Chicken Piccata Meatballs


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What do you get when you cross tender, pan-seared meatballs with lemony chicken piccata? Chicken Piccata Meatballs! Serve this saucy one-pan recipe over spaghetti or rice for a fresh twist on a classic.

overhead image of chicken piccata meatballs in a sauce all in a black skillet with a spoon

With its tart lemon caper sauce, sprinkling of fresh parsley, and easy one-pan prep, Chicken Piccata is a weeknight dinner that’s impossible not to love. I frequently make the classic version as well as this cauliflower-based vegetarian twist, so it was only a matter of time before this version with tender chicken meatballs had its moment to shine. 

What You’ll Love About Chicken Piccata Meatballs

Big flavor, little time. Thanks to white wine, garlic, lemon, and capers, the sauce served with chicken piccata is packed with flavor without much effort at all. The chicken meatballs included in this recipe take a little time to prep and roll but can be done up to a day ahead so that this meal comes together fast enough for a weeknight. 

thin lemon slices and garlic in a glass bowl

This recipe is:

  • Fresh
  • Family-Friendly
  • Guest-Worthy
  • Gluten-Free Adaptable
  • Healthy
  • Saucy
thinly sliced lemons and garlic cooking in a large black skillet

How to Roll Meatballs

Use a spoon to scoop up similar-sized portions of the mixture and then roll it into balls with your hands. If the mixture sticks, wet your hands with a small amount of cooking oil or water first. Line formed meatballs up on a sheet pan and refrigerate, covered, for up to a day before cooking.

To Freeze:

To freeze – Cook meatballs and sauce as directed. Allow to cool completely. Freeze for up to 4 months.

Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!

chicken piccata meatballs freezer label

Printable Freezer Label

Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!

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stirring meatballs in a skillet

Possible Variations

  • Make it Gluten-Free – Use gluten-free breadcrumbs and a gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour substitute.
  • Use Ground Turkey – This recipe will work with ground turkey in place of the ground chicken.

More Meatball Recipes

a close up shot of a spoon with a chicken meatball in creamy lemon caper sauce

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square image of chicken piccata meatballs in a sauce with a spoon
4.75 from 8 votes

Chicken Piccata Meatballs Recipe

What do you get when you cross tender, pan-seared meatballs with lemony chicken piccata? Chicken Piccata Meatballs! Serve this saucy one-pan recipe over spaghetti or rice for a fresh twist on a classic.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Mixing Bowls
  • Saute Pan or Skillet



  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons minced white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (substitute chicken stock)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • Combine lemon slices with garlic and sugar. Set aside. (Reserve the other half of the lemon to squeeze over the finished dish.)
  • Combine bread crumbs and milk in a large mixing bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients for the meatballs. Use your hands to gently combine all of the ingredients. Form into meatballs that are about 1.5-inches in diameter (these should be fairly small; if the mixture sticks to your hands, rub a small amount of oil between your hands).
  • Heat a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the meatballs. Let the meatballs cook on one side until golden brown, then gently turn meatballs until evenly golden brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. (Note: If the pan starts to look dry or the meatballs start to stick at any point during cooking, add a splash of water.)
  • Transfer the cooked meatballs to a plate near the stove.
  • To the heated pan, add the butter. When the butter melts, add shallots and the lemon slices. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the lemon slices and shallots are tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the flour and oregano and stir until no dry spots remain.
  • Slowly pour in the white wine and stock, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and simmer until thickened, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in the capers and then the meatballs, spooning the sauce over top.
  • Squeeze the juice from the reserved lemon half over top. Top the meatballs with parsley.


Recipe adapted from Lemon Chicken Piccata which gets the idea for Charred Lemons from Cooking Light.
Lemon Slices – As you can see from the photos, I like to leave the lemon slices in the finished dish. If they are very thinly sliced, they are delicious to eat along with the meatballs. If they are thicker, they may be a bit tough to eat, so just leave them on the side. Either way, they add beautiful color to the finished dish and give it a rich, lemony flavor all the way through. 
Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs / Salt – Be sure to check the ingredients on your seasoned breadcrumbs to be sure they include salt. Most “seasoned” breadcrumbs include plenty of salt, in which case the meatballs will not need any additional salt. If salt is not included, add 1/2 tsp of salt to the meatball mixture. 
Make ahead – Make and refrigerate the meatballs up to a day ahead. Line them up on a sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap to keep them moist until you’re ready to cook them. 


Calories: 428kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 470mg | Potassium: 637mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 526IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00
Calories: 428
Keyword: chicken dinner, Chicken Recipe, freezer friendly, meatball, weeknight-friendly
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.75 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    These came out perfectly. I served them on top of orzo and with a baguette so there plenty that could soak up the yummy sauce. Will definitely make again