One of my go-to Italian recipes is Chicken With Italian Bread Crumbs, and this is it. It’s basically a chicken marinade which is great, because nothing sucks more than having to make an extra trip to the store for a special ingredient that you only need once. Anyway, we’ll get back to the recipe in a bit, just remember to add it because I know you’re going to love it as much as I do.
Easy Italian-Style Baked Chicken
Yield:4 chicken breasts
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)SAVE RECIPE
This delicious and easy baked chicken recipe is a simple Parmesan- and breadcrumb-coated chicken with a surprising and tasty butter and Italian dressing drizzle. For extra flavor, use garlic-seasoned or Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs, or feel free to add some garlic powder or granulated garlic to the breadcrumb coating mix to amplify the flavor.
Make this baked chicken for any night of the week when you want a little bit of hands-off time to do other things while it bakes, or prepare it on the weekend. You can serve it any number of ways, whether that’s alongside something like a baked potato or steamed broccoli. It also goes well with cooked rice or angel hair pasta with a little marinara. This dish tastes great served alongside a very simple tossed salad or sliced fresh tomatoes.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup fine dry Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
Steps to Make It
- Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs.
- In a separate bowl, combine the cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Dip the chicken breasts into the beaten eggs.
- Coat the chicken thoroughly with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Place the breaded chicken on a greased baking sheet.
- Drizzle with salad dressing, then the melted butter.
- Bake for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the crust is golden brown. The safe minimum internal temperature for chicken is 165 F. Serve and enjoy.
How to Store and Freeze Italian-Style Baked Chicken
Leftover chicken will keep for three to five days if stored in the refrigerator in a covered container. Then, reheat it in the oven tented with foil to keep it from drying out, or use it cold on top of salads.
Wrap any leftover chicken in foil and then freeze in a zip-close freezer bag for three to four months.
- You can fry this breaded chicken in a sauté pan with oil if you’d like a faster preparation and really want the crunch and crisp of a pan-fried chicken breast.
- You can also cook it in the air fryer for about half the time it would take to bake in the oven. Follow the recommendations of your particular air fryer model for temperature and timing.
- You can try this recipe with other hard Italian cheeses such as pecorino Romano or Grana Padano.
Italian Breaded Chicken Cutlets (Cotolette di Pollo)
Loved by kids and grown-ups, Italian chicken cutlets are crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, and ready in under 30 minutes!
Fried or baked, Italian chicken cutlets (cotolette di pollo) are one of the most loved dishes of Italian cuisine, especially by children.
Served with delicious mashed potatoes (or french fries for a treat) and a salad, they make a fantastic weeknight meal.
This classic Italian recipe is very quick to prepare and requires a few basic pantry ingredients.
Italian Chicken CutletsPlay Video
It’s a quick dish to prepare and relatively inexpensive.
Also, if you don’t have chicken, remember you can use veal or beef to make these cutlets, the process is still the same.
Just 8 Ingredients
You won’t believe how easy this recipe actually is!
I promise, once you try it, you’ll be making these Italian chicken cutlets over and over again.
This easy chicken cutlet recipe uses the most simple ingredients, in typical Italian fashion.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- chicken breast
- plain flour
- Parmesan cheese
- homemade or panko breadcrumbs
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
Remember that whole chicken breast is usually cheaper than already-prepared thin-sliced chicken breast.
If you’re starting from whole chicken breast, all you need to do is butterfly the chicken (take a look at this easy tutorial), then cut it in half lengthwise.
You should get roughly 1-inch thick slices. Super easy, and takes about 2 extra minutes to prepare.
As a big make-from-scratch fan, whenever I have time, I like to make my own breadcrumbs.
If you have stale bread sitting in the kitchen you can make your own Italian homemade breadcrumbs.
Basically, you crumble your own bread, then add the Parmesan cheese, parsley, and seasoning listed in this recipe.
But, if you’re looking for a quicker alternative, that delivers the same crunchy and delicious results, I’ve got you covered.
You might find it unusual that an Italian is listing Japanese panko breadcrumbs as part of the ingredients of a classic Italian recipe. BUT, trust me on this!
If you have never used panko for breading, you have been missing out.
Panko breadcrumbs make ANYTHING super crunchy, it’s sold pretty much in any big supermarket, and delivers consistent results. It’s a fantastic and very convenient alternative to homemade breadcrumbs.
Fried or Baked
Homemade breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs will both give you perfectly crunchy Italian cotolette even if you decide to bake them in the oven.
However, if you want to fry them until crispy perfection, that’s also fine. In this case, you can opt for either olive oil or clarified butter.
Frying with extra virgin or olive oil is absolutely OK and much better than using canola oil or vegetable oil in my opinion.
Keep the heat to a medium, so that the oil doesn’t burn.
If you opt for frying with butter, opt for clarified butter, which has a higher smoking point and won’t burn like regular butter.
Italian Breaded Chicken Step-by-step
This recipe for Italian chicken cutlets takes just 20 minutes to make!
Follow these simple steps and before you know it, you’ll be sitting at the dinner table enjoying an awesome Italian meal.
Step 1. Flour the chicken
Season the chicken with sea salt and black pepper on both sides. Flour the chicken slices on both sides and shake well to remove the flour in excess.
Step 2. Dip each cutlet in wisked egg
Dip each chicken breast slice in a shallow plate with whisked eggs, making sure it’s well coated on both sides.
Step 3. Coat in breadcrumbs
Dredge each chicken cutlet into the seasoned breadcrumbs, until fully coated. Repeat the process one more time if necessary.
Cooking tip: To make sure your breading sticks, don’t skip the flour.
The flour + egg mixture creates an armor that makes the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken, and helps keep the meat moist.
Step 4. Let’s cook it!
Heat a large pan with the olive oil, over medium heat. Place the cutlets into the pan and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.
Turn them onto the other side, and cook for 5 more minutes until golden and brown on both sides.
Remove from the pan and serve with a nice wedge of lemon on the side.
Baked Chicken Cutlets
As I mentioned, you can definitely bake chicken cutlets and have the same amazing results you get by frying them.
Place the prepared cutlets onto a hot baking tray covered with parchment paper.
Brush them gently with olive oil, then bake them in a preheated oven to 180C/360F for 15 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking time.
How to store leftovers
- In the fridge: Transfer the chicken into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- In the freezer: Arrange the cooked chicken on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and store it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then transfer the cutlets into a ziplock bag or freezer-friendly container and store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Make it allergy-friendly and kid-friendly
This recipe is easy to adapt to make it allergy-friendly.
Use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs to make gluten-free breaded chicken.
Skip the Parmesan cheese to make it dairy-free.
To make it 100% kid-friendly, I usually skip the garlic.
CRISPY ITALIAN BREADED CHICKEN CUTLETS
This recipe for Crispy Italian Breaded Chicken Cutlets is the best you’ll ever have! Thin slices of chicken breast are breaded with a homemade seasoned breadcrumb mixture then pan fried in extra virgin olive oil to get super crispy and flavorful.
Here in New Jersey, Italian breaded chicken cutlets are a staple. We put them on sandwiches, smother them in mozzarella and tomato sauce for chicken parm, serve them with a lemony arugula salad for Chicken Milanese, and I personally like to eat them cold, straight out of the refrigerator, with my hands.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- A beginner friendly recipe – I started making these when I was just a kid!
- Instead of using store bought Italian breadcrumbs, these are made with homemade seasoned breadcrumbs to make them extra crispy and cheesy.
- Pounding out the chicken super thin ensures they cook through in the pan with no oven required.
- Seasoning each piece of chicken before breading makes the meat juicy and flavorful.
- Adding grated cheese to the egg mixture makes the breading
- Breadcrumbs – If you have homemade breadcrumbs – use those. Otherwise, unseasoned Panko is the way to go. They’re lighter than traditional breadcrumbs and make the best crispy coating. I prefer to season my own breadcrumbs rather than using already seasoned Italian breadcrumbs because the flavor is so much better.
- Grated Cheese – For this recipe, I find a good quality parmesan, such as Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, and a good quality Pecorino Romano, such as Locatelli, are interchangeable. Use either one or both, just make sure you’re using the good stuff – it makes a difference.
- Chicken – Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You can start with whole chicken breasts and slice them thin, or buy chicken breasts that have already been thinly sliced. We will take it one step further and pound the chicken out to be extra thin, because the thinner they are, the better they are.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Some people say you should never to fry in extra virgin olive oil, but I disagree. It makes all the difference in this recipe and gives the chicken much more flavor than when it’s fried in vegetable oil. For frying, use a less expensive olive oil and not the top-shelf stuff that’s best reserved for finishing.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- Add the breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, and ¾ cup cheese to a medium shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then use your fingers to mix it together, working the garlic into the breadcrumbs until evenly distributed.
- In another medium, shallow bowl, whisk together 3 eggs with ½ cup cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon water until combined.
- Pour the flour into another shallow bowl or plate, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Take one piece of thinly sliced chicken and place it on a cutting board. Place a piece of plastic wrap over top, then use a meat mallet to pound it out to be about ½ inch thick. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Season each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Set up the breading station so that the chicken is on the far left, then next to it the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, and then a landing plate or pan to hold the breaded chicken.
- Take a piece of chicken and dip it into the flour to coat on all sides, then tap off the excess (*See note).
- Next, dip it in the egg mixture and let the excess drip off.
- Transfer the chicken into the breadcrumbs. Be sure to press it down and move it around so that it’s thoroughly coated. Place the chicken on the reserved plate, and repeat with the remaining pieces.
- Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saute pan over medium-high heat. Place 1-3 chicken breasts in at a time, depending on how many your pan can hold. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Cook until golden brown on each side, then remove to a rack or paper towels to drain.
- Serve immediately, or place in a 250 degree F oven for up to 1 hour before serving to keep warm.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- To season the chicken faster, I like to liberally season one side, then stack another piece of chicken on top of it. This allows some the seasoning to transfer onto the other piece, seasoning both sides more effectively.
- Let the breaded chicken sit for about 30 minutes before you fry it – this will help the breading stick.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan when frying. I try not to fry more than two at a time, but depending on your pan you may only be able to fit one.
- I prefer to drain the fried chicken cutlets on a rack rather than paper towels because it keeps them crispier.
FAQ ABOUT ITALIAN BREADED CHICKEN CUTLETS
How do you get breading to stick to the chicken cutlets?
It helps to let the breaded chicken cutlets rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before frying. This helps the breading adhere to the chicken and form a crust.
Why did my chicken cutlets turn out oily?
If the oil isn’t hot enough, the breadcrumbs will absorb the oil and turn soggy, resulting in chicken cutlets that are more greasy than they are crispy. Make sure the oil has plenty of time to heat up before placing the chicken cutlets in the pan. It should look shimmery.Ho
How do you keep chicken cutlets crispy for a long time?
The best way to keep the chicken crispy is to set a rack on top of a sheet pan and allow the cutlets to drain on that rather than paper towels. You can keep them in a 250 degree F oven for up to an hour before serving to keep them hot and crispy.
Is it ok to fry chicken cutlets in olive oil?
Yes. A lot of people prefer to fry in a neutral oil like vegetable or canola oil because they have a higher smoke point, but I find they have a much better flavor when fried in olive oil. If you’re not comfortable frying in all olive oil, try a 50-50 mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil instead.