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.
Our Favorite Parmesan Crusted Chicken
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.
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!
Ingredients You Need
- Chicken cutlets – thinly sliced chicken breasts
- Panko bread crumbs – or plain bread crumbs, but note they will not get quite as crunchy
- Parmesan cheese – grated
- Italian seasoning – store-bought or homemade
- Garlic powder – because is it really an Italian recipe without garlic?
- Egg – beaten
- Olive oil – or your preferred neutral-tasting high heat oil
- Salt and pepper
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!
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.
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.
Snuggle these warm and crispy oven or pan-fried chicken cutlets on a large plate with your favorite carb-y sides.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Swap Panko for your favorite gluten-free unseasoned “bread” crumbs to instantly make this a GF-friendly dish.
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.
Looking for More Easy and Delicious Dinner Recipes?
- Skillet Chicken Puttanesca
- Easy Chicken Cacciatore
- Perfect Baked Chicken Thighs
- Broiled Salmon with Garlic Herb Butter
- Cheesy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
Italian Chicken Cutlets (Pan-Fried or Baked!)
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.