Quick and Easy Recipes Using Chicken Cutlets

When most people find themselves faced with no dinner plans and only a short amount of time for getting groceries, chicken is a no-brainer. It’s inexpensive, takes well to any of your favorite flavors, and can be super speedy if you go for boneless cutlets. Since plain chicken isn’t particularly delicious, go for these six flavor-packed dishes. They’re sure to become your go-to easy chicken recipes.

1. Honey-Garlic Chicken

crispy breaded chicken or pork cutlet with rice and sauce

Crispy breaded chicken or pork with sauce | iStock.com

If you enjoyed dunking chicken fingers in honey as a child, this grown-up take on the flavor combo from Damn Delicious, adapted from Rock Recipes, should be on tonight’s menu. Made with mostly pantry ingredients, all you really have to get from the grocery store is the poultry. Even if you don’t have the herbs and spices specified, you can create a tasty breading with chili powder, steak seasoning, or whatever else you have on hand.

Ingredients:

Chicken and assembly

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 up all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved crosswise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Sauce

  • ½ cup honey, plus more
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine honey, garlic, and soy sauce. Set over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with ¼ cup water. Stirring constantly, add cornstarch mixture to honey sauce. Simmer, stirring, until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine flour, thyme, oregano, paprika, and cayenne in a large bowl. Have bowl with eggs nearby.

Season chicken well with salt and pepper. Working one piece at a time, dredge chicken in seasoned flour, coat in eggs, then dredge once more in flour, making sure to evenly coat.

Working in batches of two to three pieces, cook chicken in preheated oil until golden and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken. Serve immediately with sauce.

2. 5-Minute Grilled Chicken Cutlets with Rosemary, Garlic, and Lemon

chicken with herb marinade on the grill

Grilled chicken with herbs | iStock.com

When you want tons of flavor in a tiny amount of time, grilling is the way to go. We particularly like this chicken recipe from Serious Eats because it keeps ingredients to a minimum. Feel free to play around with different citrus and herb combinations as well. Like things spicy? Add a pinch of chile flakes to the marinade.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 (5- to 7-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 8 cutlets

Directions: Light one chimney full of charcoal and let preheat. Once covered with gray ash, pour over one half of a charcoal grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and let preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half of burners on a gas grill to high, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil cooking grate. If cooking inside, preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, and olive oil to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer half of mixture to a small container and reserve. Add chicken to remaining marinade in bowl and turn to coat.

Add chicken to hot side of grill, cover, and cook, rotating pieces without flipping, until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Flip chicken and cook on second side until just done, about 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a serving platter. Whisk reserved marinade and pour over chicken. Serve.

3. Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa

avocado strawberry with chips

Strawberry and avocado salsa with chips | iStock.com

You can only eat so many strawberry desserts before you start to crave some more inventive uses for the fruit. Go for this easy chicken recipe from Cooking Light. With juicy berries, creamy avocado, and spicy jalapeños, the topping might become your new favorite salsa. It’s good for way more than chicken, too. Try adding a scoop to some fish tacos, paired with a grilled pork tenderloin, or on a turkey sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups chopped strawberries
  • ½ cup diced avocado
  • 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) chicken breast cutlets
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 lime wedges

Directions: Combine strawberries, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Carefully toss to combine.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom. Season chicken with pepper and remaining salt. Add chicken to pan and cook about 3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.

Divide chicken among four plates and top with salsa. Garnish each portion with a lime wedge and serve.

4. Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

golden, crispy breaded chicken cutlet

Breaded chicken cutlet | iStock.com

If there’s one way to make chicken with a crispy coating better, it’s adding Parmesan cheese to the mix. Taste for yourself with this quick dish from Bon Appétit. Add a salad to complete a light dinner or turn the cutlets into a hearty sandwich with some crusty bread, pesto, and sliced tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, pounded ¼-inch thick
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, halved

Directions: Place flour in a shallow bowl. Beat eggs in another shallow bowl. In a third shallow bowl, combine panko, Parmesan, and mustard powder. Season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking to remove excess. Add to egg, turning to coat, and allow excess to drip back into bowl. Coat with panko, pressing to adhere.

Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, cook cutlets, adding remaining oil between batches, until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and immediately season with salt. Serve chicken with lemon.

5. Chicken Cutlets with Cilantro-Peanut Sauce

Cilantro pesto in jars on wooden background

Cilantro pesto in a jar | iStock.com

Most of us think marinades when it comes to adding a huge dose of flavor to chicken, but the method doesn’t work if you’re seriously short on time. In these cases, making a bold sauce is the best option. Try this recipe featuring a vibrant cilantro topping from Canadian Living. The sauce even makes it taste special enough for entertaining, so consider inviting over some pals for an impromptu dinner party.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups packed fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • ⅓ cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup peanut or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thickness

Directions: Preheat a grill to medium high, close lid, and let preheat. Finely chop parsley and cilantro. Add to a bowl, then stir in peanuts, vinegar, and all but 2 teaspoons oil. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.

Oil grill grates. Brush chicken with remaining oil and season with remaining salt and pepper. Cook chicken, turning once, until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Serve with sauce.

6. Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Sauté

Close up of grilled cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes in a skillet | iStock.com

We love a good one-pan recipe, and this dish from Real Simple definitely fits the criteria. The strategy is also a great way to build flavor since the tomatoes soak up all the flavor from the chicken drippings and wine. It might feel a little incomplete on its own, but you can easily turn the entrée into a full meal by stirring in some arugula or spinach and serving it with a loaf of crusty bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds small chicken cutlets (8 to 10 pieces)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pints grape or cherry tomatoes
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Directions: Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, cook chicken until browned and fully cooked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.

Add tomatoes to same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to burst, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in scallions and tarragon. Season to taste. Serve tomatoes with chicken.

Follow Christine on Twitter @christineskopec