Pork Piccata with Lemon and Capers

Three golden brown pork chops in a cast iron skillet coated in a luxurious lemony piccata sauce garnished with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

Get ready to impress your family and friends at dinner with this mouth-watering Pork Piccata recipe. Everyone will love this easy Italian American main dish featuring lemon, capers, and seasoned bone-in pork chops.

Do you love Italian food? It’s one of my most favourite world cuisines to explore. I love all the recipes from authentic Italian classics like Osso Bucco alla Milanese and classic Pappardelle Bolognese to the ‘Americanized’ Spaghetti Bolognese and Creamy Chicken Marsala. When you’re cooking Italian American, it’s the best of both worlds!

Three golden brown pork chops in a cast iron skillet coated in a luxurious lemony piccata sauce garnished with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

Pork Piccata with Lemon and Capers

Today, I’m sharing an authentic Italian recipe… with an American twist. This Pork Piccata recipe creates the same bright and zesty lemon sauce as the Italian version. However, it features pork chops as the main protein instead of pounded veal cutlets.

So, how does this recipe work with this alternative protein? The secret is to buy the thinnest bone-in pork chops you can find. This allows the meat to be fried quickly, then added back into the luxurious lemon and caper sauce. The whole dish is ready in under 20 minutes total time!

Can we talk about the piccata sauce? It’s a rich and buttery sauce that brings a luxurious feeling to the palate. The richness is cut sharply by the bright acidity of lemon juice and accented by the briny pop of capers.

A close up of a bone in pork chop covered in piccata sauce, lemon butter sauce, lemon slices, and parsley.

This dish is not for the faint of heart. It’s full of contrasting bold flavours that somehow bring out the best in each other.

In Italy, this dish is served after the pasta course as a secondo. However, in America we like to combine it with a starch to make a complete dinner plate. As the sauce is so flavourful, I recommend pairing this pork dish with a simple pasta such as spaghetti or angel hair pasta.

What is Piccata?

Contrary to popular belief, the Italian culinary term ‘piccata’ refers to the ‘flat pounded meat’ in this dish and not the sauce. However, in general it also refers to the entire dish using this preparation when it’s served along with the sauce.

Ingredients required to make pork piccata.

In Italy this dish typically features veal scaloppini, which are pounded flat and dredged in flour before frying while the Americans tend to use chicken and make chicken piccata. However, this preparation also works well with swordfish as is customary in the Milanese region.

The protein is quickly fried, then removed from the pan. Then, the sauce is made with the pan drippings, fresh lemon juice and white wine or chicken stock. Other ingredients include shallots or garlic, capers, chopped parsley, and slices of lemon. The whole glorious sauce is then finished with a generous amount of butter.

Process photos showing how to cook pork chops and make piccata sauce.

Ingredients in Pork Piccata

Other than the change in protein, this recipe remains true to the original Italian version. I did not deglaze the pan with white wine before adding the chicken stock. However, you can add this step once the garlic becomes fragrant (just before you add the broth).

  • Pork Chops
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Stock
  • Lemons
  • Capers
  • Butter
  • Parsley

Using a bone-in pork chop is a little strange in a scaloppini recipe. It is near impossible to pound the meat around the bone. However, I find that bone-in chops tend to hold onto moisture, remaining tender and juicy through the cooking process.

Buy the thinnest bone-in pork chops you can find, no more than 1/2 an inch thick. Alternatively, you can by boneless pork chops or slice up pork tenderloin, then pound the chops or sliced pork loin to 1/2-inch thickness before dredging and frying.

Three golden brown pork chops in a cast iron skillet coated in a luxurious lemony piccata sauce garnished with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

The key factor for success in this pork chop recipe is to not over cook the pork. It should be cooked to at least 145 F or a few degrees over that, at most. I recommend using a meat thermometer so you can keep a close eye on the meat temperature as it cooks.

As always, when a recipe calls for a relatively small amount of ingredients, the freshness and quality of the individual ingredients is the key to the most delicious result. Use freshly ground black pepper, real garlic (not garlic powder!), homemade or high-quality store-bought chicken stock, and fresh parsley.

Three golden brown pork chops in a cast iron skillet coated in a luxurious lemony piccata sauce garnished with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

How to Make Pork Piccata

Prepare the Pork Chops

To begin, pat the pork chops dry using a paper towel. Season chops on both sides with salt and freshly cracked black pepper then lightly dust each side with flour. Shake off excess flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Carefully lower the porkchops into the pan, allowing for space in between each pork chop. Cook until one side is a caramelized golden brown (about 4-5 minutes), then flip it over and cook the other side to the same colour.

Use a meat thermometer to determine when the chops reach 145 F near the bone. This is the temperature when pork is safe to eat. Do not overcook the pork, or it will be tough and chewy. Transfer pork chops to a plate.

Three golden brown pork chops in a cast iron skillet coated in a luxurious lemony piccata sauce garnished with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

Prepare the Sauce

To make the sauce, start by sautéing the minced garlic in the skillet for a minute or two, until it becomes fragrant. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup white wine (if using) and allow the alcohol to cook out before moving on. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers.

Bring the liquid mixture to a boil in the skillet over medium heat, scraping up browned bits as it simmers. When the sauce starts to thicken, turn off the heat and add 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. Stir it in until it becomes fully incorporated into the sauce. Place the meat back in the pan and spoon the sauce over pork chops.

A golden brown pork chop in a cast iron skillet coated in a luxurious lemony piccata sauce garnished with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

What to Serve with Pork Piccata

Garnish the pork chops in sauce with lemon slices and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley then serve over your favourite carbohydrate. I might suggest something as simple as plain buttered noodles, your favourite pasta, or even mashed potatoes.

However, you can also serve it with a lovely risotto, roasted vegetables (asparagus!), sautéed vegetables (like kale or spinach), stuffed artichokes, or Caesar salad.

A white platter containing three bone in pork chops covered in piccata sauce, lemon butter sauce, lemon slices, and parsley.

Storing and Reheating the Leftovers

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the pork chops in an oven-safe pan along with 2 tablespoons of chicken broth. Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes.

You can cover the pork chops with foil and put them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Pinterest image of Three golden brown pork chops coated in a luxurious lemony piccata sauce garnished with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

If you make this Pork Piccata with Lemon and Capers recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 4 servings

Pork Piccata with Lemons and Capers

Three golden brown pork chops in a cast iron skillet coated in a luxurious lemony piccata sauce garnished with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

Get ready to impress your family and friends at dinner with this mouthwatering Pork Piccata recipe. Everyone will love this easy Italian-American main dish featuring lemon, capers, and seasoned bone-in pork chops.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in pork chops; 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 lemons; one juiced and one sliced for garnish
  • 1/4 cup capers; drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley; chopped

Instructions

  1. Wipe the pork chops dry using a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and freshly cracked black pepper then lightly dust each side with flour. Shake off excess flour.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan or cast iron skillet. Carefully lower the porkchops into the pan, allowing for space in between each pork chop.
  3. Cook until one side is a caramelized golden brown (about 4-5 minutes), then flip it over and cook the other side to the same colour.
  4. Use a meat thermometer to determine when the chops reach 145 F near the bone. This is the temperature when pork is safe to eat. Do not overcook the pork, or it will be tough and chewy. Transfer pork chops to a plate.
  5. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for a minute or two, until it becomes fragrant. Then add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers.
  6. Bring the liquid mixture to a boil over medium heat, scraping up brown bits as it simmers. When the sauce starts to thicken, turn off the heat and add butter. Stir it in until it becomes fully incorporated into the sauce.
  7. Add the pork chops to the pan and spoon the sauce over top. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley then serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 515Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 706mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 43g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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22 comments

  1. Natalia

    I love pork recipes a lot and this sounds like one I would really like trying. I will be trying it in the next few days.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Wonderful. Happy cooking Natalia!

  2. Moop Brown

    I’m a big fan of Italian recipes and I like how your recipe adds an American twist to this recipe in a tasty and flavorful way.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Moop! I was very happy with how this dish turned out.

  3. Loreto and Nicoletta

    Wow, that is such a colorful dish, and those flavors are incredible. I just want to get some bread and fip in into that sauce. Your right this would be a hit at dinner! Well done!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You are so right! There must be bread for dipping into all of that glorious sauce.

  4. Silvia

    These pork chops not just look beautiful, they are delicious. I was surprised about how easy is to prepare. I will be making it again and again.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh wow, thank you Silvia for your kind compliments. I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish.

  5. Dennis

    What a delicious way to make pork chops! My wife loved how flavorful these chops were. Winner, Winner, Pork Dinner!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Hahahah! Why not? Pork deserves its time in the sun. Thanks for trying this recipe Dennis.

  6. Tammy

    Oooh I love the sound of swapping chicken for pork here! I love piccata…it’s my go-to order when eating out. This looks beautiful and bright with flavors!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You just made me think… I’m not sure I’ve ever ordered this in a restaurant. I’ll have to try it the next time I’m at my favourite Italian spot.

  7. Elaine

    I’ve never made pork this way, but I can already see that I have been missing out on so much! Fantastic recipe that is definitely high on my to-do list now.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Give it a go Elaine! Pork is extremely versatile.

  8. Kathryn

    This pork picatta made such a delicious and flavorful dinner! I usually do this with chicken but we LOVED the pork version, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      OH, I’m so glad you liked it Kathryn. It is equally delicious with chicken or pork. Such a great and versatile sauce.

  9. Enri Lemoine

    I’ve never had pork piccata before. What a great substitution. The sauce was simply delicious, creamy, velvety, and colorful! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes, it works really well and is slightly more economical than veal these days.

  10. Mary

    Delicious pork recipe. I have so much trouble getting pork cooked and still juicy and this recipe does just that!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Using a meat thermometer will give the best pork chops every time!

  11. Gloria

    I love adding capers to recipes. What a delicious way to put pork on your fork. Perfect for dinner any night of the week.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I agree! Capers add such a nice pop of flavour. Happy cooking Gloria!

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