Creamy lemon chicken piccata is a delicious 30-minute meal with lightly breaded chicken breasts smothered in a garlic and caper cream sauce. This quick and easy chicken goes great over a bed of pasta, egg noodles, or rice for a simple but flavorful weeknight dinner.
Today we’re making some creamy lemon chicken piccata with flattened chicken breasts dredged in flour, pan-fried until golden brown and crispy and finished off with a buttery, zesty light cream sauce flavored with lemon, capers and parsley. The bright and zesty flavors of lemon and capers compliment the cream sauce well to give you a fresh-tasting but comforting twist on the classic chicken piccata.
It goes well with long-type pasta like angel hair, spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine to soak up all that cream sauce. There are also many ways to customize it to your tastes like adding a splash of dry white wine while deglazing, adding some grated Parmesan cheese to make it richer, or spicing it up a little with a few dashes of red pepper flakes.
30-minute meals are a great way to get dinner on the table quickly. For more quick and easy recipes, try this easy air fryer salmon, baked Parmesan-crusted chicken, creamy Tuscan chicken pasta, garlic butter baked chicken, or this creamy garlic butter salmon.
Ingredients in Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata
CREAMY LEMON CHICKEN PICCATA RECIPE TIPS
- Chicken – This recipe uses chicken breasts on the smaller side (about 5-8 oz. each). If you have large chicken breasts, cut 2 breasts in half lengthwise to get 4 chicken cutlets. Pound the chicken breasts to 1″ thickness so it cooks evenly. You can use a meat mallet and place the chicken breasts between some plastic wrap, parchment paper, or in a Ziploc bag.
- Two-hand seasoning method – The easiest way to minimize hand washing while seasoning meat is to use the wet and dry hand method. Use your dominant hand to sprinkle seasoning onto the meat and use your other hand to pat in seasonings and flip the chicken.
- Seasoning – Work the salt and pepper into the chicken breasts by massaging them in.
- Flour – Flour gives the chicken a light breading with a crispy golden crust. Dredge to coat the chicken on both sides and shake off any excess flour.
- Searing – Use a wide 12” skillet so you have plenty of room to pan-fry the chicken breasts evenly for better browning.
- Butter – I like using Land O Lakes butter. The half sticks are perfect for slicing off into cubes and they come with measurements by the tablespoon or cup written onto the packaging so you can skip measuring spoonfuls of butter.
- Garlic – Since this dish emphasizes fresh flavors, try using fresh garlic. You can always substitute it with garlic powder but I highly recommend fresh garlic for the best flavor.
- Chicken broth – Use chicken broth to deglaze the pan after pan-frying the chicken. Scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan to mix in with the cream sauce and add more flavor. Feel free to substitute with low-sodium chicken broth for a healthier option. You can also deglaze with a dry white wine – cook off the wine until reduced then add the chicken broth.
- Heavy cream – This makes the sauce creamy. We cook it down until the sauce is thick and creamy. You can also add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a richer sauce.
- Capers – These add a bold, salty and tangy flavor and taste a little like brined green olives.
- Lemon juice – Use fresh lemons so you can add sliced lemons as a garnish before serving for even more flavor.
- Parsley – I used Italian flat-leaf parsley and garnished it before serving. You could also throw some parsley to wilt in the sauce and garnish with more.
- Thickening – If you prefer a thicker cream sauce, use a cornstarch slurry and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
- Leftovers – Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat – Reheat in the microwave or a pan over low heat. Add a splash of milk if needed to loosen up the sauce when reheating.
- Deglaze with wine – Add a splash of dry white wine to deglaze the pan and add more flavor to the sauce. Let it cook off before adding in the chicken broth.
- Add some Parmesan – Sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan in the sauce for a richer sauce.
- Add more flavor – Season the chicken with paprika and garlic powder along with the salt and pepper.
- Spice it up – Add a little kick with a dash of red pepper flakes.
What to Serve with Creamy Chicken Piccata
Creamy chicken piccata is hearty a meal on its own paired with pasta, egg noodles, or rice. You can serve it with some starters like homemade garlic bread, cheesy garlic bread, or garlic Parmesan knots.
And that’s about it. Let me know how you liked it, what substitutions you made, or what you paired it with in the comments below.
This post was originally published on February 18, 2015 and updated on July 2, 2023.
MORE ZESTY RECIPES TO TRY
- Light Lemon Garlic Pasta with Salmon
- Salmon Piccata
- Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Shrimp
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Creamy Salmon Pasta