This healthy Chicken Piccata recipe needs to happen in your kitchen. Just sayin’. It’s made with lemon, capers, white wine and parsley and it is an easy delicious and healthy version of classic Italian lemon chicken.

a white platter with chicken piccata, noodles and a bottle of wine

I originally shared this recipe on February 3rd, 2015. I have updated some of the text today. This post contains affiliate links. 

Why We Love This Chicken Piccata Recipe

Why do you need to make this healthy Chicken Piccata? For starters, it’s ready in only 30 minutes. Second, because it is total saucy Italian comfort food. Third, because it is actually healthy and loaded with lean protein (28 grams) and vitamin C (25% of your daily value.) Serve it with Cauliflower Rice for a meal coming in at only 318 delicious satisfying calories. Or serve with whole-wheat angel hair pasta for a more traditional pairing.

a close up of chicken piccata

Ingredients For This Recipe

ingredients for chicken piccata
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 teaspoons drained capers
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

A Note About Buying Chicken Breast Cutlets

A lot of the stores carry chicken breast cutlets, and if you can find them, they work great. No cutting is required. Thin cutting the chicken or using cutlets means you don’t have to pound the chicken with a meat mallet. Using thin cutlets like that will make it so the chicken cooks through really quickly.

Step By Step Instructions to Make This Recipe

cut the chicken and lemon

STEP 1: Prepare the Lemon and Chicken

Cut the lemon in half. Juice half of it, and cut the remaining half into thin slices. (PHOTO 1a)

Next, you’ll need to cut the chicken breast into thinner cutlets. Just lay the chicken breast out flat on your cutting board. Then you’ll need to cut the breasts into two or three thin flat cutlets.(PHOTO 1b) I do this by turning my knife parallel to the cutting board and then I cut the breasts into pieces on a slight angle.

dredge the chicken and brown in a non-stick skillet

Step 2: Dredge The Chicken

Once the meat is cut, then you simply dredge the chicken in flour. I add some salt and pepper into the flour for seasoning.

I also use the leftover dredging flour to thicken the sauce. (PHOTO 2).That is not traditional, but I do it to make the sauce have better body. Discard 2 teaspoons dredging flour and reserve the rest to thicken the sauce in step 5.

Typically in piccata recipes the sauce is finished with butter, but with the flour thickening trick I can skip that part to make this lower in saturated fat and calories.

Step 3: Brown The Chicken in a Non-Stick Skillet

Next comes browning the chicken. (PHOTO 3) I use my ceramic coated non-stick skillet (Mine is Green Pan brand which I like a lot if you’re in the market for one), so I can get away with less fat. A non-stick skillet also means the pan doesn’t brown too much as I cook the chicken. Because the chicken pieces take up a lot of space in the skillet, you’ll need to do two batches.

cook the onions and garlic

Step 4: Add Vegetables For Lower Calorie Volume

Then comes the sauce. I use a lot of onion because I am a big fan of adding bulk to my recipes with vegetables. They add low-calorie volume and nutrition. These onions also add sweetness, which is important to balance the tart acidity of the lemon.

First cook the onions until they are just starting to brown (PHOTO 4a). Then add in the garlic (PHOTO 4B) and cook it until it is fragrant and just starting to brown, 30 to 90 seconds.

dust the flour over the onions and then make the sauce

Step 5: Add Lemon and Capers to the Sauce

Sprinkle the reserved dredging flour over the onion mixture (PHOTO 5a) and stir to coat.

Stir in broth, white wine, capers, the lemon slices and the lemon juice. (PHOTO 5b) Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.

Note: The best part is the lemon slices that go right into the sauce. They are so good, they are tart and a tiny bit bitter, and when you pair them with the salty capers, it’s just magical.

finish cooking the chicken in the sauce

Step 5: Finish Cooking the Chicken

Add in the chicken to finish cooking it in the sauce. Turn the chicken in the sauce to make sure it cooks through evenly. This takes about 4 minutes. Then parsley finishes it all off. (PHOTO 5) You’ll love it! Buon Appetito!

FAQs for This Recipe

What is chicken piccata sauce made of?

Chicken piccata sauce is made with lemon and white wine sauce with capers. The small amount of flour, from dredging the chicken, thickens the sauce. This healthier version of the dish also includes onions to add more low-calorie volume to the serving size and to flavor the sauce with rich savory taste.

What is the difference between chicken marsala and chicken piccata?

Chicken marsala is made with a sauce using Marsala wine, a fortified wine from Siciliy with a nutty caramel flavor. Chicken marsala typically includes mushrooms and is often finished with cream. Chicken piccata, on the other hand, is bright and acidic and made with wine and lemon with capers.

Why is chicken piccata bitter?

Lemons are sour but their skin is bitter. If you do not like bitter, only add the lemon slices to flavor the sauce, but do not eat the rind. Another cause of bitter piccata is if the chicken is too brown and adds a burnt or acrid taste to the sauce. Take care to not burn the chicken in step three to prevent this problem.

What can I use instead of capers in piccata?

Roughly chopped green olives (without pimentos) are the best alternative to capers. If you do not care for capers or olives, you could omit them altogether and add another salty element, such as finishing the dish with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese.

What To Serve with Chicken Piccata

  1. I love to serve whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair pasta with this recipe. For a treat, add in a mocktail to make it a little more special. 
  2. If you are grain free you can use cauliflower rice, or buy frozen and heated cauliflower rice even! 
  3. I love the taste of greens, especially bitter greens like a salad made with escarole and mustard dressing or sauteed swiss chard.
  4. Our Classic Garden Salad or Lacinato Kale Caesar Salad would be great salads to serve with this.
  5. If you’re serving this Chicken Piccata to company, make this Apple Cake with Maple Icing, which is a great make ahead dessert. 

How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Piccata

  • Because this recipe is made with boneless skinless chicken breast, which is incredibly lean, you can dry it out very easily when you reheat it.
  • I happen to think the best way to reheat it is to use the microwave. Just make sure to pause and stir and/or turn over the chicken pieces in the sauce so that it heats evenly.
  • Make sure it is steaming hot to ensure it is food safe. Read more about the food safety of chicken and to learn the best way to thaw chicken breast.
  • If you do not have a microwave, you can reheat this chicken piccata on the stovetop in the non-stick skillet with a lid. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken broth to thin out the sauce. Heat it through over medium heat and make sure to stir and turn the chicken pieces as it starts to simmer along the edges. 

More Healthy Chicken Recipes

  1. Thinly sliced chicken is used to make this gluten-free Healthy Chicken Parmesan recipe.
  2. We used ground chicken instead of beef (or pork) to make the meatballs in this Italian Wedding Soup.
  3. These Baked Chicken Tenders are always popular with the kids!
  4. Chicken Divan doesn’t have a reputation for being healthy, but we have managed to make it more healthy and it is still yummy and rich tasting.
  5. If you love simple recipes, this 5-ingredient Honey Mustard Chicken Thigh recipe is a great one. We removed the skin to cut back on saturated fat and calories.
  6. This Healthy Chicken a la King is a creamy make-over to cut back on fat and calories and it is loaded with extra veggies too!
  7. Serve this Healthy Chicken Paprkia over zucchini noodles to make it even healthier!

Thanks for Reading! If you’re new here you may want to sign up for my email list or follow me on instagram to keep up with the latest posts. If you make this recipe please come back and let me know how you like it by leaving a rating and review. 

PIN THIS RECIPE

Print
a close up of chicken piccata

Healthy Chicken Piccata

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Healthy chicken piccata recipe with lemon, capers, white wine and parsley. A delicious and healthy version of classic Italian lemon chicken.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 teaspoons drained capers
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Prepare Lemon and Chicken: Cut lemon in half. Juice half of it, and cut the remaining half into thin slices. Cut chicken breasts into 8 thin cutlets.*
  2. Dredge Chicken: Whisk flour, salt and pepper in shallow dish or pie plate. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture, turning to coat. Discard 2 teaspoons dredging flour and reserve the rest to thicken the sauce in step 5.
  3. Brown Chicken: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until the bottom is browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside on a plate. Repeat with 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining 4 pieces of dredged chicken, adjusting the heat to medium-low to prevent the chicken from burning. Transfer the second batch of chicken to the plate.
  4. Cook Onions and Garlic: Wipe out skillet with a clean paper towel. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and place the skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring often until soft and browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown, 30 to 90 seconds.
  5. Make Sauce: Sprinkle the remaining dredging flour over the onion mixture and stir to coat. Stir in broth, white wine, capers, the lemon slices and the lemon juice, increase heat to high and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
  6. Finish Dish: Add the chicken and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn to coat in the sauce. Bring to a simmer while turning the chicken in the sauce until the sauce is thickened, and the chicken is completely cooked through and hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, remove from the heat and serve.

Notes

*Look for “thin cut” chicken breast at the supermarket to save a step of cutting the chicken.

*The skillet will heat up gradually while you are browning the chicken. By the second batch you’ll likely need to adjust the heat.  If the chicken becomes dark quickly or smokes, make sure to turn down the heat as you go.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 slices chicken and 1/3 cup sauce
  • Calories: 264
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 550 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 28 g

More Classic Recipes- Made Healthy

  1. My Turkey Meatloaf has been getting rave reviews! If you try it let me know too! 
  2. This quick Minestrone, has slow cooked old fashioned Italian taste you’ll love. It’s naturally vegetarian and without the Parmesan on top, is actually vegan!
  3. This Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore is another Italian classic you’ll love! 
  4. My Stuffed Shells with Spinach have a secret healthy ingredient, but nobody will know! 
Healthy Chicken Piccata