Veal Piccata

Veal Piccata is a classic Italian dish that combines tender veal cutlets with a tangy and flavorful sauce. In this recipe, thin slices of veal are coated in seasoned flour, pan-fried until golden brown, and then topped with a luscious sauce made from veal stock, dry sherry, lemon juice, capers, and butter.

The result is a dish that is both elegant and comforting, perfect for a special dinner or any occasion when you want to impress your guests. With its delicate balance of flavors and textures, Veal Piccata is sure to become a favorite in your repertoire of go-to recipes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

Tender Veal Cutlets: The veal cutlets are pounded flat, ensuring they cook quickly and evenly, resulting in tender and juicy meat with a delicate texture.

Flavorful Seasonings: The flour mixture is seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, enhancing the natural flavors of the veal and providing a perfect base for browning.

Rich Sauce: The sauce, made with veal stock, dry sherry, lemon juice, capers, and butter, is both tangy and rich. It adds depth of flavor to the dish and complements the veal beautifully.

Versatile Garnish: Garnishing with lemon slices not only adds a pop of color but also provides a refreshing citrusy contrast to the richness of the veal and sauce.

Simple Preparation: While elegant and impressive, this recipe is straightforward to prepare, making it suitable for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.

Balanced Flavors: The combination of savory veal, tangy sauce, and fresh herbs creates a harmonious balance of flavors that is both comforting and sophisticated.

Key Ingredients:

Veal Cutlets: Tender and flavorful, these pounded flat cutlets form the base of the dish, offering a delicate texture and rich taste.

Veal Stock or Chicken Stock: Provides a savory base for the sauce, enhancing its depth of flavor and richness.

Dry Sherry: Adds complexity and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor to the sauce, balancing the acidity of the lemon juice.

Lemon Juice: Offers a bright and tangy flavor that cuts through the richness of the veal and butter, adding a refreshing contrast.

Capers: These briny, tangy little buds provide bursts of flavor in every bite, complementing the richness of the sauce and veal.

Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and silkiness to the sauce, contributing to its velvety texture and luxurious flavor.

Italian Parsley: Finely chopped and sprinkled over the dish, parsley adds a fresh and herbaceous note, enhancing the overall presentation and flavor profile.

All-Purpose Flour: Used to coat the veal cutlets before cooking, helping to create a golden-brown crust and thicken the sauce as it cooks.

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground White Pepper: Seasonings used to flavor both the flour mixture for dredging the veal and the sauce, ensuring a well-balanced taste.

High-Heat Vegetable Oil: Used for cooking the veal cutlets, this oil withstands high temperatures without smoking, ensuring a crispy exterior and juicy interior for the meat.

Veal Piccata


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons high-heat vegetable oil, such as safflower, sunflower, peanut, grapeseed oil

8 (2-ounce) veal cutlets, pounded flat

1 cup veal stock, or chicken stock

1/2 cup dry sherry

1 tablespoon lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon, more to taste

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley

Lemon slices, for garnish


Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a plate or in a shallow baking dish.

Heat a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes and let your pan get nice and hot. Once it is, add the oil and heat for another 30 seconds or so.

Now dredge both sides of the veal cutlets in the flour mixture.

Shake off any excess flour and cook them in batches, rather than overcrowding the pan.

Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the cutlets are nicely browned.

Remove them from the pan and set aside on a plate, covered with foil, while you make the sauce. (You can hold them in a very low-temperature oven if you like.)

Add the stock, sherry, lemon juice, and capers to the pan and scrape off any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower it to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by about a third.

Swirl in the butter and chopped parsley just at the end of the cooking. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and more lemon juice if needed.

Plate the cutlets, 2 per person, and garnish with lemon slices. Sauce generously and serve immediately. Enjoy.


Dredging the cutlets in flour before cooking aids with browning and also helps thicken the sauce.

How to Store and Freeze

Leftover veal piccata will keep in the refrigerator for three or four days, if well wrapped. To reheat, place it in a low oven (300 F) with the sauce on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Add some more stock to cover, and cover with foil. Reheat for about 15 to 20 minutes until completely hot.

To freeze leftover veal piccata, separate the veal from the sauce if at all possible. Store the sauce in a zip-close bag or a freezer-safe jar, and the veal, well-wrapped, in a zip-close freezer bag.


Preparation: Pound the veal cutlets flat to ensure even cooking and tender texture.

Seasoning: Season the flour mixture generously with kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to flavor the veal as it cooks.

Cooking Technique: Use a heavy-bottomed sauté pan and preheat it properly to achieve a golden-brown crust on the veal cutlets.

Browning the Veal: Cook the veal cutlets in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, allowing them to brown evenly and develop a flavorful crust.

Resting: After cooking, cover the veal cutlets with foil to keep them warm and tender while preparing the sauce.

Making the Sauce: Deglaze the pan with a mixture of veal or chicken stock, dry sherry, lemon juice, and capers, scraping up any browned bits for added flavor.

Reducing the Sauce: Simmer the sauce until it reduces by about a third, concentrating the flavors and thickening the consistency.

Finishing Touches: Add unsalted butter and chopped Italian parsley to the sauce just before serving, enriching it with richness and freshness.

Adjusting Seasoning: Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt and lemon juice as needed to achieve a well-balanced flavor profile.

Presentation: Garnish the plated veal piccata with lemon slices for a vibrant and visually appealing presentation.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 350 | Protein: 30 grams | Fat: 15 grams | Carbohydrates: 15 grams | Fiber: 1 gram | Sodium: 600 milligrams | Sugar: Less than 1 gram

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Veal Piccata?

Veal Piccata is a classic Italian dish featuring thinly pounded veal cutlets that are dredged in flour, pan-fried until golden brown, and served with a tangy, flavorful sauce.

What does “Piccata” mean?

“Piccata” refers to a cooking method in Italian cuisine where meat, typically veal or chicken, is sliced thin, coated with flour, and sautéed.

It’s often served with a sauce made from pan drippings, lemon juice, and capers.

What kind of cut of meat is used for Veal Piccata?

Veal Piccata is traditionally made with thinly sliced veal cutlets, usually from the leg or loin of the veal.

Can I use chicken instead of veal for Piccata?

Yes, you can substitute chicken breasts for veal cutlets to make Chicken Piccata.

The cooking process and sauce are quite similar.

What are the key ingredients in Veal Piccata?

The key ingredients include veal cutlets, flour, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, veal or chicken stock, dry sherry, lemon juice, capers, unsalted butter, and parsley.

How do I pound veal cutlets flat?

To pound veal cutlets flat, place them between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and gently pound them with a meat mallet or the flat side of a heavy knife until they are about 1/4 inch thick.

What is the purpose of dredging the veal cutlets in flour?

Dredging the veal cutlets in flour helps create a golden brown crust when they are pan-fried.

It also helps thicken the sauce later on.

What can I serve with Veal Piccata?

Veal Piccata is commonly served with pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes, along with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh salad.

Can I make Veal Piccata ahead of time?

While it’s best to serve Veal Piccata immediately after cooking, you can prepare the sauce in advance and reheat it when ready to serve.

However, it’s recommended to cook the veal cutlets just before serving to ensure they stay tender and juicy.

What are some tips for making the perfect Veal Piccata?

Make sure to pound the veal cutlets evenly to ensure they cook uniformly.

When cooking the cutlets, avoid overcrowding the pan to achieve a nice golden crust.

Additionally, adjust the seasoning of the sauce to your taste preferences by adding more lemon juice or salt if needed.

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