The combination of lemon juice and capers gives this Easy Chicken Piccata recipe a bright and flavorful taste that is perfect for a weeknight keto dinner, all made in one pan.
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Classic Chicken Piccata is one of my favorite chicken meals. It’s amazing how humble chicken breasts become the perfect platform to build robust flavor with just a handful of the right ingredients!
This version is a paleo, low-carb, and keto chicken piccata. So let me show you how to make the best one-pan zesty, lemon chicken dinner with this easy recipe.
What is a Chicken Piccata?
Chicken Piccata is an Italian dish typically made with chicken breast, lemon, capers, and white wine.
It’s a popular dish both in restaurants and at home, as it’s relatively easy to make and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
This dish gets its bright flavor from the lemon juice and zest, which is balanced out by the salty capers.
The white wine adds a touch of acidity and helps to deglaze the pan, making for a delicious sauce that coats the chicken.
Chicken Piccata: A Quick Italian Classic
So, I bought stainless steel skillets just to make those perfectly browned chicken breasts in my kitchen. Can you blame me?
One of the most often used yet underrated cuts of chicken is the simple chicken breast. There are so many ways to pan sear and sauté chicken breasts, and Chicken Piccata is at the top of my list of recipes.
The reason I love this dish so much is that it’s a classic Italian recipe that can be made relatively quickly and easily.
All made in one pan, this recipe starts with chicken breasts that are pounded thin, then dredged with tasty lemon caper sauce.
Keto, Paleo, and Low-Carb Chicken Piccata
Although I didn’t set out to make a keto friendly, paleo, or low-carb Chicken Piccata, this dish naturally is. There are only 2 grams of carbs in each serving and only 1 net carb.
To make this paleo, use ghee or coconut oil in place of the butter.
My unique way of perfectly searing chicken breasts means no flour or grains are used in the recipe. It is also sugar-free.
Lemons have a trace of fructose, which likely accounts for the 1 gram of sugars in each serving.
Ingredients for Making Chicken With Lemon and Capers
- Chicken breasts – thinly sliced
- Olive oil
- Diced onion
- Minced garlic
- Lemon juice
- Grated lemon zest – from the rind of the lemon
- Chicken broth – low sodium
- Capers – rinsed well and dried
- Unsalted butter – or ghee or coconut oil
- Lemon – very thinly sliced
The Best Chicken Piccata Tips
- Use chicken breasts that are of even thickness. This will help them to cook evenly.
- Pound the chicken breasts thin. This helps them to cook quickly and prevents them from drying out.
- Be sure to deglaze the pan with white wine. This helps to create a delicious sauce.
- Do not overcook the chicken. It should be cooked through but still moist and juicy.
- Use only a little lemon zest. The lemon flavor should be present but not overwhelming.
To properly zest a lemon: Using a small zester or grater, gently take off the yellow outermost layer of the lemon rind. Just the yellow part, not the white rind, which is bitter.
How to Make Chicken Piccata
From start to finish this easy, and flavorful lemon caper chicken recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Pan fry the chicken. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat olive oil until it is hot.
Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook them for 4 minutes per side. Don’t flip them more than once so that they can get a good sear.
Set the chicken aside. Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and put them on a plate or platter. Cover them with foil.
Make the piccata sauce. To the skillet, add onion and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and chicken broth. Stir until smooth. Simmer until bubbly. Remove the skillet from heat and add butter and capers.
Ready to serve. Use tongs to dip each chicken breast into the sauce. Coat both sides of each chicken breast. Serve with slices of lemon as a garnish (optional).
- If you’re looking for a dairy-free or Paleo version of this dish, simply omit the butter from the sauce and use ghee or coconut oil instead.
- If you don’t have any white wine on hand, you can use chicken broth in its place.
- To make this dish extra flavorful, try adding some dried thyme or oregano to the chicken dredge.
- For a bit of spice, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- You can also use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Just be sure to cook them for a few minutes longer, as they will take longer to cook through.
What to Serve With Chicken Piccata
This chicken with lemon and capers is traditionally served with pasta, but it can also be served with some of my favorite side dishes like:
How to Store and Reheat Lemon Caper Chicken
This lemon caper chicken dish can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container.
When you’re ready to reheat it, simply rewarm it in a skillet over medium heat until it’s heated through.
You can also reheat it in the microwave. Just be sure to heat it in 30 second intervals so that you don’t overcook the chicken.
Frequently Asked Questions
This easy piccata sauce is made from lemon and chicken broth that is packed with flavor from capers, butter, and other delicious ingredients.
This sauce is reduced to bring out the best flavors from the lemon, butter, and capers.
What does chicken piccata taste like? It tastes tart from the lemon juice and pickled capers with a rich creaminess from the butter.
The butter and broth help cut the lemony-zing to create a light but traditional sauce.
Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and keep it in the oven at warm or 250ºF.
Yes, it is important to rinse capers before using them because they are soaked in brine (salt water) and vinegar. If you don’t rinse them, they will be too salty.
Get the Best Chicken Piccata Recipe Below
Chicken Piccata Recipe
- 4 boneless thinly sliced chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon diced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 lemon, juiced
- grated lemon zest (from the rind of the lemon)
- 1/3 cup chicken broth, low sodium
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed well and dried
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (or ghee or coconut oil)
- 1 lemon, very thinly sliced (optional, for garnish)
- In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat olive oil until simmering. Add the chicken breasts and sauté for 4 minutes on each side. For the best sear, do not flip the chicken more than once.
- Remove chicken breasts to a plate or platter, tenting loosely with foil. Add onion and garlic to skillet and cook 1 minute. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and chicken broth, stirring until smooth. Simmer until bubbly.
- Remove skillet from heat and add butter and capers. Using tongs, dip each chicken breast into the sauce, coating both sides. Serve with slices of lemon as garnish (optional).