A healthier twist on an Italian-American classic, this Chicken Piccata recipe is prepared on the stovetop with the addition of green beans, wine, capers, and garlic. You’ll love the zingy, springy taste of this easy chicken dinner!
An Easy 30-Minute Chicken Piccata Recipe
On any given night, it’s likely that if I’m asked what’s for dinner, my answer is “Chicken!” And when the chicken is this good, I have a bunch of satisfied customers. Err. Eaters. ?
That’s right: chicken piccata may sound fancy, but it’s a really simple recipe we all enjoy! If you’re tired of the same old ways of cooking chicken, try this one out! It’s just as easy as your favorite sauteed chicken recipe. But the complex burst of wine, capers, garlic, and onion is delicious!
I like to serve my chicken piccata as is, or with buttery noodles, even mashed cauliflower for a satisfying meal that comes together easily. Speaking of noodles, my Chicken Piccata Pasta is a huge FAVE. ?
What is Chicken Piccata?
If you’ve never had chicken piccata, you’re in for a flavor revelation! It’s a traditional Italian-American dish with thin slices of chicken breast cooked in a savory pan sauce. The sauce gets some tangy, bright flavor from lemon and capers, while garlic, chicken broth, and butter help balance it out.
In restaurants, you will often find that chicken piccata includes a breading on the chicken pieces, but for our healthy version, we’ll just pan-fry them without. That saves calories and results in a lighter dish overall. It also makes the cooking process more streamlined and easy to do on a busy weeknight!
What Does Piccata Mean?
When talking about food prep, particularly when it comes to meat or fish, piccata means slicing and sautéing the food in a sauce made of lemon, butter, and spices.
What’s the Difference Between Chicken Piccata and Chicken Francese?
The main difference is the way the chicken is breaded. For chicken Francese the chicken is first dipped in flour, then into an egg mixture. For chicken piccata, the chicken is dipped in the egg first, then in the flour, and the sauce includes capers. That being said, I left the flour out entirely for this recipe to make the dish healthier and low-carb.
What You’ll Need
This chicken piccata recipe calls for boneless chicken breasts, wine, capers, and a few pantry staples like chicken broth and onions. It’s easy and good! Be sure to check out the recipe card below for specific amounts.
- Chicken Breasts: Take 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and pound them to ¼-inch thickness. You can also use two large breasts and cut them in half longwise, to produce two pieces out of one.
- White Wine: You’ll need 1/3 cup total; some for the sauce and some for the chicken. Use your favorite white wine. I almost always use Chardonnay because that is what I like to drink.
- Cornstarch: As with the wine, you’ll divide the cornstarch between the sauce and the chicken.
- Salt & Pepper
- Chicken Broth: For this recipe, I used half a cup of low sodium chicken broth; you can substitute vegetable broth, or just use water.
- Lemon Juice
- Oil: To pan-fry the chicken, you’ll need avocado oil, vegetable oil, or your favorite high-heat cooking oil.
- Onion: I generally use yellow, but any kind will do.
- Green Beans: Wash two cups of fresh green beans and trim the tips. You can also snap them into 1-inch pieces.
- Capers: You’ll need 2 tablespoons of capers, rinsed. They’re usually sold in jars, near the pickles and olives.
- Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley is perfect for garnishing your chicken!
- Lemon Wedges: For serving.
How to Make Chicken Piccata
Chicken piccata is super simple! It really helps to have all of your ingredients measured and laid out before cooking. From there, it’s just cooking the various ingredients in a skillet until done.
- Prep Chicken Breasts: Pound the chicken breasts to an even ¼-inch thickness. You can use thicker chicken breasts, but keep in mind that those will need longer to cook through.
- Marinate the chicken: In a mixing bowl, combine half of the wine with a teaspoon of cornstarch, half a teaspoon of salt, and a fourth of a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken breasts to the sauce, and toss to evenly coat. Set aside.
- Prep Sauce: In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, lemon juice, remaining wine, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Set aside for later.
- Cook Chicken: Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in a large, 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat. Arrange the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes; flip, add 1 tablespoon of butter, and cook for 4 more minutes, or until just cooked through.
- Cook Veggies: Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet. Add half a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions to the heated oil, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and add the green beans and capers to the skillet; season with ¼ teaspoon salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until the green beans are crisp-tender.
- Finish the Dish: Stir in the previously prepared sauce, then return the chicken to the skillet, turning it to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Remove from the heat and garnish with parsley.
- Enjoy! Serve the chicken piccata with lemon wedges, if desired.
Tips for the Best Chicken Piccata
This wonderful chicken piccata recipe is pretty straightforward, but there are still a few tips and tricks to make it even easier and tastier!
- Cut the Chicken into Cutlets: To get the chicken nice and thin, it can be helpful to cut the chicken breasts in half, starting at the thicker edge and cutting through the middle. Then, pound as needed to make ¼-inch thin pieces.
- Substitute Asparagus: If fresh asparagus is in season, you can substitute washed and trimmed asparagus for the green beans. The flavor goes perfectly with the buttery lemon sauce and pan-fried chicken.
- Cook in Batches: Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the chicken in batches to get it all nicely cooked and avoid crowding.
So what goes well with chicken piccata? As I’ve already mentioned, you can’t go wrong with some mashed potatoes or pasta. Here are more favorites:
- Baked Zucchini: Tender rounds of zucchini are baked in a creamy parmesan sauce until bubbly and delicious. Try my Creamy Parmesan Baked Zucchini for a side dish made in heaven!
- Brussels Sprouts: Their delightful texture and savory flavor make these Crispy Parmesan Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts a perfect side dish anytime.
- Pasta: This skillet vegetable lasagna recipe is hearty, comforting and goes perfectly with the bright, tangy chicken.
- No-Rise Bread: A loaf of easy No-Rise Basil Pesto Bread makes any meal more special, thanks to its homespun flavor and satisfying warmth. Popovers are another great side – they’re easy to make and are perfect for sopping up extra sauce.
How To Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- When you are ready to reheat the extras, place the amount you want to eat on a microwave-safe plate and zap it until heated through. I recommend covering the chicken with a microwave safe bowl to prevent splattering.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thickness
- ⅓ cup white wine, divided (you can also use chicken broth instead of wine)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon Fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups trimmed fresh green beans
- ¼ cup capers, rinsed
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Using a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to an even ¼-inch thickness.
- In a large mixing bowl combine half of the wine with 1 teaspoon cornstarch, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper; whisk to combine.
- Add chicken breasts to the wine mixture and toss to evenly coat. Set aside for 20 minutes.
- In a separate smaller mixing bowl whisk together the chicken broth, lemon juice, remaining wine, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Set aside for later.
- Heat 1-½ tablespoons oil in a large 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat
- Add chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes; flip, add 1 tablespoon of butter, and cook for 4 more minutes or until just cooked through. The thicker the chicken breasts, the longer they'll have to cook. Use an instant read food thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken breasts are cooked through when internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
- Add ½ tablespoon some oil to the skillet if needed, and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add diced onions to the heated oil and cook for 1 minute, or just until starting to soften.
- Stir in garlic and cook for 10 seconds.
- Add green beans and capers to the skillet; season with ¼ teaspoon salt and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until green beans are crisp tender. Stir occasionally.
- Stir the previously prepared wine sauce and add it to the skillet. Cook for 10 seconds.
- Return chicken and its juices back to the skillet; turn chicken to coat with the sauce.
- Cook for a minute or two, or until sauce is a little thickened.
- Remove from heat.
- Garnish with parsley. Serve.
- Chicken Cutlets: To cut chicken breasts into cutlets, start at the thicker edge and slice each chicken breast in half. Then, give them a good pound until they’re thin and even. You can also save time and grab chicken cutlets instead of chicken breasts.
- Cooking in Batches: Depending on your pan size, you might need to cook the chicken in batches. It helps everything cook evenly and keeps the pan from getting too crowded.
- Cooking Chicken On The Stovetop: To get that perfect golden-brown crust on your chicken without overcooking it, keep an eye on your heat. Start on medium-high heat for browning, then lower the heat as needed so your chicken doesn’t dry out. This also ensures your lovely buttery lemon sauce doesn’t burn.
- Flavor Boost: For an extra flavor boost, add a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese on top of the chicken piccata right before serving. The cheese melts into the sauce, adding a layer of richness to the dish.
- Try Asparagus: Got some fresh asparagus around? Feel free to sub it in for the green beans. The combo of asparagus with that rich, citrusy butter sauce and crispy chicken is just dynamite.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
More Chicken Recipes to Try:
I have plenty more chicken dinner recipes that your family is bound to fall in love with. Here are just a few examples!