Ready in just 25 minutes, this is the best Italian crispy fried chicken breast recipe to make any night of the week. Juicy, tender chicken breasts get an extra flavor punch from fresh basil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese added to Panko breadcrumbs. This shallow-fried chicken is one of our family’s all-time favorite meals (plus, it’s a healthier option if you’re having a fast-food craving♡). And it’s 100% kid and adult approved.
If you love crispy chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, or Italian Chicken Milanese, you’ll want to add this seasoned breaded chicken cutlet to your list of easy weeknight dinner recipes.
This recipe is based on a tried and true client favorite recipe (classic panko-crusted chicken breast) which was almost always on the weekly menu rotation (except for my vegetarian clients). This is a versatile chicken recipe that adults love just as much as kids.
It may be because it tastes just as delicious on its own as it does with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or to make the very best Chicken Parmigiana ever. It pairs equally well with a side salad, wrapped in a fluffy piece of naan bread, or slapped on a bun to make chicken burgers or fried chicken sandwiches.
This Fried Chicken Breast Recipe is 100% Kid-Approved (And it Makes the Best Chicken Nuggets & Chicken Strips)
You can easily use filets or whole breasts (pounded out evenly) for this recipe. And even if you have fussy eaters or just want to make dinner time easier, cut the chicken into nugget-sized or chicken finger-sized pieces before breading them. This way you don’t have to worry about cutting the chicken for your kids and it’s easier for them to dip and eat.
Plus, with this recipe, you can mimic your kid’s favorite fast-food chicken but feel way better about them eating it. And while this shallow-fried chicken doesn’t use much oil for cooking, you can always make it in the air fryer or the oven.
Why We Love This Chicken Cutlet Recipe
- Super juicy, tender chicken breast cooks in just 8 to 10 minutes.
- Adults love it much as kids making for an easy fuss-free chicken dinner
- You don’t need much oil to shallow-fry this chicken
- It’s a much healthier dinner option than fast-food and it tastes better too
- You don’t have to have a food processor to make it
- Turn full chicken breast or cutlets into nuggets or strips for easy lunches
- Leftovers are delicious and free up your time throughout the week
- Make extra and use on salads, in wraps or frittatas, or to make Italian chicken sandwiches
Basil Parm Panko-Crusted Chicken Breast Filet Ingredients
Although this crispy chicken breast tastes like something you might order from your favorite Italian restaurant, it uses basic ingredients and it’s incredibly easy to make. You can substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with Grana Padano, or American Parmesan, and feel free to add extra basil if you want a stronger basil flavor.
- chicken breast cutlets, filets, or tenders
- plain Japanese Panko bread crumbs (sub favorite breadcrumbs)
- fresh basil
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (sub Grana Padano or Parmesan) (45g)
- all-purpose or 00 flour
- grapeseed oil (or another neutral oil) for frying
How to Make Basil-Parmesan Panko-Crusted Chicken Breast
If you have chicken tender lovers in your family, this is a great new way to add a little more flavor to an already delicious classic. For anyone who has kids who are helping out in the kitchen, you’ll find the step-by-step recipe photos below.
Make the basil-parm breadcrumb coating. In the bowl of a food processor add the bread crumbs and grated cheese and pulse a few times to combine, add the torn basil leaves, and pulse until the mixture is slightly green in color and the basil is finely chopped and well incorporated. Place the breadcrumb mixture into a medium bowl and set aside. *if you don’t have a food processor, just chop the basil as finely as possible and stir it into the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.
Set up the breading station. In a separate medium bowl, add the eggs and whisk well to combine until smooth and set aside. In another separate shallow bowl, add the flour and set aside.
Bread the chicken (1. flour 2. egg 3. breadcrumbs). Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip each piece into the flour being sure to cover the entire surface on all sides, and gently tap off any excess flour and slide it into the beaten eggs. Turn the chicken over to completely coat and tap it gently on the side of the bowl to remove any excess egg. Add the chicken to the panko breadcrumb mixture and using your “dry hand”, turn the chicken over to coat all sides with the breadcrumb mixture pressing down each time to ensure good coverage. Place the breaded chicken on a platter or cutting board and repeat with the remaining pieces.
Fry the chicken. Add about 1/2 inch of cooking oil to a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet and heat to medium-high. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), working in batches, gently place the chicken pieces into the pan in a single layer, salt them, and fry until golden brown on the first side. Flip them over, salt them again, and continue cooking (checking periodically with tongs for color) until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken to a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with parsley or torn basil, and a little more grated Parmigiano, and serve immediately, Enjoy!
Different Ways to Enjoy This Crispy Chicken Breast Recipe
- Drizzle it with leftover homemade béchamel sauce
- Dip it into your favorite tomato sauce or marinara
- Use it for delicious and super quick chicken and waffles (or fluffy pancakes)
- Make a crunchy chicken cobb salad or crispy chicken Caesar salad
- Make a crispy chicken wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, and your favorite dressing
- To make the best chicken parmigiana (or chicken parmesan) of your life
Looking for More Delicious Chicken or Turkey Recipes?
Here are a few of our favorite chicken and turkey recipes to make — everything from grilled chicken Caesar salad to Turkey Tinga Tacos.
- BBQ Chicken and Pork Bao Buns (Chinese Steamed Pork Buns) Bāozi 包子
- Mom’s Southern Chicken and Dumplings (100% from Scratch)
- Delicious Shawarma Seasoning (tastes great on everything)
- Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (With a Ramen Twist)
- Best Ever Chicken and Pork Meatballs (with Chicken-only Option)
- Best Ever Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (w/Homemade Caesar Dressing & Parmesan Croutons)
- Crispy Shallow-Fried Turkey Breast Cutlets (Cotoletta di Tacchino)
- Chinese Takeout Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles (a Family Favorite)
- Extra Crispy Fried Chicken Tender Crispers (crunchiest ever)
- Best Ever Chicken Dumplings Recipe (Plump & Juicy Jiaozi)
- Easy Turkey Tinga Tacos (A Perfect Way to Use Up Leftover Turkey)
- A Better Homemade Turkey Pot Pie (The Ultimate Pot Pie Recipe)
- Easy Oven-Roasted Turkey w/Shallots & Herbs
- How to Make Crispy Shallow-Fried Chicken Breast Cutlets (Cotoletta di Pollo)
- Maggie’s Famous Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
- Deli-Style Prosciutto, Turkey & Provolone Sandwich w/Sautéed Zucchini Ribbons
How to Store and Reheat Panko-Crusted Chicken Breast Filets
How to store uncooked panko-crusted chicken cutlets, nuggets, strips, or filets. Add fully breaded chicken pieces to a parchment-lined baking sheet in single layers (not touching). Pop them into the freezer until completely frozen solid and then add them to an airtight container or sealable bag with parchment, or wax paper in between slices. When ready to fry, pull them out of the freezer, uncover them, and allow them to rest at room temperature just until no longer frozen. Shallow-fry chicken in a preheated skillet with a little oil, or in an air fryer as indicated.
How to store cooked panko-crusted chicken cutlets, nuggets, strips, or filets. Allow cooked chicken to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days at 40°F /4.4°C or lower temperatures. Reheat in a pan on medium heat, in a microwave (not ideal) for a minute or 2. You may also reheat chicken cutlets at 400°F/ 205°C in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.
Basil Parm Panko-Crusted Chicken Breast Tips
- If you don’t have a food processor, simply chop the basil as finely as possible and stir it into the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.
- Maintain one “dry” hand and one “wet” hand when breading the chicken, to avoid a big goopy mess. Use one hand to dip the chicken into the flour to coat it and then add it to the egg bowl. Then use the opposite (“wet) hand to turn the chicken over in the beaten egg mixture to coat all sides, and place the chicken into the bowl or onto the platter holding the Panko bread crumbs. Then use your “dry” hand to coat the chicken with Panko.
- What are Panko Bread Crumbs and what are they made of? Panko bread crumbs are bread crumbs made from fluffy Japanese-style bread which doesn’t use crusts. This produces a lighter crumb that absorbs less oil and stays crispier once fried. They are traditionally used for Japanese dishes like Tonkatsu which is a deep-fried pork cutlet (and they’re delicious).
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