The name of this lively Italian dish, Piccata, is thought to be derived originally from the French word pique (excite). When used as a reference to a way of preparing food (particularly meat or fish), piccata means sliced and sauteéd in a sauce containing lemon, butter, and spices. Which is just what we’ll be doing here to make this zesty, flavorful dish!

This savory one-skillet meal can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and is so easy and delicious it should be part of every home cook’s repertoire. Perfect for company or for weeknights, and any leftovers work well for lunch the next day. It is Paleolow carb, Keto, cleanketoand Whole30 friendly.


Chicken Piccata

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cleanketo, keto, low carb, paleo, whole30
Servings: 4
Calories: 609kcal


  • 1 Meat tenderizer


  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • sea salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup butter divided
  • cup capers drained
  • 3 lemons zested and juiced (~½ cup juice)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley 1 bunch, stemmed and chopped


Prepare chicken breasts:

  • You can prepare the chicken breasts one of two ways: butterfly, or tenderize. Either way, your goal is to make all the breasts a fairly uniform ½ inch thick.
  • To tenderize: Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and using a meat tenderizer, gently pound each chicken breast until desired thickness.
  • To butterfly: Carefully slice horizontally across the middle of each chicken breast, creating two thinner slices of chicken breast out of each one.
  • Season each piece well with salt and pepper.
  • Heat half of the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Cook chicken pieces for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Make the sauce:

  • Add the remaining butter to the pan and heat for 1 minute.
  • Add the capers to the butter and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the lemon juice and half the lemon zest, and stir to combine.

Complete the dish:

  • Place chicken and any juices back into the pan.
  • Cook briefly, turning once, until chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley and remaining lemon zest.
  • Serve over zoodles or cauliflower rice, and/or with a salad or a side of low carb veggies.


Calories: 609kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 861mg | Potassium: 424mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2728IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg