Delicious, light and healthy, Easy Fish Piccata with Artichokes is quick enough for every day, elegant enough for entertaining. Mild fish filets (think cod or halibut) are sautéed until golden brown, then served with a piccata-inspired sauce. To the standard piccata sauce base of lemon, butter and capers, I add chopped shallots, green onion, white wine, chicken broth and marinated artichoke hearts. The resulting dish is fresh, light, piquant and pretty on the plate!

White Fish Piccata

I love chicken piccata – a classic Italian dish of sautéed chicken breasts with a super yummy lemon, butter and caper sauce. Lemon-butter sauce is the perfect pairing for almost any fish – as you can see in my mom’s amazing recipe for Roasted Salmon Steaks. So, the other night when I was hungry for fish, I decided to create a Fish Piccata recipe. Trying to eat healthier these days, I set out to lighten up the sauce a bit as well.

Fish Piccata Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make my lightened up version of a Piccata sauce that pairs perfectly with a mild, white fish:

  • Cod fillets, skin removed – can use other mild, white fish fillets, including halibut, sea bass, or snapper.
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour – for dredging the fish before sautéing, which creates a crispy outer crust and seals in moisture.
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Organic, neutral, high smoke point oil (canola, avocado, or vegetable all work) – sautéing the fish in oil instead of butter helps to lighten the dish.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – swapping out part of the butter for olive oil in the sauce further lightens the dish.
  • Butter – a standard ingredient in a Piccata sauce. Can use salted or unsalted butter.
  • Shallots – add a subtle sweetness and slight garlicy flavor to the sauce without overpowering the other ingredients.
  • Green onion – contribute a slightly pungent note that complements the tangy brightness of the lemon and capers.
  • Dry white wine – an ingredient often used in Piccata sauce. I like to use an unoaked chardonnay, a pinot grigio, or a sauvignon blanc.
  • Chicken broth (can also use fish broth) – another ingredient used in Piccata sauce.
  • Fresh lemon – another standard ingredient in Piccata.
  • Capers – another standard ingredient in Piccata.
  • Marinated artichoke hearts – introduce a layer of tanginess and texture, pairing perfectly with the lemon-butter sauce
  • Fresh lemon slices or wedges – for garnish

Best Type of Fresh Fish for Fish Piccata

I like to make this Fish Piccata with cod, but you could also use halibut, sea bass, or snapper.

Can frozen fish be used to make this Fish Piccata recipe?

Yes you can use frozen fish. Thaw it in the refrigerator, then rinse under cold water and dry on paper towel.

plate holding one serving of White Fish Piccata, with a bite on a fork

How to Make Fish Piccata

This fish dish is amazingly quick and easy to prepare. Here are the steps for cooking the fish; the directions for the Piccata sauce are in the next section.

  1. Coat fish with flour.
    Place flour in a shallow baking dish or plate; stir in salt and pepper. Dredge each fillet in the flour, shaking off excess.
  2. Heat cooking oil.
    In a large sauté pan or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over medium-high heat until hot (but not smoking – see Tip in recipe card), about 2 minutes.
  3. Sauté fish.
    Place 3 fillets in skillet. Sauté, without moving, until golden brown, around 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Turn fillets over and continue cooking for around 1 to 2 minutes or just until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat process with remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil and 3 fillets.
  4. Make sauce.
    Keep reading . . .

How to Make Piccata Sauce for Fish

Here are the super easy steps to making the flavorful sauce:

  1. Heat butter and oil.
    Return the pan (in which you cooked the fish) to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter; stir until butter melts.
  2. Sauté shallots.
    Once the butter melts, add chopped shallots and sauté for around 30 seconds, stirring.
  3. Add wine.
    Stir in white wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a medium boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, around 3 minutes.
  4. Add chicken or fish broth.
    Stir in broth, fresh lemon juice and capers. Bring to a slow boil and cook for another minute.
  5. Add more butter.
    Reduce heat to medium and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan sauce thickens slightly, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Add onion, artichokes and cooked fish.
    Stir in the chopped green onion and artichoke hearts. Nestle cooked fillets in the sauce (golden brown side up) and cook just until the fish is warmed through, about 2 minutes.
close up of a white platter holding portions of White Fish Piccata

Variations and Substitutions

While this fish piccata recipe is delicious as is, you can modify it to suit your tastes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Amp up the lemon flavor by stirring some lemon zest into the sauce.
  • Substitute white wine vinegar for the white wine.
  • Substitute sliced green olives for the capers, for a milder salty, briny flavor.
  • Add fresh parsley as a garnish, either small stems around the plate or chopped.

Storing and Reheating Artichoke Fish Piccata

By its nature, this is a quick and easy recipe, which means it’s designed to be prepared just before serving. Store leftovers in in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should last around 3 days. Place in a skillet over low heat to rewarm before serving. Watch carefully so you don’t over cook the fish.

What to Serve With This Cod Piccata Recipe

Here are a few suggestions of what to serve with this fish:

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Artichoke Fish Piccata

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Delicious, light and healthy, Easy Fish Piccata with Artichokes is quick enough for every day, elegant enough for entertaining. Mild fish filets (think cod or halibut) are sautéed, then served with a piccata-inspired sauce. To the standard piccata sauce base of lemon, butter and capers, I add chopped shallots, green onion, white wine, chicken broth and marinated artichoke hearts. The resulting dish is fresh, light, piquant and pretty on the plate!

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 (4 to 6-ounce) cod fillets, skin removed – can also use halibut or snapper
  • 1/4 cup organic neutral, high smoke point oil (canola, avocado or vegetable), divided use
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (can also use fish broth)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion (white, light green and some of the dark green portion)
  • 1 jar (6-ounce) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • Fresh lemon slices or wedges, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place flour in a shallow baking dish or plate; stir in salt and pepper. Dredge each filet in the flour mixture, shaking off excess.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the neutral oil over medium-high heat until hot (but not smoking – see Tip below), about 2 minutes. Place 3 fillets in skillet. Sauté, without moving, until golden brown, around 3 to 3 1/2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat process with remaining 2 tablespoons of neutral oil and 3 fillets.
  3. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the butter melts, add chopped shallots and sauté for around 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in white wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a medium boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, around 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the broth, lemon juice and capers. Bring to a slow boil and cook for another minute. Reduce heat to medium and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan sauce thickens slightly, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the chopped green onion and artichoke hearts. Return the fish fillets to the pan (with the sauce) and cook just until the fish is warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately, placing fillets on individual dinner plates (or one large serving platter) and spooning sauce over the top.
  8. Garnish with lemon wedges or slices, if desired.

Notes

Gluten free: use gluten-free flour and gluten-free chicken broth.
Tip on checking temperature of heated oil: place the flat end of a wooden spoon handle in the oil, in the middle of the skillet, touching the bottom of the pan. When bubbles start to form around the handle, the oil is ready!

  • Author: Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: main dish, fish, healthy, gluten free
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 220
  • Sugar: 1.6 g
  • Sodium: 107.7 mg
  • Fat: 17.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.6 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 5.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 24 mg

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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