Chicken Piccata

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Chicken piccata is an Italian-American favorite and one of the easiest weeknight dinner recipes to make at home. Juicy chicken breasts are dredged in flour, seared with a golden crust, then simmered in a lemon butter sauce with a touch of capers and parsley. It’s a beautiful and tasty dinner that comes together quickly!

Chicken piccata in a white serving dish
Photo: Gayle McLeod

What is Chicken Piccata?

Without a doubt — chicken piccata is the perfect fusion of Italian cooking in America. Traditionally, piccata is an Italian dish consisting of thinly breaded veal (or other proteins) with a lemon butter wine sauce. But today we’re using chicken, and I’d say we’ve perfected this dish that’s dotted with garlic, capers, and fresh parsley. The more herbs and garlic, the better, right?

And while we’re big fans of this Tuscan chicken, this chicken piccata recipe is another Italian-inspired favorite. It’s juicy, lemony, and just what you need to give chicken breasts a fresh new lift at dinner.

Ingredients for chicken piccata on a table

Chicken Piccata Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients are straightforward, but there are a few substitution notes below.

  • Chicken: You’ll need a couple of large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Dredging Mixture: To get that golden crust you’ll coat the chicken in a mixture of flour, freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. I’m using arrowroot flour as a gluten-free option. But you could use almost any flour in this recipe, so choose your favorite.
  • Chicken Piccata Sauce: This is the heart and soul of the recipe! The sauce consists of fresh lemon juice, a dry white wine, chicken broth, butter, garlic, capers, and fresh parsley. If you don’t want to use white wine, you could also substitute it with more chicken broth.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.

How To Make Chicken Piccata

Slice the chicken. We’re going for a “scaloppine” type of dish here, which essentially means thinly sliced meat. So, you’ll need to slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally, as if you were going to butterfly them. Thinner chicken also cooks faster – something we all love on busy weeknights!

Sliced chicken breasts for chicken piccata

Coat the chicken. Mix the flour, parmesan, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or dish (using a plate can get a bit messy!). Then dredge the chicken in the mixture, coating both sides.

Dredging chicken for chicken piccata

Cook the chicken. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until perfectly golden. Then use tongs to remove the chicken pieces to a separate plate.

Searing chicken for chicken piccata

Make the sauce. Add the wine and garlic to the pan, letting it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until reduced by about half. Then add the broth, lemon juice, capers, and butter. Keep stirring the sauce until it begins to simmer again.

Making wine sauce in pan for chicken piccata

Add the chicken. Add the chicken back to the pan. Spoon the sauce on top until each piece is coated well. Then let it simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until warmed through. And for the finishing touch, sprinkle some fresh parsley on top!

Chicken piccata in a pan

Storage Tips

Don’t be alarmed if there are no leftovers over. Yes, it’s that kind of recipe. But if you need to store any away, here’s how:

  • To store: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Make sure to save all the extra sauce left in the pan as well!
  • To freeze: You might want to plan ahead and make a second batch to store in the freezer! It will keep for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
A pan with chicken piccata

More Chicken Recipes

There are never enough chicken dinner ideas. So here are a few of my favorite chicken breast recipes to keep your weeknights a bit more interesting.

Without a doubt, this chicken piccata will become a dinner favorite. Give it a try and let me know how it turned out in the comment box below!

Chicken piccata filled on a white plate

Chicken Piccata

4.96 from 25 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Chicken piccata is the best Italian-American dinner made with golden-crusted chicken breasts simmered in a lemon butter sauce. Watch the video below!

Video

Ingredients 
 

For the chicken

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour (or other flour)
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the sauce

  • ½ cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley

Instructions 

  • Cut the chicken: Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally.
    Slicing chicken for chicken piccata
  • Coat the chicken: Mix flour, parmesan, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or dish. Dredge the chicken in the mixture, coating both sides.
  • Cook the chicken: Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until cooked through with a golden crust. Use tongs to remove the chicken to a plate.
    Cooking chicken breasts in a pan for chicken piccata
  • Make the sauce: Add the wine and garlic to the pan, letting it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until reduced by about half. Then add the broth, lemon juice, capers, and butter, stirring until it begins to simmer again.
    Making chicken piccata sauce in a pan
  • Add the chicken: Add the chicken back to the pan. Spoon the sauce on top and let it simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until warmed through.
    Finished chicken piccata in a pan
  • Serve: Garnish with parsley before serving.
    A pan with cooked chicken piccata

Lisa’s Tips

  • As an alternative to slicing the chicken breasts in half, you could purchase 4 smaller chicken breasts and pound them thinner with a kitchen mallet. 

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Chicken piccata, chicken piccata recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




59 Comments

  1. Absolutely love this recipe. We made it for the first time last night for our friends and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We have an abundance of fresh lemon juice (that I freeze) and am always looking for recipes that use lemon juice. We had all the other ingredients on hand, including fresh basil. This is a keeper!5 stars

    1. Wonderful! So happy you loved it. And I’m sure it was extra delicious with your fresh lemon juice and basil. :)

  2. This chicken picatta is amazing. It has become a house favorite right alongside Lisa’s Tuscan Chicken. When making the picatta recently I discovered I didn’t plan well and was missing one of the ingredients-chicken broth. So I used a little extra white wine with some water-and it was still delicious. You know you have a good recipe when you can tweak it at the last minute and still have an amazing dinner.5 stars

    1. Yay, so happy you love both of those recipes, Linda! And sounds like you nailed it with a great sub, way to go!

  3. There’s no way I could get 3 tabs from 1 lemon, for the sauce.
    Shoud it have been 3 teas?
    Thanks.
    Jeanne Wilkins

    1. Hi Jeanne – an average lemon will usually give you 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. But yours may have been a bit smaller or dryer. But it is indeed 3 tablespoons for the recipe. :)

  4. This dish was so delicious and easy to prepare!! I found you during Covid and have been making so many of your recipes and enjoy them all! This dish my daughter wanted seconds! My mom also enjoys your recipes too! 

    1. Happy to hear you and your family have been enjoying Downshiftology recipes, including this chicken piccata!

  5. This was SO good. When my husband who hates cooking said he was making chicken piccata for dinner I assumed this was over ambitious on his behalf 😂 but it was DELICIOUS. 5 stars

    1. Haha, too funny! It’s actually a really simple recipe, so your husband picked a good one. ;) Glad you both enjoyed it!

      1. I’ve made this recipe twice! Both times without cheese & white wine, just swapped in more chicken broth as suggested. Will try it next time with white wine. Thank you, it was pretty easy to follow and delish! Love the tanginess of the lemon. Oh I also swapped out the parsley for fresh basil. Can’t stand the smell of parsley5 stars

  6. I made this for the family and they loved it even though my son is not into chicken that much!  Thank you so much for your recipes. We really enjoy them!5 stars

  7. I love your recipes, have your cookbook. I would like to make this recipe for a dinner party this weekend.  Could this dish be made ahead of time?  Thanks so much.

    1. You can make it ahead of time and reheat it. But if you’re making this for a dinner party, I say fresh is best.

  8. i usually cook vegetarian but this recipe looked so easy to make and it was delicious! the capers were not overwhelming. i may have overcooked the chicken but it was still yummy lol. i ended up added a slurry to thicken the sauce as preferred. plenty of sauce for 2 breasts with extra leftover. i added onto some rice. this recipe is perfect for weekdays after a tire day of work.5 stars

  9. This chicken piccata recipe was a hit at the dinner table last night! Our family loves chicken and this easy dinner dish was delicious. Thank you Lisa for always providing great recipes that the whole fam will love.5 stars

  10. Excellent recipe! Easy and delicious, restaurant quality. Simple, fresh ingredients. I’ll be making this one again. I paired this with spaghetti in order not to waste the beautiful sauce….:)5 stars

    1. Wonderful! So happy you enjoyed the recipe. And yes, don’t let that sauce go to waste. ;)

  11. I am New to Lisa’s channel and recipes. This is the first one that I tried and my family LOVED it. The easy to follow instructions were great and I actually had all of the ingredients. Lisa goes step by step and I love that there is also a video to watch Lisa making the recipe. I can’t wait to make this for a dinner party I am having. Five star!!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Lori! And I’m glad you found the video helpful as you made the recipe. :)

  12. Hi Lisa! Your recipe was easy to follow and delicious! Thanks for sharing all your yummy recipes! 5 stars

  13. I made it, I liked it a lot, moved on to the next. Salmon salad! Oh so good! Loved it, shared it, they loved, so good!

  14. It’s a great recipe! The chicken is so juicy and the sauce is amazing! Thanks Lisa!5 stars

    1. You might have had an extra-juicy lemon as well. But you can certainly reduce the amount of the lemon for next time.

  15. I am thinking about taking this FROZEN on a long RV trip out west. Recommendations on reheating??

  16. Another fab one. Thank you so much, Lisa, for sharing the Chicken PICCATA. I very rarely cook chicken breast because I find it very dry. This one works perfectly on the first attempt, so flavorsome and balanced in taste. As you said, there is no leftover. I wish I had cooked rice instead of potatoes to go with the meal so I could use the sauce : P. My daughter has already ordered this for the following Monday’s dinner. Chicken breast is on the shopping list from now on. Thanks again xx5 stars

  17. Hi Lisa, thank you for the Chicken Piccata recipe. I made it tonight for dinner. It was a hit with my DH. The chicken was tender and juicy. The sauce, delish. I did adapt the sauce, as I didn’t have any capers and my parsley hasn’t grown enough to harvest yet. I replaced the capers with a dollop of white miso and the parsley I replaced with basil.5 stars

  18. We had unexpected company tonight and I doubled the recipe. It was a huge hit and many requested the recipe. Your recipes are always spot on.5 stars

  19. Do you think chicken cutlets would work? I hate pounding chicken…The first time I made this, I didn’t have a recipe, just winged it…It was pretty good, but I’m sure can be delish with a few of your hints…

  20. I have made this recipe before and it is fantastic. I used to use panko but I now prefer a bit of flour.
    I usually thicken my sauce but next time I will leave it a bit runnier. Love your recipes and your videos. I also love that you remind the cook to wash their hands after handling raw chicken. You seem to be the only video chef who does. I will try some of your other chicken recipes soon.5 stars