Homemade artichoke piccata. A great vegetarian version of the classic Italian dish and it takes just minutes to make!
Easy Eats

Artichoke Piccata

When I’m looking for a restaurant on the few occasions Betsy and I head out on the town, I tend to put Italian places way down on the list. I don’t find that they have  a lot to offer that I couldn’t easily reproduce at home.

Occasionally though, I find myself at one anyway and try to make the best of it! A few months ago I found myself at a local Italian spot that generally exceeds my expectations. Somebody at our table ordered a piccata dish, which is traditionally chicken but in this case was seafood. The protein wasn’t the star for me though… its was the pasta mix.

Folded into capellini pasta was big artichoke chunks, capers, lemon, and a creamy sauce. It was perfect and I actually thought it didn’t even need the protein.

When I got home I quickly jotted down what I could remember so I could try to reproduce it as a quick vegetarian dinner. Artichoke Piccata was the result and it was damn good.

Homemade artichoke piccata. A great vegetarian version of the classic Italian dish and it takes just minutes to make!

Artichoke Piccata

Just a moment please...

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Artichoke Piccata is a great vegetarian alternative to the classic Italian dish. Easy to make, delicious and on the table in minutes!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup veggie stock
2 tablespoons pesto
1 (14-oz.) can artichokes, drained
1/4 cup capers, drained
1 (15-oz) can white beans, drained
1 lemon, zest and juice
Salt and pepper
12 ounces capellini pasta, cooked
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Fresh parsley, garnish
Baguette, for serving
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Directions

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer for pasta and set it aside for later.

2) In a second large skillet or pot, add olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.

3) Add flour to the pot and stir and cook flour for 30 seconds. Then stir in veggie stock and pesto and stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium low.

4) Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, probably 2-3 minutes if you’re using a thin pasta like capellini. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking water and drain pasta.

5) Add 1/2 cup of pasta water to pot with sauce and stir. Then stir in artichokes, capers, drained beans, lemon juice, and cooked pasta.

6) Stir together and add enough extra pasta water to form a sauce that just coats the pasta.

7) Divide pasta between bowls or plates and top with grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and parsley. Serve with toasted baguette!

Artichoke Piccata

The Basics

This Artichoke Piccata recipe doesn’t have a lot of ingredients and many of them can be found in good canned versions. No need to use fresh artichokes!

Instead of a meat, I thought white beans would be a good addition. They are smooth and creamy and not overpowering at all.

The only thing you really need to chop up is an onion and some parsley for garnish!

ingredients for Artichoke Piccata

Basics.

As far as pasta goes, I would definitely use something in the spaghetti family. Linguine might be a bit on the sturdy side. I would stick with just normal spaghetti or, my favorite, capellini pasta (or angel hair). It cooks really quickly and folds into the light sauce nicely.

Normal spaghetti is fine too.

Normal spaghetti is fine too.

Cooking the Sauce

A little pesto really rounds out this sauce and you can make your own or just use a little prepared pesto from a jar. I’m not sure I would make pesto from scratch just for this dish since there are a lot of other flavors going on. If you have some made though, definitely use it.

Add a drizzle of oil to a medium pot over medium heat with the diced onion. Let that cook for a few minutes until the onions soften and then add in the pesto and some flour.

Starting the sauce.

Starting the sauce.

Stir this all together and let the flour cook down for a minute or so. Then pour in the stock! I used veggie stock to keep it vegetarian but you could use chicken stock also.

Key ingredient for Artichoke Piccata!

Key ingredient!

Once you add your stock, the mixture will be pretty thick and that’s okay. You can always thin it out later!

Then stir in the artichokes, beans, and capers.

Beans in the pot.

Beans in the pot.

Cooking the Pasta

Not overcooking the pasta is the hardest part of this dish, especially if you are using really thin pasta. If you’re using capellini pasta, don’t start cooking the pasta until your sauce is completely done as the pasta will take just 2-3 minutes to cook.

When the pasta is done, drain it and save a cup or two of the pasta water. If the sauce is really thick at this point, stir in the reserved pasta water to thin it out.

Then add the pasta to the pot with the sauce and toss everything together really well.

All together now.

All together now.

Artichoke Piccata is best served in big bowls, topped with some Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and fresh parsley.

A big hunk of crusty bread is a good idea to soak up all that sauce.

 

The final pasta is light and refreshing, but still hearty enough for winter.

It’s a surefire winner!

Homemade artichoke piccata. A great vegetarian version of the classic Italian dish and it takes just minutes to make!

25 comments on “Artichoke Piccata

  1. i am a vegeterian and really like you vegetarian recipes. This is a “must do”very soon! Thanks

  2. Hello!

    It would be great if there was a button to e-mail your recipes, that I want to file, to myself. I clicked on the little envelope button on the top right thinking this was the way to e-mail the last recipe, but it just asked me to subscribe. I’m already on your list.

    Thanks,

    Gina

    1. Hey Gina!
      Yea… I removed that functionality actually in the new design because it was just cluttered and wasn’t used much. An easy solution though is to just go to the PRINT version of the recipe (in the recipe box) and then copy/paste that into an email and send it away. :)
      Good luck!

  3. Well… this was a VERY satisfying recipe! Thank you so much. It was different and refresing. We will do it again, and again. :)

  4. Pretty awesome, Nick. In an effort to go a bit more ‘veggie’ this year, I made this for the family. Even two eight-year-olds, who turned up their noses at the artichoke hearts before I began to cook, gave it two thumbs up. I made enough for lunches and lunch boxes tomorrow — a big hit!!

  5. I’m crazy about chicken piccata from Walmart and I’ve tried every recipe I can find plus ordering it in restaurants and I can’t find anything I like. Well I’ve since gone vegetarian and found this recipe and it is so good! I’ve made this enough times I feel I have to comment on how delicious this turns out. Thank you for this recipe!

  6. This is delicious!! Thanks for posting. Love piccata but don’t like cooking with chicken so this is a perfect alternative. Didn’t see where to add the butter, so I left it out, or lemon juice, so I added it last to the sauce before I turned off the heat. Not sure if that’s right but it turned out and had a nice lemony flavor.

  7. Yeah, Kate, the butter is mentioned in the printable version but not in the web post. Mine turned out great without it. I added sliced mushrooms, too, b/c I always put them in my chicken piccata. Unfortunately, I think my husband won’t like this as well as I do (unfortunately for HIM, b/c I’m going to freeze half of it in lunch servings for myself)!! Thanks!

  8. Dear Nick,

    Thanks very much for this recipe. We have a 2.5 year old, and my wife is 4 months pregnant with our second. She usually does most of the actual cooking. I put dinners on the table, but they are more of the reheat and serve variety (frozen taquitos, mac n cheese, and salad for example). This was a delicious dish. Economical, vegetarian, healthy, and easy. My wife and daughter both loved it. I feel a great deal of pride in being able to make it for them, and I can see why my wife enjoys cooking. I’ll be using more of your pasta dishes in the future, particularly as we get closer to #2. Congrats on your first.

    Kind Regards,

    Matt

    1. Hey Matt, thanks for the comment and feedback! So happy that it got you in the kitchen cooking and that it was a success! Keep on feeding the family sir and congrats on #2!

  9. Thank you for the recipe! This dish is delicious!!! I am vegan so I used vegan butter. It is an easy recipe to put together and doesn’t take much time. We live out of state from our family, so we often have out-of-town guests. When people stay with us, we cook vegan meals for them. So, I am constantly trying to find great recipes that fit our lifestyle, but will also wow a non-vegan crowd. This recipe has been added to my arsenal and I will make it many more times! Thanks again!

    1. Lanae; I’m curious. I had a good friend named Lanae years ago in Las Vegas. Did you ever live there? Is or was your last name Pike?

  10. What a great recipe! Every now and then I get a hankering for my old favorites that I had before becoming a vegetarian and tonight I was really craving a chicken-less piccata and that’s how I ended up here. This recipe could not have been easier and I am currently enjoying a large bowl. The only differences I made were omitting the beans and adding one teaspoon of lemon zest to the mixture. I also added a bit of arrowroot to thicken it more because I thought it was looking a little thin. Anyway, I love it and will keep this page marked in the likelihood that I will be craving this again! Thanks!

  11. Hi, I was racking my brains on how to prepare a piccata dish but not using fake chicken patties for the umpteenth time, and your recipe was a godsend! The artichokes, pesto and white beans were a nice variation. Thanks! It was delicious, by the way and we slurped up every single drop of sauce left.

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