Chicken Piccata is a delicious Italian entrée that features lightly fried chicken cutlets in a lemon, garlic, and butter sauce.
Chicken Piccata is a classic Italian dish that features golden brown chicken breasts sitting in a delicious garlic lemon sauce made from lemon juice, butter, capers, chicken broth, and typically also white wine. The whole thing gets topped with fresh parsley and lemon slices.
I probably don’t need to further explain why it’s one of my favorite chicken cutlet dishes based on the ingredient description alone, but I will.
There’s something about the tang of the lemon, briny capers, creamy butter, browned drippings from the pan, and fresh parsley that make it completely addicting. And when your chicken cutlets are perfectly thin, crispy, and browned – it’s just out of this world.
If you need a good no-fail piccata recipe to start, this one is my favorite way to make chicken piccata. It’s a great weekday recipe that makes leftovers every time. It doesn’t include white wine like a traditional recipe though and instead utilizes chicken broth.
This makes it a little lighter and healthier for a weekday dinner. But, if you love the flavor white wine adds, you can certainly add a ¼ of a cup to make it more of a white wine sauce.
Either way, my suggestion to everyone who makes it is – make extra sauce! You’ll see below just why I think that.
A quick overview of how you make chicken piccata:
STEP 1 – Batter your chicken cutlets in egg wash and flour
STEP 2 – Cook the chicken cutlets in a large skillet with butter over medium heat until they’re golden brown and cooked through
STEP 3 – You’ll make your sauce in the same pan used for the chicken. Saute the garlic in butter, then deglaze the pan by adding the chicken broth, lemon juice, and water. Thicken the sauce with a tbsp of flour and stir well until it’s all combined. Season with capers, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
STEP 4 – Add the chicken cutlets back to the pan and toss in the sauce. On your plate, add more minced fresh parsley and any extra lemon slices.
Variations with Lemon Piccata Sauce:
Since it’s such a wonderful sauce, you really can be adventurous and use the same recipe in different ways. Such as: veal piccata, salmon piccata, or even ravioli piccata!
So, there you have your recipe for your chicken piccata dish. It’s typically served as a main dish, which begs the question, what do you serve alongside it? Here are 18 fantastic options to help you decide what else should be on your plate!
And ps: I’ve included plenty that are used to soak up that delicious sauce!
Chicken Piccata Side Dishes:
- Sauteed Spinach – Kicking off this list is something so easy, yet totally perfect too. Sauteed spinach only takes a couple of minutes to make in a saute pan and I love it on the side because of how it starts to sop up the piccata sauce. The easiest way to make it is just to saute some sliced garlic cloves in olive oil on low, then add your spinach, let it steam, and toss around. Season it with salt and pepper, and that’s it!
- Rice – Okay so adding to your plate next to your spinach could easily be a serving of rice. Brown, white, basmati, jasmine – it really doesn’t matter, and all comes down to your preference. You can add a bit of seasoning to your rice like salt and butter, but if you just want to keep it simple that’s fine too because it will be picking up all that delicious lemon butter sauce.
- Arugula salad – Another great side dish that proves an accompanying dish doesn’t have to be complicated! An easy arugula salad with some vinaigrette perfectly contrasts the chicken piccata here with some fresh peppery greens. Simply dress your arugula with olive oil and vinegar or a vinaigrette like this one and add it right to your plate.
- Buttered egg noodles – Okay moving right along with SUPER easy side dishes is one of my favs for the unexpected. Buttered egg noodles are those wide egg ribbons that get used under so many delicious dinners like stroganoff or cacciatore, so why not also in chicken piccata? You won’t regret this one.
- Lemon Couscous – Couscous feels a little bit like a cross between pasta and rice. One of my favorite ways to season couscous is with this Lemon Parmesan Couscous recipe. Couscous is like plain pasta when it’s unseasoned so adding the lemon, parmesan, and garlic here will help it not stick together, and really compliment all the flavors in the piccata. Israeli couscous is my favorite kind (it’s the larger grain type).
- Bread – A simple and modest side that you can just buy? A nice loaf of fresh bread! Sure, you can bake this yourself, but picking up a French, Italian, sourdough, or ciabatta loaf would be excellent. Make extra piccata sauce for dipping for sure! Serve it warm so it’s nice and crusty.
- Roasted Potatoes – Another great addition to your plate of chicken piccata could be these Garlic Roasted Baby Potatoes. They take minimal effort as they just get cut in half and tossed with seasonings and olive oil. Then they get roasted at a high temperature so they brown and get crispy on the outside while staying creamy on the inside! I love these because they go with so many things and who doesn’t love some good crispy little potatoes?
- Green Beans – Green beans would make a wonderful side dish by complimenting the piccata flavors and texture (crunchy vs creamy). If I’m being honest here, I really dislike green beans, however, looking past my bias of them – they would work perfectly here. In fact, many bitter green vegetables work so well in this recipe, I think because of how it complements the lemon and butter in the sauce.
- Carrots – If you’re picky about your green veggies, you could do some roasted carrots alongside to get a serving of vegetables into your dinner. This recipe for Brown Butter Carrots is my absolute favorite way to have carrots. You could also quickly roast baby carrots with simple seasonings.
- Angel hair pasta – Okay so this is probably the type of side dish you expected! An Italian side dish for an Italian main dish – obviously. While really any pasta would work here, the more delicate kinds of pasta would be the best because of how thin the piccata sauce is. For any pasta side dish, you can just lightly toss the pasta with olive oil or butter so that it doesn’t stick. Then, make enough piccata sauce so that it really picks it up!
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Another great option using green vegetables is to roast brussels sprouts. These roasted parmesan Brussels cook right on a baking sheet in your oven after getting tossed in salt, pepper, garlic, red chili flakes, parmesan, lemon juice, and a touch of balsamic! They’re really flavorful and would be a knockout next to your piccata.
- Broccoli – Here’s a side dish that is usually my go-to when I make piccata. I think it’s a perfect side dish because of how the florets just absorb any sauce you put them in. Think of how they absorb all that delicious sauce in your stir-fry! They do the same thing here and it’s wonderful to get a mouthful of broccoli that’s absorbed piccata sauce. Add some lemon zest over top to really brighten it up.
- Antipasto Salad – Here’s a bit of a change-up. In case you’re looking to serve a complimentary starter instead of something alongside the piccata, what better way than with an Italian antipasto salad? This allows you to have a starting course of antipasto and piccata as your main course. Although antipasto always looks beautiful with all the colors, it’s actually quite simple to put one together. In it are different cured Italian meats, mozzarella & parmesan cheese, and veggies like roasted eggplant, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and olives!
- Potatoes au Gratin – for a more complex and fancy side dish, look no further than potatoes au gratin! This will take longer to bake than your chicken piccata, so make sure you start this first. But man oh man, having this beautiful side dish alongside your chicken would be so impressive and delicious!
- Mashed Potatoes – This is another side dish I love to pair because of – you guessed it – how it tastes with the sauce! You can surely serve it as a base on the plate and put your chicken right over it!
- Lemon Garlic Herb Rice – Taking a note from the lemon couscous, you can flavor rice in the same way by using aromatics like garlic and seasonings like lemon juice to really amp up the flavor. They’ll match the piccata exactly! Really any rice pilaf dish works great here.
- Garlic Bread – Another easy Italian side dish would be some garlic bread. A bit more flavor than just regular fresh bread, with butter, garlic powder, and minced fresh parsley. Is there ever not a place for garlic bread? If you agree, then be sure to not miss my Stuffed Garlic Bread recipe which takes it to another level!
- Parmesan Asparagus – Yes – more green vegetables! They just really go well here. If you want to have a plate that is more compartmentalized than saucy, then this is one of the best side dishes for that, in my opinion. Parmesan Asparagus gets roasted with parmesan, breadcrumbs, and olive oil where the stalks get a bit charred and full of flavor.
Other chicken recipes you might like –
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