Easy Chicken Cutlets are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, coated in a panko and parmesan mix with a hint of garlic, then fried to golden perfection. They are easy enough to prepare any night of the week with ingredients you probably already have on hand! And, they can be made in an air fryer or baked in the oven, if preferred. Try my Mayonnaise Parmesan Chicken for another flavorful recipe that can be on the table in under 30 minutes.

Easy Chicken Cutlets on a black skillet with marinara sauce.

Customize Your Chicken Cutlets: Ingredients & Smart Substitutions

  • Chicken: Look for two boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Then, pat them dry and slice each in half horizontally for a total of 4 chicken cutlets. For easier cutting, freeze the chicken breasts for a while to make them firmer. Chicken thighs would also work. Adjust the cooking times as needed, depending on the size of each piece of chicken.
  • Flour Mixture: All-purpose flour is the first layer of the breading process. Season the flour with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Egg: Beat an egg in a second bowl or plate. It acts as a binding agent, helping the panko and parmesan stick to the chicken after it’s been dredged in flour.
  • Panko: Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that will give the chicken a light, crispy texture. Look for panko in the Asian food aisle of the grocery store. If using regular bread crumbs, the chicken will have a different texture.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a cheesy flavor to the breading. It also helps the cutlets become a golden color when fried. If you don’t have parmesan, try pecorino romano or asiago cheese.
  • Oil: Vegetable oil or canola oil are both excellent choices for deep-frying with a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. After use, the oil can be clarified to extend its life and be used again. Here is information on how to clean used cooking oil.
Easy Chicken Cutlets on a black skillet with marinara sauce.

What To Serve With Chicken Cutlets

Not only are these chicken cutlets easy to prepare, but they are also easy to pair with a variety of side dishes! Here are some delicious options to complete the meal:

One chicken cutlet on a black plate with salad on a wooden table.

Guide to Heating Oil for Crispy Fried Foods

Heat the oil over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 375°F on a candy thermometer, which usually takes 12-15 minutes. If you don’t have a candy thermometer or deep frying thermometer, use these methods to heat up the oil:

  1. Put the handle of a wooden spoon into the hot oil. The oil will start to bubble steadily when it’s good to go. If you are seeing the oil bubbling like crazy, it’s too hot and needs to cool down a bit. If there are only a few to no bubbles, it’s not hot enough.
  2. Tear off a 1-inch square of bread. Carefully put the bread into the oil. If it browns in 60 seconds, the oil is ready.
  3. Do the popcorn test (my favorite). Put a kernel of popcorn into the pan of oil as soon as you begin heating up the oil. As soon as that kernel pops, the oil is ready!

If deep-frying the chicken in separate batches, ensure that the oil is back up to 375°F before adding more chicken.

Cut in half chicken cutlet showing tender, juicy inside chicken.

Storing and Reheating Easy Chicken Cutlets

If you have any cutlets left over, store them in the refrigerator or freezer. To store:

  • To Refrigerate: Let the chicken cool completely. Then, store it in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or air fryer.
  • To Freeze: First, let the chicken cool completely. Next, store it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the chicken thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Easy Chicken Cutlets on a black skillet with marinara sauce.
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Easy Chicken Cutlets

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Discover how to make Easy Chicken Cutlets, crispy on the outside and tender inside, with this quick and foolproof recipe. Perfect for any night, these cutlets feature a delicious panko-parmesan crust and can be cooked in an air fryer or oven. Ideal for busy cooks looking for a tasty, no-fuss dinner.

Ingredients

Chicken Cutlets

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Breading

  • ½ cup (62.5 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, beaten
  • 1 cup (108 g) plain panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • parsley, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Then, slice each chicken breast in half horizontally, making a total of 4 chicken cutlets.
  • Set out three shallow plates. To the first plate, add the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • To the second plate, add the beaten egg.
  • To the third plate, add the panko and parmesan. Stir to combine.
  • Dredge the chicken cutlets into the flour mixture, tapping off any excess flour. Then, dredge them into the egg mixture, and finally into the panko mixture, making sure to coat all sides evenly. Set on a plate while you repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • To a large skillet on medium heat, add oil.* Once the oil reaches 375°F, carefully add the breaded chicken cutlets, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to work in batches. Cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until golden brown and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.

Notes

*Air Fryer & Oven Instructions
Air Fryer
  1. Follow the instructions for preparing the chicken.
  2. Place the chicken in the basket of your air fryer. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches.)
  3. Cook for 8 minutes at 400°F, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
Oven Instructions
  1. Follow the instructions for preparing the chicken. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place chicken cutlets onto the lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F and it is golden brown.
 
 

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

My picky eater loved this one! He dipped it in BBQ sauce, and I cut mine up and put it over a fresh salad. We both loved our little custom versions of this one!

Elizabeth

I love the crispiness of these chicken cutlets. They would be delicious in a sandwich, dipped in sauces, or just as-is!

Annabelle

Deliciously crispy chicken that is great on its own or added to more elements to make a whole meal!

Selena

Nice and crispy and delicious. These would be great with some dipping sauce or sliced on a salad!

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