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This healthy chicken piccata recipe is the perfect fancy meal you can make any night of the week! Much like veal scallopini piccata, this lemon chicken piccata combines thin chicken cutlets with an irresistible lemon butter sauce and capers.
What Is Chicken Piccata?
Chicken piccata is a classic Italian-American dish consisting of thin, pounded chicken breast pan fried with a lemony butter and caper sauce.
Some versions of this recipe dredge chicken in all purpose flour before pan frying, but there’s no need — we’re dredging the chicken in something else that’s healthier and even more delicious.
Why You’ll Love This Lemon Chicken Piccata Recipe
- Bright, tangy flavor from lemon and capers
- Tender meat with buttery sauce
- Uses basic ingredients
- No flour needed
- Done in just over 30 minutes
- A naturally healthy, gluten-free, low carb, and keto chicken piccata
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for easy lemon chicken piccata, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
For The Chicken:
- Chicken Breasts – Use boneless skinless chicken breasts that weigh 8 ounces apiece.
- Salt & Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese – Use a grated variety for best texture, since it will serve as a light dredging ingredient for the chicken. It works surprisingly well instead of flour!
- Olive Oil – For frying. I use extra virgin olive oil here, but regular olive oil or avocado oil will also work.
For The Healthy Chicken Piccata Sauce:
- Butter – Gives the sauce flavor and helps thicken. Use unsalted, and for the healthiest option, grass-fed.
- Garlic – Minced garlic in a jar will work fine, but fresh garlic shines in this sauce.
- Chicken Broth – I use reduced sodium chicken broth for all my recipes, which is somewhere between low sodium and regular. The dish may be too salty if you use regular. For an extra nutrient boost, try bone broth instead.
- Lemon Juice – Use fresh squeezed juice if you can! Bottled will work, but does not taste nearly as good. If you like extra lemon flavor, add a teaspoon of lemon zest as well.
- Capers – Get capers in brine, but drain before using in the recipe.
- Fresh Parsley – Optional, for garnish and freshness.
SWAP: Replace half of the chicken broth with dry white wine.
Use a dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. The sauce will be less salty if you do this, so you may need to adjust salt to taste.
How To Make Chicken Piccata
This section shows how to make lemon piccata chicken, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Prep chicken. Slice the 3 chicken breasts horizontally, all the way through, to create 6 thin pieces in total. If necessary, use a meat tenderizer to pound chicken until it reaches 1/4 inch thickness. Pat dry with paper towels.
TIP: Slicing thin means faster, more even cooking.
However, you can keep chicken breasts whole if you prefer. Cooking time will take longer.
- Season. Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper.
- Dredge. Dredge both sides of the chicken in grated parmesan. (A shallow bowl works best for this.) We’re using parmesan cheese here instead of the typical flour mixture that some recipes use, which is healthier and provides great flavor and texture when it browns.
- Fry. In a large skillet, add a single layer of cutlets to the pan. Saute until browned on each side, then remove and cover to keep warm. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.
- Saute garlic. Melt butter in the same pan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Deglaze. Add broth and lemon juice. Use a wooden spoon to scape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce. Add capers. Increase heat to boiling, then simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced by half.
- Finish. Stir in remaining butter. Add chicken back to the pan and coat in sauce. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley to serve.
- Store: Keep leftover chicken lemon piccata covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Reheat in a microwave or warm skillet.
- Freeze: Freeze keto chicken piccata in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Store chicken and sauce separately, if possible. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.
What To Serve With Chicken Piccata
Pair this dish with a few light sides:
- Vegetables – Easy veggie sides such as mashed cauliflower, sauteed asparagus, air fryer broccoli, or roasted artichokes pair very well with healthy chicken piccata.
- Pasta – This classic Italian dish pairs well with linguine, but for a keto chicken piccata option, use zucchini noodles or baked spaghetti squash.
- Salads – Try this dish with Italian marinated artichoke salad, chopped Mediterranean salad, or a bed of greens with homemade Caesar dressing.
More Italian Chicken Recipes
Chicken is the perfect canvas for Italian flavors! Try these fast and easy dishes next.
Easy Healthy Chicken Piccata Recipe
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Healthy Lemon Chicken Piccata Recipe
With a few fresh ingredients and no white flour, you can have this healthy lemon chicken piccata recipe on the table in just over 30 minutes!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
To make chicken cutlets, butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting them horizontally in half all the way through. (You will end up with 6 pieces total.) If they are still thick, use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound them to 1/4-inch (6.4 mm) thickness. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
Season both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Place the grated parmesan into a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken on both sides in the parmesan.
In a 12-inch skillet (I used this cast iron braiser because it heats well and can fit a lot of chicken cutlets at once, but a regular non-stick skillet works too), heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat, until shimmering. Working in batches, add the chicken cutlets in a single layer. Saute for about 3 minutes per side, until browned. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with all the chicken cutlets, adding the remaining tablespoon of olive oil halfway through.
Reduce heat to medium. Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add minced garlic and saute for about a minute, until fragrant.
Add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula to release any browned bits (this is called deglazing). Add the capers. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then simmer for 7-10 minutes, until volume is reduced by half and slightly thickened.
Stir in remaining butter, until melted. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes, until slightly reduced to your liking. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Return the chicken to the pan and coat in sauce. Serve with fresh parsley, if desired.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
Serving size: 1 chicken cutlet with sauce
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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