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Chicken Piccata

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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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two chicken breasts in a stainless skillet for chicken piccata recipe

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

Years ago, I saw Giada de Laurentiis making her famous Chicken Piccata recipe on her cooking show on the Food Network. Those golden chicken breasts and slices of lemon had me hooked!

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.

seared chicken breasts in pan for a paleo chicken dinner

Love chicken recipes? Try our oven baked marinated chicken tenders, Instant Pot pesto chicken, Caprese chicken, and Bisquick fried chicken!

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
ingredients for making lemon chicken - a package of chicken breasts, chicken broth, lemon, lemon slices, lemon zest, and butter

Equipment Needed

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.

a serving plate of zesty homemade lemon chicken piccata

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).

image showing how to sear chicken breasts in a skillet

Recipe Variations

  • 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

What is chicken piccata sauce made of?

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 piccata taste like?

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.

How do you keep chicken piccata warm?

Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and keep it in the oven at warm or 250ºF.

Are you supposed to rinse capers?

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.

a pan of easy lemon chicken piccata with lemon slices on top, a wooden spoon on the left and a wooden holder with salt and pepper on the bottom right

Get the Best Chicken Piccata Recipe Below

Chicken Piccata
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5 from 2 votes

Chicken Piccata Recipe

This bright and flavorful lemon Chicken Piccata recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner, easily homemade in less than 30 minutes with just one skillet!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken, 30 minute meals, chicken piccata, chicken breasts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 325kcal

Equipment

  • skillet

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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). 

Video

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken breast | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 868mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 267IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg


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14 thoughts on “Chicken Piccata”

  1. Every year before Christmas my husbands side of the family has a big catered meal together. Chicken piccata has always been on the menu, a true family favorite!
    Tracie

    Reply
  2. Thanks to your excellent tutorial, I can bake bread! Can’t wait to try this chicken recipe next! Love you and your blog!!

    Reply
    • Isn’t it crazy how just one little thing – like a step-by-step tutorial – can make a difference? No wonder You Tube is so popular! Take on the chicken. You’ll crush it. And, thank you!

  3. Renae,
    The chicken piccata is something I need to try soon! I have seen recipes for it and it always sounds so good! When we go out for Italian I look for this dish and it’s never on the menu :/ I guess It’s time to make it myself! Thanks for another delicious looking recipe!

    Reply
    • Yesssssss, make this easy Italian dish! My husband loves it with mashed potatoes, but it’s so good with angel hair pasta, too.

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