When it comes to recipe inspiration, I’ve been feeling really nostalgic lately. I keep thinking about the meals that were my absolute favorites growing up – meals that remind me of simpler times when there was a lot of food, family, friends, laughter, and togetherness. Meals that have a lot of memories attached to them.
Chicken piccata is one of those meals that will always remind me of my hometown and family. It wasn’t a dish that I got to eat very often, but everyone knew it was my favorite. It was my “special occasion” meal, and I always felt sophisticated when I ate it. A nice deviation from my usual McDonald’s cheeseburger and Annie’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
Whenever I went over to my aunt’s house for dinner, I would always ask her to cook chicken piccata or chicken parmesan. She’s the big cook in the family, and she has a particular proclivity for Italian dishes.
Whenever my mom wanted to make me a “special” dinner, I always asked her to make chicken piccata. If we went out to a fancy Italian restaurant for dinner, chicken piccata was always my order. The point is, it was my thing. I’ve always been a creature of habit.
It’s a simple dish, but extremely flavorful. Any protein paired with lemon is delicious, in my opinion. Chicken piccata takes lemon chicken to a whole new level, though.
Thankfully, it’s really simple to create a paleo version of chicken piccata. When I think of chicken piccata, I think: breaded chicken, lemon-y sauce, capers, and pasta. I personally think of angel-hair pasta specifically, just because that’s what I always ate it with growing up.
When you break it down like that, you can see how easy it is to create a healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto version of that dish! The breading can be replaced with a healthier flour – in this case, I used almond flour. The lemon sauce can be made without any dairy or unhealthy oils. The pasta can be replaced with a vegetable noodle. The capers and chicken?We’re all good on that front.
I chose to use kelp noodles in this dish as a pasta replacement. Kelp noodles are basically a flavorless noodle, which is why I love to use them in dishes with good sauces. They’ll soak the sauce in and take on its flavor, which makes them really versatile. And they’re just like angel-hair pasta in consistency – thin and light. They also require almost no prep besides a few minutes of soaking. You can eat them cold or warm. They’re also really low in carbs, so they’re great even if you’re on a low-carb or ketogenic diet.
If you’re not into kelp noodles, you could also use a different type of vegetable noodle. Zucchini noodles or another type of squash noodle would work really well with this! I think that the kelp noodles are best, though, just because they really allow the taste of the lemon sauce to shine through. And I’m all about that lemon sauce.
Speaking of the lemon sauce, I’ve always been picky about that. I’ve tried my fair share of chicken piccatas throughout my lifetime, and my favorites are always the ones with a really creamy lemon sauce. I don’t like it to be heavy like an alfredo, but I like it to be creamy. A little more than just a lemon-y oil or a thin lemon drizzle.
I remember as a child always looking eagerly at the waiter’s hands to see what the dish looked like the moment it came out. If it was covered in a white sauce, I had struck gold. If it was a clear/light yellow, I was always a tad disappointed. The creaminess makes it! And that’s why I love the creamy lemon sauce in this recipe. I could literally pour it on anything. I actually do pour it on everything!
I love this dish because it tastes extravagant and packs a big punch, but it really is incredibly easy to make. You basically cook some chicken, throw everything in a big pan, and allow it to simmer up. There are a few more steps in there, but you get the gist. Not too many ingredients, and very minimal cleanup. I love one pan meals!
I also adore this meal because it’s great for leftovers. You guys know how much I love my leftovers! I shared some pictures of how I plated it later on to give you ideas. For example, one day I literally just put it over greens (arugula) to make a fancy salad, and it was absolutely delicious.
Another day I poured it over some steamed broccoli and greens I had on hand, and one night I paired it with some brussels sprouts I had in the fridge. It’s one of those meals that actually tastes better as leftovers, because the veggies and chicken have had even more time to absorb the creamy lemon sauce.
I paired this with asparagus, but if you don’t like asparagus, feel free to sub it out for another vegetable! I also love to make chicken piccata with mushrooms and broccoli. Get creative. Remember, recipes are not rules. Put your own spin on it!
If you’ve never tried chicken piccata before, you’re in for a real treat! This classic Italian dish will quickly become a favorite if you enjoy fresh, light meals and bold flavors. If you’re a lemon-lover like me, you’ll definitely fall in love with this!
I really hope you enjoy this quick and easy, healthy Chicken Piccata! It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser, and it should fit in with anybody’s diet. This dish is paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free, candida-friendly, low-carb, keto, and absolutely delicious. It’s the perfect meal to make if you want to impress your friends and seem fancy without actually doing any hard work!
Creamy Chicken Piccata (Paleo / Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free)
Total time: 35 minutes
- 1 can full-fat organic coconut milk (no guar gum)
- 1.5 lbs organic chicken breast cutlets
- 1/2-3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp celtic sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 large lemons
- 1/2 cup capers (about 1 container)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 package kelp noodles
- oil for cooking (avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, etc.)
- Open the kelp noodle package and put the kelp noodles in a large bowl covered with filtered water. Soak them for about 10 minutes.
- Heat up a large pan/skillet with high sides using your cooking oil of choice. (I used a large ceramic pot/skillet with sides that were about 3-4 inches high so that I could do everything in one dish, but you could also cook the chicken in a different pan and use a bigger pot for the sauce / noodles. This is the skillet I used. )
- In a small bowl, mix your almond flour, sea salt, and pepper all together.
- Dip the chicken breast cutlets in the almond flour mixture so both sides are coated. The mixture should stick to the chicken.
- Put the chicken in the pan and allow to cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until slightly browned. While the chicken is cooking, wash the asparagus and cut the spears into smaller, bite-sized pieces
- When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the heat and place it aside on a plate.
- Add the coconut milk and the asparagus into the skillet. Stir together, then bring to a boil. Allow to reduce for 2-3 minutes, then bring to a simmer. Juice the two lemons and add the juice to the mixture. Toss in the capers, and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
- Strain the kelp noodles and use some kitchen scissors to cut them up into noodles that are as long/short as you want. They come in really long strands, so cutting them a little bit will help when you eat them! (I like mine really short, but most people might not like to cut them that much.)
- Add the kelp noodles into the skillet and stir in. Add the chicken back into the skillet. Allow everything to sit at low heat for a few more minutes, until the asparagus has softened to your liking and everything has gotten a chance to soak in the sauce.
- Remove from the heat and serve!
I hope you enjoy this version of Paleo Chicken Piccata! If you make it and take a picture, please tag me so I can see!