This zesty lemon chicken piccata with pasta is a dinner that is bursting with so much flavor, your family will ask what you’re cooking before it’s ready. The juicy chicken is coated with crispy parmesan, and topped with a tangy lemon caper sauce. Then, it’s all served on a bed of pasta. It’s basically the perfect family dinner!
I don’t know about you, but easy chicken recipes are my go-to for family dinners. I can usually find something everyone likes.
Chicken is one of those types of meat that you can use in a bunch of different ways.
Craving Chinese? Make some firecracker chicken. Got Mexican food on the brain? Easy honey lime chicken tacos to the rescue!
If you’re craving Mediterranean food, then chicken piccata pasta is the answer you’re looking for.
It’s one of my family’s favorite pasta recipes because the herbaceous chicken and intense capers are like a party on your plate. And your taste buds!
If your kids (or you) are not a fan of capers, you can easily pick around them, but they add great flavor to the dish.
It’s a classic Italian dish that sounds fancier than it is. Once you master this simple recipe, you’ll have a new favorite chicken pasta recipe.
For my family, it’s a tie between lemon chicken piccata with pasta and slow cooker marry me chicken!
Why you’ll love Chicken Piccata Pasta
Budget-friendly – Other than the capers, you probably already have all the other ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry. Angel hair pasta is an inexpensive type of pasta, and you can usually find chicken breasts on sale.
Easy dinner – With chicken and pasta on the plate, the only thing you have to add to the table is a salad or vegetable. It’s a complete meal that is ready in less than 20 minutes.
Delicious Flavors – The combination of zesty lemon, nutty parmesan cheese, and tangy capers create a meal that makes every bite delicious and enjoyable.
Tools you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Chicken – It’s best to use thinly sliced chicken breasts to cook quickly and evenly, but you can also use chicken tenders.
- Salt and Pepper – Season the meat with your favorite spices, if you want a little something extra.
- Flour – Coat the chicken with all-purpose flour. This helps to get a nice golden crust.
- Parmesan Cheese – Grate a block of parmesan cheese, it tastes better when you use fresh cheese.
- Oil – Fry the chicken in olive oil. It’s neutral tasting and has a high smoke point. You can use canola, vegetable, or avocado oil as well.
- Butter – In order to add more flavor, use salted butter.
- Shallot and Garlic – These aromatics add a punch of flavor to the sauce.
- Chicken Broth – It always tastes better if you make your own chicken broth. Otherwise, any quality chicken broth or stock from the store will work really well. Some people get fancy and use a white wine such as pinot grigio instead of, or along with, the broth.
- Lemon – Use a fresh lemon, because you’ll use both the juice and the zest from it.
- Capers – These briny gems are essential for adding flavor and color to the chicken pasta recipe.
- Pasta – Chicken piccata is normally served on top of angel hair pasta, but you can make it on top of linguini or spaghetti noodles.
- Garnish – Add your favorite green herbs on top as a garnish. I always use fresh parsley.
How to make Chicken Piccata Pasta
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: Trim and pound the breasts. Make them as thin as you can, they will cook quicker. Then in a shallow bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, flour, and Parmesan cheese. Press a breast into the mixture and flip to fully coat both sides.
- Step Two: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and butter until the butter has melted. Add each piece of chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Do not overcrowd the pan, do multiple batches if needed. Remove the chicken to a plate.
- Step Three: Add the shallot to the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and heat until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.
- Step Four: Turn the heat to medium-low, pour in the chicken broth, scraping up any cooked chicken bits on the bottom of the pan, and allow the mixture to reduce by half. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Add the remaining butter and capers, stirring until melted.
- Step Five: Add the chicken back to the pan, flipping it to coat it with the sauce. Serve over pasta and top with fresh parsley.
What does chicken piccata go with
Serve the tasty chicken piccata with your favorite pasta like angel hair, spaghetti, or fettucini with some chopped parsley as a garnish.
Then, all you have to do is serve your favorite sides with it.
I like to add veggies to the table, so some oven roasted carrots or crispy roasted garlic green beans are always a hit!
You could also add some cheesy goodness to the table and make some loaded cauliflower casserole on the side.
Tips & Suggestions
- I like the texture of the flour and parmesan cheese on the chicken in the recipe. However, if you want the chicken to be crispier, you can add some breadcrumbs to the flour mixture.
- Make sure the chicken is fully cooked by using a food thermometer. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
- This dish is best served right away since the sauce will thicken after setting in the refrigerator.
- Trim and pound the meat first. The thinner they are, the quicker they will cook.
How to reheat and store Chicken Piccata Pasta
How to store leftovers
Store the chicken and pasta in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. The chicken will last longer in the refrigerator than the pasta.
How long will it last in the fridge?
Lemon chicken piccata with pasta will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about three days.
Can I freeze chicken piccata?
While you can freeze the chicken, I don’t recommend freezing the cooked pasta. When you reheat it, the texture of the cooked pasta might change too much.
How to reheat it
It’s best to reheat the chicken in a skillet on the stove or even in the air fryer.
If you reheat it in the microwave, the coating will soften and it won’t be as crispy.
What makes something a piccata?
Piccata is an Italian word that means “larded”. In reference to food, it means sliced and cooked in a lemon butter sauce.
What other kind of meat can I use?
You can also make this recipe with thinly-sliced pork chops. Just make sure they are really thin and dredged the same way.
Pork only has to cook to an internal temperature of 145F, and if you monitor the internal temperature, it won’t dry out.
Can I make chicken piccata in a slow cooker?
No, I don’t recommend making chicken piccata in the slow cooker, because flour-coated chicken softens too much in the slow cooker. You could make a slow cooker version that isn’t breaded, but then it’s more like a lemon caper chicken, not a traditional, breaded piccata.
How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked?
The best way to tell if your chicken is fully cooked is to use an internal food thermometer. Cook chicken until the middle reaches a temperature of 165F.
Lemon Caper Chicken Pasta
Need more easy pasta recipes? Try these:
Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
Click here for my entire collection of pasta recipes.
Originally published January 25, 2011
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