This chicken scallopini recipe has tender thinly pounded chicken that's pan-fried until golden and served with a tangy lemon butter sauce! This recipe comes together fast.
Why you'll love it
It's ready in just over half an hour, making this bright and lemony easy chicken scallopini recipe the ideal dinner for busy weeknights. I love how quickly the chicken cooks and how tender it is! Ingredients-wise there's not much to it, so this one is all about technique that's simple to master.
Chicken scallopini always reminds me of my favorite Italian American restaurant, and I think we can all agree that getting those restaurant vibes in your own kitchen is a real treat. It's great for an elevated weeknight meal or for company.
What is chicken scallopini (scaloppine)?
- Scallopini-style generally refers to the chicken being pounded and/or cut fairly thin. It's quickly pan fried and remains nice and tender. It can come with a variety of sauces. I've seen it done piccata style with capers (try my Chicken Piccata) or even with a creamy mushroom sauce. Sometimes the chicken is breaded, and in other cases, like in this recipe, it's coated in flour.
What you'll need
- Chicken - two large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise for 4 thinner cutlets
- Garlic powder - along with salt & pepper, seasoning the cutlets directly with it infuses flavor right into the chicken
- Flour - for dredging and getting that perfect pan-seared exterior
- Olive oil and butter - for pan frying and making the base of the sauce
- White wine - I don't have a brand preference for the white wine, but something dry like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio that you would enjoy drinking will work (not cooking wine). Or use chicken broth if you don't want to open a bottle.
- Lemon juice - the vibrant star of the sauce. It probably goes without saying, but always use freshly squeezed!
- Parsley - for a pop of freshness and contrast
- An instant read meat thermometer is very helpful to ensure chicken isn't undercooked or overcooked. It's perfect at 165F, so this handy tool takes all the guesswork out of it and is very useful in a recipe like this where it cooks fast.
- Don't own a meat mallet or hammer? Use the bottom of a skillet if you're in a pinch.
How to make chicken scallopini
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cut the chicken into 4 cutlets, and tenderize between two sheets of plastic wrap. Season each piece on both sides with salt & pepper and garlic powder, then dredge in the flour. Heat up the oil and some of the butter in a skillet, and pan fry the chicken until golden, working in two batches. Set aside and cover with foil.
To the skillet, add the wine and lemon juice. Let it reduce, then turn off the heat and stir in the rest of the butter. Return the chicken, and spoon the sauce over. Top with chopped fresh parsley. Grate some parm on top if desired, and enjoy.
Substitutions and variations
- Feel free to add some capers in if you want this to be like chicken piccata.
- You could make this with marsala wine or sherry instead of white wine if you've got some on hand or want to change up the flavor.
- Add some lemon zest if you want it to be extra lemony. I'd use the zest of 1/2 to 1 lemon. I use my Microplane zester/grater to zest lemons, and it's also great for parmesan cheese. You can grate some on top to take this dish to the next level.
What to serve with chicken scallopini
- Try Mashed Potatoes, rice, or pasta for a hearty side dish. My Creamy Penne Pasta would be a wonderful pairing in particular.
- For veggies, Roasted Green Beans, broccolini, or Glazed Carrots would go really well.
- You can't go wrong with a side salad either. I recommend this Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad.
Leftovers and storage
- Chicken scallopini keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days in a sealed container no problem.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat until heated though, adding a splash more white wine or broth if it needs it.
- You can freeze it for up to 3 months, but keep in mind the taste and texture may change.
Questions about this chicken scallopini recipe, or want to leave me a review? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you make one of my recipes so I can see your creations!
Lemon Butter Chicken Scallopini
- 2 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Flour for dredging
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 3/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner cutlets. Place the chicken pieces between two pieces of plastic wrap (spread them out so there's a gap between each piece), and then use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the chicken pieces so they're about 1/2" thick.
- Season both sides of each piece of chicken with salt & pepper and the garlic powder. Coat the chicken pieces in flour.
- Add the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a large skillet. Let the skillet heat up over medium-high heat for a few minutes until it's hot. Cook chicken in two batches. Cook the chicken for about 4 minutes on the first side and another 2-3 minutes on the second side (ensure chicken is cooked through). For the second batch, add another tablespoon of butter to the pan. The second batch may go a little faster since the pan will be very hot. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover it loosely with foil to keep it warm.
- To the skillet, add the wine (or broth) and lemon juice. Let it bubble until it's reduced by half, then turn off the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and spoon some sauce over top of the chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. Optional: grate some parmesan on top as well.
- Chicken is safe to eat at 165F. I highly recommend using an instant read thermometer for this recipe. It's very easy to overcook chicken.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.