Chicken Piccata Meatballs with fried capers is a light and refreshing dinner the whole family will love! Enjoy a light meatball using ground chicken breast, bake until golden, then add to a creamy piccata sauce.
The best part? This baked meatball dish gets topped with fried capers for a salty crispy finishing bite!
How to season ground chicken
So here’s the thing, ground chicken needs a lot of help. It needs a lot of help to be a flavorful savory bite and not just a bland ball of meat. Chicken overall isn’t inherently flavorful in the same way that beef is, so if you don’t properly season the dish will be painfully boring.
But don’t worry, that’s not a problem in this recipe! These chicken meatballs are seasoned with plenty of:
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Lemon Zest (yes, in the baked meatball!)
- Parmesan Cheese
- Salt & Pepper
The lemon zest in the mixture really makes these baked meatballs extra special. By doing this, you’re also getting that lemon flavor in the meat and not just relying on the sauce to bring home the lemony element.
The trick to moist meatballs
Just like no one likes an under seasoned meatball, no one likes a dry meatball. So how to you help keep them moist and tender? It’s just one simple secret ingredient that you have right now. You can find this in full supply, and it doesn’t expire.
Yupp! Adding 1/4 cup of water to the meat will help keep them moist and totally not dry. Just go to your faucet, get your water and mix it into the meatball blend.
Making fried capers
Capers are typically served in a piccata dish, but in many cases they’re just added to the sauce or as a garnish. I wanted to give them a little more texture and savory flavor by first frying them in a bit of olive oil.
All you need to do is add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan, add in the drained capers, and cook on medium high heat for about 5 minutes!
While a caper is usually described as tasting salty, which is does, it also has a peppery almost mustard-like aftertaste. I think you’ll enjoy the enhanced flavor and texture that frying the capers in olive oil ads!
Looking for more delicious meatball recipes? You’re in luck, there’s lots more recipes here on the blog!
Orange Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs
Greek Chicken Meatballs
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Chicken Parm Meatballs
French Onion Meatballs
Easy Baked Meatballs
Crunchy Taco Meatballs!
If you discover you love these fried capers, I also use them in my Smoked Salmon Wrap recipe and this Creamy Chicken Piccata!Print
Chicken Piccata Meatballs
Chicken piccata meatballs are a light and zesty baked meatball. Lemon zest and lemon juice add bright flavor and the fried capers add a touch of salt. This is a dish the whole family will love!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 17-20 meatballs
- Category: Meatball
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian American
For the Baked Meatballs
1lb ground chicken
2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
For the Piccata Sauce
1 and 1/4 cup chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup half & half or light cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the Fried Capers
3.5oz jar capers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain the capers and place the capers on a paper towel lined plate to dry them even more. Pat them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture from their tops. In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, lemon zest, egg, breadcrumbs, water, garlic powder, onion powder, Parmesan cheese and thyme. Stir to combine into your ground chicken mixture. Form into small to medium sized meatballs, place on a cooling rack on a baking sheet (it’s ok if you don’t have cooling racks, you can place the meatballs directly on the baking sheet). Spray the cooling rack with cooking spray first to prevent meatballs from sticking. Bake for 30 minutes.
2. While the meatballs are baking, start frying the capers. In a small pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the dry capers and cook for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oil and place on another paper towel lined plate. Set side until you’re done with the rest of the dish.
3. To make the piccata sauce, heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the grated garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and stir to combine, cook for another 30 seconds, then add the chicken broth, cream, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and simmer until the meatballs are done, or about 10 minutes. If the sauce thickens too much, add a little broth to thin it out.
4. To serve, plate your dish with the chicken meatballs, cover with the piccata sauce, and lastly top with fried capers. Serve with pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.
Keywords: chicken piccata meatballs
Hi! You mentioned adding water but that step is missing in the instructions. How much do you add? Thanks!
Hi! The water gets added to the ground chicken, and you add 1/4 cup water.
Absolutely delicious! And I was so excited to see you were a fellow Mediavine Publisher!!
Very good! Easy to make and light. I didn’t realize how long the meatballs had to cook for but still delicious. Will be making again!
I’m so happy you enjoyed this! Thanks for letting me know!
I made chicken baked meatballs in piccata sauce with fried capers last night for dinner. It was one of the most amazing dishes I have eaten in a while. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
This made my day! So glad you enjoyed it!
Is there any substitute for the half and half?
I’ve only made this with half and half. You could use light cream if you have that, or heavy cream. Anything lighter like whole milk or 2% it might not come out quite right, like not as thick.
Is it ok to make the meatballs the day before, then make the sauce and warm them in it the next day?
You can, but I’ll say the meatballs will probably be a bit drier having been in the fridge and reheated. I’ve reheated meatballs sometimes and find that cutting them in half first helps cut down on how long you need to reheat them to get the center warm again, and hopefully preventing them from being dry!
Sounds delicious. Can you substitute Coconut milk or cream instead of half and half? Thank you
thanks! I have not tried with coconut milk or coconut cream so I can’t say for sure if it would come out the same way.
Can I make this in the crockpot?
Unfortunately I don’t use a crockpot so I can’t really recommend cooking these meatballs in one. Sorry 🙁