Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is a bright, light, quick and easy dinner to prepare. It's perfect for a family weeknight meal, but you can also dress it up to work as a main course for entertaining with a side vegetable or salad.

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A white plate of chicken piccata on thin spaghetti with a glass and bottle of white wine and green napkins.

What is Chicken Piccata?

Chicken Piccata is a classic Italian dish that consists of pan-fried chicken cutlets in a lemon butter sauce with capers. The combination of tart and savory flavors makes this dish an all-time favorite in many households. Although the sauce has a luxurious butter finish, it feels bright and light and full of flavor.

Dredged chicken on a white plate with ingredients in bowls around it.

Quick and Easy Chicken Dinner

One of the best things about Chicken Piccata is that it is quick and easy to prepare. The preparation time is usually around 10-15 minutes, and the cooking time is about the same. This means that you can have a delicious and satisfying meal on the table in under 30 minutes. This is perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. That said, I truly believe that you could serve Chicken Piccata for a dinner party too. Plating it up family style looks impressive and appealing.

Chicken breasts browned in a non-stick skillet.

How to Make Chicken Piccata

To make Chicken Piccata, you’ll need some basic ingredients, including chicken breasts, flour, butter, olive oil, lemon juice, chicken broth, a shallot, some garlic, parsley and capers. Once you have all your ingredients ready, the preparation is simple. First, you’ll need to slice or pound the chicken breasts until they are thin and even. Then, you’ll dredge the chicken in flour and sauté them in olive oil until they are golden brown – it doesn’t take long, just 2 minutes per side. Hold the browned chicken in a warm oven while you make the sauce by adding the shallot, garlic, chicken broth, lemon juice and capers to the pan. Finally, swirl in butter at the end for that luxurious mouthfeel and add the fresh parsley. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the top.

Chicken Piccata in a blue non-stick skillet.

What to Serve with Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata can be served with a variety of sides, depending on your personal preference. One classic option is to serve it with a side of pasta, such as thin spaghetti or linguine, which can be tossed with some of the extra sauce. Another great option is to serve it with a side of roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or green beans. These can be roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper while the chicken cooks on the stove. I even like it with some simple steamed broccoli, but a simple side salad can also be a great option to balance out the flavors of the dish. Consider a mix of greens with some cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a light vinaigrette dressing. Some crusty bread or garlic bread can also be served to soak up any leftover sauce. Of course, a glass of white wine is an obvious accompaniment. 

A white plate of chicken piccata on thin spaghetti with a glass and bottle of white wine and green napkins.

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Chicken Piccata

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 10 m
  • Total Time: 25 m
  • Servings:


  • pounds thin sliced chicken breast
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ lemon sliced
  • ½ shallot minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons capers drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Pre-heat the oven to the lowest temperature possible – usually around 170˚ F.
  2. Slice the chicken breasts into thin fillets (if necessary) and lightly pound the pieces so they are a uniform thickness (no more than ½-inch thick). Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then lightly dredge in the flour and shake off any excess.
  3. Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the olive oil and sear the chicken pieces in batches for about 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and place on a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and pop it into the oven to keep warm.

  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the lemon slices to the skillet and brown lightly. Then, add the shallots and garlic to the skillet and cook for another minute, taking care not to burn the drippings in the skillet. Add the chicken stock and simmer, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet, until the liquid has reduced by half – about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice and capers to the skillet and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the butter to thicken the sauce. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the chicken and any juices from the resting plate to the pan and turn to coat all the pieces in the sauce. Serve immediately over thin spaghetti, rice or potatoes.
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Comments (4)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    So good and so easy. Easy to adjust for more or less people. I am definitely eating again this week. Thanks

  2. 4 stars
    Just made this for the first time today. Loved it, but I have a question. I did not make as much chicken as this recipe called for for just the two of us (I used 15 oz). I did not need to use all the flour to dredge chicken with. I would like a thicker sauce, so I am wondering if that is why it was thin. Could I have added the flour at some point into the recipe so that the sauce would be thicker? I have ordered chicken piccata at restaurants and the sauce is always too thin for my liking. How can I thicken it and not change the flavor?

    1. Hi Linda. If you would like a thicker sauce, here’s what I would do. When you cook the shallots and garlic, add 1 Tbsp of butter. Then, add 1 Tbsp of flour and cook for a minute or two. Then proceed with the recipe, but you probably won’t need to reduce it at all or for as long. Finish with the lemon juice and capers and season to taste.

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