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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: 475 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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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. This was yumilicious! Thank you. I think I would love anything with lemon and capers. I would like to make extra sauce next time, do you think I could do that by adding some more flour when getting ready to sauté the asparagus and more liquid? Also, any ideas for the extra polenta? I’ve seen polenta fries on appetizer menus. Anyway – thanks so much for sharing your amazing recipes!!

    1. Hey there,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for making the recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed!! You can just double the sauce recipe. Here are some ideas for the polenta:
      https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/sweet-buttered-polenta-pancakes-fresh-summer-berries/
      https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/garlic-parmesan-herb-butter-polenta-fries/
      https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/cheesy-fried-polenta-wpan-roasted-balsamic-brussels-sprouts-roasted-garlic-sage-oil/
      Have the best week:) xxT

  2. 5 stars
    Delish!!! This recipe has been added to our favorites. Wonderful flavor and easy to make. Hubby had seconds and asked when I plan to make it again.

    1. Hi Nikki,
      Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xxT

  3. Found this recipe on instagram, from the picture I knew I had to make it! I never made polenta in my life and discovered a new ingredient in my repertoire. The sauce, pesto and polenta is a match made in heaven. Paired it with a pecorino white wine from Marche. I am a new fan of your recipes, and can’t wait to try more!

    1. Hi Tony,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it!! Have a great week:) xxT

  4. 5 stars
    I made this last night (along with your zucchini bread for dessert) and wow! This was a fantastic recipe! Love the pesto in the polenta for a little twist. SO good. My husband loved it too!! You have wonderful recipes and I’ve made so many and have NEVER been disappointed.

    1. Hey Rachael,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was a hit! Have a great weekend:) xx

  5. Thanks for the recipes however I’m often quite aghast by the amount of fat used in many of your recipes. I’m by no means a calorie counter but if I made your recipes on the daily I expect both my blood pressure and waistline would feel it.
    Any chance of recipes that don’t clog the arteries in future?

    1. Hey Nicole,
      Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. I have over 3,000 recipes on the blog, some healthy, some more indulgent. I am by no means and have never claimed to be a health food blog. I think if you are conscious of what you are fueling your body with you can certainly treat yourself to something throughout the week. I hope this makes sense:) Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with! xTieghan

  6. Really easy and really delicious. Made this tonight and served it with caprese salad. Definitely will make this again. Thank you! Keep these recipes coming!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    So wonderful and easy! I used grits instead of polenta, and although we love asparagus, one of my guests did not, so I used fresh green beans. It was outstanding. Can’t go wrong with wine, butter and capers : )

    1. Hey Kay,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night, and it was an instant hit!! I subbed asparagus for French green beans, and risotto instead of polenta (as that’s what I had on hand)…SO delicious! I can’t wait for leftovers for lunch today!

    1. Hi Lori,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was so good! I was a little confused on how much pesto to use because it listed more than what you said to add but then I saw some extra added in your photo so that’s what we did. There is a lot of lemon flavor in that sauce, but when you eat everything together you need that brightness to cut through the richness of the polenta. It was great and we’ll definitely be making it again!

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! Sorry about the confusion with the pesto, I will go back and look at that! xTieghan

    1. Hey Mary,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a try! 🌸xx

    1. Hi Donna,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go and sharing your feedback!! I love to hear that it was a winner:) xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe was awesome. Made the polenta and asparagus too. Definitely on the make again list! Big hit with the hubby.😁

    1. Hey Jane,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go and sharing your feedback!! I love to hear that it was a winner:) xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Amazing! I subbed the asparagus for green beans & this meal was spectacular! Easy & quick to make, especially with instant polenta. My foodie 11 year old gave it a chefs kiss & my husband said it was a keeper. This will be in our rotation forever!

    1. Hey Brooke,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go and sharing your feedback!! I love to hear that it was a winner:) xTieghan