Veal piccata is more traditional, but in real life, who serves veal very often at home? We certainly don’t. We make this chicken piccata variation all the time, and truthfully, the buttery lemon sauce and zing of the capers is just as delicious with chicken.–Bob and Melinda Blanchard

What does “piccata” mean in Italian?

You’ll see various types of meat referred to, on occasion, as “piccata,” and it typically refers to a type of preparation in which the meat is pounded flat and also doused with a lemony sauce which is quite frequently punctuated with briny capers, as here. Once you’ve got that mastered, move on to chicken saltimbocca, another Italian favorite.

A skillet filled with classic chicken piccata

Chicken Piccata

4.88 / 8 votes
This chicken piccata, made with boneless chicken breasts cooked in a buttery lemon and caper sauce, is on the table in less than half an hour. Easy!
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories551 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • Four (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


  • Place the chicken breasts between a couple pieces of plastic wrap and, using a meat pounder, flatten each breast to an even 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour and shake off any excess.
  • In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons butter. When the foaming subsides, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Flip the chicken and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. When done, remove the chicken from the pan and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice and capers, scraping up any brown bits and pieces left from the chicken. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Return the chicken to the pan, place it over medium heat, and warm gently for 1 minute, turning to coat both sides of the chicken with the sauce. 
  • Place the chicken on plates, spoon the sauce over the chicken, and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately. Originally published March 24, 2010.
Cook What You Love by Bob and Melinda Blanchard

Adapted From

Cook What You Love

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 551 kcalCarbohydrates: 13 gProtein: 62 gFat: 27 gSaturated Fat: 10 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 213 mgSodium: 388 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 0.3 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2005 Bob and Melinda Blanchard. Photo © 2020 Liudmyla. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Mmmmmmm. This was absolutely fabulous. I don’t remember ever cooking this, although I have seen recipes for it over the years. All conversation stopped at the dinner table. I’d serve it to any one, at any time, on any occasion.

This is an easy dish to fix on a busy weeknight, especially since most ingredients can be found in a well stocked pantry. I served this with roasted carrots and a salad. Next time I make this I’ll double the sauce recipe so I can drizzle it over rice. Definitely a keeper.

Select a Tester

Simplicity and quiet elegance describe this traditional treatment of all those “white meats.” This easy-to-accomplish recipe is equally enjoyable using pork and turkey cutlets. Perfect for entertaining when time is short or for a special work-night meal at home, the ingredients are readily available and not a budget breaker. A keeper worthy of repeating.

This was incredibly simple to make. It helps to have your lemon juice, capers, and butter measured out before starting on the chicken. My chicken took a little longer to brown than the recipe indicated, so you may have to tack on a couple of minutes. This is a well-flavored, perfect weeknight dish.

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This one is a definite keeper. Easy to make, and the result is delicious. One comment though: If you’re watching your cholesterol, this is not the dish for you.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Chicken piccata is one of our favorite dinners. This version is easy to make and delicious. Some of us added extra capers because we like them so much.

    1. Thanks, kathy. We’re so pleased to hear that you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.