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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.

Ingredients

Polenta

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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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Comments

  1. I would love to make this for a group (12) coming over for dinner this weekend. Do you have any tips on prepping and holding the chicken before my guests arrive?

  2. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. Amazing!

    Having everything prepped in advance made cooking a breeze. Will definitely make again

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Happy Monday!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xx

  3. Make exactly as-written and it came out perfect! I love lemony things and this was light and perfect to me without overpowering. I was considering reducing the lemon a tad based on some of the comments but glad I did not. Funny how everyone’s palates are so different

    1. Hey Jeremy,
      Happy Monday!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xx

  4. This sounds delicious. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup pesto, and the instructions say add 2T pesto to the polenta. What do we do with the other 2T pesto? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      I just use the other 2 tablespoons as garnish and top each dish with that. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  5. 5 stars
    This is really good, easy and delicious. I made a huge batch for Sunday dinner and my family ate almost every drop. I have never made polenta for the family so I was a bit nervous about it. I did have some trouble keeping the polenta smooth and creamy and I don’t know what the secret is so will have to try it again. The good news is my Brother in law even liked the polenta and he is pretty picky, so a win is a win! We love lemon with chicken so we all loved the lemony taste of it and of course capers are so delicious. The asparagus in the sauce was so good.

    1. Hey Bobbi,
      Fantastic!!🐣 Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your comment, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  6. Hi Tieghan,
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I love your recipes and a number have gone into my regular rotation. One small request; please list in the recipe ingredient list all the little extras that you show in your videos. (I would have missed those ingredients had I only read the recipe.) Chopped parsley and a bit of red pepper flakes should be listed. Not a big deal, but little extras like that can sometimes make a difference in how delicious the meal is in the end. 🙂
    Thanks again – I know sharing these recipes and all that goes into creating them is a lot of work. I really appreciate you and don’t mean to be negative.

    1. Hi Tanya,
      Thanks for sharing your feedback, the parsley is just a simply garnish that is not needed for the recipe if you don’t have it:) I hope you enjoyed the recipe! xT

    1. Hey Diana,
      Happy Monday!!🌞 Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xx

    1. Hey Lisa,
      You can skip the capers:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  7. 4 stars
    Did not make the polenta. The chicken was delicious but WAY way way way too lemony. I would cut the lemon in half or by a third and replace with chicken broth. I would also simmer the sauce on its own for a bit longer to thicken it up. The lemon really took away from the flavor. But the Parmesan in the flour for dredging? Genius! The chicken cooked and browned perfectly. It has the elements of a great recipe it just needs minor tweaks. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    1. Hi Becky,
      Thanks for giving this dish a try and sharing your review, so sorry to hear it was so lemony! Thanks again! xx

  8. Hi Tiegan, I plan to make this for my Gal’s Gathering this weekend and I notice in the Tic Toc video you add milk to the polenta but I don’t see that listed in the recipe! What kind and how much? Or does the water work fine with the butter and Parm?

    1. Hey Paige,
      You can use milk or water, whichever you prefer:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope this recipe turns out well for you! xx

  9. Hi Tieghan! Looking forward to trying this. I was only able to find tube polenta (instead of the dry instant). Do you think that would work and do you have any suggestions on how to adapt your instructions for using that? Love polenta, but find the tube stuff intimidating 🙂

    1. Hey Kellay,
      You’ll just want to follow the cooking instructions for the tube polenta. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xx

  10. 5 stars
    So, this is my second time making chicken piccata. I don’t remember liking capers, but figured I would give it another go because it has been almost ten years since I’ve made this dish. I confirmed I do not like capers, so this recipe isn’t my favorite. BUT, it’s only because I don’t like capers, and I can’t fault the recipe because of my taste buds. Every other element of this dish was delicious, and the polenta deserves 5 stars on its own. I mean, seriously, chefs kiss for the best polenta I’ve ever had.

    1. Hey Tammi,
      I appreciate you making this dish and sharing your feedback! Glad to hear you enjoyed, minus the capers:) Let me know if you give it another try! xx

  11. 5 stars
    Made it! Loved it! (I couldn’t find polenta in my NC grocery store, so I used yellow cornmeal grits, otherwise followed exactly!)
    Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Hey Beth,
      Happy Wednesday! Thanks so much for making this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xx

  12. Such a great meal! I love the pesto-polenta pairing! And the sauce has just the right amount of lemon. Super easy to make. I will definitely be making this one again!

    1. Hey Ashley,
      Happy Sunday!!❄️ I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for trying it out and sharing your feedback! xx