Chicken Piccata with Pasta is a classic Italian dish, combining sautéed chicken breasts with a warm buttery lemon sauce and capers. Quick and delicious, this one will soon be on your regular meal rotation!
I love simple recipes. This chicken piccata uses ingredients that can easily be stocked in your pantry, and results in unique and delicious flavors. Your family will definitely be impressed, as mine was, and you will be adding it to your regular meal rotation.
What is chicken piccata?
In general, piccata describes meat (usually chicken or veal), that is sliced thin, coated in flour, and then sautéed in a lemon butter sauce, with capers. This classic dish can be adapted, but is so delicious if kept simple.
- Chicken – You’ll need two pounds of chicken breasts, butterflied and sliced in half.
- Flour – Just a light coating of flour is all you need.
- Olive Oil plus butter – Use olive oil to sauté the chicken and unsalted butter for the sauce.
- Garlic – Just a few cloves, minced.
- Lemons – Two freshly squeezed lemons are needed for the sauce plus a little bit of zest.
- Capers – The key ingredient. You only need a couple tablespoons of this flavor booster. These are salty, so you may want to rinse them before using them (although I don’t always).
- Pasta – I used angel hair pasta, but any pasta you prefer works too. You could also serve this chicken over roasted veggies of your choice.
How to make Chicken Piccata
You can easily make this recipe in 30 minutes, after your ingredients are prepped to cook. I often get the chicken ready and place (covered) in my refrigerator ahead of time. You could also get the lemons zested and juiced in advance.
Prep chicken. Butterfly the chicken breasts, and then slice in half. You should have four portions of chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste, on both sides. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, shaking off excess, and then set on a plate.
Sauté chicken. Using a large cast iron skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook two pieces of chicken at a time, cooking until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked completely. They should read 165 degrees on a digital thermometer. Set cooked chicken on a clean plate, and then repeat with remaining two portions.
Make sauce. When chicken is done, use the same pan to make the sauce. Keep drippings and add the butter over medium heat. (Be sure the skillet isn’t too hot.) When butter is melted, add garlic and stir for about a minute. Then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth, and capers. Add a lid to the pan, and simmer the sauce until it reduces to half, approximately 7-8 minutes.
Prepare pasta. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente, or according to packaged directions.
Serve. To serve, add pasta to individual bowls. Then add a piece of sautéed chicken, and top with some of the warm lemon butter sauce with capers. Enjoy!
This dish is usually our full meal, but you could add a green salad or some fresh fruit to round it out.
What are capers?
Capers are little edible flower buds and are preserved by pickling in a salty brine. They are flavor bombs in cooking, like adding olives or pickles to dishes. Use them in salads, in sauces over different proteins, and over scrambled eggs and roasted veggies.
Pro-Tip: Serve this chicken piccata with a loaf of Chewy French Bread, a simple side salad, and a glass of white wine.
Try this Italian dish next: Skinny Fettuccini Alfredo
Chicken Piccata with Pasta
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless, chicken breasts – butterflied and halved
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour – or more, as needed
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 1/3 cup lemon juice – freshly squeezed (about 2 lemons)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons capers – strained from jar (and rinsed, if desired)
- 8-12 oz. thin spaghetti – or more
- Butterfly the chicken breasts, and then slice in halffo, so you have thin portions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, and set on a plate.
- Using a large cast iron skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, cooking until it's cooked through completely. It should read 160 degrees on a digital thermometer. Set the chicken on a clean plate. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.
- Leave the drippings in the pan, reduce heat (make sure the pan is NOT TOO HOT!), and add the butter. When butter is melted, add minced garlic and stir for about a minute. Then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth, and capers. Simmer until it partially reduces, about 7-8 minutes. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to the packaged directions. Strain.
- To serve, divide pasta among serving bowls. Add chicken, and then drizzle with the warm sauce.