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Chicken Piccata Recipe

Thin cutlets pan-fried until golden and smothered in a creamy, buttery lemon sauce, this chicken piccata recipe is one of my favorite 30 minute meals as it combines class and elegance with simplicity. It’s great for weeknight meals as well as serving guests!

Chicken piccata and pasta in a bowl.
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The Sauce is Everything!

It’s not always easy to come up with new and exciting chicken breast recipes that my whole family will love, so when I find one like this easy chicken piccata, it becomes highly requested, even by the pickiest eaters!

If you’ve ever had my chicken Francese, chicken milanese recipe or crusted parmesan chicken you’ll notice some similarities. However, instead of dredging the cutlets in flour and then egg, this recipe for chicken piccata only requires the flour to give it a nice golden exterior.

It’s then smothered in a buttery, creamy, and vibrant lemon sauce with capers!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple ingredients. I just love when basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen can come together to deliver explosive flavor.
  • Lots of flavors. The lemon sauce is so vibrant and adds so much creamy tartness to the dish. The briny capers are a significant addition to this dish and add just the right amount of tartness.
  • Can be made quickly. With 5 minutes of prep time, the entire dish is ready to serve in 30 minutes. That gives you enough time to make a side dish or two at the same time.

Chicken Piccata Recipe Ingredients

Chicken piccata ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Chicken breasts: Boneless skinless chicken breasts are best to use for creamy chicken piccata. It easy to pound them flat, turning them into thinner chicken cutlets.
  • All-purpose flour: This helps to absorb the moisture on the surface of the chicken so that it browns nicely as it sears. The flour also gives it a golden crust and helps the sauce stick to the cutlets.
  • Salt & pepper: Just a bit of seasoning for the flour to give it a bit of flavor. It doesn’t need much as so much of the yummy taste comes from the sauce.
  • Olive oil & butter: Both are used to brown the chicken. The butter helps with extra flavor and using both prevents burning. You’ll also need to keep some butter for the sauce.
  • Lemon juice: The star of the sauce! Fresh lemon juice is fresh, and vibrant, and adds a delightful citrus element to the cream sauce. Do not use the bottled lemon juice.
  • Chicken stock: Use homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth or stock, whatever you’ve got on hand.
  • Capers: These come in a brine, so be sure to rinse and drain them, otherwise they’ll be super salty.
  • Heavy cream: Makes the sauce rich and creamy.


There are many ways to make this pan-fried chicken recipe your own!

Serve chicken piccata with the optional garnish of fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Tweak the chicken piccata sauce to suit your tastes. Add some lemon zest or fresh herbs. Replace the capers with sundried tomatoes like I use in marry me chicken or try green olives. You can even add sauteed mushrooms to the sauce.

How to Make Chicken Piccata

Showing how to make chicken piccata in a 6 step collage.
  • Prepare the cutlets. If your breasts aren’t already butterflied or if they’re very thick, slice them in half horizontally. Place them in a ziptop bag or between two pieces of plastic wrap and use a meat tenderizer (aka a meat mallet) or a rolling pin and pound them until they are evenly thin.
  • Dredge each piece. Grab a shallow dish and in it add the flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk together and then dredge the cutlets, one at a time, shaking off excess flour.
  • Brown the meat. Cook the chicken in melted butter in oil for 4-5 minutes per side. Once golden brown and cooked through, transfer the chicken to a serving platter. You may need to work in batches if all pieces can’t fit in the skillet at once.
  • Make the sauce. To the same skillet, add the lemon juice, chicken stock, remaining butter, and capers. As it boils, deglaze the skillet and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Season to taste and continue simmering for a few minutes.
  • Whisk in cream. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream until the sauce is smooth. Return the skillet to the heat and allow it to simmer until thickened. Transfer the chicken back into the skillet to heat through.
  • Serve. Enjoy chicken piccata over rice, mashed potatoes, or your favorite pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese for a finishing touch!

Expert Tips

  • Even thickness. This is important so that the chicken cooks evenly. Since it cooks pretty quickly, you don’t want to overdo some parts of it and undercook others.
  • Remove from heat while adding cream. This is so that the cream doesn’t curdle or burn. Adding while off the heat will allow it to be incorporated into the sauce smoothly.
  • A creamier sauce. Add more cream! Start with the amount as written and then add more to your liking.
  • Extra crunchy coating. To get extra crunch, you can go the extra mile and use flour, egg, and breadcrumbs for dredging.
Chicken piccata cooking in a skillet.

Recipe FAQs

What is chicken piccata?

Very simply put, it’s thin cutlets of chicken breast that are dredged in flour, shallow pan-fried until golden, then served with a tangy buttery lemon sauce with capers.

What does piccata mean in chicken piccata?

There is no direct translation to an English word, but the term refers to being cooked in a butter lemon sauce.

Can I use a different type of meat?

Piccata can also be made with veal, so if you’re looking to make a veal piccata, you can still use this recipe and swap the chicken for veal.

Is chicken piccata served in Italy?

While its inspiration is Italian, it’s much more widely served in America, making it overall Italian-American.

What to Serve with Chicken Piccata

There are so many awesome ways to serve it. So your piccata isn’t waiting for the sides to be ready, I like to choose dishes that are quick and easy to prepare in the amount of time it takes to make the main dish.

We love it over pasta with an extra helping of sauce. Some of our favorites are linguine or angel hair pasta. I’m also loving homemade egg noodles these days!

Sometimes we’ll also use pasta Alfredo or carbonara because the piccata sauce combines well with the already present cream sauce!

It also pairs well with rice or mashed potatoes. Both are great at absorbing flavorful juices.

As for veggies, you can’t go wrong with roasted Brussels sprouts, green beans, roasted zucchini and squash, or roasted asparagus.

Don’t forget a basket of dinner rolls is a must with any saucy dish!


Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, use the stove on medium-low or the microwave.

Chicken piccata and angel hair pasta in a bowl.

You may also love these other main dish chicken dinners like this chicken madeira recipe, lemon chicken, chicken Parmesan and creamy crockpot chicken!

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Chicken piccata cooking in a skillet.

Chicken Piccata Recipe

5 from 6 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Thin cutlets pan-fried until golden and smothered in a creamy, buttery lemon sauce, this chicken piccata recipe is one of my favorite 30 minute meals as it combines class and elegance with simplicity. It's great for weeknight meals as well as serving guests!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4




  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour , plus more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt , plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper , plus more to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 Tablespoons butter , divided
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons brined capers , drained and rinsed
  • cup heavy cream (more if desired)

Optional garnish: Freshly chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese

    For serving: Linguini or angel hair pasta, Mashed Potatoes


      • Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 4 equal thin chicken fillets. Place in a zip-top bag and pound with a meat tenderizer until even.
      • In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture until evenly coated, shaking off any excess flour.
      • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and 3 Tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Place chicken into the skillet. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. If needed, divide chicken into 2 batches if the skillet is too small to cook all at once. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a serving platter.
      • In the same skillet, add the lemon juice, chicken stock, remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.
      • Remove pan from heat and whisk the cream into the sauce until smooth. Bring the pan back to the heat and simmer until it has started to thicken. Add the chicken back into the skillet and simmer a couple more minutes.
      • Serve over linguini or with mashed potatoes. Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan, if desired.


      Storage: Store chicken and sauce in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove over medium-low heat for a few minutes or in the microwave until warmed through.


      Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 651mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 842IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

      Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

      Course: Main Dish
      Cuisine: Italian

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