Classic Breaded Veal Cutlets

Three golden brown breaded veal cutlets on a bed of lettuces with a lemon wedge

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
844 Calories
35g Fat
101g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 844
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 200mg 67%
Sodium 1018mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 89mg 445%
Calcium 235mg 18%
Iron 8mg 43%
Potassium 630mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 three-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.

"The cutlets were very good, and were done after about 2 minutes on each side. I used about 1/4 cup oil, or just enough to make a thin layer of oil in the pan. I used plain breadcrumbs, and following the instructions, they were perfectly breaded. They were excellent with a drizzle of lemon juice." —Diana Rattray

Classic Breaded Veal Cutlets Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 pound veal cutlets

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs or panko

  • Vegetable or canola oil for frying (enough for a shallow layer)

  • Lemon wedges, garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for classic breaded veal cutlets recipe gathered

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  2. Pat dry the cutlets and set them aside.

    Thin raw veal cutlets on a white serving platter

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  3. On a plate, combine the flour and salt.

    Flour and salt combined on a white dinner plate

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  4. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly with the water.

    Eggs and water being beaten with a fork in a shallow off-white bowl

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  5. Put the breadcrumbs or panko on another plate.

    Breadcrumbs on a an off-white 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 with flour, egg mixture, 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.

    Veal cutlet being dredged in flour

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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.

    Flour-coated veal cutlet being dipped in beaten 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 cutlet being evenly coated with 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 arranged in a single layer 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 medium-high heat. Add as many cutlets as fit in a single layer. If the cutlets get too dark, lower the heat as needed.

    Veal cutlets being fried in oil in a single layer in a frying pan

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  12. Fry the cutlets until they're golden brown on the first side for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Veal cutlets frying in hot oil, slightly browning at the edges

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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 4 to 6 minutes total. Do not overcook.

    Golden brown veal cutlets in a frying pan

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  14. Repeat with any remaining cutlets, if necessary.

    More golden brown veal cutlets in oil in a frying pan

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  15. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate or platter.

    Cooked veal cutlets degreasing on paper towels

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  16. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy.

    Breaded golden brown veal cutlets on a bed of mixed lettuces on a white plate with a lemon wedge

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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.

Recipe Variation

Serve the veal with a simple lemon, herb, and butter sauce.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Transfer any leftover cutlets to shallow covered containers and refrigerate within 2 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze, transfer the cooked breaded cutlets to a baking sheet and place it in the freezer. When frozen solid, transfer the cutlets to zip-close freezer bags or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze the cutlets for up to 3 months.

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.

How Do You Keep the Breading From Burning?

Use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and heat it until it is shimmering, or about 350 F. When the cutlets go into the pan, lower the heat to medium if the breading starts to burn. After about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, lift a cutlet with a fork to check for browning and to allow the oil to distribute evenly in the pan. Flip when the cutlet is golden brown on the bottom.

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