How To Make the Best Chicken Cutlets Even Better!

Last Updated on May 26, 2022

Who doesn’t love a chicken cutlet? It turns an ordinary piece of chicken into something rich, crunchy, and juicy. Chicken breasts are versatile enough on their own, but once you dredge them in breadcrumbs and pan fry them, well—it’s kind of like the transformation from Bruce Banner to the Incredible Hulk. They can do anything!

A Versatile Crowd-Pleaser

chicken marsala


Chicken cutlets don’t need to be relegated to crispy chicken sandwiches, although those are objectively delicious. Try them topped with an arugula salad tossed in a bright, citrusy dressing; cut them into strips and pass them off as chicken fingers to the kids; pair them with rice, pickled veggies, and hoisin sauce for a katsu-style meal.

Here’s How To Make Chicken Cutlets:

Pound: Place the chicken breasts on a flat surface covered with parchment paper.  Lay a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap over the chicken. Using a kitchen mallet or a rolling pin, pound into uniformly thick pieces—this helps them cook evenly and makes them super-versatile for serving.

Dredge, Dip, and Dredge Again: Prepare a 3-station setup for coating the cutlets. One plate with flour tossed with a little salt, one wide, shallow bowl with lightly beaten eggs (also seasoned with a bit of salt), and one plate of breadcrumbs – panko work great – seasoned any way you like. Dip both sides of the cutlets into the flour first, followed by the egg, and finally into the breadcrumbs.

What goes well with chicken cutlets?

Mixing different seasonings into the flour and breadcrumbs is a fun way to tinker with the flavor profile of your cutlets. For example!

  • Toss a little herbes de Provence into your breadcrumbs and serve the finished product with an herby salad tossed with fresh goat cheese.
  • Follow our recipe for za’atar cutlets (excellent in a pita with yogurt sauce and fresh herbs).
  • Keep it old-school Italian-American with garlic powder and parmesan.

Top Chicken Cutlet Tips

Shallow Fry: Once the cutlets are dredged, fill a high-sided saute pan or a Dutch oven with ¼-inch of oil. Turn the heat to medium and when the oil is hot and shimmering, add the cutlets in a single layer, giving them enough space in the pan to cook evenly. Cook in batches if necessary.

Keep Them Warm: Before you start cooking, line a rimmed baking sheet with a cooling rack and place in a 200°F oven. Transfer the cooked cutlets to the sheet and keep warm in the oven while you finish pan-frying.

Freeze as Needed: Breaded and cooked cutlets freeze well. So if you’re going to the trouble in the first place, freeze the extras after frying them up so that next time, all you have to do is pull them from the freezer and reheat.

Experiment: There’s an abundance of ways to serve cutlets, and once you have them in your regular repertoire, it’s time to play around and see what your family likes best!

Follow the first part of this recipe for a more detailed description of cutlet-making.

Leigh Belanger is a writer, editor, and content strategist. Her 2018 cookbook, My Kitchen Chalkboard, features a year of seasonal family dinners with menu ideas and meal planning tips to help make home cooking easier.