Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

Quick and EasyGluten-FreeLow CarbChicken

Easy chicken cutlets with caper sauce. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin, seared, served with a caper sauce over arugula, fennel and shaved Parmesan. 1 pan, cooks in 15 minutes!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Sometimes, especially after a few days of heavy dinners, all you want is a light, good meal. “Light” as in you’re trying to cut back, and “good” as in, can we make it taste good even though it’s light?

This chicken cutlet recipe, with a caper shallot sauce, is just that, flavorful, filling, and won’t weigh you down. You can make it all in one pot, takes about 30 minutes, and it’s gluten-free too.

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Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

The idea for it came from my friend Peg, who is simply brilliant in the kitchen. It’s sort of like a chicken piccata, but without the breading or lemon, and it is served with fresh arugula, thinly sliced fennel, and shaved Parmesan. Great for lunch or a simple dinner.

Updated from the recipe archive, first published 2011.

Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serve 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 chicken breast halves, pounded very thin, and then cut in half, so that you have 4 thin cutlets
  • Salt
  • 1 large shallot, minced, about 2 Tbsp
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 2-3 cups arugula, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, shaved thin
  • 16-24 paper thin shavings of parmesan cheese


1 Sear the chicken cutlets: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a stick-free sauté pan over medium-high heat until almost smoking, about 1-2 minutes.

Sprinkle salt over the pounded chicken breasts and sear them for 2-3 minutes per side in the hot pan, working in batches so that you do not crowd the pan.

Remove the chicken breasts and cover with foil to keep them warm.

2 Sauté the shallots: Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the shallots and cook 1 minute, stirring often. Do not let them burn, and if they begin to brown rapidly, turn the heat down.

Add the garlic and cook another 45 seconds to 1 minute, stirring often.

3 Deglaze pan with wine, add capers, red pepper flakes: Add the white wine and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Add the capers and red pepper flakes and boil until the wine is almost gone, about 2-4 minutes.

4 Serve with arugula, shaved fennel, shaved Parmesan: To serve, mix the arugula and shaved fennel and put some on each plate. Arrange some shaved parmesan over them.

Lay a piece of chicken on each salad, then top with a little of the sauce. Serve hot.

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Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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18 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kandy

    My husband and I loved the flavor, but the 1/2 teasp of red pepper flakes made it inedible for him. I toughed it out but will not be using that ingredient next time.

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Katie

    Made this last night and it was delicious!!!!! I served it over steamed spinach as I’m one of the few that just does not like arugula. Wouldn’t change a things, will do again!!!!!

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Judy

    Made this tonight and it was delicious!!! The flavors blended SO well together. We are vegetarians, so we used Quorn instead of real meat. Was just as good!

  4. momnivore

    I know this is an old recipe but I just wanted to say that I made this last night and it was fantastic – my husband and 2 kids (age 2 and 4.5) raved over it – and it was easy to make. I didn’t have shallots handy so I just used a red onion and I added some lemon juice and parsley at the end but otherwise followed the recipe. Thanks so much for another great dinner!

  5. Zach Alger

    This was fantastic and simple! Although when I added the shallots to the hot pan, they burned in about 10 seconds. Thankfully I had minced extra so I could replace the burned ones (after I let the pan cool down a little!)

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