Shrimp Piccata is a seafood lovers riff on classic Chicken Piccata. Sweet, succulent shrimp are tossed in a buttery, lemony, caper studded sauce.
A deeply satisfying dish that you can serve in less than half an hour including prep time. Ideally with a hunk of crusty bread to mop up the sauce because you won’t want to miss a single drop.
Ingredients you need to make Shrimp Piccata
- Shrimp: Look for shrimp with firm shells, not soft of slimy and, ideally, wild. Medium shrimp often have more flavor than large shrimp or jumbo shrimp, but go with what you like best. Never buy shrimp that smells of ammonia – a sure sign that it isn’t fresh.
- Lemon: You’ll need at least one large lemon for this recipe and a second if you want to garnish with thin lemon slices.
- Chicken Broth: Homemade broth or chicken stock ideally, or a good quality canned or boxed broth.
- Capers: Brined or salt cured work well here. If you use salt cured, be sure to rinse them well and reduce the kosher salt by half.
- Fresh Parsley: You’ll need a bunch of fresh, flat leaf (Italian Parsley). Look for bright green, perky leaves.
- Olive Oil: I used extra virgin olive oil for this, but feel free to use whatever olive oil you have on hand.
- Butter: If you use unsalted butter, be sure to taste the sauce to see if it needs a bit more kosher salt before serving.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper: If you use fine salt, reduce the amount by half.
Piccata as an Italian dish that’s classically prepared with sliced chicken or veal that is dredged in flour and pan fried in a rich sauce of butter, fresh lemon juice and capers. This Shrimp Piccata recipe is a simplified version of the classic, made with shrimp instead of meat (as is this Salmon Piccata). No slicing required. And, in this version, the shrimp has a light coating of cornstarch instead of flour which crisps up beautifully in a sizzling mixture of olive oil and butter.
To round out your meal…
- Crusty bread, Mashed Red Potatoes, or Italian Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Romano Beans with Shallots and Bacon
- Broccoli Rabe with Raisins and Hazelnuts
How to make shrimp piccata
Step 1: Dredge peeled and deveined shrimp in cornstarch, salt, and pepper mixture.
Step 2: Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet until sizzling. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes per side until crisp and just cooked through. Transfer shrimp to plate.
Step 3: Add broth, lemon juice and capers to skillet; bring to boil. Stir in remaining butter. Add shrimp and gently stir until heated through and coated in sauce. Transfer to platter and serve topped with parsley and lemon slices if desired.
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 large lemon juiced, ~3 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup capers drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- thin slices of fresh lemon for garnish, optional
- In a medium bowl (large enough to hold shrimp), whisk together cornstarch, salt and pepper. Add shrimp and gently toss with fingers to coat evenly.
- Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot and foamy. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is crisp, about 2 minutes. With a thin spatula, flip each shrimp to crisp on the second side, about 2 minutes more. Transfer shrimp to clean plate.
- Add broth, lemon juice, and capers to skillet. Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add remaining tablespoon of butter and stir to melt. Return shrimp to skillet and stir gently until shrimp is coated with sauce and heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to platter if desired. Top with parsley and lemon slices if using and serve.