If you've ever had chicken piccata you know the bright flavor is unique and spectacular. This chicken piccata meatballs recipe takes those classic flavors and turns them into a faster and easier prepared dish that is ideal for busy weeknights.
- Chicken Piccata Meatballs
- What Does Piccata Mean?
- What Does Piccata Taste Like?
- Do I Need to Use White Wine in This Sauce?
- Why is My Chicken Piccata Bitter?
- Can I Use Ready-Made Meatballs for This Recipe?
- What Do I Serve with Chicken Piccata Meatballs?
- Can I Make This Meal Ahead of Time to Freeze?
- Handy Kitchen Tools
- How to Make Chicken Piccata Meatballs
- More Easy Chicken Recipes
- 📖 Recipe
Chicken Piccata Meatballs
We love meatballs. They are bite-sized, great for starters, snacks, and full meals. Taking that basic, often boring, meatball and turning it into something upscale seems impossible. That is until you add piccata to the mixture.
Ground chicken is turned into a deliciously flavored meatball simmered in the rich lemony piccata sauce for a show-stopping meal you can have from stove to table in just 30-minutes!
What Does Piccata Mean?
The term literally means to be pounded flat. Traditionally, if making chicken piccata, you would use chicken cutlets that have been pounded into a thin even layer.
While this is the traditional meaning behind the name, most associate piccata with the sauce more than the protein.
What Does Piccata Taste Like?
The best way to describe piccata is a lemon and brine flavor. The sauce is rich with lemon and just enough brined salt from the capers to cut through the tart. It is delicious, smooth, and a little goes a long way.
Do I Need to Use White Wine in This Sauce?
While many piccata sauces do use white wine in place of some of the chicken broth, I do not. Not only does our family not typically drink or cook with alcohol, but I also don't find that it adds anything to the sauce. It would, inf act, just be overpowered by the lemon.
Why is My Chicken Piccata Bitter?
If you find that your sauce is a bit on the bitter side, it is typically due to there being too much pith in the zest. While this recipe adds the zest to the meatballs rather than the sauce, it can still happen.
When zesting a lemon, use just the yellow exterior and not the white (pith). The pith is naturally bitter and does not have the lemon flavor you want from the zest.
Can I Use Ready-Made Meatballs for This Recipe?
You definitely can. Just make sure if you decide to use a frozen or fresh ready-made meatball that they are either plain or Italian flavored to fit with the sauce well.
I do not recommend this with a pork or beef meatball, but it can definitely be delicious with chicken or turkey meatballs. If your local meat market or butcher makes meatballs, you can possibly request them specially made in chicken or turkey.
What Do I Serve with Chicken Piccata Meatballs?
There are many things that can and often are served with piccata. For this dish, I like to go with something simple to let the sauce really shine. That means a homemade egg noodle or a simple dry pasta that has been buttered is ideal. We have also served with brown or white rice.
Another option is to serve with these garlic butter mashed potatoes, or in a pinch, instant potatoes. Of course, every meal needs a vegetable and this is ideal for any roasted or steamed green vegetable or the simple garlic parmesan sauteed zucchini.
Can I Make This Meal Ahead of Time to Freeze?
Yes and no. The chicken piccata meatballs can be made ahead of time and frozen, but the sauce is best when prepared just before serving. That doesn't mean you cannot make it and freeze, but I find the results much better fresh.
If you wanted to prepare this ahead of time, I recommend simply assembling the meatballs, then placing them raw, on a lined baking sheet. Flash freeze for 2 hours, then remove from the baking sheet and drop into a freezer storage bag that has been dated and labeled. They can be frozen for 3 months.
- Parmesan cheese
- Lemon zest
- Fresh parsley
- Garlic powder
- Italian seasoning blend
- Ground chicken
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Chicken broth
- Lemon juice
- All-purpose flour
Handy Kitchen Tools
How to Make Chicken Piccata Meatballs
In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken with ½ cup Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, Italian seasoning blend, salt, and black pepper. Mix until completely combined.
Divide the chicken mixture into 12 portions and roll each into a ball.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Place the meatballs into the skillet leaving room around each one.
Cook the meatballs for 2 minutes per side until browned.
Remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside. They will not be cooked through yet.
Into the skillet, add the butter.
Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour until combined.
Pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice and using a spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck-on food.
Bring the sauce to a simmer over low heat, until it begins to bubble, then add in the capers and parsley.
Return the meatballs to the sauce, and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes over low-medium heat until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.
Serve hot with sauce over the meatballs.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Are you looking for more ideas to fill in your meal plan? Chicken is one of our favorite proteins and we have tons of great ideas below for you to add to your menu. Whether you want something fancy, simple, or fast, we have you covered!
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
- Creamy Chicken Marsala 30-Minute Meal
- Flavor Packed Blackened Chicken Breast
- Braised Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Loaded Baked Potato Chicken Casserole
For Chicken Meatballs
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup capers
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken with ½ cup Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, Italian seasoning blend, salt, and black pepper. Mix until completely combined.
- Divide the chicken mixture into 12 portions and roll each into a ball.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Place the meatballs into the skillet leaving room around each one, and cook for 2 minutes per side until browned.
- Remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside. They will not be cooked through yet.
- Into the skillet, add the butter.
- Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour until combined.
- Pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice and using a spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck-on food.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer over low heat, until it begins to bubble, then add in the capers and parsley.
- Return the meatballs to the sauce, and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes over low-medium heat until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve with sauce over meatballs.
Can also be made with ground turkey.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 624Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 1601mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 59g