Delicious and healthy – This Chickpea Piccata is a vegetarian twist on traditional Chicken Piccata! Featuring plump, tender chickpeas bathed in a smooth, buttery piccata sauce with notes of lemon and nuances of white wine! Serve your Italian chickpeas over over cauliflower “mashed potatoes” and I guarantee you won’t miss the meat at all! This vegetarian piccata is easy to make comfort food at it’s finest!
Update: This post was originally published in March 2017. I’ve updated the post below to include more information about this easy vegetarian piccata. Plus, I added a recipe video to show you how easy this dish is to make!
Hey there friends! Happy first Monday of March!
You know what I just realized? The last two weeks here on the blog have been filled with chicken. There’s been curried chicken, Cajun chicken, chicken soup, spicy chicken… basically, I made chicken all the ways. You’re probably over there thinking I cluck as a second language!
The thing is, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Don’t get me wrong, I like chicken as much as the next non-vegetarian person! However, we don’t eat it at every meal. Or, every third or fourth meal for that matter!
So today, we are going to make something decidedly NOT chicken… or even beef or seafood actually! Instead, we are going to do it up Meatless Monday style!
Our taste buds are going to BASK in the deliciousness that is a meal made without a lick of meat. And, it is going to be absolutely divine! You are going to completely forget about that fact that I eat chicken at all. In fact, by the time we are done, you are going to be all like, chicken WHO?! Bring on all the chickpeas and all the vegetarian dinners!
Alias – Piccata gone trendy with a vegetarian twist. Because, meatless meals ARE totally trendy!
Plump, tender chickpeas bathed in a velvety, smooth, buttery, rich, yet light piccata sauce with notes of tart lemon and dry white wine; pops of briny capers and a generous sprinkling of fresh, herbaceous parsley.
But, that’s not all! This vegetarian piccata gets piled high on some healthy, silky, smooth, creamy, dreamy, parmesan studded cauliflower mashed ‘potatoes’.
UGH. So good it hurts.
Serve it up with some crusty artisan bread for soaking up the sauce and you have a meal that is straight up fabulous. Gone with the wind fabulous. (Name the TV show that is from and I’ll give you a virtual high five!)
What is piccata sauce?
Piccata, which originates in Italy, is a light sauce made of butter, lemon juice, capers, stock and white wine. Sometimes shallots and garlic are added to the sauce for more flavor.
Typically piccata sauce is served over browned chicken or veal cutlets and accompanied by pasta or polenta. However, the sauce also pairs well with any mild fish, salmon, or in the case of this vegetarian piccata recipe, tender chickpeas.
What does piccata mean?
Piccata, also spelled picatta or pichotta, means ‘larded’ in Italian.
What does piccata sauce taste like?
Piccata sauce is a silky sauce that tastes buttery with bright, briny flavors and a punch of fresh acidic lemon.
How to Make Chickpea Piccata?
This chickpea piccata recipe is so easy to make and comes together in about 15 minutes or less!
First, melt some butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté a finely diced shallot. Add in the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant. If you want a thicker piccata sauce, now would be the time to whisk a little flour into butter and vegetables. If not, skip the flour and add in the white wine. Cook until the wine is reduced and thickened. Add in some stock, a splash of lemon juice and dump in the garbanzos.
Cook the chickpeas until the liquid is again reduced and the beans are warmed throughout, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in a few pats of butter, the capers and fresh parsley.
All that is left to do is garnish the piccata with a lemon slice or two, and sprinkle everything with more parsley and parmesan.
Then take a big ‘ole bite and pat yourself on the back.
Meatless Monday has never looked so good!
Tips for the best vegetarian piccata:
- When steaming the cauliflower, you can substitute water, or broth, for the stock. You can use a combination of stock and water. I use stock because it adds a lot of flavor.
- When preparing the cauliflower for the mash, you will want to cut the head of cauliflower into florets, and then cut the florets into roughly ½ – 1’’ pieces. You don’t need to be exact. Just know if you leave your pieces of cauliflower on the larger side, they will take longer to become completely soft when steaming, so you will need to add a few minutes to the cook time.
- If you have an immersion blender, I recommend you use it when making the cauliflower mash, instead of transferring everything to the food processor. Simply drain the cauliflower and return it back to the pot and follow the instructions as directed, adding the butter and milk, then stir in the parmesan cheese.
- If you want to save time, the cauliflower mash can be made up to 3 days in advance, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, place the mash in a small saucepan over low heat and cook until warmed throughout, stirring occasionally. Add a splash or two of more milk or butter if desired.
- If you want your piccata sauce a little thicker and creamier, you can add a little bit of flour. You will want to add it to the pan after the garlic, and before the wine. Optional instructions are in the recipe below – jut make sure you cook (and stir) the flour for at least a minute to cook off the raw flour taste. I have made the lemon piccata both with, and without, the addition of flour, and I personally like it without the flour. I find the sauce to be more velvety, delicate and buttery without the flour, but like always, I encourage you to make this chickpea recipe your own!
How to make lemon piccata sauce thicker?
Piccata sauce can be made thicker by incorporating flour into the sauce. Whisking flour into the melted butter (making a roux) before adding the wine and stock will create a thicker piccata sauce.
Can chickpea piccata be made ahead of time?
While you can make garbanzo bean piccata ahead of time, and gently reheat it on the stove before serving, I don’t recommend it unless absolutely necessary. Since Italian piccata is a light, bright dish with fresh flavors, preparing it in advance and reheating it will diminish the flavors.
Lightened up, yet downright delicious AND made meatless for the Monday win, this Lemon Piccata with chickpeas and parmesan mash is everything a meal makeover should be!
Until Friday, friends, cheers!
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More delicious chickpea recipes!
If you love this recipe vegetarian piccata, try one of these garbanzo bean recipes next!
The best Chickpea Piccata recipe plus step-by-step video👇
Chickpea Piccata with Parmesan Cauliflower Mash
- Chickpea Piccata:
- 5 TBS Unsalted Butter , DIVIDED
- 1 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 Shallot – peeled and finely diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic – peeled and minced
- 2 tsp All Purpose Flour (OPTIONAL)*
- ¾ Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 ¾ Cup Reduced Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Stock , DIVIDED*
- 1 Lemon , juiced (about 2 TBS)
- 1 (19 ounce) can Chickpeas – drained and rinsed
- 2 TBS Brined Capers , or more to taste – drained
- 2 TBS Fresh Parsley – roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
- Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper , to taste
Parmesan Cauliflower Mash:
- 1 Large Head Cauliflower – florets roughly chopped into 1-½’’ pieces
- 3 TBS Milk
- ¼ Cup Parmesan , grated
Optional Garnishes: Lemon Slices, Fresh Parsley, Grated Parmesan, Micro Greens
- Make the Cauliflower Mash: In a large pot, bring 1 cup chicken stock* and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the cauliflower and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and steam cauliflower for 18-20 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender.
- Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a food processor*. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add it to the food processor along with the milk. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor as necessary. (Add extra milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if a thinner consistency is desired). Add cheese to food processor and pulse until the cheese is just combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.*
- Meanwhile, make the Chickpea Piccata: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (*Optional - For a thicker sauce, sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring.)
- Add the wine, increase heat to medium-high and cook until reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, lemon juice and chickpeas to the pan. Cook until liquid is again reduced and the chickpeas are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of butter, capers, and parsley until melted and sauce is velvety, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- To Serve: Divide cauliflower mash evenly among plates and make a small well in the center. Top with chickpeas and piccata sauce. Garnish with lemon slices, grated parmesan and parsley. Enjoy!
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DUDE!!! Obsessed. I am absolutely obsessed. This was AHmazing. LOVED THIS!! Will definitely use the same sauce recipe when I wanna use chicken instead.
I’m absolutely thrilled you loved this piccata!! Thank you for making my day with your kind comment! Cheers!!! 🙂
Tammy A. says
Delicious!! To save time I used a bag of riced cauliflower. The sauce cooked up quick, had great flavor and consistency. Will definitely be making again!
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!!! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know how everything went over!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I remember this one Chey! I love all things piccata. Such a creative recipe! Love the new video too!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I remember this one Chey! I love all things piccata. Such a creative recipe! LOVE the video too!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I read this as chicken piccata at first and was like, she added chickpeas? What? Then I read the name again and about lost my mind. I LOVE chickpeas! You can bet I’ll be trying this soon! This sound like such a yummy way to do meatless Monday. Have a great week, Chey!
Julia Walters says
This is perfect for dinner. I will be making this real soon and will let my loved ones try it. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe with us. I love cauliflowers that I always try to make recipes with it. BY the way, can I add mash carrots or mash potatoes with this recipe? Do you think it will still taste good?
Cheyanne Bany says
Hi Julia, thank you so much for the kind comment and stopping by! I’ve made the chickpea piccata over mashed potatoes before and it was delicious. As for mashed carrots, I’ve never tried them, so I can’t comment as to whether it would be good or not. But if you try it, let me know how it goes! Cheers! 🙂
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks says
Girl, the weather here has been totally crazy! It’s pretty normal for our weather to go back and forth, but this year has been super warm – I’m not complaining! I didn’t notice, but now that you mention it, you have been pretty into chicken lately! I like the switch to this meatless meal. It’s so creative and I know it’s delicious! XO
Miriam - londonkitchendiaries.com says
During the week I try to be good and have meals without meat so this recipe comes in very handy! The chickpeas in your piccata look so good and I love the idea of serving it on cauliflower mash, yum. We had a few spring-like days here in London which makes you hopeful that spring is finally on its way which is very exciting!
Hey girlfriend, you owe me a buck. And don’t you forgit it. Ha ha. Love this beautiful meatless meal. I didn’t even realize it about all the recent chicken on NSN. Now all you need is a chicken coop at the SuBourbon Cottage, right? I have always thought I would like chickens for the eggs, but not sure I’m up to the barnyard atmosphere they would usher in. My house is already enough like a barnyard and we have no animals. On to more important things. This dish. LOVE IT! Big score with the chickpeas and that creamy cauliflower mash! Thanks for another beautiful recipe my friend, have a great week! XOXO
[email protected] says
I have never tried a dish like this, it sounds so interesting!!
We had the same weather whirlwind and still going up and down. It needs to just make up its mind if you ask me. I LOVE LOVE the use of chickpeas in this piccata. what a great way to make a classic meatless. Pinning to try soon!
You are such a creative chef. Two-steppers are no problem for me, as you explain it perfectly. So I love me my chicken too, but this a great substitute to feel like you aren’t losing out on getting that ‘umpff’ in a meal.
Ben Maclain says
Chay, while reading this post, I said “Really? What? I don’t believe you!” twice. The first time you surprised me having said you do not have chicken every single meal. Really? It’s hard to believe. The 2nd time you surprised me when I saw the canned chickpeas in the ingredients. WHAT?!! I would rather easily believe you don’t eat chicken often haha:) Anyways, this meatless dish is absolutely stunning and delicious. Give me the largest spoon now, please:)
karrie @ Tasty Ever After says
Girl, you are so on point with this recipe! So creative! Chicken piccata is a favorite of mine but if I can eat a meatless version, well then it’s even better 😉 Extra capers in mine please!
Oh yeah, the weather has been all messed up here too. Weekend before last it was 75 and I was outside grillin’ and chilin’. This past weekend it was 18 degrees (felt like -2 with wind chill). #sucks
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen says
Gosh, I love this, Cheyanne – my perfect dinner – warm and comforting. I haven’t tried cauliflower mash yet but this is totally inspiring me. And our weather is going to swing into the high 80s this week – I actually hate when that happens – my wardrobe schedule gets all out of whack and I don’t know what to wear!
Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungy says
Brilliant as always! and the weather here has been insane – snow, rain, sun. It has gone bi-polar.
Keri @ Fashionable Foods says
The weather has been whacky here, too! That summer teaser was just too much.. now it’s freezing again. I love Piccata in any way, shape, or form! The fact that you used chickpeas is fantastic… mind blown! I’ve got to try this one, Cheyanne. I bet it’s just perfect over that cauliflower mash. 🙂
Stacey @ The Sugar Coated Cotted says
I am all about Piccata anything! Lemon, capers, white wine and garlic. Its all about the sauce anyways 😉 . Loving this dish with chickpeas and the cauliflower mash helps absorb all that saucy goodness. Perfect for a meatless Monday!!
Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says
Girl, you are so silly! I find that I do the same type of things for my blog! I get into these trends which makes people think I eat the same thing all the time! (Usually its vegetarian dinners actually) So I feel you on that! Love this mash though girlie, sounds amazing =)
Happy Monday my friend! BOOM meatless Monday, loving it. STOP!! How did you know I’m in L-O-V-E with chickpeas! I can eat an entire can of chickpeas in one sitting. I also like the idea of a veggie piccata, I’ve never had piccata because it’s always made with chicken and I don’t eat chicken. I’m drooling over here! OH WAIT… Cauliflower mash, you are killin it Cheyanne.
The weather has been crazy around here, too! Love the idea of chickpea piccata! Looks amazing! And cauliflower mash is my favorite! Pinning to try it!
Ashley - The Recipe Rebel says
I’ll admit, chickpeas have NEVER tempted me like they’re tempting me now! SERIOUSLY yum. I am totally the same way, and I am like a good month behind on when everyone is posting the holiday recipes. I saw some Easter recipes in the middle of FEBRUARY. I can’t get on board with that. THIS, yes.
LOL! No, I don’t think you ‘cluck’ as a second language. 🙂
I’ve always been a big fan of chicken piccata and we’re totally on the same wavelength because I have it on my editorial calendar to do with cauliflower steaks. But I love how you’ve imagined it as a healthy hearty bean dish over cauli-mash. Looks so darn good.
You’ve proven piccata doesn’t need any chicken — this looks even better with the chickpeas! This is a gorgeous Meatless Monday meal, and that cauliflower mash looks incredible! I truly want to change my dinner plans!
Demeter | Beaming Baker says
Okay, but how’d you know I was craving cauliflower mash? No, seriously. 😉 Bestie connection? Um, YEAH!! Happy first Monday of March, indeed! It is freaking chilly here. For real. This weekend, it was like -2 degrees. Girl, it was scary just opening the front door! It sounds like the weather is just crazy where you’re at! But who really cares when you have this fabulously meatless deliciousness right here? Okay, I need one more “ess” to round this all out… alright, I have it! There’s so much tastebud greatness to drool over! 😉 Your cauliflower mash is by far the BEST cauliflower mash I’ve ever seen. Like, EVER!! So… can ya pop over and make me a bit (or much more than that)?? 🙂 Happy Monday, dear! xoxo
Kevin | Keviniscooking says
This is a fantastic idea. LOVE it.
[email protected] says
Cheyanne, I’m absolutely loving this recipe. Chickpeas just so happen to be one of my favorites. Such a creative idea to serve them and I’m loving how you put them on cauliflower mash. Pinning and trying this soon 🙂
What a delicious idea!! Who doesn’t love piccata?? Even as a carnivore, I could totally get behind this version. And yes… this weather has been sooo crazy. I was convinced spring was here and then this weekend got beyond freezing again 🙁 Thank goodness for daylight savings time time next weekend!!
[email protected] says
I hear you about the weather! We had record highs last week…69 degrees and it was 4 degrees, yesterday! Crazy! Luckily we’re in sunny California visiting Chels for the week- just Luc is home battling the cold! Okay – the creativity of this dish is beyond me! Another winner from NSN! Love it, Chey! Happy day, my friend! xoxo
Wow, Cheyanne! I’m so in love with the veggie twist on a classic dish. I’m totally down with the cauli mash. Totally gonna try it out.
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Hahaha – I wasn’t thinking that you “cluck as a second language” but now I am!!!
Sounds like y’alls weather sit is almost the same as ours – warm one day and yikes cold the next! While I did go for a quick hike with my daughter, I didn’t quite enjoy the sun as I was head deep in school work! 🙁
BTW – Cheyanne, you made this Chickpea Piccata with Cauliflower Mashed ‘Potatoes’ just for me – right? I’ve decide to give up meat just for lent and this is my kinda eating – though, tbh, I don’t think I’ve ever had Piccata in any form – but it sure sounds wonderful!
Happy Monday to ya – hope this week is wonderful! xoxo
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says
I loves me some chicken, girl, so doesn’t bother me! But I do also love a good vegetarian dish and this one sounds delish! Nice to mix things up anyway, right? And perfect for meatless Monday. Plus, your photos are spot on gorgeous! The weather warmed a bit around here last week, but yesterday and today? SNOW! It never fails that we have snow in March and April. Oh well…least I can make this and cozy up in the warm, right? Have a great week, my friend! xo
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
What a great way to do meatless! Piccata is always a lovely flavour and so nice with the chickpeas! And Parmesan Cauliflower mash is a great combination. So creative!! Love it 🙂
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I totally agree Chey! Meatless Monday never looked so good. What an awesome idea this is. Once again your creativity is over the top. I don’t think Tom will go for the chickpeas, so this one’s all mine! Can’t wait to get this one on the menu!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
This weather is definitely wacky! It snowed just a teeny bit on Friday night, and it was such a let down for everyone, after having such warm temps earlier in the week. Hooray for meatless Monday! I love how you left out the chicken and added chickpeas…SO creative, Cheyanne! And that cauliflower mash sounds sooo good. I’ve been seeing tons of cauliflower recipes lately, so that really intrigued me. What a perfect meal to kick of the week! Happy Monday, friend!
Kathryn @ Family Food on the Table says
No need to apologize for all the chicken deliciousness but I also love a vegetarian meal and this piccata twist is totally trendy in my book! All kinds of things I love about this dish and it sounds so crazy flavorful! Pinned! I’m with you on the ups and downs of weather around here recently too. Craziness… I hope you have a wonderful week! XO
Vivian | stayaliveandcooking says
Hahahha ohh Cheyanne, I love your writing style! I can now totally picture you clucking as a second language 😉 So, I first of all have to admit that I had NO IDEA what piccata was. I even google translated it into Dutch but that didn’t change anything… So thanks for teaching me something new! It sounds totally delicious and since I don’t know this dish with meat I’m sure I won’t mind the meatless version at ALL. It looks totally creamy and yummy.
Have a great week!
[email protected]'s Recipes says
I had chicken, pork and even tofu piccata before…but chickpea? You are a genius, Cheyanne. Looks sensational served on that bed of cauliflower mash, which happens to be my favourite too.
Have a wonderful week ahead!