These Healthy Chicken Piccata Spaghetti Squash Boats are a delicious, healthier spin on traditional chicken piccata. Golden, tender pieces of chicken breast tossed in a silky, light piccata sauce piled high into halves of roasted spaghetti squash, and topped with capers, freshly shaved parmesan, parsley and slices of lemon.
Update: This article was originally published in February 2015. I made updates to the post below to include more information about Healthy Chicken Piccata! Plus, there’s now a step-by-step recipe video tutorial showing you exactly how easy this piccata is to make at home!
Due to the recipe development for, and the actual event of, Super Bowl Sunday being blissfully filled with decadent food and cheese. And wine. And beer. And bread, more cheese, wings, potato skins and dips.
And, did I mention cheese yet?!
Anyways, due to all that excess, I’m going to be posting a few dishes that err on the healthier side, to get back to reality and that New Year healthy outlook.
But, I’m not breaking up with you cheese, I heart you way too much… I’m just going to love on you sparingly.
So, for the sake of thighs and waistlines everywhere, I am bringing you a healthier dish today.
I say healthier because there is butter in this dish. But there is also an abundance of spaghetti squash. And we all know a surplus of veggies negates butter.
My family adores chicken piccata, especially my mother. But, what’s not to love??
Butter, wine and lemon… it is very hard to go wrong with that combination of flavors.
While I do love the classic preparation of thinly pounded chicken cutlets, dredged in flour and pan fried, I wanted to put a playful spin on the traditional dish. Because that is just what I do best.
Enter this little number.
Healthy Chicken Piccata
Light and healthy, but full of flavor.
Diced chicken breast stays within the traditional lines, and is coated with flour and pan fried, for a texture that is crispy on the outside, while remaining tender and juicy on the inside.
Then, the chicken gets tossed, and glistens, in a light and fresh piccata sauce that is rich and luscious from the butter. With mild notes of garlic and shallot, well balanced acidity and zest from the freshly squeezed lemon and smooth, deep flavor from the white wine, the sauce is so wickedly delicious you could literally pour yourself a glass of this sauce and guzzle it up.
The healthy chicken piccata then gets topped with capers, a touch of freshly shaved parmesan, slices of lemon and roughly chopped parsley leaves for an earthy, farm fresh appeal.
All that jazz is served atop roasted strands of spaghetti squash, lovingly piled high in the skin of the squash, to form cute boats and a dish that is sure to please.
What is chicken piccata?
Chicken piccata, pronounced peek-kah-tah, is a popular Italian dish consisting of tenderized chicken breast dredged in flour, browned and served with a luscious sauce made up of butter, lemon juice and white wine or chicken sauce.
How to thicken chicken piccata sauce?
Piccata sauce is traditionally made with a base of pan drippings, fat (butter) and thickened with flour to create a roux.
To keep this chicken piccata on the healthier side, the recipe cuts down the amount of butter and flour significantly. The sauce for this healthy chicken piccata is instead thickened with just the pan drippings to create a sauce that is silky and smooth minus the excessive calories.
What vegetable to serve with chicken piccata?
This skinny chicken piccata is served atop delicate strands of spaghetti squash to make a complete, nutritious meal. However, if you are looking to amp up the veggies, a simple side salad, roasted broccoli, green beans, asparagus or Italian vegetable medley would make a delicious side dish for this chicken piccata.
These healthy chicken piccata spaghetti squash boats are packed with both flavor and texture the whole family is sure to love!! Do yourself a solid and add this skinny dish to your dinner rotation!
Until next time, cheers to a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!
How to make healthy chicken piccata at home plus step-by-step recipe video👇
Healthy Chicken Piccata
- baking sheet
- Mixing Bowl
- large skillet
- 2 small/medium sized Spaghetti Squash – cut in half and seeds removed
- 3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil - divided
- 2 skinless boneless Chicken Breasts (about 1 pound) – cut into 1’’ cubes
- ½ scant Cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Salt , plus more to taste
- ¼ tsp Pepper , plus more to taste
- Piccata Sauce:
- 4 TBS Butter - divided
- 1 large Shallot - finely diced
- 2 clove Garlic – minced
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper
- ¾ Cup Chardonnay (or dry white wine)
- ¾ Cup Chicken Stock
- 2 TBS Lemon Juice
- 4 scant TBS Brined Capers – drained (plus more for garnish, optional)
- 3 TBS fresh Parsley – roughly chopped
Garnish: Sliced Lemons, Grated Parmesan Cheese, Parsley
- Cook the Spaghetti Squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. Drizzle, or use a pastry brush to apply, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the flesh (insides) of the spaghetti squash. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Transfer squash to prepared baking sheet, cut side down. Roast in the oven until easily pierced with a fork and cook through, about 45 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Use a fork to scrape strands from the skin of spaghetti squash. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the Chicken: Add cubed chicken, flour, measured salt and pepper to a large Ziploc bag or mixing bowl. Shake, or toss, to coat evenly.
- Place a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is warmed, use tongs to remove flour coated chicken from bag, shaking off excess flour, and add to sauté pan, in batches if necessary. (Do NOT over crowd the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to pan for each batch of chicken). Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked throughout, about 5-8 minutes (depending how big you diced your chicken). Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
- To make the Sauce: Return the skillet to stove, and reduce heat to medium. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the shallot and sauté until softened and light golden in color, about 30 seconds-1 minute. Add the garlic, measures salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the wine to deglaze the pan, increase heat to medium high, and cook until reduced by about half, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and lemon juice, cook until reduced by about half, 4-5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter, capers, and parsley until melted and sauce is velvety, about 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Add cooked chicken to the skillet. Toss to combine.
- To serve: Divide chicken evenly among spaghetti squash ‘boats’. Evenly divide piccata sauce over chicken spaghetti squash boats.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese, lemon slices and parsley. Enjoy!
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