Panko Crusted Chicken Piccata

Comfort meets sophistication in this Panko Crusted Chicken Piccata! With lightly fried, crispy chicken breast and a buttery lemon caper sauce, this classic chicken dinner is simple to prepare and extremely satisfying to eat.

Whether you’re making it for a weeknight dinner or an elegant dinner party, chicken piccata is always a winner.

Crispy Panko Breaded Chicken Piccata

Panko crusted chicken piccata on a cast iron serving dish.

In this season of life, I usually find myself cooking more out of necessity than pleasure. These kids have to eat, after all (Again?? Yes, again.), and the time between them arriving home from school and a total hangry breakdown seems to be shrinking every week.

So, most nights we’re tossing together a 30 minute meal, something like Easy Pantry Pasta or Pizza Chicken, and attempting to eat it and clean up before basketball practice, swimming lessons, or some other diversion draws us all away from the table and onto the next thing.

It’s not that I hate cooking on these nights. I just don’t really have the time or mental space to enjoy it.

But, oh, when I have even the teeniest bit of extra space to cook? I want to be making this Panko Crusted Chicken Piccata.

This meal is all good vibes. It’s Sinatra crooning through the speakers, a sizzling skillet, butter melting into broth. It’s turning over that first piece of chicken to reveal a perfectly crisped, browned crust.

This Chicken Piccata is pure pleasure to make, and it’s even better to eat. Pair it with garlic green beans and fettuccine for an incredible Italian American meal.

Slices of panko breaded chicken piccata.

The Keys to Perfect Chicken Piccata

  • Double dredge the chicken in both flour and panko breadcrumbs for a crispier crust.
  • Butterfly the chicken breasts and pound them to an even thickness for quick and even cooking.
  • Make enough sauce. We’ve increased the amount of lemon butter sauce from our original recipe, because we wanted enough to pour over the pasta and whatever veggie side we were having too. Trust us, it’s that good!
  • Got picky kids? Just leave the sauce off! They’ll love the crispy chicken cut into strips and served like chicken fingers!

Key ingredients

Chicken breasts, salt, pepper, lemons, butter, olive oil, eggs, flour, and panko breadcrumbs shown on a white background.
  • Boneless skinless chicken breast– Here’s a great instructional for how to butterfly chicken breasts for this recipe.
  • Flour– All purpose flour forms the first layer of breading for the chicken.
  • Eggs– After getting dunked in flour, the chicken will get a coating of egg so the breadcrumbs have something to stick to.
  • Panko breadcrumbs– This Japanese style breadcrumb is extra crunchy! You can substitute regular Italian style breadcrumbs, but your breading won’t be as crisp.
  • Olive oil– We fry the chicken in olive oil, but you can also substitute butter or a mix of the two.
  • Garlic– No explanation needed here! Garlic makes (almost) every dish better!
  • Chicken broth– We keep Better than Bouillon on hand, and use it for all of our broths and soup recipes. We love the lower sodium version.
  • Butter– We use unsalted butter, as the sauce really doesn’t need a lot of extra salt.
  • Lemon juice– We insist on fresh squeezed for this recipe. The lemon really is the star, and the jarred stuff isn’t the same.
  • Capers– These tiny green buds pack a punch of briny tang! It wouldn’t be chicken piccata without them.

How to Make Panko Crusted Chicken Piccata

Prep the chicken. Butterfly the chicken (slice each piece in half widthwise, so they are half as thick as they were to begin with). If the pieces are still uneven (thicker on one part than another), lay them on a cutting board, top with parchment paper, and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound them to an even thickness. Season the chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper.

Butterflied chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper on a cutting board.

Coat the chicken. Place the flour, eggs, and panko in three separate large, shallow bowls. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour on both sides, shake off the excess, then dip in the eggs, and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a tray or cutting board while you finish the remaining chicken.

Butterflied chicken breasts coated in flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs.

Cook the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large, sturdy skillet over medium high heat. Add as many of the dredged chicken breasts as you can fit without overlapping, and fry for 2-3 minutes a side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken breast, adding additional oil if needed.

Panko crusted chicken being browned in a cast iron skillet.

Make the sauce. When the chicken has been removed, add the garlic to the skillet and cook for just a minute. Add the broth, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom as you go. Allow the broth to simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium low and add the butter, stirring until melted. Stir in the capers, lemon juice, and lemon slices, if desired.

Lemony butter sauce for chicken piccata in a cast iron skillet.

Serve. To serve, plate the chicken then spoon the lemon butter sauce over top. Top with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

Storage and Make Ahead Instructions

  • Leftover chicken piccata should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days.
  • You can dredge the chicken up to 8 hours in advance and store it, covered, in the fridge.
  • Cooked chicken piccata can be reheated in the oven or in the air fryer. Our preferred method is in the air fryer at 390 degrees for about 7-9 minutes. This crisps it right up!
Panko chicken piccata topped with lemon butter sauce, capers, and parsley.

What to Serve with Chicken Piccata

As mentioned above, chicken piccata pairs wonderfully with fettuccine, but could also work well with linguine, spaghetti, or angel hair pasta.

For veggie sides for chicken piccata, try steamed green beans, air fryer asparagus, or roasted broccoli and cauliflower. You also can’t go wrong with an easy side salad or creamy Caesar salad, to mirror the lemony notes from the dish.

This bright and tangy apple fennel salad would also be a great choice.

More Recipes that Use Panko Breadcrumbs

Not sure what to do with leftover panko breadcrumbs?

Use them up in our Creamy Panko Topped Mac and Cheese, Panko Fried Chicken, or Air Fryer Cod Fish Sandwiches!

Sliced panko breaded chicken piccata topped with capers and parsley.

More Dinner Party Worthy Dinners

These recipes pull double duty as weeknight meals OR dinner party favorites! 

Panko chicken piccata topped with lemon butter sauce, capers, and parsley.

Panko Crusted Chicken Piccatta

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This Chicken Piccata has a crispy Panko crust and the best buttery lemon sauce! It's a fantastic weeknight dinner that's fancy enough for guests!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½-2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast (3-4 breasts)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice + A few slices of lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Prep the chicken. Butterfly the chicken (slice each piece in half widthwise, so they are half as thick as they were to begin with). If the pieces are still uneven (thicker on one part than another), lay them on a cutting board, top with parchment paper, and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound them to an even thickness. Season the chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat the chicken. Place the flour, eggs, and panko in three separate large, shallow bowls. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour on both sides, shake off the excess, then dip in the eggs, and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a tray or cutting board while you finish the remaining chicken.
  3. Fry the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large, sturdy skillet over medium high heat. Add as many of the dredged chicken breasts as you can fit without overlapping, and fry for 2-3 minutes a side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken breast, adding additional oil if needed.
  4. Make the sauce. When the chicken has been removed, add the garlic to the skillet and cook for just a minute. Add the broth, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom as you go. Allow the broth to simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  5. Lower the heat to medium low and add the butter, stirring until melted. Stir in the capers, lemon juice, and lemon slices, if desired. 
  6. Serve. To serve, plate the chicken then spoon the lemon butter sauce over top. Top with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

Notes

Reheat leftover chicken piccata in the air fryer at 390 degrees for 5-7 minutes. It will recrisp beautifully!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 843Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 317mgSodium: 1007mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 81g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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25 Comments

  1. The intro mentions double flour and panko dredging which is only reason I looked at the recipe since I already make great picata. But I did not find these steps in the instructions. Maybe I overlooked something when I jumped to recipe??

    1. Hi Marlene, yes the double dredging just means it’s dredged once in flour and once in panko. You can see the dredging process in the recipe. Most chicken piccata recipes are just dredged once in flour. I hope that makes sense!

  2. People always changing others recipes – lol! I made this tonight with a few changes.too I had to omit the egg dip as I didn’t have any eggs & it worked! I also added heavy cream & chix bouillon to make more creamier sauce, then added the capers. Half way making the sauce, I threw the chix in my air fryer for 2 minutes to crisp it up a little more & Wah Lah – perfection. Thank you!

  3. This was really good but I generally add chicken broth, a little white wine and then the lemon juice, for the sauce. And I think I was just missing those little touches. Your pictures are beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing.

  4. I saved this recipe to make for dinner tonight. But once I started reading the blog I was really turned off by your dead and smelly rodent story. Really? Talking about this topic and a recipe at the same time is just too much information. As much as the recipe pictures look nice I can’t proceed with cooking it. Everyone isn’t as enamored as you by having dead animals in their house.

    1. Hi Jeanne,

      That’s unfortunate because this recipe is really a favorite! I’m sorry if you were offended by the topic. I like to write about my real life, and sometimes real life includes some unpleasant surprises. I always find it helps to keep a sense of humor about it. I promise most of my stories are much less rodent-oriented. 🙂 I hope you can find another great meal for your family to enjoy!

      1. Thank you for the pleasant reply. Your story and the way you described the smell brought me back to a very unpleasant experience I had in a former house. You described the odor exactly as I remembered it. So I think that is part of the reason why I had such a visceral response to your story. Being a city girl and living in the country was not an easy adjustment. Anyhow, we sold that house and onto a better home. Although we do have the cutest mouse living under our porch this winter. But the place is so airtight that his chances of getting in are minimal. I am going to try your recipe tonight. Chicken picatta two nights in a row! I can compare it to the recipe I tried last night and see which one I like best.

        1. Thankfully we are finally mouse free, even in our 100 year old home! I totally understand the reaction. It’s a very distinct (and unfortunately very memorable) smell! I hope you loved the piccata! Can’t complain about having such a great meal two nights in a row!

  5. I made this for my mother and girlfriend and it was excellent. I particularly liked the hint of lemon..We refrigerated half of it and had it for dinner a couple days later and it was still very good. The instructions were very clear and readable.

  6. I made this Chicken Piccata dish on Saturday with my boyfriend as a date night in. We slightly modified it (added a parm/pecorino blend to the panko, and pan fried then baked chicken) and served it with lemon pepper pappardelle with spinach, basil and sautéed onions and lemon juice. The chicken was so moist and the overall flavor of the dish was amazing. We definitely felt like it was better than any dish we’d had out recently and inspired us to start cooking new recipes. It was great finding this post and we are looking forward to checking out some of your others.

    1. I’m sorry this reply is so late, but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed this, and the pasta you served it with sounds amazing! I hope you’ve been inspired by some other recipes on the site as well!

  7. So, first of all, that’s horrifying and unfortunate about the rodent situation – can you employ a friendly neighborhood cat or dog to help in locating the culprit? Second, hopefully the smell of this chicken piccata helped overpower the *other* smell…at any rate, this looks delicious – I’m a sucker for anything involving panko crumbs, so this looks awesome!

  8. I can’t believe you didn’t find it!! That is tragic. Well, it’s a good time to make use of our public parks i guess. Or just brown butter to mask the scent. All. day. long.

  9. Nooooooooooooooooooo!!! Poor you and Will! I think you guys should check yourselves into a fancy hotel and wait out Mother Nature. You deserve it! You guys are champs for attempting to find it and dispose of it yourselves. When I was in law school, we had lockers down in the dank, dark basement of the old decrepit building we were in. It always stank because of the bathrooms so one day, when it was particularly rank, we didn’t think anything of it. The stench just kept getting worse and worse and it wasn’t until there were maggots covering the floor when we realized a squirrel had fallen behind a row of lockers, died and was decaying. I’ll never forget that smell. I imagine it’s exactly what you guys are experiencing! Anyways, enough with gross talk. This chicken is jaw droppingly gorgeous. I can just imagine the satisfying crunch of the panko and the delicious brown butter lemon sauce!

    1. Ahh! Dead squirrel?? That would be awful. They told me it should only take 3-4 days, and if it goes longer we likely have something bigger in there *shudder*. Hoping it disappears so we don’t have to tear part of our house off!

  10. First- this looks so delicious and I can’t wait to make it!! Pinning to make this week! Second- we just had the same thing happen! Good news is that it only lasted like a week, the Renuzit super odor killer air fresheners do help a little!

  11. Gahhhh that sounds awful! I would offer to have you come out here and make you dinner, but it looks like you’ve got dinner well covered with this yumminess. So I’ll come over there. With a clothespin on my nose. 😉

  12. Oh no! We once had a similar situation in an apartment, and we “think” it was in the air vent in one of the bathrooms…we had to let the smell run its course; so awful. I hope it smells all sunshine and roses….or maybe just panko crusted chicken piccata, soon! This recipe looks delish; I am all about extra crunch with panko, instead!

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