Veal Piccata

Veal Piccata Recipe

Very thin cutlets, called scaloppine, are essential to dishes such as veal piccata. Pounding the meat until it’s thin tenderizes the meat and allows it to cook quickly. The key is to achieve maximal thinness without tearing or damaging the meat.–Editors of Saveur Magazine

LC Not Just For Veal Note

“Everyone loved it, including the kiddos.” “Perfect.” “As good as any restaurant veal piccata that I’ve ever had.” “Quick and easy.” “My new go-to recipe for piccata.” That’s what folks are saying about this recipe. Based on these comments, you may be wondering, could this veal piccata recipe get any better? And actually, the answer is yeah, if variety’s your thing. See, piccata’s not just for veal. You can turn a cutlet of just about any meat that can be pounded thin into piccata). Chicken and pork come to mind. You’ll find instructions on how to substitute them in the note below. Anyone made scaloppine with anything else? Let us know in a comment below.

Veal Piccata Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 6


  • Twelve 2- to 3-ounce veal top round cutlets (or chicken breast or turkey cutlets), pounded until 1/4-inch thick*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, preferably organic, thinly sliced and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


  • 1. Season the veal on both sides with the salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Place the cutlets on a plate.
  • 2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the veal cutlets to the skillet, being careful not to crowd the skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes total. (If using chicken or turkey, cook until no trace of pink remains, about 3 minutes per side.) Transfer to a serving platter or a baking sheet and loosely cover while you repeat with the remaining veal. If necessary, add more butter and oil to the skillet..
  • 3. Carefully add the wine to the skillet and cook, still over medium-high heat and scraping the bottom of the skillet, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and lemon slices and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, capers, and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and tilt the pan to swirl the butter until it’s incorporated into the sauce.
  • 4. Using tongs, place the cutlets back in the skillet, turn to coat them with the sauce, and let them warm through before transferring the cutlets to plates or a platter. Pour the remaining sauce over the cutlets and serve immediately.

*How to Pound A Veal (Or Chicken Or Turkey) Cutlet

  • Place a 2- to 3-ounce veal cutlet between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. (We often barely moisten the side of the plastic wrap that’s placed against the meat with a little water. It seems to keep the plastic in place.)
  • With a meat mallet held waffled side down or a heavy cast-iron skillet, begin pounding the veal cutlet using medium force, taking care not to work one part of the cutlet more than any other. You can stop when the cutlet is an even thinness of about 1/4 inch or less. If using a mallet to pound, tap the cutlet all over with the flat side of the mallet afterward to smooth the surface of the meat. [Editor’s Note: If substituting boneless skinless chicken cutlet for veal, do not use the waffled side of the mallet at all, as it tends to rip through the relatively delicate meat. Simply pound away with the flat side.]
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Anna Scott

Apr 14, 2015

You really can't go wrong with having this lovely veal piccata as the headliner on your dinner menu for tonight. Not only is this recipe a classic, but it's also quick and easy. In terms of time, chopping the ingredients and prepping the cutlets (mine were bought pounded thin enough, so there was no need to pound them once I got home) took about 10 minutes, cooking time was just around 15 minutes, so total time was about 25 minutes. The veal cooked nicely in the 3 minutes suggested, and I turned the cutlets around the 2-minute mark. Also, I used the same white wine that I served for dinner to deglaze the pan. Overall, this was a wonderful recipe for a classic dish. It's perfect for spring with its bright lemon flavors.

Testers Choice
Pat Francis

Apr 14, 2015

This veal piccata recipe is an easily executed version of the classic dish. The only veal cutlets I found had already been pounded for scaloppine. They were all around 2 ounces or so. The meat was a little tough. I went a shade (maybe 30 seconds) over 3 minutes because a couple of the pieces were still pinkish on the surface rather than golden brownish, and maybe that toughened the meat. Or perhaps something in the process of being already pounded led to the meat being a little tougher than it should have been. I served the scaloppine along with brown rice spaghetti and tomato sauce and a baby arugula salad with shaved pecorino Romano and white balsamic vinaigrette. My second piece of scaloppine, I put right on top of the salad and, whoa, was that good.

Testers Choice
Jackie G.

Apr 14, 2015

I've made piccata in the past with veal, chicken, and sole. It's a dish that I really enjoy. This recipe is an excellent version. It's quick, easy, and yields wonderful results. It's my new go-to recipe for piccata. I made this recipe using boneless, skinless chicken breasts which I cut horizontally into flat portions and pounded between plastic wrap with the flat side of my meat mallet. (I found that the waffled side was a bit rough on chicken.) Once that was done, the rest of the recipe fell into place quickly. The finished product was fresh and bright. It was also absolutely delicious. I served the piccata with extra creamy and rich mashed potatoes, which the sauce enhanced beautifully. I also sautéed fresh string beans with pieces of red bell pepper. A glass of rosé or pinot noir makes for a perfect meal.

Note to self: Next time, make extra sauce. The flavors in the sauce mixed with the pan drippings are amazing, especially if you're a fan of lemon.

Testers Choice
Nicole C.

Apr 14, 2015

This recipe was easy to follow and delicious. My whole family, including the kids, enjoyed it. I halved the recipe, which I wouldn't recommend for 5 adults, but since 3 of my eaters were little, it yielded just enough. The recipe took me 40 minutes from start to finish. I used canned chicken broth since I didn't have any homemade on hand. The process was straightforward and easy. It's a nice weeknight meal. I would definitely make this again.

Testers Choice
Angie Z.

Apr 14, 2015

This veal piccata was delicious and tasted as good as any restaurant veal piccata that I've ever had. The lemon flavor is very nice, but not overwhelming. Do make sure that your pan is hot before you begin cooking the veal so that you can get a nice crust on it before the meat is completely cooked through. I also thought that the directions provided on pounding the meat were excellent.

Testers Choice
Linda M.

Apr 14, 2015

This is a delicious veal piccata. The most difficult part of the recipe is getting the veal evenly pounded without making any holes in it. Otherwise, the recipe is relatively quick and easy—perfect for a weeknight meal. I purchased the veal at Whole Foods Market and was only able to find one package of veal cutlets, so I purchased a second package of veal labeled "scallopini leg." The cutlet was definitely tastier than the scallopini. The veal was rather pricey, and I would probably only make this again with chicken or pork as a substitute.

Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Apr 14, 2015

This veal piccata recipe is full of flavor and is a perfect dish to impress family or company. Hands-on time was 20 to 25 minutes, including pounding the veal, and total time was 30 to 35 minutes. I made the full recipe, and 2 pieces veal per person worked out great. The instructions on pounding the veal cutlets were easy enough to follow. (Sometimes I moisten the plastic wrap before pounding, and the meat doesn't stick as much.) I didn't have to use the waffled side for very long, so maybe my cutlet pieces were thinner to begin with. I may add an additional 1 tablespoon lemon juice next time. This can be an elegant dish for company, and the flavors were delicious. I would garnish next time with more fresh lemon slices.

Testers Choice
Gene C.

Apr 14, 2015

I just have one thing to say about this recipe: It's great. I've made it twice this last week, it's that good. It's very easy to follow, and all the measurements and times are spot-on. I halved the recipe each time, only to be disappointed that there were no leftovers. I did find that I had to add a little more butter and oil to fry all the veal. This is an easy dinner, from prep to table in an hour, and for a restaurant-quality meal, you can't get better than that. Other than that, the only change I made was to make the full recipe for the sauce because I wanted more for a side of linguini. This recipe is well-written and easy to follow. It's an appealing and pretty dish that I would be proud to serve. Serve with linguine and some good italian bread and its heaven. I now make this recipe on a weekly basis.

Although this recipe is written for veal, if you do not like to eat veal, don't worry, as this recipe works just as well for chicken. I like to use organic, thinly sliced breasts available at all supermarkets. If using chicken, be careful not to tear it apart, and only use the flat side of the mallet. The key is to have thin fillets. The only major difference between using veal and chicken is the pounding, and it's important to not skip this step in either version, but chicken can tear easily so do not use the waffle side of the mallet. Just gently pound the cutlets with the smooth side till the cutlets are almost double in size. The only other difference is you may have to increase the time a bit, depending on the thickness of the chicken. I prefer to use Chardonnay for the wine. The rest of the recipe is flawless in my opinion. I imagine this would also work with thin pork chops.

Testers Choice
Elie Nassar

Apr 14, 2015

This veal piccata came together in no time at all and was completely devoured for dinner with some rice, a large green salad, and a crisp Napa Chardonnay. Everyone loved it, including the kiddos, who were very skeptical about the capers in there but were ultimately won over by the tart, bright sauce and tender veal. This is a winning recipe for a quick weeknight dinner. I never buy the horribly raised regular veal or order it in restaurants. It's really a nasty way to raise an animal. Instead I use Strauss Farms grass-fed group-raised veal. It is humanely raised and delicious. This recipe would work great with pork loin or chicken as well. Just make sure to follow the pounding instructions carefully to make uniform thin cutlets. I used a 14-inch non-stick pan for the recipe. I ended up cooking the meat in 3 batches of 4 cutlets. The amount of butter and oil was perfect. However, as expected, the last batch browned faster than the first. The cooking time was accurate for veal (about 3 minutes), but I think it would need to be increased for chicken. Judging when a liquid has reduced by half in those flat pans is challenging. So for the chicken broth I simply went by the time the recipe specified, which worked out well.

Testers Choice
Linda B.

Apr 14, 2015

I made this recipe with chicken breast cutlets and loved it. The sauce is silken and has just the right amount of lemon. Since the meat is so thin, it cooked quickly and the whole dish came together in under a half hour. I pounded the chicken to 1/4 inch thickness, but it plumped a little when cooking. I cooked the cutlets for 3 minutes on each side rather that 3 minutes total. I made a half recipe with just over a pound of chicken breast and the amount of sauce was just right. Just enough sauce for a light coating on the cutlets, but not swimming in it.

Testers Choice
Irene Seales

Apr 14, 2015

I love how piccata sauce brings briny capers and lemon together in a velvety flavored treatment for meat, fish, even tofu. I don’t eat veal, but we do variations on piccata, often with other proteins. Turkey tenderloin is perfect for this, sliced across the grain into 1 1/2- to 2-inch wide pieces. I placed the slices in a couple heavy resealable plastic bags, then gently tapped them with a wooden rolling pin (one without knobs), as a metal tenderizer might tear the bag or meat. The turkey doesn’t take much effort to thin out to 1/4-inch thickness.

I made a half recipe, but you don’t necessarily want to divide all the liquid ingredients exactly in half, or they'll evaporate before having a chance to reduce. The pan needs a critical mass of liquid to deglaze, even if you're using a smaller saute pan (I used a heavy 9-inch skillet. I also like to make sure that the amount of sauce will be generous, so that if you're serving the piccata with a starch or vegetable you have a satisfying sauciness. Before slicing the lemon, I lightly zested it and used the lemon zest as a garnish when plated.

My half recipe looked more like this:

3/4 pound (11 ounces) turkey tenderloin (two pieces, which I cut and pounded as above)

1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
6 to 7 tablespoons white wine

1 cup stock

1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons capers
4 teaspoons chopped parsley

I served this over yuba noodles.* The piccata was fork-tender - turkey tenderloin is a terrific substitute for the veal. I would use this same recipe, perhaps with a vegetable broth, and firm or pressed tofu for a vegetarian meal.

*Note: I sliced fresh yuba sheets form Hoda Soy into 3/8-inch-wide ribbons and gently warmed them in another pan with a little olive oil and butter while I was cooking the piccata. It satisfies any desire for starch with a lean protein dense “noodle” that loves a nice sauce.

Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Apr 14, 2015

My family loved this variation of veal piccata. We have a couple of conscientious objectors to veal in the house and it's nice to know that when we chose to have this dish, I can use turkey as an option for them. The turkey was tender and the whole thing was delicious. The citrus flavor in the sauce was subtle and we liked the bite of the capers. I used a blended pinot grigio wine to make the sauce so served that with dinner. I used 12 turkey scaloppini to make this dish, each slice weighing between 2 and 3 ounces. I pounded a couple of them until a little thinner than 1/4 inch thick and seasoned them with salt and pepper, then I found that my butcher had sliced the scaloppini thin enough that pounding them thinner just resulted in torn slices, so I left the rest alone. I found the turkey slices were more delicate than veal in the raw state. If your turkey slices are any thicker than 1/4 inch, then the pounding should work well. Pounding the turkey slices, seasoning and dredging took about 8 minutes total. Browning the fillets took a further 12 minutes. Reducing the sauce ingredients after removing the turkey took 15 minutes total. Hands on time totaled about 20 minutes and total time was 40 minutes from start to serve. We would have had enough for 6 servings, but some tasters went back for more, so none was left.

  1. Lauren L says:

    I appreciated this recipe very much! I used chicken rather than veal (the butcher I went to didn’t have it), and it all worked out perfectly. I made this and the Cacio el Pepe recipe at the same time, and enjoyed both! This was the first time I cooked for myself in a very long time, and I was so happy with how it came out I figured I’d leave this comment.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Lauren L, we’re so glad you took the time to let us know! Many kind thanks! Am so glad that you’re cooking for yourself again.

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