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Quick and easy Lemon Butter Chicken Piccata with Pesto Polenta. Lightly breaded chicken seared until golden with fresh lemon and butter. The chicken is finished in a simple white wine pan sauce with garlic asparagus. It’s simple but mouthwatering. Especially when served over creamy pesto parmesan polenta. Everything together is delicious and perfect for spring and summer cooking.

chicken on a plate with polenta and asparagus. wine one the table

Chicken piccata is the essential spring dinner. It’s lighter, yet has a touch of coziness to it. Making it great for the all-over-the-place springtime weather. But most importantly, it’s just a simple, delicious dinner to serve on hectic weeknights.

Chicken piccata is traditionally a one-pan recipe, so right out of the gate, we know it’s going to be easy to prepare!

chicken on plate after cooking in skillet

Details – start with the piccata

If you’ve made chicken parmesan, this is similar. In fact, my recipe uses parmesan in the coating (because why not add some yummy parmesan to the mix!). Dredge the chicken through a mix of flour and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Then pan-sear it in a hot skillet. This allows the chicken to form a nice golden crust on the outside and gives the sauce something to cling to. Using thin chicken cutlets is key. The thin chicken cooks evenly and browns nicely in a short amount of time.

If your grocery store does not carry chicken cutlets, try asking your butcher to pound out chicken breasts for you. Or do what I do. Take the chicken breasts and simply slice them in half. It’s not the right way to make chicken cutlets, but it works.

Pull the chicken out of the pan, add the asparagus, and cook in a little butter and garlic. Then add in the wine plus lemon juice. Next, add the chicken back and let everything simmer until the sauce thickens a bit.

asparagus cooking in skillet

The polenta

Making polenta is easy, especially when using instant polenta.

Simply boil water, whisk in the polenta, then add butter, parmesan, and pesto. It takes maybe 10 minutes total and always turns out creamy and so delicious. Our family loves a creamy polenta side dish.

chicken cooking in skillet with lemon sauce

The chicken soaks up all that delicious buttery pan sauce. It’s perfectly seasoned with lemon. And I love the addition of the springtime asparagus. It’s such an underused vegetable that shockingly, every person in my family enjoys.

Polenta is surprisingly satisfying, it’s the perfect creamy base for the saucy chicken. Everything about this Lemon Butter Chicken Piccata comes together easily and effortlessly. Just what we all need!

chicken with polenta and asparagus

Looking for other spring dinner recipes? Here are some favorites:

Easiest One Pan Caprese Pesto Orzo Bake

Quick Wontons in Chili Oil with Asparagus

Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos with Fried Avocado

Sheet Pan Lemon Brown Butter Salmon and Potatoes

Lastly, if you make this Lemon Butter Chicken Piccata with Pesto Polenta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Lemon Butter Chicken Piccata with Pesto Polenta

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 811 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour and parmesan in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken through the flour mix, pressing to adhere.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
    3. To the same skillet, add the butter, asparagus, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, capers, and thyme, cook another 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and lemon juice, cook 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, until warmed through.
    4. Meanwhile, make the polenta. Bring 3 cups water to a boil over medium heat in a medium pot. Whisk in the polenta, stirring until the polenta is soft and thickening, 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, parmesan, and 2 tablespoons pesto.
    5. Spoon the polenta onto plates. Add the chicken and asparagus. Then spoon over the pan sauce. Finish with basil.


To Make Gluten Free: replace the flour with almond flour, or your favorite gluten-free flour blend.
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chicken with polenta, asparagus, and wine

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  1. This sounds yummy! My local stores only carry pre-made polenta in a tube. Could I substitute yellow corn meal or grits for the polenta? If so, would I need to alter the recipe to accommodate the substitution? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Stacey,
      Sure, grits should work well for you, you should be able to follow the recipe as written. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this dish! xT

    1. Hi Ginny,
      Fantastic! Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your review, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xx

    1. Hey Patti,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend! xxT

  2. Hi again Tieghan! Sorry for my double comments lol. How would you go about this if I want to make this slightly in advance? (Like hour before serving). Would you suggest just leaving the chicken and all in the pan and then just turn the heat back on and reheat when it’s time to serve? Or would you fridge it? (Ps—not making polenta) Thanks!

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Yeah, I would just leave it out and cover with foil and reheat:) I hope you love the recipe! xx

      1. Hey Diane,
        Perfect! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I am so glad it was a hit! xx

  3. How would one best go about doubling the recipe? I would typically use one large skillet for all the chicken…so would you suggest 2 pans? Thanks.

    1. Hey Nicole,
      Yes, if you want to double I would use 2 pans for this recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  4. I made this recipe twice already and it was delicious. For those that posted that it was too bland, you need to taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I always taste and adjust the seasoning.

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

    1. Hey Malena,
      I really appreciate you giving this dish a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Hope you’re having a great Wednesday! xT

  5. 1 star
    I apologize in advance for the poor review, but this was one of the worst meals I’ve made in a long time. The lemon was over powering and the polenta was beyond bland. I love your recipes but sometimes they are hit or miss- Quality over quantity!

    1. Hi Nate,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try and sharing your feedback. Sorry to hear it was not enjoyed. xTieghan

    1. Hi Daniella,
      We are currently experiencing a glitch with out Pin feature, hoping to have that fixed soon! xTieghan

    1. Hey Arianne,
      Thanks for your comment! So glad to hear that this dish was a winner, thanks a lot for giving it a go! ?xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    This is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever made. This recipe is packed with so much flavor from the asparagus to the polenta and the chicken OMG it really is that good. I also appreciated how it easy it is to make. Thank you Tieghan!

    1. Hi Iris,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks for trying it out! I hope you had a great holiday weekend!?

    1. Hey Ellen,
      Fantastic!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! ?Tieghan