Chicken Scallopini has lightly breaded cutlets tossed in a warm lemon-butter sauce. This easy meal is ready in 15 minutes and made all in one skillet!

15-minute one-pot meals are in short supply on this blog. After all, around here we enjoy cooking.

But, I make an exception when the dish in question is classic Italian cuisine AND was part of my recent culinary school final exam (we’re on the quarter system).

Chicken Scallopini on a large gray platter with lemon slices, capers, roasted asparagus, and a serving fork.

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Most important of all, the meal is delicious. Lightly breaded and fried chicken cutlets swirled in a lemon butter sauce is nothing short of weeknight meal perfection.

We made a turkey version in class, so feel free to use turkey cutlets (or pork cutlets or veal cutlets). If you can’t find cutlets, pound down breasts or medallions sandwiched between two pieces of plastic wrap with a mallet. No sweat.

Dredge the chicken lightly in flour and then pan-fry in clarified butter (or you can substitute olive oil). Because these are cutlets, they cook through in just minutes.

Chicken Scallopini in a stainless steel skillet with lemon slices and capers.

Deglaze your pan with white wine and lemon juice. Swirl in some cold butter to finish the sauce and then stir in capers.

Do capers make this dish Chicken Piccata? I’m not clear on that. In my school textbook it’s clearly called Scallopini, but I’m open to clarification on this.

Finally, add back your chicken just long enough to coat it in sauce. I like to serve this with roasted asparagus and egg noodles. Pure comfort food!

Chicken Scallopini on a large gray platter with lemon slices, capers, roasted asparagus, and a serving fork.

Chicken Scallopini on a large gray platter with lemon slices, capers, roasted asparagus, and a serving fork.

Chicken Scallopini

Chicken Scallopini has lightly breaded cutlets tossed in a warm lemon-butter sauce. This easy meal is ready in 15 minutes and made all in one skillet!
5 from 13 votes
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 206

Ingredients 

  • 8 (3 ounce) chicken breast cutlets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 206kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 357mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 192IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. As far as I know, Piccata is the scallopine in the lemon-butter sauce. Capers are traditional additions to the dish (same goes for chopped parsley)

  2. The recipe described here, although lovely, is for Piccata, so I’m thinking that if this is the dish you submitted for your final, it didn’t pass. Although capers are a delicious addition to Scallopini, mushrooms are traditionally used as is the use of cream as a necessary ingredient.
    I’ll keep coming back as I have no criticism of this recipe except for the mis-naming. Other than that it is classic piccata and the options of meats works too…
    (speaking this, hopefully constructive criticism as a foodfreak who has over 30 yrs industry experience and was lucky enough to attend the CIA, Nappa, CA – I’m also Italian)

    1. Hi Susan, I appreciate your passion for food. You obviously care a lot about recipes which is great. The recipe that I posted is straight out of my “On Cooking” culinary textbook, so that is the reason why I call this Scallopini. My culinary school textbook says so, so I certainly passed my final 🥴. I did a search in google and most of the recipes that are on page one look exactly like mine – lemon sauce with capers. Some are creamier than others. I did see one from Southern Living magazine which has mushrooms as you described, no capers. I know at the Cheesecake Factory their chicken piccata has a creamy lemon sauce with both mushrooms and capers. So, either Americans are confused or there are different variations. In any case, I am going to see if I can track down some Italian cookbooks with “authentic” recipes so I can be more informed and avoid mistakes like this in the future, and probably rework and reshoot this version of Scallopini. If you have any suggestions on cookbooks with “authentic” recipes, I would gladly welcome them. Thank you for your help! -Meggan

    2. Just a quick follow-up – I’ve ordered “The Italian Regional Cookbook” which reviewers have indicated is a good first step on understanding authentic Italian recipes. You know, I post a lot of Mexican recipes because I have traveled extensively in Mexico and learned from the locals. I have never even been to Italy so I have a lot to learn. Thanks again for your help. -Meggan

  3. This was a huge win for me tonight. I have some picky eaters and they enjoyed it. It’s very easy to make. Definitely a doable week night dinner.5 stars

  4. I subbed the capers for some chopped shallots and sautéed them a bit before deglazing. It came out very nice, plus an easy microwaveable leftover cutlet & sauce for lunch tomorrow.5 stars

  5. Made this tonight for dinner. So to keep it all Italian, I served this with linguini and a simple tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning, garlic and onion reduction with a big garden salad dressed with Italian dressing as sides. I subbed a very inexpensive Christian Brothers dry sherry and lime juice b/c I had no lemons. Perfect regardless. Five stars kid!!! Or better yet an “A+” from both of us!!! XOXO5 stars