Chicken Milanese

4.67 from 6 votes
45 minutes
Jump To Recipe

Chicken Milanese is a classic Italian recipe that’s super easy to make and comes together in about 45 minutes. A simple Cherry Tomato and Arugula Salad with balsamic vinaigrette makes a bright, fresh summery side dish. All combined they make a restaurant-quality dish!

Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Cherry Tomato Salad garnished with fresh basil sprigs and lemon wedges.

What is Chicken Milanese?

Chicken Milanese is a classic Italian dish that originated in Milan, Italy and dates back to the 1100s. It is traditionally prepared with veal but has been adapted to chicken and pork in the United States.

It’s a simple dish that is breaded and fried, similar to schnitzel or Japanese katsu. In Latin American culture, it’s referred to as milanesa.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

This Chicken Milanese recipe comes together in about 45 minutes, making it perfect for a weeknight meal or date night dinner yet lovely enough for guests.

The crispy, cheesy breadcrumb coating gets an extra layer of flavor with fresh lemon zest. A simple cherry tomato salad with sweet red onion, garlic, fresh basil and balsamic vinaigrette over peppery arugula is served on the side.

Let’s make it!

One serving of Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Cherry Tomato Salad in white bowl.

How to Make Chicken Milanese with Cherry Tomato and Arugula Salad:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe along with how to prep. See the Chicken Milanese recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Chicken Cutlets: A chicken cutlet is simply a thinly sliced piece of a boneless skinless chicken breast. They’re easy to make yourself but it’s also possible to purchase them already thinly sliced. You’ll be paying a little extra for the convenience. To make them yourself, place a boneless skinless chicken breast on a flat surface. Hold the chicken breast flat with your hand, then with a sharp boning or chef’s knife, slice through it horizontally in a smooth, clean motion.
  • Italian Breadcrumbs: Also referred to as seasoned breadcrumbs, Italian breadcrumbs are fine, dry and have various dried Italian-style seasonings such as herbs, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Panko: Panko breadcrumbs have a coarse, crispy texture. They’re also known as Japanese breadcrumbs and can be found in the baking aisle with all the other breadcrumbs.
  • Arugula: Sometimes referred to as rocket, this healthful green that’s loaded with antioxidants is known for its pungent, peppery flavor. You can read more about it at WebMD.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: You may also use grape or teardrop, red or yellow.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Make the cherry tomato salad first. Combine the halved cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and black pepper to taste. Add the fresh basil and stir. Set aside while working on the Milanese recipe.
Cherry tomato salad in glass bowl.
  • Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet to drain the chicken.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cut the chicken breast halves into even cutlets. To do this, hold the chicken breast flat with your hand on your cutting board. Then with a sharp boning or chef’s knife, slice through it horizontally in a smooth, clean motion.
Four chicken cutlets on white plastic cutting board.
  • You’ll need three shallow dishes, bowls or pie plates:
    • Place the flour in one. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    • Place the eggs in the second. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    • Combine the panko, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest in the third. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge each of them in the flour, shaking off the excess.
  • Dip each of the chicken cutlets in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off. Place in the breadcrumb combination, coating each chicken cutlet well.
  • Place each cutlet on a baking sheet or another flat surface as you work. You want to get them all breaded first rather than placing each one right in the hot oil because you need to give hot oil your full attention rather than continuing to bread the cutlets.
Four prepped pieces of breaded chicken on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 2 of the cutlets in the hot oil. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through to 165 degrees in the center, adjusting the heat as necessary so the coating does not burn.
Two fried chicken cutlets in nonstick skillet.
  • Place the cutlets on the prepared rack/baking sheet and place them in the oven to keep warm.
  • Repeat with the other two cutlets.
Four pieces of fried chicken cutlets on cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
  • Place a handful of fresh arugula on a plate and top with the tomato salad.
  • Serve lemon wedges on the side with the Chicken Milanese.
Two servings of Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Cherry Tomato Salad on white plates garnished with fresh basil and lemon wedges.

Chef Tip:

  • I always drain fried food such as this Chicken Milanese recipe on a cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet so that it stays crispy. Placing any fried food on paper towels is wasteful in the first place, but because there is no air circulation under the fried food and it’s sitting in oil which the paper towels absorb, the food can become soggy.
One serving of Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Cherry Tomato Salad in white dish.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between Chicken Milanese and Chicken Parmigiana?

Although the preparation for the chicken cutlets is very similar in the way of breading and frying, Chicken Milanese is classically Italian while Chicken Parmigiana is an Italian-American dish. Chicken Parmigiana is then smothered in a marinara sauce with mozzarella cheese melted over.

Can I bake Chicken Milanese instead of frying it for a lighter version?

Yes, absolutely! Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil. Spray the paper/foil with cooking spray. Place the breaded cutlets on the prepared surface, spray the top of the cutlets with cooking spray and bake for 15-18 minutes or until cooked through to 165 degrees.

Can a Chicken Milanese recipe be made ahead?

The cutlets can be breaded 1 day in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator. 

Can you reheat Chicken Milanese?

Yes. Place in a baking dish and reheat at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it so the breading doesn’t get too dark. If that starts happening, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.

What to serve alongside a Milanese:

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Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Cherry Tomato Salad garnished with fresh basil sprigs and lemon wedges.

Chicken Milanese

4.67 from 6 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Chicken Milanese is a classic Italian dish that's super easy to make and comes together in about 45 minutes. A simple Cherry Tomato Salad with balsamic vinaigrette served over peppery arugula makes a bright, fresh summery side dish. All combine for a restaurant-quality combination!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 636 kcal

Ingredients
  

Arugula and Cherry Tomato Salad

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes - (2 cups), halved
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh basil - leaves thinly sliced (chiffonade)
  • 4 handfuls arugula

Chicken

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt - or to taste, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs - (Italian-style)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 large eggs - beaten
  • 1/2 cup olive oil - for frying
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions
 

Cherry Tomato and Arugula Salad

  • Combine the cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and black pepper to taste. Add the fresh basil and stir. Set aside while cooking the chicken.

Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Cut the chicken breast halves into even cutlets.
  • Place the flour in a bowl or shallow pan such as a pie plate. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Place the eggs in a bowl or shallow pan. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Combine the panko, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest in a bowl or shallow pan. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge each of them in the flour, shaking off the excess.
  • Dip each of the chicken cutlets in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off then place in the breadcrumb combination, coating each chicken cutlet well. Place each cutlet on a baking sheet or another flat surface as you work.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 2 of the cutlets in the hot oil. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through to 165 degrees in the center, adjusting the heat as necessary so the coating does not burn. Place the cutlets on the prepared rack/baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.
  • Repeat with the other two cutlets.
  • TO SERVE: Place a handful of fresh arugula on a plate top with chicken and tomato salad. Serve lemon wedges on the side.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  The cutlets can be breaded 1 day in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.
REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS:  Place in a baking dish and reheat at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it so the breading doesn’t get too dark. If that starts happening, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 636kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 1080mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1329IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my, I’m so sorry. Didn’t scroll down far enough to see the mixtures.. My apologies.. Still fantastic

  2. LOVE your site.. Made the chicken milanese tonight. Only problem is you didn’t say how much of each ingredient. Example, panko and the italian bread crumbs. how much of each. I went with even amounts and it turned out very good, if I do say so myself. (pat on the back) Same with the balsamic and oil for the dressing.. Googled it and went 3 parts oil and 1 part balsamic. Just saying it would be nice to know how the PRO is doing it. Salad came out great, chicken was fantastic and moist.. I thank you and keep them coming.

    1. Hi, Jack, Thanks SO very much and that means so much!! Glad you enjoyed this recipe. So sorry you were confused. I was actually a bit confused by your comment and then realized you were probably looking at the photo of all the ingredients. Above the ingredient photo is this blurb: “Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe along with how to prep. See the Chicken Milanese recipe card below for the exact quantities.” Most people don’t bother to even look at all the information in the body of the post so I love that you did! There’s a “Jump to Recipe” button at the top which will take you right to the recipe. Thank you again and I so appreciate your reading!

  3. 5 stars
    The tomatoes are absolutely delicious in this salad – kind of like caprese salad without the bread. I didn’t have arugula, so I used mixed greens, but it was still so good. I might add a sprinkle of feta or goat cheese next time, too. The chicken was fast, easy, and had a delicious crunch. I’ve never had much luck frying chicken before, but this blend of flour, crumbs, egg, and lemon zest was perfect.