A Spicy Perspective

Italian Chicken Cutlets (Pan-Fried or Baked!)

Whether you prefer chicken pan-fried or baked, this Italian Chicken Cutlets recipe is easy to prepare in under 30 minutes! It features thinly-sliced chicken breasts with delicious Italian flavors, and is perfect to pair with pasta or other Italian-inspired side dishes.

side view breaded fried Italian chicken cutlet on a plate with pasta and tomatoes and micro basil

Chicken breasts are one of those ingredients that tend to have a bad reputation… Yet everyone still seems to love them. You might have heard people say chicken isn’t exciting or it isn’t juicy enough. But yet, chicken breasts are still super popular and used in so many dishes! It’s confusing.

You see, the cut isn’t the problem; it’s all about how the chicken is prepared. Treat them right and they’re your breast friend in the kitchen!

Are chicken cutlets the same as breasts?

Yes, they sure are! Chicken cutlets are thinly sliced breasts, sometimes pounded to make even thinner. The thin cut is able to cook quickly and evenly while still staying nice and moist.

Here we’re sharing one of our favorite dishes to make with chicken breast cutlets. It’s a simple breaded chicken recipe that is packed with Italian flavors, and can be made pan-fried or oven-baked.

overhead view two plates of pasta with fried chicken breasts and cherry tomato sauce

Pan-Fried or Oven-Baked Italian Chicken Cutlets

Crispy, crunchy, juicy, and flavorful Italian Chicken Cutlets are fabulously easy to make as a quick and nearly effortless dinner. The recipe includes only a handful of classic pantry staples you probably have in your kitchen right now – like Panko and Italian seasonings.

Although I prefer to quickly pan-fry this dish, you can pop these chicken cutlets in the oven and bake them as well!

However you decide to make them, these beauties are ready in under 30 minutes (including prep). Pair them with your favorite Italian-inspired sides for a satisfying meal the entire family will love!

cut breast showing meat inside, on a plate with fork and pasta

Ingredients You Need

  • Chicken cutletsthinly sliced chicken breasts
  • Panko bread crumbsor plain bread crumbs, but note they will not get quite as crunchy
  • Parmesan cheesegrated
  • Italian seasoningstore-bought or homemade
  • Garlic powderbecause is it really an Italian recipe without garlic?
  • Eggbeaten
  • Olive oil or your preferred neutral-tasting high heat oil
  • Salt and pepper
raw thin cut breasts in Italian marinade

How to Make Crispy Italian Chicken Cutlets

Making the Marinade

The first step is to make the Italian marinade. In a gallon zip bag, combine the egg, and spices. Shake the bag to mix the seasonings into the egg.

Then add the chicken cutlets to the bag. Zip closed and shake to evenly coat the chicken. Use immediately, or refrigerate and allow the chicken to marinate for several (up to 8) hours.

Coating the Chicken

When ready to start cooking, set out a pie pan. Mix the Panko breadcrumbs with the parmesan cheese.

One at a time, dip the chicken cutlets into the panko mixture and coat well on both sides.

Then choose your preferred method of cooking below!

thin breasts coated in Italian marinade and Panko

Pan-Frying Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Next, set a large 14-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil in the skillet and once it’s hot, gently lower chicken cutlets into the skillet one at a time. Pan fry for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until the exterior is golden brown.

Once fully cooked, move the fried chicken pieces to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

large cast iron pan frying crispy chicken cutlets with Italian marinade and seasoning

Oven-Baking Crunchy Chicken Cutlets

Easily oven-fry these Italian chicken cutlets to use less oil and still have great flavor!

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Set out a rimmed baking sheet and pour the olive oil over the pan. Once the chicken cutlets are well coated in Panko, place them on a baking sheet. Then use tongs to carefully flip them over so that the Panko has been coated in oil on both sides.

Bake for 15 minutes. The top should brown, but if it doesn’t, you can place the cutlets under the broiler for one minute to reach your desired color.

finished plate of pan fried or oven baked crispy Italian chicken cutlets with pasta and cherry tomato sauce on the side

Serving Suggestions

Snuggle these warm and crispy oven or pan-fried chicken cutlets on a large plate with your favorite carb-y sides.

They are perfezione paired with spaghetti or other pastas, and a delicious balsamic cherry tomato sauce or simple marinara.

Or serve alongside low(er) carb zucchini noodles (zoodles!), oven roasted potatoes with pesto, or a refreshing and hearty caprese panzanella.

overhead view of finished plate with crunchy Panko Italian breasts cut thin, on a plate with spaghetti and cherry tomato sauce on the side

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this recipe be made with whole chicken breasts?

It can, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time. I suggest that you pound the breasts to make them as thin as possible, and then coat them in the marinade and breading. Pan-fry the Italian chicken breasts for 8-10 minutes on each side, until no longer pink on the inside. Or bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts. Again check for doneness (the internal temp should be at least 165 degrees) and serve warm.

How do I make gluten-free pan or oven-fried chicken cutlets?

Swap Panko for your favorite gluten-free unseasoned “bread” crumbs to instantly make this a GF-friendly dish.

How long do leftovers last?

Let the cutlets cool completely before transferring to an airtight container, and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat by baking in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes, until warm. You can microwave to reheat, but the breaded Italian chicken won’t have the same delightful crunchiness.

Pan or oven-fried chicken cutlets also freeze well! Transfer cooled pieces to a freezer-safe airtight container (like a plastic zipper bag), and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or use the defrost function in the microwave. Then bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until hot.

final shot showing Italian chicken cutlet cut into with a fork on a plate, spaghetti and cherry tomato sauce on the side

Looking for More Easy and Delicious Dinner Recipes?

Italian Chicken Cutlets (Pan-Fried or Baked!)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Pan-fried or baked, this fabulously easy recipe makes crispy delicious Italian chicken cutlets in under 30 minutes! Pair with pasta or your fave Italian sides.
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

For the Italian Chicken Marinade –

  • In a gallon zip bag, combined the egg, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Shake the bag to mix the seasoning into the egg. Then add the chicken cutlets to the bag. Zip closed and shake to coat the chicken. Use immediately, or refrigerate and allow the chicken to marinate for several hours.
  • When ready to cook, set out a pie pan. Mix the Panko breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese. One at a time, dip the chicken cutlets into the Panko mixture and coat well on both sides.

For the Pan-Fried Italian Chicken Cutlets –

  • Set a large 14 inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place the olive oil in the skillet. Once the oil is hot, gently lower the chicken cutlets into the skillet. Pan fry for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until the exterior is golden brown. Once fully cooked, move to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Serve warm.

For Baked Italian Chicken –

  • Preheat the oven to 400°.F. Set out a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the olive oil over the pan. Once the chicken cutlets are well coated in Panko, place them on a baking sheet. Then flip them over so that the Panko has been coated in oil on both sides.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. The top should brown, but if it doesn’t, you can place the cutlets under the broiler for one minute to reach your desired color. Serve warm.

Notes

To store leftovers: Let the cutlets cool completely before transferring to an airtight container, and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat by baking in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes, until warm. You can microwave to reheat, but the breaded Italian chicken won’t have the same delightful crunchiness.
Pan or oven-fried chicken cutlets also freeze well! Transfer cooled pieces to a freezer-safe airtight container (like a plastic zipper bag), and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or use the defrost function in the microwave. Then bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 266mg, Potassium: 213mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 153IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 127mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

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2 comments on “Italian Chicken Cutlets (Pan-Fried or Baked!)”

  1. I’m very curious why you add egg to the marinade and not use it later in the coating process? 

    • Hi Claudia,

      Technically you are using it to coat the chicken. It’s the “glue” that allows the breading to stick… We’re just adding the chicken to it early to reduce unnecessary steps.