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Instant Pot Chicken Piccata

This tender Chicken Piccata made in the Instant Pot is SO juicy and packed with gorgeous citrus flavor! You can also easily make this chicken breast recipe in a skillet, too, for a delicious family dinner.

If you love easy chicken dinners, then definitely check out my Melt in Your Mouth Chicken recipe!

The Best Instant Pot Chicken Piccata Recipe

I have children who claim they don’t like lemon. Mind you, by their definition, “lemon” does not apply to the likes of Sour Patch Kids, lemonade… basically, anything artificially flavored. Ahem.

I think I’ve finally found a recipe with real lemon that changes that! Chicken piccata is one of my most-loved chicken dinners, with all its fresh, citrus flavors and creamy, juicy chicken pieces. As it turns out, this chicken is so irresistible, even the kids couldn’t help but love it! Lemon and all.

Making this chicken piccata recipe in the Instant Pot led me to the most delicious, succulent chicken I have ever made! It was pull-apart and tender, which to me is the perfect texture for a dish like this one. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, never fear: I’ve got you covered with an easy skillet method, too!

Chicken piccata served over pasta on a plate.

What’s the Meaning of Piccata?

“Piccata” is the Italian term for “pounded flat”. When it comes to preparing food, piccata refers to slicing, sauteing, and serving meats like chicken or fish in a buttery lemon sauce. The meat is typically floured beforehand.

This chicken piccata recipe keeps things light and skips the butter in favor of olive oil. The results are just as delicious!

The ingredients for homemade chicken piccata.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Chicken: You’ll need about six boneless chicken breasts, trimmed.
  • Flour: All purpose flour for even coating.
  • Chicken Broth: I like to use low sodium broth in most of my recipes, since it gives more control over how much salt goes into the dish. You can use whichever kind of broth you prefer (even vegetable), and taste as you go.
  • Lemon Juice: I’d highly recommend using fresh squeezed lemon juice for the most authentic flavor.
  • Cooking Sherry: Sherry brings a sweet and nutty flavor to the dish. Dry vermouth is the next best substitute, or a dry white wine. If you prefer to cook without alcohol, add extra chicken stock with a little added lemon juice.
  • Herbs: Basil and oregano, dried or fresh.
  • Capers: For little bursts of salty goodness amidst the citrus. If you’d rather not use capers, substitute chopped olives or leave them out altogether.
  • Sour Cream: I love the tang that comes from using sour cream in the sauce. Plain Greek yogurt is a good alternative, or even regular cooking cream if you’d prefer.
  • Olive Oil: It wouldn’t be an Italian recipe without it! 
  • Garlic
  • Salt
Chicken breasts coated with flour.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Piccata

This chicken recipe is easy with just a few steps. Whether you make it in the Instant Pot or in the skillet, it always turns out incredible! I’ve included instructions for both methods, with full directions in the recipe card.

Here’s how to make this tender chicken breast recipe in the Instant Pot:

Chicken breasts are browned in the bowl of an Instant Pot.

Coat & Brown the Chicken: First, coat your chicken breasts lightly in flour, and then brown the chicken using the sauté setting on your Instant Pot. Once browned, you’ll remove the chicken and saute the garlic.

Chicken breasts and lemon sauce ingredients are combined in the Instant Pot.

Combine the Ingredients: Place the browned chicken back into the Instant Pot and add in fresh lemon juice, chicken broth, sherry, basil, oregano and capers.

Chicken piccata in a creamy lemon sauce in the Instant Pot.

Cook: Cook the chicken on high pressure for about 10 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, a little sour cream is added to the sauce. This thickens it up and gives it a nice creaminess.

Serve this versatile chicken piccata recipe on top of pasta (so good) or on it’s own (also good). The bright lemon flavors are perfect for summer and pair easily with so many meals!

Can I Make This on the Stove Instead?

While the Instant Pot doesn’t particularly save time, it does produce a very tender chicken breast. That being said, you can make it on the stove with equally satisfying results. 

The instructions for making this chicken piccata in a skillet are very close to how it’s made in the Instant Pot:

  1. Saute: Brown the chicken in the skillet, then continue the steps with the garlic.
  2. Combine: Add the liquid, and return the chicken to the skillet. 
  3. Cook: Top with the capers, turn down the heat, and cover the skillet. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, then finish the rest of the recipe as directed.
Chicken piccata pieces in lemon sauce served over a bed of spaghetti pasta.

Tips for Success

  • Do I Need To Pound the Chicken?: Traditional piccata recipes call for pounding the chicken flat. Because this recipe uses a pressure cooker, this step isn’t necessary. If you’re using the skillet method, and you have particularly thick chicken pieces, pounding them flat before flouring may help them cook more evenly in the pan. It’s optional, and you can use your discretion!
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Fresh lemon is the way to go! Freshly squeezed lemon juice offers far more authentic flavors than anything you’ll find in a bottle. Plus, the lemon slices make a beautiful garnish when serving! If you can, use fresh garlic as well.
  • Avoid Overcooking: Depending on the size of chicken breasts you use, and your brand of pressure cooker, cooking times may vary. The chicken breast is finished cooking when the juices run clear and it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Use a meat thermometer if you have one! Dry chicken is not our friend.
Chicken piccata served over pasta on a plate.

Serving Suggestions

This Instant Pot chicken piccata is a healthy and easy chicken recipe that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Chicken piccata is lovely to serve over pastas, like Spaghetti or Fettuccine. This recipe should make enough sauce for about eight ounces of pasta, depending on how “saucy” you like your noodles.

You can also pair this chicken with other easy sides:

Sliced chicken piccata served over spaghetti and garnished with lemon slices.

Storage and Reheating

Store chicken piccata airtight in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. The chicken can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave for easy leftovers!

Can I Freeze Chicken Piccata?

Freeze this chicken in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating and serving.

Chicken piccata pieces in lemon sauce served over a bed of spaghetti pasta.

More Easy Instant Pot Dinner Ideas

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Chicken piccata served over pasta on a plate.

Instant Pot Chicken Piccata

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Description

Tender Chicken Piccata made in the Instant Pot is SO juicy and packed with gorgeous citrus flavor! Easily make this chicken breast recipe in a skillet, too, for a  fresh and delicious family dinner.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, trimmed (6 breasts)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 ounces capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • lemon slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place 1/2 cup flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a large zip-top bag.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in the bag and shake to coat in flour. Shake off any excess flour and transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat your Instant Pot to saute for 30 minutes. When the pot comes to temperature coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil. Working 2 pieces at a time brown the chicken breasts on both sides. When browned, transfer to a clean plate.
  4. When all the chicken is browned add the garlic to the pot and cook until softened (about 1 minute) stirring constantly. Add in the chicken broth, lemon juice, sherry, basil and oregano. Add the chicken back to the pot and nestle into the liquid. Top with the capers.
  5. Place the lid on the pot and set to pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.
  6. While the chicken is cooking mix together the sour cream and remaining 1 tablespoon of flour in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  7. When the 10 minutes is up release the pressure and remove the chicken from the pot placing on a serving platter.
  8. Whisk in the sour cream to the liquid and cook for 1 minute. The liquid will be very hot, you don’t need to heat the pot.
  9. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve warm over pasta if desired.

Notes

Optional Skillet Directions:
Follow all the directions for the Instant Pot, except brown the chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Continue steps with garlic and adding the liquid to the skillet. Nestle the chicken back in the skillet, top with capers and cover the skillet. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Follow the remaining instructions as directed above.

adapted from food.com

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 364
  • Sugar: 0.9 g
  • Sodium: 1922.8 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.6 g
  • Protein: 41.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 130.1 mg

Keywords: instant pot chicken breast, lemon chicken piccata, easy chicken dinner ideas

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31 comments on “Instant Pot Chicken Piccata”

  1. I was wondering do you pound chicken first? When I make it on the stove I have to pound the chicken down . I’m excited to try it I. My I insant pot !

  2. Rachel @ Rachel Cooks

    I made this last night and I’m making it again tonight! We loved it and it’s so easy!

    1. The sauce was thinner than I expected and not creamy. I followed the recipe step-by-step. Good flavor though next time I’d use less lemon juice.

  3. I made this tonight & it was so good! The lemon & sour cream combo had such a great flavor! I added dry pasta to bottom of pot after browning the chicken. (a combo of rigatoni & macaroni noodles to use up partial boxes.) I increased the broth to a total of 2 & 1/2 C. to cook the pasta at the same time. It was so flavorful! I didn’t have capers so I added frozen peas after I cooked it as they “cook” when added to hot meals. We don’t like mushy peas. 🙂 Thank you so much for this recipe. My husband also thought it was great. Def making it again!

    A note to everyone here….If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you NEED one. 🙂

    1. Thanks DebbieH for the instructions for cooking the pasta at the same time. I bought myself an Instant Pot for Christmas 🙂 and, though I’ve only used it a couple of times, I’m thrilled with it. My husband does most of the cooking since he’s now retired, so I’m always looking for simple recipes that won’t scare him off. This Chicken Piccata looks like a real winner.

    2. Hi Debbie ? how much pasta did you use? I want to make this, but will be cooking it together, as you did. Did you just put the browned chicken breast on top of the pasta?

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