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Parmesan Crusted Chicken (also known as “Chicken Milanese”) is pounded flat, dredged in seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese, and then pan fried until crispy and golden brown. It’s a simple, flavorful, and delicious dinner that comes out perfectly every time. Serve the Italian chicken breast cutlets with lemon wedges, a green salad, sauteed spinach, garlic bread, or pasta for a satisfying, family-friendly meal.

Overhead shot of parmesan crusted chicken breast on a dinner plate on a green table

Chicken Milanese

Almost every culture has its own version of the breaded and fried chicken cutlet — because this easy, quick-cooking dish is so darn good. Parmesan crusted chicken (or Chicken Milanese), with its herb seasoned breadcrumb and Parmesan coating, is the Italian version of this classic dish. Similarly, Germany has schnitzel, the American South has fried chicken cutlets and gravy, Latin America has chicken milanesa, and Japan has katsu. No matter the cuisine, the end result is always simple, flavorful, and delicious!

Pounding chicken breast flat with a meat mallet

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for parmesan crusted chicken. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Chicken breast: you’ll need two large boneless skinless chicken breasts that you cut in half lengthwise, or four smaller chicken breasts. You can pound them flat into cutlets, or purchase thinly-sliced chicken cutlets at the store for a shortcut.
  • All-purpose flour: to dredge the chicken and help the coating adhere.
  • Eggs: help the bread crumbs adhere to the chicken.
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs: I use these Italian style seasoned breadcrumbs, which add great flavor to the dish. You can substitute with plain breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs that you season yourself, if you prefer.
  • Parmesan cheese: finely grated cheese works best for this breading. You can grate it yourself at home, or even use the canned stuff in a pinch!
  • Parsley: chopped fresh herbs add flavor and color to the chicken.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to season the flour and enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Oil: use a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil, to pan-fry the chicken cutlets. Olive oil works, too!
  • Butter: combines with the oil for pan-frying the chicken. The oil provides the higher smoke point, while the butter adds great flavor. I use salted butter, but unsalted butter is also fine.
Dredging chicken cutlets in seasoned breadcrumbs

How to Make Parmesan Crusted Chicken

This simple chicken cutlet recipe looks and tastes like a restaurant-quality dinner, but it’s made with just a handful of kitchen staples. With a tender inside and a crispy crust, chicken milanese is the perfect way to mix up your regular, boring meal routine!

  1. Halve the large chicken breasts lengthwise, place between two pieces of plastic wrap, and use a meat mallet to pound to an even ¼-inch thickness.
  2. Dredge the chicken cutlets in seasoned flour in a shallow bowl, dip in egg, and then coat in the seasoned breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture.
  3. Place the coated chicken on a plate and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, if time allows.
  4. Working in batches, cook the chicken in butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm in a 200°F oven while you finish frying the remaining cutlets.
  6. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges, and serve!
Pan frying chicken cutlets in a cast iron skillet

What to Serve with Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Chicken Milanese goes well with a variety of sides. Here are some easy options:

Side shot of a plate of chicken milanese on a dinner table

Make Ahead

You can bread the chicken and keep the cutlets wrapped tightly in the fridge for up to 1 day. I do not recommend freezing the breaded chicken before frying.

Storage

This parmesan chicken is best when served warm, immediately from the oven. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but the chicken will get soggy as it sits. You can also freeze the cooked chicken in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Overhead shot of a plate of chicken milanese

Chicken Milanese Recipe Variations

  • If you don’t have very large chicken breasts to cut in half lengthwise, then use 4 smaller chicken breasts that you pound flat (no halving necessary).
  • I use these Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can substitute with plain breadcrumbs or panko bread crumbs. If using plain breadcrumbs, I recommend seasoning with some herbs, garlic powder, and onion powder (or just use Italian seasoning) to add some flavor to the coating.
  • Cooking just for two? Cut all of the ingredients in half and prepare only 2 small chicken cutlets. This is faster, because you don’t have to worry about pan frying multiple batches.
  • Instead of chicken, use pork tenderloin (that you pound flat) or veal cutlets.
Close up side shot of parmesan crusted chicken on a plate with lemon and salad greens

Tips for the Best Parmesan Crusted Chicken Recipe

  • For a shortcut, look for “thin-sliced chicken breasts” or “chicken cutlets” in the meat section at the grocery store. This will save you the step of pounding your chicken flat.
  • If available, use freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture. In a pinch, a can of pre-grated Parmesan will work fine!
  • Shake off excess flour, egg, and breading to prevent the chicken from getting soggy instead of crispy.
  • Cook the chicken in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cooking too many cutlets at once causes the meat to steam rather than fry, brings down the temperature of the oil and butter, and therefore prevents that ideal crispy exterior.
  • If the chicken starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium low so that the meat cooks through before the breading burns.
  • Garnish the chicken with chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, or rosemary, and fresh lemon juice or lemon wedges for a bright, colorful, finishing touch.
Close overhead shot of pan fried chicken cutlet on a white plate

More Chicken Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of parmesan crusted chicken breast on a dinner plate on a green table

Parmesan Crusted Chicken {Chicken Milanese}

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Chilling Time 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 365 kcal
Parmesan Crusted Chicken (also known as "Chicken Milanese") is pounded flat, dredged in seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese, and then pan fried until crispy and golden brown!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • Optional garnish: additional chopped fresh parsley; lemon wedges

Instructions

  • Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place each half of a chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet to ¼-inch thickness.
  • Place flour in a shallow bowl. Season the flour with about ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper; stir to combine.
  • Place the eggs in a separate shallow dish.
  • In a third shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.
  • Working with one chicken breast at a time, dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in the egg, shaking off any excess again. Finally, dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, coating evenly on both sides.
  • Place the coated chicken on a plate and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, if time allows.
  • Preheat oven to 200°F.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan, add the chicken to the skillet and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining chicken.
  • Repeat the cooking process in the skillet with the remaining oil, butter, and chicken breasts.
  • Garnish with additional chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges; serve.

Notes

  • If you don’t have very large chicken breasts to cut in half lengthwise, then use 4 smaller chicken breasts that you pound flat (no halving necessary).
  • I use these Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can substitute with plain breadcrumbs or panko bread crumbs. If using plain breadcrumbs, I recommend seasoning with some herbs, garlic powder, and onion powder (or just use Italian seasoning) to add some flavor to the coating.
  • Cooking just for two? Cut all of the ingredients in half and prepare only 2 small chicken cutlets. This is faster, because you don’t have to worry about pan frying multiple batches.
  • Instead of chicken, use pork tenderloin (that you pound flat) or veal cutlets.
  • For a shortcut, look for “thin-sliced chicken breasts” or “chicken cutlets” in the meat section at the grocery store. This will save you the step of pounding your chicken flat.
  • If available, use freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture. In a pinch, a can of pre-grated Parmesan will work fine!
  • Shake off excess flour, egg, and breading to prevent the chicken from getting soggy instead of crispy.
  • Cook the chicken in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cooking too many cutlets at once causes the meat to steam rather than fry, brings down the temperature of the oil and butter, and therefore prevents that ideal crispy exterior.
  • If the chicken starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium low so that the meat cooks through before the breading burns.
  • Garnish the chicken with chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, or rosemary, and fresh lemon juice or lemon wedges for a bright, colorful, finishing touch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1breaded cutletCalories: 365kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 33gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 552mgPotassium: 528mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 477IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: chicken milanese, parmesan crusted chicken
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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