This month has felt about 5 years long in my house and we still have over a week left. Are you in the same boat? These undemanding, quick, versatile Italian Chicken Cutlets may be exactly the salty, crispy, savory weekday treat you need.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
These breaded chicken cutlets call for panko breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning. They are then pan-fried until golden and served with lemon. The secret to their crispiness is the panko breading in place of regular breadcrumbs.
They come together in under 20 minutes and are much healthier than commercially prepared breaded and fried chicken options.
Try them on pasta with marinara and mozzarella, served with potatoes and vegetables, on a salad, on a rice bowl, a grain bowl. I could go on... (and do!)
You will be so happy to have these in your back pocket the next time making dinner seems like a chore.
What You'll Need
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- Chicken Breasts You will want them sliced relatively thin. You can either purchase thin-cut chicken breasts from the store or slice larger breasts in half yourself. About a half inch to an inch thick is ideal.
- Panko Bread Crumbs These are available in most grocery stores.
- Italian Seasoning My favorite Italian seasoning in the world is this blend by Spice Shop Silver Lake, but choose whatever you like most. The best thing about the blend I recommended is that has garlic in it. If your blend does not...
- Garlic Powder Add some garlic powder if not included in your Italian seasoning blend. I would not recommend fresh garlic here as it can burn easily.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Using high-quality extra virgin olive oil is always a treat, but any kind you have on hand will be fine here.
- Lemon I really recommend not skipping this - it complements the savory elements so well.
- Kosher Salt I always recommend using kosher salt in recipes. It is easier to control the saltiness and it coats food more evenly.
- Black Pepper I like using about 3 good cranks of black pepper from a pepper mill in the bread crumbs.
How to Make Italian Chicken Cutlets
Step One: If your chicken breast is larger than an inch thick, cut in half lengthwise. Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until it is about a half-inch to an inch thick.
Step Two Beat your egg and place in a bowl or on a deep plate. Mix your breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and place on a separate plate. Coat both sides of the chicken in the egg mixture.
Step Three Coat both sides of the chicken in the panko breadcrumb mixture.
Step Four Place your pan on the heat. If using stainless steel, heat to high and then reduce the heat to medium before adding the oil and chicken. If using nonstick, heat to medium heat and add the oil.
Add the chicken and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Flip when the first side is golden brown.
Step Five Cook the second side of the cutlet until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F. Serve immediately with lemon slices.
Dried Herbs You can use a mix of spices in place of the Italian seasoning called for. Try things like oregano, basil, rosemary, and parsley.
Fresh Herbs You can add a small amount of fresh herbs for a more intense flavor. A few leaves of chopped rosemary, oregano, or thyme would be lovely.
Cheese Add some grated parmesan to your breadcrumb mixture for a bit of extra saltiness and savoriness.
A chicken cutlet is a thin piece of chicken breast. You can purchase a thin piece or cut a larger piece into a more manageable size by slicing the chicken lengthwise and pounding with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
You can, but they will not stick as well, and the coating will not be as crisp. I highly recommend using panko breadcrumbs for the best result.
Yes. Freeze cooked chicken on a sheet tray for about 1 hour, then transfer to freezer-safe bags and store up to 3 months. Be sure not to let your chicken sit at room temperature for longer than 2 hours for proper food safety.
From the fridge To reheat, let the cutlets come to room temperature (no longer than an hour) then reheat in a 400°F oven on a sheet tray for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp and the exterior is a bit hot.
Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure it has reached 165°F.
From frozen To reheat, bake at 450°F for about 14-16 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Stainless steel I love using the mercury ball technique for stainless steel pans. They operate differently than nonstick pans. Check out this video for more information.
Nonstick Add the olive oil as the pan heats, and once you see the olive oil shimmering, it's ready to use.
- For evenly cooked chicken that is ready before the breadcrumbs become too dark, ensure your chicken is very thin.
- When using nonstick pans, be sure not to go above medium heat or you can negatively impact your nonstick coating.
- When using stainless steel pans, be sure to monitor the temperature closely. If it is too hot, the breadcrumbs may burn. If it is not hot enough, they will stick. See FAQ for more information.
How to Store
These cutlets are best right out of the pan when they are hot and crispy. However, they are high-demand leftovers in my house. You can store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days safely. Additional tips can be seen above in the FAQ section.
I often cook a few extra cutlets for work lunches, slice, then reheat with some rice or potatoes and veggies, or toss on top of a salad.
How to Make a Meal
These Italian Chicken Cutlets can be served in so many ways. Ideas include:
Salad Try them with a simple green salad (my favorite) or this refreshing Shirazi Salad.
Vegetables Prepare your favorite roasted vegetable like this Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli, or try these amazing Italian Stuffed Mushrooms!
Pasta Prepare some Roasted Cherry Tomatoes on the Vine and serve the chicken and tomatoes over a bed of pasta.
Chicken Parm Coat the chicken with mozzarella or provolone cheese and marinara for a quick Chicken Parmesan. You can also try this tasty Baked Chicken Parmesan recipe!
Sandwich Try them added to a sandwich with some mayo and Pineapple Habanero Sauce.
Potatoes I love these chicken cutlets with grilled vegetables and Calabrian Potatoes.
Chicken Strips Cut the chicken into strips and dip in a sauce of your choosing (bleu cheese, ranch, marinara - whatever you like) and served with French fries for an upscale fast food vibe.
Grain Bowl Try them in place of Eggs on this Grain Bowl with Goat Cheese and Greens.
Or just... eat with your fingers? I would do that.
Recipes You'll Love
Here are some easy, flavorful side dishes to go with your chicken cutlets:
Italian Chicken Cutlets
- Rolling Pin or Meat Mallet (Optional)
- 2 chicken breasts thin-sliced, or 1 large chicken breast sliced lengthwise into 2 half inch to inch-thick slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 egg
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder if your Italian seasoning does not include it
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste, see note 1
- black pepper to taste
- lemon wedges to finish
- Place a pan on medium heat and add the olive oil.
- If needed, slice your chicken breast in half.
- Whisk the egg in the medium bowl.
- Add the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a plate, trying to spread the ingredients evenly.
- Place the chicken in the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. Pat the bread crumbs onto each side of the chicken to ensure it is coated.
- Once the oil is just shimmering, add the chicken to the pan. Season the chicken with more kosher salt at this time. Let cook for 4-6 minutes, ensuring the coating does not start to burn.
- Flip the chicken with tongs or a spatula to the second side. Let cook for 4-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165°F. Remove from the pan.
- Taste a bit of the chicken. If needed, add some additional kosher salt or finishing salt. Plate the chicken with the lemon wedges to squeeze over.
- I tested this recipe with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If using another brand of kosher salt, sea salt, table salt, or using seasonings with salt added, use ½ teaspoon salt in your dredge.
- Approximate calories are for 4 ounce chicken breast cutlets.
- Cutlets can be stored in the fridge safely for 3-4 days and reheated in the oven at 400°F oven on a sheet tray until crisp and interior temperature has reached 165°F.
- Cutlets can be stored in the freezer safely for 3 months. You will need to cool completely before freezing.
- To reheat, bake at 450°F for about 14-16 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- If you don't have Italian seasoning, try mixing a few dried herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder, and thyme.
- Try these cutlets in many different applications: on pasta, on a grain bowl, with salad or roasted vegetables, on a sandwich, or cut into strips and served with a sauce.
- For evenly cooked chicken that is ready before the breadcrumbs become too dark, ensure your chicken is quite thin as indicated in the recipe.
- When using nonstick pans, be sure not to go above medium heat or you can negatively impact your nonstick coating.
- When using stainless steel pans, be sure to monitor the temperature closely. If it is too hot, the breadcrumbs may burn. If it is not hot enough, they will stick. Try using the mercury ball technique referenced in the FAQ section of the post.
I love this Italian Chicken Cutlet!! I used my Blackstone Griddle and got the perfect golden brown crust. Easy to make, tastes delicious, and the best weeknight meal.
That's a fantastic idea! Thank you, Sherry!
I've been revisiting classic recipes like this chicken cutlet for a few months now and falling back in love with the simplicity of flavors and technique. That squeeze of lemon over top - essential!
Love that little bit of lemon - thanks K!
I loooove how crispy these are! I love crispy breaded chicken but the store-bought stuff has so many chemicals in it. I'm so happy to find this delish recipe!
Thanks Jennifer! So glad they turned out nice and crispy for you.
Mandy Applegate says
Crispy, perfect chicken cutlets - what more could you ask for? Thank you!
Thanks Mandy! Glad you enjoyed them.
I love the Italian seasoning on those cutlets! It’s so simple but a flavor that works on anything you make these into!
Thank you, Shelby!
This is the fastest I got a wholesome, delicious meal on the table. I made these as sandwich filling and they were perfect!
I love hearing that! Thanks Rupali.
My family loves these chicken cutlets. They turned out perfectly crispy and moist. Done in 15 minutes too. Great for busy weeknights.
Glad they turned out well for you! Thanks Mackenzie.
I love these chicken cutlets and so does my family! I served them straight up with some marinara sauce on the side, and they were delicious. Thanks for the recipe!
Sounds great! Thanks Kate.
We love chicken and your recipe was a perfect way to make it! We'll be using this on repeat and incorporating the cutlets into salads and pastas! Thank you!
Yay! Thanks Sherrie!
I noticed my boyfriend always orders cutlets when we are out, and they are on the menu. I wanted to create something for him at home as a special dinner. This was easy to follow and he adored it! The lemon is a must!
So funny, I developed these for my boyfriend too, who absolutely loves chicken cutlets. Glad to hear yours liked them too!
Breaded chicken cutlets are a favorite at our house. Not sure why I'd never thought to add herbs to the breading. It was absolutely scrumptious! Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you, Glenda! I'm glad it turned out well for you guys.
These we’re so good! I’m adding it to our regular dinner rotation!
That's great to hear! Thanks Kim.
My kids absolutely love your chicken cutlets. Great recipe, and easy to make. Thank you!
Oh yay! So glad the kids enjoyed it.
This looks so delicious and i really want to try this again!