Olive Garden Chicken Piccata {A Copycat Recipe}

Olive Garden Chicken Piccata is a fan favorite on Olive Garden’s menu. Their restaurant version adds a punch of umami flavor with sun-dried tomatoes. And the lemon garlic butter sauce paired with the briny capers makes this a not-to-be-missed copycat recipe.

olive garden chicken piccata in skillet

This very quickly became my wife’s favorite pasta recipe that I make. Serve it over pasta or white rice with a glass (or two) of white wine. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

What makes this Olive Garden Recipe so good?

The Olive Garden restaurant version is a twist on a traditional chicken piccata recipe. The main difference between the Olive Garden version and a traditional recipe is the addition of sun-dried tomatoes added to the lemon garlic butter sauce.

In this copycat recipe, I also made a few tweaks of my own. Instead of using the typical butterflied chicken breasts, I’ve used boneless and skinless chicken thighs and pounded them into cutlets. (Psst… Chicken cutlets are amazing! Right?)

I personally think that the dark meat of chicken thighs is tastier than chicken breast meat. They are also harder to overcook. But if you’re worried about the nutritional difference between the two types of meat, check out our chart below.

Lastly, I’ve also used a few teaspoons of flour in this recipe to thicken the sauce. If you’re a chicken piccata purist and appalled by this addition, no worries. You do you. The little bit of flour, however, thickens the sauce slightly and adds a bit more substance to the lemon butter sauce.

How to Make Olive Garden Chicken Piccata

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of flour (plus 2 tsp to thicken the sauce)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Parsley (for garnish)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional for plating)
fresh ingredients - olive garden chicken piccata

Instructions:

First prep your fresh ingredients: Finely mince both the garlic cloves and shallot. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.

Then, between two pieces of plastic wrap, pound your chicken thighs with a meat tenderizer until the meat is an equal thickness. Then liberally with sea salt on both sides and a twist or two of freshly ground black pepper.

flour dredged chicken - olive garden chicken piccata

Next, in a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted and looks frothy, cook your chicken cutlets for 4 minutes on each side. They should be golden brown. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.

browned chicken - olive garden chicken piccata

Reduce heat to medium heat and let the pan cool down for a few minutes. Then add your shallot and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant and golden brown.

Now add in your chicken broth and lemon juice and let simmer for another few minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients: capers, sun-dried tomatoes, the remaining butter, and the heavy cream or half and half. Whisk the flour in slowly to thicken the sauce. Let simmer for two more minutes.

Finally, add the chicken back to the skillet and bathe it in the lemon garlic sauce piccata sauce.

Serve over pasta or white rice with a parsley garnish and a wedge of lemon.

chicken piccata over penne pasta

Recipe Notes:

Let your skillet cool – After removing your cooked chicken cutlets from the skillet, it’s important to let your skillet cool down for a few minutes after reducing the heat. If not, your shallot and garlic will burn immediately. And there is nothing worse than burnt garlic.

Chicken stock instead of chicken broth – If you don’t have chicken broth at home but you do have chicken stock, just use the chicken stock and save money.

There is a difference between chicken stock and chicken broth, but not that much of a difference that you’ll be able to taste it in this recipe.

Half and half instead of heavy cream – Half in half has plenty of fat if you want to substitute it for the heavy cream. To be honest, I started doing this because we’ll use the half and half in coffee later on, but the heavy cream will just sit and go bad in our refrigerator.

Make a gluten-free version – If you’re gluten-free or someone in your family is, this recipe is very easy to make a gluten-free version. Just substitute the regular flour for gluten-free flour. My go-to gluten-free flours are:

  1. Cup 4 Cup Gluten-Free Flour
  2. Bob Red Mill’s Gluten-Free 1-1 Baking Flour
olive garden chicken piccata in skillet
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Olive Garden Chicken Piccata

A perfect twist on traditional Chicken Piccata. Savory with a deep umami flavor. Better than any original!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken Piccata, Olive Garden, Olive Garden Chicken Piccata
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 443kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
  • ¼ cup capers
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • salt
  • pepper to taste
  • parsley to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • First prep your fresh ingredients: Finely mince both the garlic cloves and shallot. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.
  • Between two pieces of plastic wrap, pound your chicken thighs with a meat tenderizer until the meat is an equal thickness. Then liberally with sea salt on both sides and a twist or two of freshly ground black pepper.
  • In a shallow dish, combine your flour and garlic powder, another few twists of fresh black pepper, and two pinches of salt.
  • Dredge your chicken in the flour mixture and set aside.
  • In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted and looks frothy, cook your chicken cutlets for 4 minutes on each side. They should be golden brown. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium heat and let the pan cool down for a few minutes. Then add your shallot and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant and golden brown.
  • Now add in your chicken broth and lemon juice and let simmer for another few minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: capers, sun-dried tomatoes, the remaining butter, and the heavy cream or half and half. Whisk the flour in slowly to thicken the sauce. Let simmer for two more minutes.
  • Finally, add the chicken back to the skillet and bathe it in the lemon garlic sauce piccata sauce.
  • Serve over pasta or white rice with a parsley garnish and a wedge of lemon.

Video

Notes

Let your skillet cool – After removing your cooked chicken cutlets from the skillet, it’s important to let your skillet cool down for a few minutes after reducing the heat. If not, your shallot and garlic will burn immediately. And there is nothing worse than burnt garlic.
Chicken stock instead of chicken broth – If you don’t have chicken broth at home but you do have chicken stock, just use the chicken stock and save money.
There is a difference between chicken stock and chicken broth, but not that much of a difference that you’ll be able to taste it in this recipe.
Half and half instead of heavy cream – Half in half has plenty of fat if you want to substitute it for the heavy cream. To be honest, I started doing this because we’ll use the half and half in coffee later on, but the heavy cream will just sit and go bad in our refrigerator.
Make a gluten-free version – If you’re gluten-free or someone in your family is, this recipe is very easy to make a gluten-free version. Just substitute the regular flour for gluten-free flour. My go-to gluten-free flours are:
  1. Cup 4 Cup Gluten-Free Flour
  2. Bob Red Mill’s Gluten-Free 1-1 Baking Flour

Nutrition

Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 676mg | Potassium: 752mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 594IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 3mg

How to Debone Chicken Thighs

When deboning chicken thighs, it’s also crucial to use a sharp knife. I actually purchased the wrong type of chicken when making this recipe. I got home and realized I bought skinless chicken thighs instead of skinless and boneless.

Though it’s a bit of a hassle and an extra step, it only takes a few minutes to debone chicken thighs. It also saves you money since deboned chicken is actually more expensive than bone-in chicken.

If you’ve never done this before, or need a refresher, here is a great quick video on how to debone chicken thighs.

Chicken Thighs Vs Chicken Breasts: Nutritional Information

I definitely recommend going with using chicken thighs in the recipe. With that said, if you’re concerned about the nutritional difference, see our chart below.

MeatCaloriesFatSat. FatProtein
Breast (white meat)1474126
Thigh (dark meat)1748223
per 3 oz meat

Variations of Olive Garden Chicken Piccata Recipe

I adore this Olive Garden Chicken Piccata recipe and its great flavor. But don’t think you have to stick to the original recipe.

There are an infinite number of variations to the Olive Garden version of this recipe. Below are a few additional twists to try out:

Grilled Chicken – If you’re looking for a lighter version of this recipe and don’t want to bread your chicken, try using grilled chicken and then pouring the piccata sauce on top of your grilled chicken breasts. You won’t get the richness of the chicken cutlet but will still get the great tastes and flavors of the rest of the dish.

Roasted Red Peppers – Not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes? Or just want to try something different? Swap out the sun-dried tomatoes with roasted red peppers. Yum!

More Olive Garden Copycat Recipes

What can we say? We’re fans of Olive Garden. Checkout a few more of our favorite Olive Garden copycat recipes: 

Creamy Olive Garden Mushroom Sauce Pasta

Olive Garden Tiramisu Copycat Recipe

Olive Garden Stuffed Shells Copycat Recipe

Looking for more copycat recipes? We have a whole list of Top Copycat recipes

olive garden chicken piccata pinterest pin

I hope you enjoyed this copycat recipe for Olive Garden Chicken Piccata. We love hearing from you. So if you have questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments below.

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