White Fish Piccata With Lemon Caper Sauce – An Easy Weekday Meal in 20-Minutes

5 from 1 vote
Fish Piccata with lemons in cast iron skillet
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Fish piccata is seasoned, dredged in flour, and seared to flaky yet tender perfection. Drenched in a citrusy, rich, buttery lemon caper sauce, this easy, kid-approved dish comes together in just 20 minutes. Serve with a side salad or steamed veggies for an easy, quick, light, and flavorful weeknight dinner.

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? More importantly, wondering what your kids will actually eat tonight?

Fish piccata with lemon caper sauce with a side of broccoli on a plate.

Fish Piccata with Lemon is sponsored by Pro Citrus Network.

At The Produce Moms, we get it. We know the kid vs. dinner struggle is all too real! So if you’ve been looking for a quick and tasty, protein-packed meal, you’re in the right place!

As a parent who works hard to serve your children both nutritious and delicious meals, you’ll love our take on piccata made with trout instead of chicken. It’s filling, affordable, and has a classy elegance that will have your family pleasantly surprised.

Plus, most kids love lemons and this recipe lets the citrus queen shine! Not only does it use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the base of the sauce, fresh citrus is used to garnish the dish.

The fish is thin for a quick cooking time but still crave-worthy with the salty, lemon caper sauce.

Lightly coated in flour and cooked in a large cast iron skillet for an even sear, you’ll have dinner ready in 20 minutes.

It’s that easy! 

Before we dive into the ingredients you need, let’s talk about what makes this fun-to-say Italian dish so unique. 

What Is Fish Piccata? 

Piccata is an Italian dish that refers to the method of cooking sliced meat or fish and sauteeing it in a sauce of lemons, butter, and spices. Traditional Italian piccata is made with veal versus with chicken in the United States. We decided to try trout in our piccata recipe for a fun twist. It cooked quickly while still being flaky, tender, and buttery. 

What’s not to love about that?

Okay, let’s go ahead and find out what you need for white fish piccata.


trout, spices, flour, butter, lemons, wine, and capers

We admit that the ingredient list looks a little daunting. But don’t let that scare you off because half of the ingredients are spices you already have in your pantry. That means you only need a handful of ingredients to bring this light, yet classic Italian dish to your dinner table on any busy weeknight.

Here’s what you need: 


Use any type of white fish such as:

  • Trout
  • Grouper
  • Halibut
  • Sole 

We used trout because it’s thin for a quick cook time. Plus, it’s affordable so it’s easy on your wallet. And there’s one more reason we chose this particular fish. Trout is a great option for picky eaters because it has a mild flavor compared to other fish. As it soaks up the butter during cooking and then gets drenched in the lemon caper sauce … trout is flaky, melt-in-your-mouth perfection. 

We recommend getting fresh trout instead of frozen for better flavor and texture. If you can find it, it’s worth it! 


For tons of flavor that doesn’t overpower your lemon caper sauce or your fish piccata, you need eight particular spices. You likely already have them, but be sure you have salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, thyme, and allspice. 

From there, it’s pretty simple. You’ll dump all the spices into a small mixing bowl – after you measure them, of course – and coat each filet with your homemade piccata seasoning blend.


We tend to have all-purpose flour on hand because it can be used for baking, frying, and thickening … it really is all purpose. If you have whole wheat or gluten free flour, those will work as well. Since we’re using thin cuts of trout, you’ll need one quarter cup of flour to lightly coat each tender filet of fish. 


Unsalted butter is always our go to so we have more control over the flavors. This is also an easy way to let the natural flavors of your mild trout and the bright, briny taste of the lemon caper sauce really shine through in your fish piccata recipe. 


It’s always a good idea to add lemon, especially when you’re working with fish. Fresh lemons add a light acidity to your fish piccata that cuts the richness, leaving a lighter finish to your trout. 

Here at The Produce Moms, we love to use fresh produce whenever possible, so make sure you have six fresh lemons. We’ll use four lemons to make the lemon caper sauce and the remaining two for garnish. 

If you only have bottled lemon juice, it will still work with your fish piccata. However, keep in mind that because it’s not fresh, it’s not as bright and lemony as fresh lemon juice. Fresh lemons are always best!

Related: Eating Citrus Makes a Difference


Dry white wine works best when you make your lemon caper sauce. Some ideal options are:

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Sherry 

Stay away from sweet wines like Moscato because it will change the flavor of your piccata. White wine pairs better with fish and chicken than red wine and is used in traditional piccata recipes. 

If you don’t have wine on hand, no problem! Another option is to use a low sodium broth or stock to still add flavor and keep control of the flavors. Be sure it’s low sodium so you don’t end up with an overly salty bite from the combination of capers, seasoning, and broth. 


Picked, dried, and preserved in a salty brine, capers are an easy addition to your lemon piccata sauce. Similar to pickles and olives, they are preserved in glass jars. Just a few tablespoons add a savory, umami flavor to your buttery sauce. Look for them near the pickles and olives at the grocery store.

How to Make Fish Piccata

Whisk spices in a small bowl.

Step 1: Measure out your salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, thyme, and allspice and put them in a small mixing bowl. Use a small whisk or fork to quickly stir the spices to create your homemade seasoning. 

Generously season trout with spice mixture.

Step 2: Generously season the flesh side of your trout filets with your homemade spice mixture.

Lightly coat both sides of trout with flour.

Step 3: Pour a quarter cup of flour into a shallow pan and lightly coat both sides of each trout filet with the flour. Gently shake each filet with your hands to get rid of any excess flour.

Heat the oil and butter in a cast iron skillet.

Step 4: Heat the olive oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat, being careful not to scorch it.

Cook trout for two to three minutes on each side.

Step 5: Add the seasoned trout to the iron skillet and cook for two to three minutes on each side. It should still be firm and flaky. Be careful not to overcook your fish so it doesn’t dry out and become rubbery.  

Step 6: Transfer the trout filets to a paper-lined plate to let the excess oil run off.

How to Make Lemon Caper Sauce

Add remaining butter, lemon juice, wine, and capers and cook for two minutes.

Step 1: Lower the heat on your burner to medium. Using the same cast iron skillet that you used to pan fry your fish, add in the rest of your butter. Add the lemon juice, wine, and capers and cook for one to two minutes. Be careful not to overcook your piccata sauce because this can cause it to taste bitter.

Reheat cooked trout in lemon caper sauce to warm it back up.

Step 2: Turn off the stove to avoid overcooking the fish and add the cooked fish to the skillet. Use a spoon to coat the fish with the piccata sauce to gently warm it up. 

How to Store 

We prefer fish piccata when it’s fresh, but it does make for a light, yummy leftover lunch. Store your fish in an airtight glass container for up to four days. Reheat it on the stovetop, but remember it’s just to warm it up, not cook it. Warm it up on low heat for about 30 seconds on each side.

Why We Love Pro Citrus Network

At The Produce Moms, we’re passionate about getting more produce on your and your family’s plates, and so is Pro Citrus Network. Their passion is hyper-focused citrus — lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Their goal is to teach you two important things:

  •  The benefits of adding fresh citrus to your family’s meal plan
  • The wide versatility of adding citrus into daily menus and beverages

That’s a mission we love to support!

Be sure to look for the PCN label when you pick up your lemons for your easy fish piccata. We can’t wait for your family to enjoy this dish as much as we have!

For more Lent friendly recipes, check out our vegetarian recipe round-up! (LINK)

Related: Meet the Growers: Pro Citrus Network

5 from 1 vote

Fish Piccata with Lemons

Flaky, tender white fish seared in a cast iron skillet and served in a rich, buttery lemon caper sauce. Ready in only 20 minutes!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings4 people


  • Cast iron skillet


  • 1 lb trout filet
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 lemons for the juice
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons capers rinsed
  • Thyme sprigs for garnish
  • 2 lemons round slices for garnish


  • Mix the spices (salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, pepper, paprika, thyme, and allspice) in a small mixing bowl. Then season the flesh side of the trout filets with your spice mixture.
  • Coat both sides of the fish with flour and gently shake each filet to get rid of the excess flour. Let the fish rest on a plate for five minutes to give it time to soak up the flavors.
  • Heat the olive oil and two tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat, being careful not to scorch it. Next, add the trout to the hot oil and butter and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until the fish is firm and flaky (you don't want to overcook the fish). Transfer the fish to a paper towel-lined tray to help drain the excess oil.
  • Using the same cast iron skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of unsalted butter. Lower the heat, and add the lemon juice, white wine, and capers. Cook briefly over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Return the fish to the pan and spoon the sauce over the fish for a few seconds to warm through the sauce.
  • Garnish with thyme sprigs and lemon slices. Serve immediately!



Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1395mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 403IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Calories: 490
Keyword: fish piccata, how to make lemon caper sauce, lemon caper sauce, lemon piccata, lemon sauce, piccata, piccata sauce, piccata sauce recipe
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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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