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!
Cooking with 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. Ground turkey is the same way. Chicken overall isn’t inherently flavorful in the same way that beef is. So if you don’t properly season the ground chicken it will be painfully boring.
But don’t worry, that’s not a problem in this recipe! The 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 ground chicken 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.
And the biggest tip for having moist never dry meatballs? Add water to the mixture!
Yupp! I include 1/4 cup of water to this recipe and it really helps avoid dry crumbly meatballs.
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 easy meatball recipes? You’re in luck, there’s lots of meatball recipes here on the blog!
Side dish ideas
Here are some ideas for what to serve along side these chicken piccata meatballs!
- Mashed Potatoes are always a good choice
- Spaghetti or thin spaghetti
- Jasmine Rice
- Ravioli or tortellini
Some vegetable side items that would be a delicious flavor pairing:
- Yellow Squash
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