Delicious Piccata Sauce Recipe (Tangy And Savory Flavor)

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Piccata Sauce Recipe , made with zesty lemon, capers, white wine, and quality butter and olive oil, transforms ordinary dishes into culinary delights. Whether you’re serving it with chicken, fish, or pasta, starting with fresh ingredients ensures a burst of flavor. This recipe is a simple way to impress guests with its rich, tangy taste, and a pinch of salt and black pepper balances the flavors perfectly.

Embarking on a culinary journey, I once found myself enamored by the zestful and captivating flavors of Piccata Sauce. This recipe has roots in both Middle Eastern and European cuisines. 

Piccata Sauce Recipe

This sauce, with its tangy lemon, briny capers, and rich white wine, presents a delightful challenge to home cooks and food enthusiasts alike. Many struggle to strike the perfect balance of flavors, rendering dishes either too tart or overwhelmingly bold.

On a recent visit to a friend’s house in Italy, I was treated to a version of this sauce that was nothing short of sublime. The host, aware of my penchant for fine food, had mastered the art of Piccata Sauce, leaving me in awe and inspired to recreate it in my kitchen.

What Is Piccata Sauce Recipe?

Piccata Sauce is a zesty, tangy sauce originating from Italy. It usually comprises butter, lemon juice, capers, and white wine. The ingredients blend to create a rich, flavorful sauce that enhances various dishes, particularly chicken, fish, and pasta. 

When making Piccata Sauce, one starts by sautéing garlic in butter and olive oil, adding a robust foundation. Fresh lemon juice and capers are essential for the signature tang, while white wine adds depth. 

History Of Piccata Sauce Recipe

The Piccata Sauce recipe, with its vibrant flavors, has Italian roots. It originated as a part of Italian cuisine and was initially used to enhance veal dishes, known as “Veal Piccata.” Over time, its use expanded to chicken, fish, and pasta dishes. 

The term “piccata” in Italian refers to being “pricked” or “pierced,” which aligns with the sauce’s sharp, zesty flavors. The exact individual who invented this sauce remains a mystery. Still, Italian cooks played a pivotal role in its creation and popularization. 

Interesting Facts About Piccata Sauce Recipe

Dive into the elegant simplicity of Piccata Sauce, a classic Italian recipe that masterfully blends tangy, buttery, and caper-infused flavors for a refined culinary delight.

Versatile Use

Originally paired with veal, Piccata Sauce is now popularly used with chicken, fish, and pasta.

Key Ingredients

The sauce’s signature tang comes from capers and lemon juice, while white wine adds a rich complexity.

Italian Roots

Piccata Sauce has a strong Italian heritage, although its origin in Italy is not well-documented.

Quick Cooking Time

The sauce usually takes only a few minutes to prepare, making it a favorite for quick, flavorful meals.


These small, briny pickles are essential to the sauce, providing a unique, piquant flavor.


Piccata Sauce is adaptable; cooks often tweak ingredients to suit personal preferences

International Appeal

Over time, the sauce has gained popularity worldwide, becoming a staple in many international cuisines.


Despite its complex flavors, Piccata Sauce is made with readily available ingredients and simple cooking techniques.

Jar And Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

Piccata Sauce has experienced various regional adaptations as it has traveled globally. In the United States, particularly, chefs often serve it with chicken, terming the dish “Chicken Piccata.” 

This version typically features a thicker sauce and might include ingredients like shallots or chicken broth for additional flavor. In Mediterranean countries, cooks might add local olives or herbs, infusing the sauce with regional flavors. 

In some Middle Eastern adaptations, lemon is substituted with sumac or pomegranate molasses, providing a different tanginess.

What Will Make You Love This Piccata Sauce Recipe?

The balance of rich and zesty flavors in this Piccata Sauce recipe is what will truly captivate your taste buds. The buttery base, combined with the sharpness of fresh lemon juice and the briny kick of capers, creates a harmonious dance of flavors on the palate. 

White wine adds a layer of sophistication and depth that elevates the sauce from simple to sublime. This recipe stands out because of its simplicity and the ease with which it comes together, making it accessible even to novice cooks. 

Furthermore, the adaptability of the sauce allows for personal tweaks and variations, ensuring it suits your taste preferences perfectly.

Bowl And Spoon

Ingredients List

Olive Oil1 teaspoon
Garlic4 cloves
White Wine1/2 cup
Chicken Broth1/2 cup
Unsalted Butter1 tablespoon
Capers2 tablespoons
Italian Parsley3 tablespoons

Ingredient Tips

  • Olive Oil: Choose extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor. It provides a fragrant base to the sauce.
  • Shallots: Ensure they are fresh and firm. Their subtle sweetness enhances the sauce’s complexity.
  • Garlic: Use fresh cloves for a robust aroma and taste, avoiding pre-minced versions.
  • White Wine: Select a dry white wine for cooking, as it complements the tangy elements.
  • Chicken Broth: Opt for low-sodium broth. This ensures your sauce doesn’t become too salty.
  • Unsalted Butter: Using unsalted butter lets you control the sauce’s salt content better.
  • Lemons: Choose lemons that are heavy for their size, indicating juiciness. Fresh juice is vital.
  • Capers: Buy capers stored in brine. They provide the necessary piquancy.
  • Italian Parsley: Ensure it’s fresh and green. It adds a refreshing touch to the sauce.
  • Preparation: Take time to thinly cut shallots and garlic. It ensures even cooking and flavor distribution.

What Are The Variations Of Piccata Sauce Recipe? 

There are numerous variations of the Piccata Sauce recipe, adapting to diverse tastes and preferences. Some cooks add cream, creating a richer, more indulgent sauce version. This creamy Piccata Sauce pairs exceptionally well with pasta dishes. 

For those who prefer a bit of heat, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes can introduce a subtle spice that contrasts nicely with the tangy lemon.

Vegetarian versions of the sauce might substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth, ensuring the dish aligns with plant-based diets.


Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes until they soften.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute, ensuring it does not burn.
  • Pour in the white wine, bringing the mixture to a low simmer. Use a spatula to scrape any browned bits from the pan if applicable.
  • Allow the wine to simmer until its volume reduces by half.
  • Add the chicken broth to the pan, returning it to a low simmer. Let it reduce for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the unsalted butter until fully incorporated.
  • Stir in the lemon slices, capers, and Italian parsley.
  • If serving with a protein, add it to the sauce and let simmer for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Alternatively, spoon the sauce over or toss it with pasta.

Savor the essence of Italian finesse with Piccata Sauce, where lemon’s zing and capers’ brine create an unforgettable flavor symphony

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling the Piccata Sauce recipe is quite straightforward. Suppose you plan to serve more people or simply desire extra sauce. In that case, you can double or triple the quantities of all ingredients, maintaining the same proportions. 

Ensure your skillet is large enough to accommodate the increased volume. Conversely, if you wish to make a smaller batch, you can halve the recipe’s ingredients. 

It’s crucial to maintain the balance of flavors, especially the tang from the lemon and capers and the richness from the butter.

Piccata Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

Yes, the versatility of Piccata Sauce allows it to be used as a marinade, dipping sauce, or salad dressing. When used as a marinade, it imparts a tangy, vibrant flavor to proteins like chicken or fish, ensuring your dish is packed with zest.

As a dipping sauce, it can enhance the taste of grilled vegetables or crusty bread, adding a lively kick. If you plan to use it as a salad dressing, you might want to thin it out with a bit more olive oil or lemon juice to achieve the right consistency.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Piccata Sauce Recipe?


Long pasta like spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair complements the sauce well.


A bed of fluffy white or brown rice can soak up the delicious sauce.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts are great on the side.

Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes make a perfect vessel for the tangy sauce.


Soft polenta provides a comforting base for the piccata sauce.

Sautéed Spinach or Kales

Greens sautéed with garlic pair nicely with the lemony sauce.

Crusty Bread

A slice of crusty bread is ideal for mopping up any extra sauce.

Couscous or Quinoa

These grains make for a lighter side that absorbs the sauce well.

Garden Salad

A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can refresh the palate alongside the sauce’s richness.

Piccata Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Piccata Sauce Recipe?

  • Chicken Piccata – Thinly pounded chicken breasts dredged in flour, pan-fried and served with a lemony piccata sauce.
  • Veal Piccata – Similar to the chicken version but using tender cuts of veal.
  • Fish Piccata – Delicate white fish fillets, such as tilapia or sole, pan-seared and draped in piccata sauce.
  • Shrimp Piccata – Succulent shrimp sautéed and coated in the tangy sauce, often served over pasta.
  • Piccata Pasta – Linguine or spaghetti tossed in piccata sauce, sometimes with added proteins like chicken or shrimp.
  • Piccata-Style Tofu or Seitan – A vegetarian twist on the classic, using tofu or seitan as the protein.
  • Eggplant Piccata – Thin slices of eggplant, breaded and fried, then topped with piccata sauce for a vegetarian main course.
  • Piccata Meatballs – Meatballs simmered in a piccata sauce, offering a zesty twist on the traditional Italian dish.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Piccata Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Tanginess: The prominent use of fresh lemon juice imparts a bright and zesty tang that is the signature of piccata sauce.
  • Savory: Combining butter, pan drippings (from searing meat or fish), and sometimes chicken or vegetable broth adds a rich, savory depth.
  • Brininess: Capers, small pickled flower buds, contribute a unique briny and salty flavor that compliments the tanginess of the lemon.
  • Buttery Richness: Butter is an essential ingredient, offering a velvety richness and helping to mellow and balance the tartness of the lemon.
  • Herbaceous Notes: Although not always included, fresh parsley is a common addition, providing a subtle, fresh herbal note.
  • Umami: If white wine is incorporated, it can add an extra layer of umami and complexity to the sauce.
  • Mild Sweetness: While not overly sweet, the natural sugars in the butter and the slight reduction of the sauce can impart a gentle underlying sweetness.
Jar And Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life? 

Yes, Piccata sauce can be stored and preserved for future use. To extend its shelf life, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When properly stored, Piccata sauce can last for about 3 to 5 days in the fridge. 

To make it last even longer, consider freezing it. In the freezer, Piccata sauce can maintain its quality for up to 2 to 3 months.

Remember to label the container with a date for reference. Before using stored sauce, thaw it in the refrigerator and reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

What Are The Substitutes For Piccata Sauce Recipe?

  • Lemon Butter Sauce: Combine melted butter, lemon juice, and a touch of garlic for a simple alternative.
  • Gremolata: This condiment is made from lemon zest, garlic, and parsley, which can mimic the aromatic and citrusy notes of Piccata Sauce.
  • Beurre Blanc: This French butter sauce is made with wine and shallots, offering a rich and complex flavor profile.
  • Tartar Sauce: Although traditionally served with seafood, its tangy and creamy nature can work in a pinch.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard to create a tangy dressing that can double as a sauce.

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

To Thicken Piccata Sauce

  • Simmer: Allow the sauce to simmer for an extended period. The liquid will reduce, naturally thickening the sauce.
  • Butter: Whisk in cold butter at the end; the emulsion will slightly thicken the sauce.
  • Flour or Cornstarch Slurry: Mix a small amount of flour or cornstarch with water to create a slurry, then whisk it into the sauce and heat until thickened.
  • Beurre Manié: Combine equal parts butter and flour, knead into a paste, and whisk into the simmering sauce for thickening.
  • Reduction: If wine is an ingredient, allow it to reduce before adding other liquids, which can result in a thicker sauce base.

To Thin Out Piccata Sauce

  • Broth or Stock: Add small amounts of chicken or vegetable broth/stock until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Lemon Juice: For more tanginess and a thinner sauce, add extra lemon juice.
  • Water: A splash of water can also effectively thin the sauce without altering the flavor too much.
  • Wine: A little white wine can thin the sauce while adding complexity.
  • Cream: If you want a creamier and thinner sauce, a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half can do the trick.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

Piccata Sauce is best served warmly to enjoy its vibrant flavors. Serving it warm ensures the butter is completely melted, providing a smooth and velvety texture. It also helps to release the aromatic compounds in the garlic and shallots.

If the sauce has cooled down, gently reheat it over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent separation or scorching.

Avoid overheating, as this can cause the sauce to break, resulting in a less desirable texture. Warm Piccata Sauce drapes beautifully over proteins and pasta, making each bite flavorful.

Piccata Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

Piccata Sauce is a classic Italian condiment known for its tangy and savory flavor. It’s rich in fats, primarily from ingredients like butter or olive oil used in its preparation, and typically contains saturated fats and cholesterol. 

The sauce is also moderately high in sodium, primarily from capers and added salt. While it offers minimal dietary fiber and sugars, it provides a modest amount of protein, which comes from the meat or protein source used in the dish.

What Are The Total Calories In Piccata Sauce Recipe?

Piccata Sauce is a flavorful Italian condiment known for its tangy and savory profile. A typical serving contains approximately 60-80 calories.

Piccata Sauce is a whisper of Italy on your palate, offering a delicate balance of tartness, richness, and aromatic capers.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Piccata Sauce Recipe

  • Gluten-Free: Ensure all ingredients, particularly the chicken broth and white wine, are certified gluten-free.
  • Dairy-Free: The recipe includes unsalted butter; use a dairy-free alternative if necessary.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: The sauce contains butter and is often served with meat or fish. Use plant-based butter and serve with a vegetarian protein if needed.
  • Low-Sodium: The capers and chicken broth can be high in sodium. Look for low-sodium versions or adjust quantities to taste.
  • Nut-Free: The recipe is nut-free, but always check ingredient labels.
  • Egg-Free: The recipe does not contain eggs.
  • Soy-Free: Ensure that all ingredients, especially if using any substitutes, are soy-free.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over-Reducing the Sauce: Cooking the sauce for too long can make it too thick and intensify the flavors excessively. It’s best to monitor the consistency and taste as it simmers.
  • Not Reducing the Sauce Enough: On the other hand, not allowing the sauce to reduce sufficiently can result in a thin and lackluster sauce. Ensure it simmers until it reaches the right consistency.
  • Over-Salting: Capers and chicken broth already contain salt, so be careful when adding any additional salt to avoid an overly salty sauce.
  • Using Cold Butter: Incorporating cold butter into the sauce helps to create a smooth and velvety texture. Adding melted or soft butter could result in a greasy sauce.
  • Neglecting to Taste and Adjust: Always taste the sauce as you cook, and adjust the seasonings as necessary to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Using Low-Quality Ingredients: The simplicity of Piccata Sauce means the quality of each ingredient shines through. Using high-quality ingredients ensures the best flavor.
  • Ignoring the Lemon Pith: Using the whole lemon slice without removing the pith can add a bitter taste to the sauce. It’s best to use just the juice or ensure the pith is completely removed.
  • Rushing the Cooking Process: Take time to properly sauté the shallots and garlic, and allow the sauce to reduce at a gentle simmer. Rushing can lead to underdeveloped flavors.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Pasta Toss: Mix the sauce with cooked pasta for a quick and zesty meal.
  • Grain Bowl: Drizzle over a grain bowl with quinoa, vegetables, and your choice of protein.
  • Pizza Topping: Use as a unique and tangy pizza sauce base.
  • Fish Marinade: Marinate fish fillets in the sauce before grilling or baking.
  • Vegetable Stir-Fry: Enhance a vegetable stir-fry with a splash of the sauce.
  • Sandwich Spread: Spread on sandwiches or wraps for an extra kick.
  • Rice Flavoring: Stir into cooked rice for a zesty side dish.
  • Egg Topper: Drizzle over scrambled or poached eggs for breakfast with a twist.
  • Potato Dressing: Toss with roasted or boiled potatoes for a tangy side.
  • Dip for Appetizers: Use as a dip for grilled shrimp or vegetable sticks.
Piccata Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Skillet or Sauté Pan: A medium-sized skillet or sauté pan is essential for cooking the shallots, garlic, and reducing the sauce.
  • Whisk: A whisk is crucial for incorporating the butter into the sauce, creating a smooth and emulsified consistency.
  • Citrus Juicer or Reamer: This tool helps to extract the juice from lemons without seeds efficiently.
  • Sharp Knife: A sharp knife is necessary for thinly slicing the shallots, garlic, and lemons.
  • Cutting Board: Provides a stable surface for prep work.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurately measuring ingredients.
  • Wooden Spoon or Spatula: Useful for stirring the ingredients while they cook.
  • Fine-Mesh Strainer (Optional): If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can strain the solids.
  • Serving Spoon or Ladle: For serving the sauce over dishes.
  • Zester or Microplane (Optional): If you want to add extra lemon zest for garnish or intensified flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Make Piccata Sauce Without White Wine?

Yes, you can substitute the white wine with additional chicken broth or use a non-alcoholic white wine. However, the sauce might lack some of the depth and complexity that white wine provides.

Is It Necessary To Use Fresh Lemons?

While fresh lemons are preferred for their vibrant flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice in a pinch. Keep in mind that the taste may not be as fresh and zesty.

Can I Use Dried Parsley Instead Of Fresh?

Fresh Italian parsley is recommended for the best flavor and color, but if it’s unavailable, you can use dried parsley. Use one-third of the amount since dried herbs are more potent than fresh.

How Can I Adjust The Sauce If It’s Too Tart?

If the sauce is too tart for your liking, you can balance it by whisking in an extra pat of butter or a small amount of honey or sugar.

Can This Sauce Be Made In Advance?

Yes, you can make Piccata Sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently on the stove before serving. Be aware that the consistency may change, and you might need to add a splash of chicken broth to thin it out.

Delicious Piccata Sauce Recipe (Tangy And Savory Flavor)

Course: Sauces


Prep time


Cooking time





This Piccata Sauce recipe combines the bright flavors of lemon, the sharpness of capers, and the richness of butter to create a versatile and delicious sauce. Perfect for enhancing poultry, fish, or pasta dishes, this sauce is a delightful balance of tangy and savory.


  • 1 teaspoon 1 Olive Oil

  • 2 2 Shallots

  • 4 4 Garlic cloves

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 White Wine

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Chicken Broth

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Unsalted Butter

  • 2 2 Lemons

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Capers

  • 3 tablespoons 3 Italian Parsley

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Prep Ingredients
    Thinly slice the shallots and garlic.
    Cut the lemons into thin slices.
    Roughly chop the Italian parsley.
  • Sauté Shallots And Garlic
    Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
    Add the thinly cut shallots to the skillet, cooking for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent.
    Add the thinly sliced garlic to the skillet, cooking for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Deglaze with White Wine
    Pour 1/2 cup of white wine into the skillet.
    Bring the mixture to a low simmer, using a spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
    Continue simmering until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Add Chicken Broth
    Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the skillet, returning the mixture to a low simmer.
    Allow the sauce to reduce for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Finish with Butter and Aromatics
    Remove the skillet from the heat.
    Whisk in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter until fully incorporated and the sauce has a smooth consistency.
    Add the lemon slices, 2 tablespoons of drained capers, and 3 tablespoons of roughly chopped Italian parsley to the sauce, stirring to combine.
  • Serve
    If serving with a protein, add it to the skillet, allowing it to simmer in the sauce for 1-2 minutes.
    Alternatively, spoon the sauce over cooked pasta or use as desired.
    Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary before serving.

Recipe Video


  • Opt for high-quality ingredients, especially white wine and chicken broth, as these significantly impact the sauce’s flavor.
  • Ensure to slice the lemons thinly and remove any seeds, as they can add bitterness to the sauce.
  • If you prefer a less tart flavor, you can reduce the number of lemon slices used.
  • Capers add a salty and briny flavor to the sauce. If you’re not a fan of capers, you can reduce the amount or omit them altogether.
  • Choose a dry white wine that you enjoy drinking. The flavor of the wine will concentrate as the sauce reduces.
  • If the sauce is too thick after reducing, add more chicken broth to reach your desired consistency.
  • On the other hand, if the sauce is too thin, allow it to simmer for a few more minutes to reduce further.
  • This sauce pairs well with chicken, fish, or pasta. For a classic pairing, try it with chicken piccata.
  • If serving with pasta, add some grated Parmesan cheese to add an extra layer of flavor.

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