Pork Cutlets are juicy slices of pork loin coated with a unique breading. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, the allure of a perfectly cooked pork cutlet is universally appreciated.
But when combined with the robust flavors of Parmigiano Reggiano and homemade Italian breadcrumbs, this dish transcends its simple origins to become a culinary masterpiece.
Drawing on Italy’s rich gastronomic traditions, this recipe for crispy pork cutlets offers an exceptional fusion of texture and flavor.
Parmigiano, often called the “King of Cheeses,” adds depth and a hint of saltiness, while homemade Italian breadcrumbs provide a crust that is unparalleled in its crispness.
Together, these ingredients not only elevate the humble pork cutlet, but also evoke the warmth and comfort of a rustic Italian kitchen.
Let’s dive in because everyone will love these crispy pork cutlets for their crunchy, flavorful crust and the juicy softness of their meat!
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How to Make Crispy Pork Cutlets Italian Style
- Prep Time: 30 Min
- Cook Time: 15 Min
- Servings: 4
PLEASE NOTE: You can use PORK LOIN SLICES or BONELESS PORK CHOPS. Obviously the quantity depends on the size of the slice, which can vary greatly. We used fairly large slices of loin, so we calculated one each.
- 500 g (1 pound) of pork loin cut into 4 slices about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick
- 200 g (1 1/3 cups) of breadcrumbs made with a mix of stale bread, breadsticks, taralli or crackers
- 100 g (1 cup) of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 whole medium eggs
- 150 ml (2/3 cup) of milk
- fine salt
- 400 ml (1 2/3 cups) of peanut oil or Canola oil for frying
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
The most important kitchen tool we used for this recipe is definitely the frying pan. We used a rather large non-stick frying pan, which is handy because you can fry a lot of cutlets at the same time.
Very useful to remove the hot cutlets from the boiling oil are the kitchen tongs with silicon tips; they have a nice grip and are comfortable, more practical than a simple fork.
Finally, a food processor for making homemade breadcrumbs and an an electric grater for Parmigiano cheese, with accessories for vegetables and other foods as well. Or even the equally convenient hand rotary grater.
Step 1) – First prepare the pork loin slices and soak them in milk, if you can for half an hour but at least 15/20 minutes.
This step is useful for meats that are usually a bit dry, such as chicken breast and, as in this case, pork loin.
Step 2) – In the meantime, prepare the breadcrumbs. For a tasty and crunchy breadcrumbs in perfect Italian style, don’t just use stale bread but, if you can, make a mix of bread, breadsticks, taralli or crackers.
Place in a food processor and grind on full power for a few minutes until you get your preferred consistency.
For more information, tips and tricks, check out the full recipe “How to Make Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs“.
Step 3) – Place the breadcrumbs on a large plate. Grate the Parmigiano and add it to the bread. Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano cheese well so that they blend evenly. Set aside for the moment.
Step 4) – Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork. Add a pinch of fine salt. Now drain the meat slices from the milk and dip them one at a time into the beaten eggs.
Step 5) – Then place the slices in the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano. Press well with your hands so that the breading sticks completely on both sides.
How to Perfectly Pan Fry Pork Cutlets
Step 6) – Prepare all the pork loin slices in this way and set aside. Then in a large frying pan heat plenty of vegetable oil.
To know when the oil is at the right temperature, dip the handle of a wooden spoon in. If bubbles form around the handle, the oil is ready to fry your delicious treats!
Step 7) – Now pan fry your pork cutlets. Cook for about three minutes per side, until they are golden brown and crispy on both sides.
Drain the pork cutlets on paper towels to remove excess oil. Then transfer them to a serving dish and serve warm with a few lemon wedges.
Crispy Baked Pork Cutlets
If you prefer, you can even bake pork cutlets.
Bread the pork slices as described in step 5, then arrange them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Drizzle the pork cutlets with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and bake them in a preheated oven at 200°C (390°F) for 25 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking.
This is one of the best pork cutlet recipes you can make! Serve them hot, crispy and juicy!
How to Store Pork Cutlets
Like all fried foods, even pork cutlets are great if eaten right away, as soon as they are ready.
You can certainly prepare them in advance and then fry whenever you like.
Or you can freeze them. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
If they are leftover, pork milanese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. You can reheat them in the oven for 10 minutes at 200°C (390°F).
Best Side Dishes for Pork Cutlets
Pork Cutlet is a very rich and tasty second course. The ideal side dish for this recipe is some light vegetables to balance the richness of the fried cutlets.
You can combine the pork cutlets with a fresh green salad or a tomato salad. The Sicilian fennel orange salad is also very fried-friendly.
But if you match pork cutlets with richer and more elaborate side dishes, such as Zucchini Parmigiana or stuffed vegetables for example, you can also consider this as a one course dish.
Finally, even though it would be better not to pair fried dishes in order not to make the meal too heavy, gluttony often wins.
So with pan fried pork cutlets we can indulge every now and then, even to the delight of children, in the classic fried potatoes, roasted potatoes or the amazing breaded zucchini. In this way you won’t go wrong for sure!
Breadcrumbs: Bought or Homemade?
We always recommend making homemade breadcrumbs with what you have available at home.
Obviously you can buy breadcrumbs already made, but be aware it will never be as good, genuine and crispy as homemade one.
Moreover, if you make it yourself you have many benefits: you can use stale bread, sandwich loafs, breadsticks, crackers. You can flavor it according to your taste and chop it to the consistency you prefer: coarse or super fine.
With homemade breadcrumbs your recipes will taste all different! Try it!
Pork Cutlet Recipes: Some Variations
Here are some variations you can make to this traditional Italian pork cutlet recipe!
FLAVORS: If you want to add flavors we suggest for this recipe parsley and lemon zest in small quantities.
PECORINO ROMANO: For a stronger flavor, follow this cheese-crusted pork recipe step by step, replacing the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with Pecorino Romano.
SICILIAN PORK CUTLET RECIPE: In Sicily, especially in the area of Palermo, they flavor the breadcrumbs with parsley, black pepper and mint, then they add Pecorino Romano cheese. Try it!
DOUBLE BREADING: If you want a more rich and crispy result, you can do a double breading.
Dip the pork chops in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs and cheese and press down well. Then repeat the same steps a second time. Again in the egg and again in the breadcrumbs.
In this way you create a much thicker and crispier crust, as if it were a shell.
Obviously, in this case, you need to double the amount of eggs, breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano.