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Chicken Scallopini, a 15-minute dinner idea, is a weekly menu staple in my home (and will soon be in yours, too!). The easy one-skillet recipe features pan-fried chicken in a punchy lemon-butter sauce.

Chicken scallopini on a white plate.

Let’s take a trip to Italy, where “scallopine” is just an elegant way to say “chicken breast.” My 15-minute skillet dinner puts this versatile, Midwest-favorite protein pick to delicious use in a piccata-esque feast.

The results are crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and swirled in a luscious lemon butter sauce that’s begging to be sopped up with warm bread. Or spoon it all over cooked pasta.

Either and all the ways, Chicken Scallopini is a weeknight dinner winner.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step by step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Chicken Scallopini Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for chicken scallopini.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken breast cutlets: Most grocery stores stock chicken cutlets, but if you can’t find them, set the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice it in half horizontally, cutting all the way through. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Olive oil or clarified butter: Pan-fry in either fat. Discover how to clarify butter at home, which is a simple process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. For a store-bought swap, look for ghee (another type of clarified butter) at the supermarket or online
  • Dry white wine: Choose your favorite; Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc all work well. You only need 4 ounces, so put the other 21.4 ounces to use as a beverage pairing alongside this chicken dinner. For an alcohol-free substitute, use ½ cup vegetable broth or chicken broth instead.

Step by step instructions

  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each cutlet in flour and shake lightly to remove excess.
Chicken scallopini coated in flour on a wooden cutting board.
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat butter until shimmering. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
Chicken scallopini in a silver skillet.
  1. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until incorporated. Stir in capers.
Chicken scallopini sauce being made in a silver skillet.
  1. Add chicken and any accumulated juices back to pan. Swirl to coat the chicken with sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
Chicken scallopini in a silver skillet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 adult servings, each with two 3-ounce pieces of chicken, plus the spoon drink-worthy sauce, of course.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The chicken can be coated with flour and stored in the refrigerator (covered or wrapped in plastic) a day in advance.
Two plates of chicken scallopini.

Recipe FAQs

What starches should I serve with this Chicken Scallopini?

Any kind of cooked pasta is terrific; spoon the chicken and sauce on top so it can soak up all the goodness. Try the same strategy with mashed potatoes (garlic, Boursin, 3-ingredient, or make-ahead; you can’t go wrong). Or simply set out a basket of crusty bread, such as wedges of toasted No-Knead Bread, to soak up the lemony sauce.

Why do you cook the sauce in the same skillet as the chicken?

In addition to cutting down on clean-up time, deglazing the pan with white wine welcomes the flavorful chicken drippings to the sauce. The little bits left in the pan after cooking protein are a free and fast way to amp up the flavor of your sauce.

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Delicious serving suggestions

A plate of chicken scallopini.

Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini, a 15-minute dinner idea, is a weekly menu staple in my home (and will soon be in yours, too!). The easy one-skillet recipe features pan-fried chicken in a punchy lemon-butter sauce.
4.94 from 44 votes
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 202

Ingredients 

  • 8 (3-ounce) chicken breast cutlets (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or clarified butter (see note 2)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (see note 3)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup capers drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter cold
  • fresh parsley minced, for garnish
  • lemon wedges for serving

Instructions 

  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each cutlet in flour and shake lightly to remove excess.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat butter until shimmering. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
  • Add wine and lemon juice to skillet, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until incorporated. Stir in capers.
  • Add chicken and any accumulated juices back to pan. Swirl to coat the chicken with sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Chicken breast cutlets: Most grocery stores stock chicken cutlets, but if you can’t find them, set the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice it in half horizontally, cutting all the way through. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  2. Olive oil or clarified butter: Pan-fry in either fat. Discover how to clarify butter at home, which is a simple process that removes the water and milk solids from whole butter. For a store-bought swap, look for ghee (another type of clarified butter) at the supermarket or online
  3. Dry white wine: Choose your favorite; Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Gris, or Sauvignon Blanc all work well. You only need 4 ounces, so put the other 21.4 ounces to use as a beverage pairing alongside this chicken dinner. For an alcohol-free substitute, use ½ cup vegetable broth or chicken broth instead.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes 4 adult servings, each with two 3-ounce pieces of chicken, plus the spoon drink-worthy sauce, of course.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Make ahead: The chicken can be coated with flour and stored in the refrigerator (covered or wrapped in plastic) a day in advance.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 357mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 192IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. This is one of my favorite dishes, but I had never made it at home. Until yesterday and it came out great! Thank you. It will now be in the rotation! The only departure was my substitution of basil for parsley. Served with green beans and asparagus!5 stars

  2. “Too sour” according to both tasters. 1/8th cup lemon juice would suffice also too gravy like. I suggest pouring off all the flour tainted butter after frying. The juice, flour, wine and capers turned to thick brown gravy.2 stars

    1. Hi Gio, thanks for the feedback. Hope you are able to make it more to your and your test tasters liking next time. Take care! – Meggan

  3. Has a lot of wiggle room for someone trying to make one of their first “elegant” meals. Love it. A hit every time!5 stars

  4. Excellent and easy, thank you! This is one of my favorite choices in some restaurants and this turned out the same as theirs or better! I’m super excited to add this to our favorites. YUM!5 stars

  5. Magnifico! Extraordinaire! A culinary masterpiece! Fabulissimo! There just aren’t enough words to describe the good taste of this dish. And so easy! My new favorite meal. Thank you!5 stars

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