A few special ingredients in the coating makes these Breaded Pork Cutlets the absolute best!
What Exactly Are Cutlets?
Cutlets are thin, tender cuts of meat. They could be thin cuts or regular cuts that are pounded thin.
What’s so great about cutlets? Because they’re thin, they cook in a snap. And because they’re tender, well, they’re tender!
How Do You Cook Cutlets?
Cutlets are typically breaded and fried, which is not only a yummy way to cook things, it also lends itself to many variations (like all those I mentioned above). You can set out shallow bowls or pie plates for your breading steps, or you can get fancy with handy breading trays. Then, you’ll be frying in oil at a temperature of 325 to 350°F.
So what, I wondered, would be the BEST variation of all? That’s how I came up with this one.
The Best Breaded Pork Cutlets
It uses pork, which is easy to find as boneless, skinless chops, and which are easy to pound into thin cutlets. Pork is also increasingly available as cutlets. They’re already thinly sliced and ready to cook—no pounding!
This best version also uses a basic method of coating and cooking. But I’ve added a few ingredients to the breading, and they take it from everyday to amazing. Those ingredients are Parmesan cheese, thyme, and lemon zest.
With those additions, you’ll love these cutlets as-is, with maybe a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon. But you can also serve them topped with your favorite marinara or spaghetti sauce, topped with a mushroom or cream sauce, or as a sandwich on a hero or hoagie roll (ideally, with one of those sauces and/or some sautéed peppers).
Try them and let me know if you agree—these pork cutlets are the best! :)
A few special ingredients in the breading makes these cutlets the absolute best!
- 4 (7-8 oz.) boneless pork chops or 1 and 3/4 – 2 lb. boneless pork cutlets
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 cup panko
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 lemon, zested
- About 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil, or more as needed
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Cut or pound the pork into 1/4-inch-thick cutlets (see this post for how to do it by pounding).
- In a medium shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs and milk. Combine the panko, cheese, thyme, and lemon zest in a third shallow bowl.
- Dredge a cutlet in the flour, coating it lightly on all sides. Then put it into the eggs, coating it fully. Place it into the panko. Use your fingers to mound the panko mixture on top of the cutlet, then press it to adhere. Flip and make sure all of the meat is covered in panko mixture. Place the cutlet on a large plate or platter and repeat with the remaining cutlets.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to be about 1/8-inch deep. Heat over medium until the oil is 325 to 350°F. (An easy way to check is to stick the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick in the oil—if it bubbles, the oil is ready.)
- Add 2 or 3 cutlets and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plates or a platter, sprinkle with a little more salt, and loosely cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining cutlets, wiping out the skillet and adding more oil as needed.
- Garnish with the lemon wedges and serve.