slicing the chicken evenly. To make the chicken easier to slice, you can place it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes prior to cutting. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly dredge each piece of chicken on both sides with the flour.
  • In a large, sturdy skillet, heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter has melted, carefully lower a single layer of chicken pieces into the skillet (angle the chicken away from you as you set it down), ensuring they do not touch each other in the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken. If at any point the pan seems dry, drizzle in a little more oil.
  • Reduce the pan heat to medium-low. Add the shallot to the now-empty pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is lightly caramelized, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the wine and broth and return the heat to medium. Let simmer, stirring often, until it is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Add the lemon zest (I zest it right over the pan), lemon juice, capers, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir to combine, then season with more salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned generously all over the top. Garnish with additional parsley as desired.

Video

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze chicken in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 230kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 17gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 68mgPotassium: 356mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 482IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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20 Comments

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  1. I’ve been a horrid, terrible cook. I’ve been struggling with getting chicken right forever. Tonight, thanks to you, your book, this blog, and this recipe, I finally made an awesome chicken dinner! My chicken was cooked just right & the piccata sauce was perfect! I sub’ed 1/3 cup chicken broth mixed with 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar for the wine to finally get that little “bite” wine adds. Everything I’ve learned from you & your chicken recipes came together – it was kind of magic. Thank you!5 stars

  2. This chicken piccata is as flavorful as one you would get out at a top notch restaurant but muuuuuch healthier!! I was so surprised how little butter yet so creamy and delicious!5 stars

  3. This recipe came out great. I’ve tried various versions of chicken piccata, but this one was very straight-forward and easy. For me, the key is to get all ingredients ready and prepped prior to actual cooking. The only change I made was to double the sauce. The sauce was rich and delicious. The chicken was quite tender. Will definitely make this one again.5 stars

  4. This recipe is fantastic! Chicken picatta has always been one of my favorite dishes and this is an amazing rendition that allows me to make a restaurant quality meal with limited time!!5 stars

  5. My hubby and I enjoyed this immensely. I served this with roasted potatoes, carrots and peppers. I used only one large chicken breast, filleted it and reduced all ingredients for the two of us! Keep them coming Erin and we’ll keep following your wonderful recipes. Thank you!5 stars

  6. This is one of my all time favorites! The lemon and wine give the meal a great tart flavor with the butter to tame it down just the right amount. I tried adding a little heavy cream, to stretch the sauce, and tame the tart flavor a bit more, and I must say it was a gamble that paid off!5 stars

  7. there is no sodium amount. i like this page but i have to have sodium. the diet i am on is high protein low sodium. gina gray

    1. Hi Gina, I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online (myfitnesspal.com is popular). I hope that helps!

  8. What a lovely recipe with a good balance of flavors, and I wouldn’t add or take away a thing. I paired it with steamed green beans covered with toasted almonds and toasted garlic in olive oil.5 stars

  9. Yet another instant and tasty recipe that can be made on one go. Use meat tenderizer to get soft and supple chicken breasts. Using capers cannot be omitted because it adds the authentic salty taste to the recipe.