Chicken in Lemon Butter Caper Sauce

Chicken in Lemon Butter Caper Sauce – restaurant-quality dinner in 30 minutes! You’ll be blown away after one bite! Lightly breaded chicken pan sautéed and served over pasta with a quick homemade lemon butter caper sauce made from butter, onion, garlic, lemon, white wine, and capers. You won’t believe how easy this is to make! It is a family favorite!

Chicken in Lemon Butter Caper Sauce - restaurant quality! You'll be blown away after one bite! Sautéed chicken, pasta and a quick homemade lemon butter caper sauce. Ready in 15 minutes!

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Easy Chicken Picatta Recipe

Stop what you are doing right now and put this on your menu tonight. This was THE BEST thing I’ve eaten in recent memory – at home or in a restaurant. I’ve had this on my list of things to make since we went down to Destin at Thanksgiving. We had dinner at Ocean Club, one of my favorite places, and I had chicken in lemon butter caper sauce. It was so delicious. I seriously considered licking my plate. It is the best thing I have eaten in a restaurant in years. I found the recipe for Carrabba’s Lemon Butter Sauce and decided to add capers and recreate my favorite meal!

How to Make Chicken in Lemon Butter Caper Sauce

This dish is surprisingly simple to make with only a few simple ingredients. To make the chicken, cut chicken breast in half to make cutlets. Dredge the cutlets in flour and parmesan cheese. Quickly pan sear the chicken in a skillet and set aside. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil to keep the chicken warm while making the sauce. 

To make the sauce, melt unsalted butter in a saucepan. Add onion and cook until the onion has softened. Add garlic, white wine, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, and capers. Slow stir in more butter until it forms a creamy butter sauce. Place the cooked chicken on a serving platter or in a bowl and spoon the sauce over it. 

  • Sometimes I add garlic powder and onion powder to the flour mixture when breading the chicken cutlets.
  • You can serve the chicken over polentacooked pastarice, or mashed potatoes. For the pasta, linguine or angel hair pasta are both great
  • I prefer to use fresh lemons, but bottled will work just fine.
  • You can substitute chicken broth for the white wine if you prefer.
  • The sauce can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Be sure to heat the sauce over very low heat when reheating, or it will separate.
  • What are capers? Capers are immature flower buds from the caper bush, which grow all over the Mediterranean. Caper buds are picked before they can bloom into flowers. Then they’re pickled in vinegar or preserved in salt. You can substitute green olives if you don’t like capers.
  • You can make the sauce first and then pan sear the chicken afterward if you prefer.
  • Is lemon caper sauce gluten-free? Yes! all of the ingredients in the sauce are gluten-free.
  • Garnish the finished dish with some fresh lemon slices and fresh herbs.
Chicken in Lemon Butter Caper Sauce - restaurant quality! You'll be blown away after one bite! Sautéed chicken, pasta and a quick homemade lemon butter caper sauce. Ready in 15 minutes!

What to Serve with Lemon Butter Chicken

This recipe is just as good as the chicken at Ocean Club. It is very similar to chicken piccata, but creamier. This has quickly become one of our favorite pasta dishes. I couldn’t believe that I made this at home for pennies on the dollar. Now, this is not a low-cal dish. You should save this dish for a special occasion. That being said, when you make this dish, that’s the special occasion. This is also great for a dinner party. Now go make it!

We serve this chicken pasta with a salad and some bread. Here are a few of our favorite side dishes from the blog that go great with this yummy dish:

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plate of chicken caper pasta

Chicken in Lemon Butter Caper Sauce

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Chicken in Lemon Butter Caper Sauce – restaurant-quality dinner in 30 minutes! You'll be blown away after one bite! Lightly breaded chicken pan sautéed and served over pasta with a quick homemade lemon butter caper sauce made from butter, onion, garlic, lemon, white wine, and capers. You won't believe how easy this is to make! It is a family favorite!

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (or use cutlets)
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 8 -oz angel hair pasta, cooked and drained

Sauce

  • 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces, divided
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • cup Pinot Grigio wine I used Cavit
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed

Instructions:

Chicken

  • Cut the chicken breast halves horizontally, butterflying them open. Pound chicken pieces with a meat hammer to 1/4-inch thickness. Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Dredge chicken cutlets in the flour mixture, until well coated.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add chicken and brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

Sauce

  • Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to its very lowest setting. Slowly whisk in butter, one piece at a time, letting the first addition melt before adding more butter. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in capers.

To Serve

  • Place cooked pasta on plate or pasta bowl. Top with chicken and spoon sauce over chicken and pasta.

Notes:

You can serve the chicken over polenta, cooked pasta, or mashed potatoes.
The sauce can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Be sure to heat the sauce over very low heat when reheating, or it will separate.
What are capers? Capers are immature flower buds from the caper bush, which grow all over the Mediterranean. Caper buds are picked before they can bloom into flowers. Then they’re pickled in vinegar or preserved in salt.
You can make the sauce first and then pan sear the chicken afterward if you prefer.

Steph

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Chicken in Lemon Butter Caper Sauce - restaurant quality! You'll be blown away after one bite! Sautéed chicken, pasta and a quick homemade lemon butter caper sauce. Ready in 15 minutes!

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Comments

  1. I made this for my family last night and it was a hit! It’s not too heavy – I made a side of steamed broccoli and Caesar salad to go with it. Thanks so much!

  2. Yummy! Pretty much chicken piccata, which is one of my all-time favorites! This is simple and quick. The one recommendation I would make it to use thin-sliced chicken breasts. SO much easier to get them to right thickness with less effort! This was tasty! I will definitely make it again!

  3. Can you make the sauce ahead in the morning and set aside until you make the chicken? Thinking this would be so good for inner parties. Being able to make the sauce earlier would cut out one step at game time.

  4. Forgive me. You must have skipped over my question above. What would be the best way to reheat the sauce? In past experiences with buttery sauces, the butter always separates, and it’s never smooth and creamy again.

  5. Wow! This recompile was posted 5 years ago. I hope you receive my comment. I made this sauce and served it with salmon tonight. TO DIE FOR! I’m wondering what the best way to reheat this sauce would be? I have lots of left over, and can’t wait to eat it again tomorrow on some chicken!

  6. I've had this pinned forever and finally got around to making it. Wow!! This is almost exactly like a meal from one of our favorite restaurants, except they add mushrooms which I did as well. I may double the sauce next time though as I love having enough to really sauce up the pasta. Definitely a keeper!!!!!

  7. Tried tonight! Delicious. Only used 1T of lemon juice but plenty for us. Just a nice hint. I con fess I did add butter pieces faster but noticed no issue. I put 2-3T butter in at a time. No problems. Hubby said "This a keeper". BTW, he says that about every recipe of yours that I've tried. Thank you for another one! I so appreciate.

  8. OMG! This was off the charts delicious! I kept the chicken warm in the oven while the sauce cooked. Then I put the chicken in the sauce while I drained the pasta, tossed the pasta in the sauce and we had ourselves a feast! Thank you, thank you!!!

  9. This dish is so flavorful. Reminds me of a pasta salad I love, but the chicken is off the charts good.
    Thank you bunches.

  10. There is nothing "plain" about this chicken! Your BBQ Ranch Grilled Chicken was such a success, we will try this one next.

  11. How much do you think the pinot grigio affects the flavor of the sauce? We don't drink and I dont want to buy it just for this recipe unless it would suffer a lot for using chicken broth instead. Also, capers aren't berries (although they are sometimes called caper berries) or peppercorns- they're actually unripened flower buds. Pretty crazy huh? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caper

  12. Darn – completely forgot why I was responding! Was going to write:
    LOVE capers. They are pickled fresh (not dried) peppercorns! Pepper-y flavor plus salt flavor from pickling. Easy to find them jarred in pickling brine, but their flavor is truer (better) if you can find them salt packed. I had to order salt packed online. Some folks don't like the vinegary ones, but most folks like the salt/pepper flavor of the salt packed ones. Gotta rinse and drain before use with both types. I sneak them into a lot of bland foods for a little "Pop Zing"

    Thanks Wende for the spaghetti squash idea to lower calories and carbs! Gotta try that. And Thanks Steph for this version with the breading – you've given me the idea to bread my breaded-chicken loving hubby's chicken breast, hope he might would like this version better than my version!

  13. This is one of my fav dishes at any Italian restaurant! may I suggest trying this without the flour dredge? my fav restaurant version of this dish contains no flour, just season the chicken with salt and pepper, and saute in EVOO and a tablespoon or two butter. optional to dip chicken in an egg wash. Cooks up fast. Then the sauce, without flour, uses about half the butter and less wine (I don't measure them). But if you add the drained noodles directly to the (large) skillet and sauce, gently fold them around for a minute or two, it seems to thicken quite nicely from the starch of the noodles. (not enough sauce, add noodle water) Less butter and wine, no flour = Less calories. Dust the plate with parm and the flavor is very similar, but the flavor of the chicken without the flour seems to shine through I think. But then I'm not that keen on breading on my chicken – for that I almost lose my southern heritage claims, I know, but hey, I've got to cut calories somewhere. The breading just absorbs so much oil, and that's where I can cut the fat calories down and still have the flavor

  14. My favorite meal is just this except stuffed with prosciutto and provolone. Its at Carrabbas and is called Pollo Rosa Maria. Love it!

  15. My husband and I were having a pretty yucky argument when I made this for him…I'm pretty sure it's what fixed things!!

  16. I don't flatten my chicken but I add the wine and butter and lemon juice to the pan and cover it to cook. I use canned / jarred artichoke hearts instead of capers sometimes. We serve ours on rice a roni parmesian noodles.

  17. Love this type of dish. Capers and caper berries are favorites of ours. I always brine my chicken breasts in buttermilk for several hours up to all day before cooking them. So tender and juicy. I might add a little spinach at the end when I make it. Yum.

  18. Sounds delicious! I've had something similar at a restaurant. Do you think it would work if I used chicken broth instead of the wine? What temperature do you set your oven at to keep the chicken warm? I love every recipe I've tried from your site!

    1. It should be fine with chicken broth. I make the chicken last, so it is warm. If you need to keep it warm, I would put the oven on the lowest setting.

  19. Sounds delicious! I've had something similar at a restaurant. Do you think it would work if I used chicken broth instead of the wine? What temperature do you set your oven at to keep the chicken warm? I love every recipe I've tried from your site!

    1. I make a variation of this often and always use chicken broth instead of wine. It is also called Chicken Piccata and is deliciosu with shrimp instead of chicken.

  20. I don't see any heavy cream or anything really out of the ordinary to make this a calorie loaded dish. I have made this before and totally loved it, wishing I had known about it before. Thanks. I think this is a lower calorie dish than I one I made previously.

  21. When I was first started dating as a teen, one of the first dishes I paid for was a chicken picatta like this and to this day it is still one of my favorites. Pinned this.

  22. julied – I did have enough sauce, but you could double it if you like lots of sauce. I might double it next time – the sauce was SO good.

  23. Made this for dinner last night. It was delicious. I am watching my carbs, so substituted spaghetti squash for the pasta. Yummy! Thanks and keep the great recipes coming!

  24. Wow, that is high praise! I'm on vacation right now, but as soon as I get back, I'll be making this for our special occasion that's coming up soon! Thanks so much 🙂

  25. Cece – you could certainly leave the capers out, but they give the dish a little saltiness. Capers are a berry – they are pickled, so they are a little salty. Make sure to wash them or they will be too vinegary/sour. I don't like tons of them, but I don't mind a few – especially in this dish.

    1. I can't wait to try this delish recipe! Capers are actually tiny flower buds, the smaller, the most desirable. If they continue to grow, they turn into Caper berries, which look very much like an olive. They are not olives nor peppercorns. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. Talk to me about the capers. I have seen them in recipes all my adult life, but have never had them. Would the dish be just as good w/o them? If your description of them doesn't sound appealing to me, could I add something else? Thank you !!

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