Classic Breaded Veal Cutlets

Classic breaded veal culets

The Spruce 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Breading and pan-frying veal cutlets is a classic and delicious way of preparing veal. The result is perfectly coated, browned, and tender veal cutlets that are easily made with a simple 3-step process: The veal is dipped into flour, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs, assuring a crispy coating. The cutlets are then shallow-fried in oil until golden on the outside and tender on the inside. They are particularly winning with a simple arugula salad, but these veal cutlets can be paired with almost anything, especially with a few lemon wedges on the side.

Many people have eschewed veal in recent years due to concerns of animal cruelty; however, there do exist farmers who raise young calves without cages or confinement. The resulting meat is called "red veal" or "vitello," two names used to differentiate such veal from the white-colored veal from confined calves.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound veal cutlets
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs or panko
  • Vegetable or canola oil for frying (enough for a shallow layer)
  • Garnish: lemon wedges

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for classic breaded veal
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  2. Pat dry the cutlets and set them aside.

    Slice veal cutlets
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  3. On a plate, combine the flour and salt.

    Flour and salt on a plate
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  4. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly with the water.

    Whisked eggs
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  5. Put the breadcrumbs or panko on another plate.

    Breadcrumbs on plate
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  6. Line the plates and bowl in order from left to right: flour, egg, breadcrumbs (right to left if you're left-handed). Set a platter or baking tray at the end of the line, after the breadcrumbs.

    Plates of flour, eggs and breadcrumbs lined up
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  7. Dredge the cutlet on both sides in the flour to coat it thoroughly; shake off any excess.

    Breaded veal cutlet on a plate
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  8. Dip it in the egg so it is completely covered and lift it out so the excess egg can drip off.

    Veal cutlet dipped in egg
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  9. Lay the cutlet in the breadcrumbs, covering it on both sides, gently pressing the crumbs onto the surface of the cutlet.

    Veal cutlets dipped in breadcrumbs
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  10. Set the cutlet on a baking sheet or platter and repeat with the remaining cutlets, placing in one layer without touching.

    Breaded veal cutlets on a baking sheet
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  11. Heat a shallow layer of oil in a wide, high-sided frying pan or similar vessel over high heat. Add as many cutlets as fit in a single layer.

    Veal cutlets frying in oil
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  12. Fry the cutlets until they're golden brown on the first side for 4 to 5 minutes.

    Veal cutlets frying
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  13. Turn them over and cook them until they're golden brown on the other side and cooked through. Cooking time should be 8 to 10 minutes total. Do not overcook.

    Veal cutlets frying
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  14. Repeat with any remaining cutlets, if necessary.

    Veal cutlets frying in a pan
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  15. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or platter.

    Fried veal cutlets on a paper towel
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  16. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy.

    Veal cutlets on a plate with lemon wedges
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Breading Tips

Breading the cutlets will be decidedly less messy if you use one hand to handle the cutlets when they're wet and the other to touch them when they're dry. Use one hand (this will be the wet hand) to pick up a cutlet and set it in the flour, and the other hand (the dry hand) to tap flour all over it and lift it out; use the same hand to place the veal into the egg. Transfer it back to the wet hand to move it around, and lift it out of the egg before setting in on the breadcrumbs. Then use the dry hand to pat breadcrumbs on the cutlet and transfer it to the baking tray.

How Do I Keep Veal From Getting Tough?

Veal is a lean type of meat so it can easily become chewy and tough if overcooked. Make sure to only fry the cutlets until golden and crispy on each side. You can check the doneness with a meat thermometer; it should read 160 F for medium. If you don't have a thermometer, cut into the center of one piece—medium cooked veal will be light pink.

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