It takes just 30 minutes to crisp up restaurant-quality Chicken Milanese and toss together a bright and citrusy arugula salad. This Italian chicken recipe is a company-worthy meal you can totally ace on even a hectic weeknight.

Chicken Milanese on a gray plate with a side of greens.

A simple breaded and fried chicken cutlet spans many different cultures. There’s Japanese katsu, Latin American milanesa, German schnitzel, and all of the contenders in the fast food spicy chicken sandwich wars, to name a few.

This Chicken Milanese recipe is the Italian version, and it’s so easy (30 minutes easy!) and so flavorful.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Chicken Milanese Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Chicken milanese ingredients in bowls.

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken: If you’re starting with regular chicken breasts rather than cutlets, butterfly the chicken so it’s thinner (and has more surface area to coat with herby bread crumbs and Parmesan).
  • Panko: Find these extra crispy Japanese bread flakes in boxes or canisters at most major grocery stores or Asian markets. If you prefer to make your own bread crumbs:
    • To a food processor, add torn bread pieces (work in batches if necessary). Pulse 3 or 4 times to break up the bread, then let the machine run for a few seconds for coarse crumbs.
    • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add ground bread crumbs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry and toasted, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how finely they are ground.
    • In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil until shimmering (or butter until foaming). Use 1 tablespoon of fat per 1 cup of crumbs. Add ground bread crumbs and stir until golden and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Parmesan cheese: This is one case when it’s best to invest in a wedge of cheese rather than buying it pre-grated. You’ll grate some fresh for the coating; it melts marvelously without the anti-caking agents often added to pre-shredded cheeses. Then you’ll use a vegetable peeler to slice off thin strips for the arugula salad.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Top with a wire rack coated with nonstick spray or olive oil. Cover a cutting board completely with a piece of plastic wrap. Add chicken breasts. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice in half horizontally so you have two cutlets. Repeat with the second breast.
Butterflying a chicken breast.
  1. Arrange all four cutlets in a single layer on the plastic wrap-covered cutting board. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, about 1/4-inch. Remove top layer of plastic wrap and season breasts with salt and pepper.
Chicken breasts butterflied and on a cutting board to pound out.
  1. In a shallow dish, add flour. In a second shallow dish, add eggs and beat lightly. In a third shallow dish, combine panko, grated Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine. Working with one cutlet at a tie, dredge in flour and shake off excess. Dip in eggs and tap gently on side of dish to remove excess. Add to panko mixture and press gently until crumbs adhere. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets (cutlets can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours).
Breading stations to bread chicken.
  1. Line rimmed baking sheet or large plate with 3 layers of paper towels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 cup oil until shimmering. Add 2 cutlets and fry until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Drain cutlets well on paper towel-lined plate and transfer to prepared wire rack in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 cutlets.
A skillet with chicken milanese frying.
  1. To serve: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss arugula salad with vinaigrette and shaved Parmesan. Serve chicken with salad, passing lemon wedges separately.
Chicken Milanese on a gray plate with a side of greens.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Chicken Milanese makes four (4-ounce) portions of the crispy chicken, plus four side salads.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The cutlets can be pounded out, breaded, and stored covered in the refrigerator one day in advance. Unfortunately, they cannot easily be frozen and then reheated in a pan or oven.
  • Pick your protein: Just as with schnitzel, you could also follow these exact same instructions to bread and pan-fry pork cutlets. Or try thinly-pounded steak for an Italian-inspired twist on another Midwestern favorite, chicken-fried steak.
  • Select your salad: I love the way peppery arugula, tart lemon juice, and zippy Dijon mustard team up to cut through the richness of the crispy Chicken Milanese. But feel free to choose any vegetable salad or side dish you prefer and have ingredients to make. My Mediterranean Chopped Salad, Panzanella, Roasted Green Beans, and Farro Salad with Peas and Feta would also be brilliant partners for this Italian entree.
Chicken Milanese on a gray plate with a side of greens.

Chicken Piccata

This version of Chicken Piccata follows the typical flour dredge with a coating of bread crumbs, so it’s extra crispy and so delicious with the buttery lemon sauce and capers.

30 minutes
View Recipe

More classic Italian dinner ideas

Chicken Milanese on a gray plate with a side of greens.

Chicken Milanese

It takes just 30 minutes to crisp up restaurant-quality Chicken Milanese and toss together a bright and citrusy arugula salad. This Italian chicken recipe is a company-worthy meal you can totally ace on even a hectic weeknight.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 531

Ingredients 

For the chicken:

  • 16 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large, see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated (see note 3)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil

For serving:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces baby arugula (4 cups)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese shaved with a vegetable peeler (about ¼ cup)
  • Lemon wedges (from 2 lemons)

Instructions 

To make the chicken:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Top with a wire rack coated with nonstick spray or olive oil.
  • Cover a cutting board completely with a piece of plastic wrap. Add chicken breasts. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice in half horizontally so you have two cutlets. Repeat with the second breast.
  • Arrange all four cutlets in a single layer on the plastic wrap-covered cutting board. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, about 1/4-inch. Remove top layer of plastic wrap and season breasts with salt and pepper.
  • In a shallow dish, add flour. In a second shallow dish, add eggs and beat lightly. In a third shallow dish, combine panko, grated Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Working with one cutlet at a tie, dredge in flour and shake off excess. Dip in eggs and tap gently on side of dish to remove excess. Add to panko mixture and press gently until crumbs adhere. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets (cutlets can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours).
  • Line rimmed baking sheet or large plate with 3 layers of paper towels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 cup oil until shimmering. Add 2 cutlets and fry until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Drain cutlets well on paper towel-lined plate and transfer to prepared wire rack in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 cutlets.

To serve:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss arugula salad with vinaigrette and shaved Parmesan. Serve chicken with salad, passing lemon wedges separately.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Chicken: If you’re starting with regular chicken breasts rather than cutlets, butterfly the chicken so it’s thinner (and has more surface area to coat with herby bread crumbs and Parmesan).
  2. Panko: Find these extra crispy Japanese bread flakes in boxes or canisters at most major grocery stores or Asian markets. If you prefer to make your own bread crumbs:
    • To a food processor, add torn bread pieces (work in batches if necessary). Pulse 3 or 4 times to break up the bread, then let the machine run for a few seconds for coarse crumbs.
    • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add ground bread crumbs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry and toasted, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how finely they are ground.
    • In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil until shimmering (or butter until foaming). Use 1 tablespoon of fat per 1 cup of crumbs. Add ground bread crumbs and stir until golden and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Parmesan cheese: This is one case when it’s best to invest in a wedge of cheese rather than buying it pre-grated. You’ll grate some fresh for the coating; it melts marvelously without the anti-caking agents often added to pre-shredded cheeses. Then you’ll use a vegetable peeler to slice off thin strips for the arugula salad.
  4. Yield: This Chicken Milanese makes four (4-ounce) portions of the crispy chicken, plus four side salads.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Make ahead: The cutlets can be pounded out, breaded, and stored covered in the refrigerator one day in advance. Unfortunately, they cannot easily be frozen and then reheated in a pan or oven.
  7. Pick your protein: Just as with schnitzel, you could also follow these exact same instructions to bread and pan-fry pork cutlets. Or try thinly-pounded steak for an Italian-inspired twist on another Midwestern favorite, chicken-fried steak.
  8. Select your salad: I love the way peppery arugula, tart lemon juice, and zippy Dijon mustard team up to cut through the richness of the crispy Chicken Milanese. But feel free to choose any vegetable salad or side dish you prefer and have ingredients to make. My Mediterranean Chopped Salad, Panzanella, Roasted Green Beans, and Farro Salad with Peas and Feta would also be brilliant partners for this Italian entree.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cutlet with saladCalories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 36gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 570mgPotassium: 606mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1103IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 326mgIron: 2mg
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Comments

  1. This looks tasty! Have you attempted baking this recipe (turning 1/2 way through cooking process)? I’m really curious before I attempt. Thank you for your outstanding ideas!5 stars

    1. Hi Sayrui, sorry for the delay in my response! I had to reach out to my photographer to find out where he got the plates. He thinks they are from MMclay Ceramics in San Francisco. Here’s a link: https://www.mmclay.com/

      Good luck! Thanks! -Meggan