Healthy Chicken Piccata recipe (2024)

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Healthy Chicken Piccata recipe (1) by Katie Webster
October 5, 2021 (updated 3/6/23)
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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.

Healthy Chicken Piccata recipe (2)

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

Table of contents

  • Why We Love This Chicken Piccata Recipe
  • Ingredients For This Recipe
  • Step By Step Instructions to Make This Recipe
  • FAQs for This Recipe
  • What To Serve with Chicken Piccata
  • How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Piccata
  • More Healthy Chicken Recipes
  • More Classic Recipes- Made Healthy

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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 a green veggie like our favorite green beans, and whole-wheat angel hair pasta for a more traditional pairing.

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Ingredients For This Recipe

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  • 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Healthy Chicken Piccata recipe (10)

Healthy Chicken Piccata

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
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Description

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

Ingredients

UnitsScale

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 teaspoons drained capers
  • 1/4 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.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian

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!

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About the Author

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied art and photography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first started working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications among others. Her cookbook, Maple {Quirk Books} was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.

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139 comments on “Healthy Chicken Piccata”

  1. Linda Thompson February 6, 2024 @ 10:56 am Reply

    Apparently, you have no clue about cooking measurements. Why would you say “1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil” when all you have to say is “2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon?”

    • Katie Webster February 6, 2024 @ 11:43 am Reply

      Hi Linda, and welcome to my website. I appreciate your feedback and am happy to answer your question. In short, I list the oil measurements this way because they are added in different steps and it is a service to my reader so THEY don’t have to do the math of adding and dividing. Not everyone is as brilliant as you and knows that there are three tsp in a tbl. To clarify, as you seem to be new here, I am a classically trained chef, professional recipe developer, published author and culinary professional who has been published (and edited) for numerous national food magazines, and therefore indeed I am familiar with measurements and culinary equivalents. In fact one of our month-long classes in cooking school was entirely devoted to the subject. Have a nice day. Love your neighbor.

    • Ingrid February 16, 2024 @ 5:38 pm Reply

      If you are so amazing in the kitchen, why are you looking up recipes? Rude!

  2. Brittney Kelson October 24, 2023 @ 4:11 pm Reply

    I love this Chicken Picatta recipe! It’s one of my family favorites and we make this recipe again and again!

    • Katie Webster February 6, 2024 @ 11:44 am Reply

      Hi Brit, I am so glad this is a favorite of yours! Thanks for letting me know. I always appreciate it when you come back to review.

  3. HB October 21, 2023 @ 11:43 am Reply

    We LOVE this recipe! Adding a good amount of sliced champions with the onions makes this our favourite pasta dish. No cream needed, perfect flavour and texture.

    • Katie Webster February 6, 2024 @ 11:45 am Reply

      Love the idea of adding mushrooms! Yay for more veggies!

  4. Dragana October 8, 2023 @ 10:57 am Reply

    The recipe sounds delicious but I have to follow gluten free diet. Can flour be replaced with corn starch and if yes what amount to use? Thank you.

    • Katie Webster October 9, 2023 @ 11:19 am Reply

      Cornstarch is not a great sub in this case because the flour is used to dredge the chicken and thicken the sauce. You can try two options: 1. Do no dredge the chicken and simply thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch slurry (use 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1/3 cup water or broth and wisk into the simmering sauce/ boil to thicken.) or 2. Use a cup for cup GF flour mix instead and just follow the instructions in the recipe.

  5. Jewels August 21, 2023 @ 8:25 pm Reply

    Do you think it would be okay with red onion and or bell peppers?

    • Katie Webster August 23, 2023 @ 5:50 am Reply

      Sure! Not traditional but sounds super yummy to me!

  6. Jason T. August 6, 2023 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    I’m definitely going to make this. Can you tell me what a serving size (or weight) is? I can guess what would be 2 slices but I weigh my food and am trying to be as exact as I can be. Thank you!

    • Katie Webster August 7, 2023 @ 8:00 am Reply

      Oh great! I am glad to hear you will be trying it Jason. A serving is 4 to 4.5 oz of the cooked chicken and 1/3 cup sauce. It depends on how much dredging you stick to your chicken and how much sauce that absorbs so I cannot say down to the exact weight. If you want to be accurate to only serve yourself 1/4 of the chicken you can weigh out just the cooked chicken and divide the number by 4 to get the weight. Does that make sense? Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. Megan July 7, 2023 @ 7:53 pm Reply

    Omg made this tonight for the first time and it was unreal! My kids devoured this recipe. Definitely going to be a new weekly dish!

    • Katie Webster July 10, 2023 @ 6:10 am Reply

      Thanks so much Megan!

  8. Jojo April 23, 2023 @ 11:59 am Reply

    This was so delicious. Having been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I’ve been struggling to find recipes that don’t spike my blood glucose. This recipe is not only delicious but it actually brought my numbers down. I’m so grateful . Thank you

    • Katie Webster April 25, 2023 @ 7:12 am Reply

      I adore this testimonial Jojo! Thank you so much for coming back by to let us know how it went. That is music to my ears!

    • Carly July 10, 2023 @ 8:52 pm Reply

      I used a little too much flour in the sauce (my own fault) but other than that, it was really really good. Subbed the capers for mushrooms. Paired with some spaghetti noodles and my husband even scraped the plate with his fork at the end of the meal. It was a hit in our house!

  9. SIDESIST March 9, 2023 @ 10:50 pm Reply

    This was super delicious! We devoured it all. It is going to be my new go-to impressor. 🙂

    • Katie Webster March 16, 2023 @ 5:14 am Reply

      Thanks so much! I am so glad you tried it and enjoyed it!

  10. Brad March 5, 2023 @ 7:42 pm Reply

    This was surprisingly good for me. I am used to a traditional chicken piccata but I thought this one with the onions and a little bit of pasta came out very nice. I will definitely make this again

    • Katie Webster March 16, 2023 @ 5:21 am Reply

      Thank you Brad! I am glad you liked this one! As always, thanks for your review. They’re so helpful!

  11. Kathy Kauffman February 27, 2023 @ 11:58 am Reply

    I was just recently but on a no salt diet. leaving salt out of foods is easy, but I need help with adding seasoning so foods taste good. Any help and recipes would be appreciated.

    • Katie Webster March 16, 2023 @ 5:28 am Reply

      Hi Kathy, Unfortunately, low salt and no salt are not my specialties. We did a review of a DASH cookbook a while back and you may find it helpful. This is a affiliate link to it on Amazon https://amzn.to/3FuBul4

  12. Ana Maria February 12, 2023 @ 12:03 pm Reply

    Made this easy version of chicken piccata. Absolutely delicious. Will not go back to my other recipe. The sauce was delicious over noodles.

    • Katie Webster February 14, 2023 @ 7:37 am Reply

      Hi Ana Maria. Thanks so much for letting me know you tried this! I appreciate it so much. Have a great week.

  13. AUDREY FODOR February 1, 2023 @ 6:37 pm Reply

    Really amazing. Experiment with quantities of the chicken broth, the sauce thickens up. The thinner the chicken breast, the better the taste but on many levels, this recipe is fantastic.

  14. Rose June 16, 2022 @ 5:27 am Reply

    Love this Healthy Chicken Piccata, seems amazing. Super excited to try this one.

  15. ashlynn May 31, 2022 @ 5:38 pm Reply

    holy cannoli this was so good

    • Healthy Seasonal Recipes June 5, 2022 @ 2:55 am Reply

      Amazing! Thank you, Ashlynn.

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