Cook an Italian restaurant-quality dinner for your family on a budget with this easy and flavorful 30-minute chicken Milanese recipe. Breaded chicken cutlets are pan-fried until golden and crispy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside, then served with a lemon arugula salad with fresh shavings of aged Parmesan!
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A Classic Italian-Inspired Recipe
I love sharing new and exciting chicken breast recipes to remind us all that there’s no need to always go back to the same old thing just because it’s easy. I’m going to let you in on a little secret…all of my recipes are easy!
And easy doesn’t have to mean boring! This chicken Milanese recipe is an Italian-inspired dish that is simple to prepare yet it has layers of incredible flavors. It’s basically the Italian version of a German chicken schnitzel.
Made with just 5 minutes of prep time and ready to serve in 30 minutes, it’s one you’re going to want to add to your dinner menu at least once a week! The entire family will love it and you’ll have a new and impressive recipe in your back pocket for when you’ve got dinner guests coming!
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy and impressive. Chicken Milanese chicken breast is one of those 30-minute dinner ideas that works for quick weeknight meals and impressing dinner guests. Chicken francese and Parmesan ranch chicken, are two more that check those boxes!
- Versatile. Some people even add sauce and mozzarella on top and use it to make another popular Italian chicken dish, baked chicken parmesan!
- Pairs with many sides. It’s traditionally served with a citrusy arugula salad topped with Parmesan shavings, but you’re welcome to add your spin on it! Add different vegetables, a side of mashed potatoes, or pasta instead.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Chicken breasts: Use about 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts. You’ll cut them both in half to make 4 cutlets.
- Flour: Used as the first layer in the dredging process, a coating of flour helps to absorb excess moisture on the surface of the cutlets and it helps the egg to adhere to the outside.
- Large eggs: This is the second layer. The flour-coated chicken gets dipped in the eggs which acts as an adhesive for the breadcrumbs. All of the layers help keep the inside protected from the hot oil and keep it tender.
- For the breading: Panko, grated Parmesan, fresh chopped parsley, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. The final top coat gives it a nice crispy finish, and golden brown color, as well as tons of flavor!
- Olive oil: Used to pan-fry the breasts. Olive oil is great because it’s not only non-hydrogenated but it can withstand high heat.
- For the salad: Arugula, Olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano come together to add a vibrant citrusy component to this dish. The shaved sharp cheese adds a layer of sophistication!
There are simple substitutions that can be made that will still result in an amazing chicken Milanese. For example, using breadcrumbs instead of Panko breadcrumbs for a different texture. Or swapping the olive oil for avocado oil or vegetable oil for cooking.
Then, there are changes to the dish that you can make to reinvent it every time you make it! For example, veal or pork Milanese is also delicious!
How to Make Chicken Milanese
- Prepare the cutlets. On a cutting board reserved for raw meat, use a sharp knife to slice each breast in half to make 4 thin slices. Cover them with plastic wrap and use a rolling pin or meat mallet to pound them to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Dredge in flour. Set up the dredging station with 3 shallow bowls. The first will have the flour, the second, the whisked eggs, and the third, the breadcrumbs and seasoning. Use a fork or tongs to dip one cutlet into the flour and shake off the excess.
- Then the eggs. Then, dip the flour-coated cutlet into the egg mixture and allow any excess to drip off.
- Now the breadcrumbs. Last, press the piece of chicken into the Panko mixture combined with Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, and pepper so that the crumbs stick to the outside. Flip it and coat the other side with crumbs as well. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken.
- Cook and rest. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook 2 breasts at a time for 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway. Once golden brown and cooked through with an internal temperature of 165°F, transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Rest and serve. Repeat with the remaining pieces, as you’ll want to cook them in batches. Let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing and enjoy your chicken Milanese with a zesty arugula salad and extra lemon wedges on the side!
- Freshly grated cheese. There are just some recipes worth investing in quality ingredients and chicken Milanese is one of them. Grating your own Parmesan from a wedge and using quality Parmigiano-Reggiano to grate your shavings makes all the difference in flavor!
- Cook your meat in batches. You don’t want to overcrowd your pan, otherwise, the cutlets won’t brown evenly on all sides.
- If you notice the chicken is browning too quickly on the outside, turn down the heat immediately.
- Keeping chicken warm. While the first pieces wait for the remaining pieces to cook, keep them warm in the oven at 200°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack sprayed with non-stick oil. That way the bottom of the chicken Milanese won’t become soggy.
- Let the chicken Milanese rest before serving so the juices don’t run out and leave them dry.
Chicken Milanese is a version of breaded chicken cutlets originating in Milan, Italy. Milanese-style cutlets are coated in flour, egg, and well-seasoned breadcrumbs for a golden crunchy outside and a tender juicy inside.
Instead of cooking the cutlets in oil, you’ll spray the cutlets with olive oil spray and add the breaded chicken to a preheated 400°F air fryer, 2 at a time. Arrange them in a single layer, being careful that they don’t overlap in the air fryer basket. Cook for 10-11 minutes, flipping halfway.
This is usually because the temperature of the oil isn’t where it needs to be. The best way to tell is by using a thermometer.
It needs to be hot enough before adding the chicken. If it’s not, the chicken Milanese will soak up too much of the oil as it cooks for even longer.
You also need to remember not to overcrowd the pan. Doing so, lowers the temperature of the oil, resulting in the same issue.
You can prepare the chicken Milanese in all of the coatings, up until they’re covered in Panko bread crumbs. Then, wrap them in plastic wrap and keep them refrigerated for up to 1 day.
Bring the cutlets to room temperature before adding to the hot oil.
Any one of these side dishes would be a great addition to chicken Milanese!
Keep any leftover chicken Milanese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For easy reheating, you can use the microwave, but to get a little crispness back, I recommend using the air fryer or the oven.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes
Chicken Milanese Recipe
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour , or almond flour
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup panko
- ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 1 lemon , zested
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil , plus more as needed
- 2 bunches arugula
- 3-4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon , juiced
- Kosher salt , to taste
- Ground black pepper , to taste
- Parmigiano-Reggiano , thinly shaved
For serving: Lemon slices
- On a cutting board, slice each chicken breast, lengthwise, into 2 pieces, making 4 pieces total. Cover chicken with plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin or flat side of a meat mallet, pound evenly to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place flour in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, whisk eggs together until well beaten.
- In a third shallow dish, stir together panko, parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Using a fork or tongs, dredge 1 breast in flour and shake off excess. Dip in eggs and gently remove any excess on side of dish. Press lightly in panko mixture until crumbs stick, turn over and repeat. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.
- In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, 2 breasts at a time if necessary, and cook 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Reduce temperature slightly if browning too quickly. Flip and continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and center registers 165°F on a digital thermometer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- In a large bowl, toss together arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until well coated. Top with Parmigiana-Reggiano slices.
- Serve chicken with salad and lemon slices on the side.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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