Chicken Piccata

February 22, 2020

Chicken Piccata is a classic recipe everyone should know how to make! This creamy version just takes the traditional lemon chicken piccata up to a whole new level of delicious! Here you get perfectly pan seared, golden brown and tender chicken breast cutlets, topped with a rich and bright lemon sauce and they’re finished with tangy capers a touch of fresh herbs.

Also be sure to try my Salmon Piccata too!

4 servings of chicken piccata on a white oval serving platter.

The Best Chicken Piccata Recipe

Let’s just start out by stating the obvious, everything is better with a little cream added right? My mom taught me that and it’s one of the most important things she ever taught me. Truth :).

I love how simple and quick this chicken dish is to make! It’s definitely fit for a weeknight meal, yet it’s elegant enough for serving to guests on the weekend. And it’s something everyone can agree on.

Piccata Sauce Perfection

This version isn’t skimpy with the sauce, and of course you’ll absolutely love the fact that it’s a rich and creamy sauce vs. a plain old basic brothy sauce. The piccata sauce doesn’t contain an overwhelming amount of lemon juice, and I love what the little dab of butter offers and the way it pairs with the lemon.

It’s chicken piccata perfection! I can never get enough of that golden brown exterior on chicken cutlets and the rich flavor all those browned bits at the bottom of the pan add so much flavor. They really build up the flavor profile of the sauce.

This is just one of those a staple Italian recipes you’ll make again and again…and again. It’s how you turn bland and boring chicken into something worthy of dinner praises all around.

What is Chicken Piccata?

Piccata is an Italian word meaning “larded.” In cooking terms, it means “sliced and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter and spices.”

Check, check and check with this version, plus you get the added cream to take this to the next level. In Italy, they typically make it with veal sliced very thinly. However, here in the United States Chicken Piccata is most common.

Image of ingredients that are used to make Chicken Piccata.

Lemon Chicken Piccata Ingredients

This classic Italian dish requires surprisingly few ingredients, and most of them are pantry staples:

  • Chicken breasts
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Cornstarch
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Fresh parsley
  • Capers

Showing how to slice a chicken breast in half to create two cutlets. Dredging a chicken cutlet in flour in a glass dish.

How to Make Chicken Piccata

  • 1. Whisk together flour, salt and pepper.
  • 2. Dredge both side of chicken cutlets in flour mixture, then add to skillet.
  • 3. Sear chicken on both sides until browned and cooked through.
  • 4. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

Pan searing four chicken pieces. Four fully cooked chicken cutlets in a skillet.

  • 5. Add garlic to the same pan and saute until golden.
  • 6. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Allow broth to simmer until reduced by half.
  • 7. Whisk cornstarch with a little broth, then add to skillet along with the lemon juice.

Adding chicken broth and lemon to arlic and browned bits in the bottom of a skillet. Stirring cream and butter into chicken piccata sauce in a skillet.

  • 8. Let simmer until slightly thickened, then remove from heat and stir in butter and cream.
  • 9. Return chicken to skillet and spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with capers and parsley and serve warm.

Four servings of chicken piccata in a creamy lemon piccata sauce, shown after cooking in a large aluminum skillet.

Want to see how easy this chicken piccata recipe is? Watch the video!

Do I Have to Add Cornstarch to the Piccata Sauce?

The cornstarch helps thicken up the lemon piccata sauce. Without it, I think the sauce would be too runny. If you don’t have any cornstarch, you may be able to achieve similar results with a little all-purpose flour.

What Sides to Serve with Chicken Piccata?

Chicken piccata served over fettucine pasta.

Tips for the Best Chicken Piccata

  • The chicken breasts should be fairly thin and pounded out even (after halving) if needed. This way, they’ll cook quickly and evenly.
  • Don’t skip the flour, it helps the chicken to brown nicely on the exterior it also gives the sauce something to cling to.
  • Only use fresh lemon juice not bottled, it would ruin the flavor of the dish.
  • If you are looking to cut calories, you could replace the heavy cream with half and half instead and still have a deliciously creamy sauce.
  • Rinse the capers so they aren’t too salty.
  • Don’t skip the fresh parsley, as adds that extra bit of freshness to this lemon chicken piccata and adds a nice pop of color.

More Classic Italian American Recipes You’ll Love:

Creamy Chicken Piccata Recipe

5 from 13 votes

An over-the-top delicious chicken piccata! Perfectly pan seared chicken breasts are topped with a rich and creamy, tangy piccata sauce and little bits of salty capers. Such a satisfying dish!

Servings: 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 (10 - 11 oz each) chicken breasts, butterflied and halved
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups + 1 Tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed

Instructions

  1. After cutting chicken let it rest at room temperature 10 minutes. In a shallow dish whisk together flour, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

  2. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge both sides of chicken cutlets in flour mixture then add to skillet.

  3. Sear chicken, without moving, until browned on bottom, about 4 - 5 minutes then flip chicken and cook opposite side until golden brown on bottom and chicken has cooked through (reducing burner temperature slightly as needed and tilting pan slightly to redistribute oil) about 4 - 5 minutes longer (chicken should register 165 degrees in center). Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

  4. Add garlic to remaining oil in pan (there should be about 1 tsp oil left if not just add a tsp), saute just until slightly golden.

  5. Pour in 1 1/4 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil, while scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Allow broth to simmer until reduced by half, about 4 - 5 minutes.

  6. Whisk together remaining 1 Tbsp chicken broth with cornstarch, then pour mixture into broth in skillet along with lemon juice. Allow to simmer until thickened slightly then remove from heat.

  7. Stir in butter and pour in cream. Season with salt if needed and pepper.

  8. Return chicken to skillet. Spoon sauce over chicken, sprinkle with capers and parsley. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

  • If you are looking to cut calories, you could omit the heavy cream and use half and half instead and still have a deliciously creamy sauce.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Chicken Piccata Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 374 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 118mg39%
Sodium 339mg15%
Potassium 625mg18%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 590IU12%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken Piccata
Author: Jaclyn
Recipe first published January 8, 2016. Photos and text updated January 24, 2020.

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65 Comments

  • Lisa

    Sauce was out of this world good!!!! My family loved it. Great instructions, too.

  • Sonipat

    First of all i just loved the chicken and i also loved to make some different delicious things from chicken so thanks for this recipe when i make this it just wow.

  • Amy Raven

    OMG!!! I’ve been making chicken piccata for many years, but that little bit of cream sends your recipe right to the top of all of the list of those I’ve tried! It’s also the perfect combination of broth, butter and lemon juice. Served it over pasta with fresh asparagus and my sweetheart and I were in heaven! Thank you for sharing a simply wonderful recipe.😋

  • CHRISTINE DENLINGER

    Absolutely yummy and quite easy ro make. Definitely on our dinner menu rotation. I made mine in a cast iron skillet. Would highly recommend using that over any other frying pan. I also quadrupled the recipe but only had a tiny bit of lemon juice. Turned out it was plenty. It was all very delicious. Would love to try it with shrimp.

  • Dawn Hanby

    OMG such a good change up! I doubled the sauce recipe and used thighs but will use thin breasts next time. The sauce was awesome but I included mushrooms, asparagus, and ghee!

  • Jessika

    Excellent! I doubled the sauce, next time I might cut down on the lemon though. Thank you for the recipe, I love your site!

  • Rebecca Bolat

    I also doubled the cornstarch. We love this recipe. Realized too late one evening I didn’t have parsley so I squeezed some dill paste ( found near fresh herbs) into the sauce and skipped the capers. It was amazing and my families new favorite.
    Make with some Parmesan orzo also with a squirt of the dill paste. It tastes like Greek egg lemon soup.