Chicken Piccata

Tangy, zesty, and bursting with lemon flavor. Our easy chicken piccata recipe checks off all of those boxes and so many more. Tender chicken breasts get dredged in a flour mixture then lightly seared to golden brown perfection. Add them to a lemon, white wine caper sauce and serve over pasta, rice, or even potatoes a restaurant quality meal at home.

Top down view of chicken piccata with pasta on a plate.

Lightly breaded chicken served over pasta with a white wine lemon caper sauce. What could be better? If you ask John, he’d probably say, “Not much.” Our chicken piccata recipe is one of his all time favorites.

He’s been ordering it in restaurants since we started dating over 20 years ago. Like any good wife would do, I decided to learn how to make it at home.

Chicken piccata seems like a fancy dish. In actuality, it’s one of those quick chicken breast recipes that’s a lot easier than it looks. 

The thing about this chicken recipe is that there are a lot of moving parts. If you’re trying to get dinner on the table quickly, you’ll want to get the chicken breasts, lemon caper sauce, and pasta or rice all done around the same time. Not to mention anything else you’re serving.

Other than that, chicken piccata is really easy to make. All you have to do is choose your favorite sides.

We love to serve it with roasted garlic spaghetti, garlic mashed potatoes, or over a bed of parmesan risotto.

Tips for the Best Lemon Chicken Piccata

Pound the chicken breasts to the same thickness. This helps them cook at the same rate and ensure that they cook evenly.

Use a wire rack above a layer of paper towels. Place the chicken on a cooling rack after cooking to keep it from getting soggy.

Season the chicken. For more flavor, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the chicken before dredging in flour.

Double the sauce. The lemon and caper sauce is delicious! Make a double batch to serve over spaghetti, angel hair, or mashed potatoes.


Refrigerator: Store leftover chicken piccata in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To prevent the breading on the chicken from soaking up the lemon sauce and becoming soft, store them in separate containers.

Lemon sauce being drizzled over chicken piccata.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What’s the difference between chicken francese and chicken piccata?

Both chicken francese and chicken piccata are pan-fried chicken in a lemon sauce, but their preparation and sauce ingredients are slightly different.

Chicken francese starts off being dipped in flour, then into a beaten egg mixture, and finally pan-fried, resulting in a thicker, somewhat eggier coating. Chicken piccata gets dredged only in flour before frying, giving it a lighter crust.

The sauce for chicken piccata has capers and lemon, whereas chicken francese generally features a lemon-butter sauce, without the capers.

Why is my chicken piccata bitter?

Chicken piccata can turn out bitter for a couple of reasons. Over-reducing the sauce can concentrate the lemon and caper flavors too much causing bitterness. Also, if capers aren’t rinsed properly, they can add a bitter taste.

What can you use instead of capers?

If you don’t have capers on hand or prefer a different taste, try finely chopped green olives. They have a similar briny flavor with a hint of bitterness.

What’s a substitute for white wine in chicken piccata?

A great substitute for white wine is low-sodium chicken broth.

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Close up view of chicken piccata in a pan.

Chicken Piccata

5 from 3 votes
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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, split in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine, or low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 3 to 4 lemon slices
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed


  • Slice the chicken in half lengthwise. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the chicken breasts and pound the thicker sides so that all the chicken is the same thickness.
    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Whisk the flour, salt and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Dredge each of the pieces of chicken in the flour mixture to fully coat them.
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and heat the olive oil and butter together. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until a light golden color begins to form. (Cook the chicken in 2-3 batches depending on the size of your skillet. If this is the case, you may also need to add more oil and butter.) Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside.
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons butter
  • To the same pan, add the garlic and cook just until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    3 garlic cloves
    1 ½ cups dry white wine
    2 lemons
    3 to 4 lemon slices
  • Add the wine, lemon juice and lemon slices and cook until the sauce starts to thicken significantly, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the capers and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is thickened to your liking.
    2 to 3 tablespoons capers
  • Serve the chicken with pasta or rice, and pour the sauce on top. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley if desired.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 piece of chicken with sauce. Actual calories will vary.
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Serving: 1piece of chickenCalories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 15gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 371mgPotassium: 389mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 159IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg
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