In my world of easy dinner prep, it doesn't get any more straightforward than Favorite Quick 'n' Easy Crispy Pork Cutlets Parmigiana.Jump to Recipe
What I know to set this method apart from some others is a quick all over oven crisp-up after skillet frying the panko-crusted cutlets. Achieving the crispiest, most flavorful Favorite Quick 'n' Easy Crispy Pork Cutlets Parmigiana is attributable to this oven step.
When I was a kid, my Mom would fib. "Pizza Pork Chops" were what I knew this dish as until I hit high school…it's quite a bit more sophisticated now.
A few weeks back, I published a post for a wonderfully simple Apricot Vinaigrette. The post wasn't so much about the salad that I prepared to highlight the vinaigrette, and certainly not about this Favorite Quick 'n' Easy Crispy Pork Cutlets Parmigiana in the photo alongside the salad. But, I still received numerous messages from readers inquiring about a good Parmesan recipe lurking in my coffers. What tomato sauce do I use? What is my "cheese of choice," Parmesan or Parmigiana-Reggiano? In a world where you've got a 50/50 chance of getting your kid to eat what you cook, recipes such as this give Mom's an edge.
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For this recipe, I like pork tenderloin. For me, it's about saving money. I buy a large one at my big box store and cut it into sections about 4-inches in length. I pound them thin using a meat mallet and freeze them for use another day. Is this sounding familiar? Think back to my Pork Scaloppine with A Warmed Tomato Ginger Sauce. Same process. When half the job is already done for you, all you need to worry about is thawing and getting creative.
Recipes for pork cutlets run the gambit. I mean, whoever was the first person to suggest pork chops with tomato sauce and cheese?
Now, I have also used boneless pork chops for this recipe. They work fabulously. Look for the thinnest boneless chops you can find at your grocer. Pound into 1/4-inch pork cutlets just as you'd do with a tenderloin. And this recipe could easily be chicken cutlets Parmigiana or veal cutlets Parmigiana also because the proteins are interchangeable. The choice of protein is really up to you.
There are however, a few key ingredients herein that I NEVER SUBSTITUTE. These include a high quality olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese, a low moisture ball mozzarella, and Panko bread crumbs. For those who asked about my tomato sauce of choice, well you may be surprised to learn that 9 times out of 10, it is a jarred store-bought vodka sauce. I find it mildly sweeter and much thicker. The biggy for me though, is that vodka sauces in general seem not to be runny and stay put atop the cutlets during the 3 to 5 minutes they're under the broiler.
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This quickie dish gets the highest recipe rating and most star values from my family. I feel sure I probably make Favorite Quick 'n' Easy Crispy Pork Cutlets Parmigiana twice every month. It's ultimately my father's favorite. This pork cutlet Parmigiana is real simple cooking that yields real simple food. Dressed up with a salad and a side of cooked pasta, these golden brown medallions of breaded Parmesan pork, wonderfully fried for just a few minutes before accepting a saucy, cheesy finish, will have you pushing away from the table entirely satisfied.
Pork Parmesan or Pork Parmigiana?
Essentially, the only difference between Parmesan and Parmigiana is the cheese. Well, and the location. Here in the US, we are way more likely to see 'Parmesan' on a restaurant menu, while over on the Continent, 'Parmigiana' reigns. But back to the cheese!
Parmesan cheese and Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese are entirely different cheeses. For our purposes, use either or use both. Just do NOT use something shaken from a can. That is something else entirely and not the best choice if we want this to be AMAZING. Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano are similar in name, but they’re actually two different kinds of cheese.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is aged from 2 to 4 years. Additionally, it can ONLY be called Parmigiana-Reggiano IF it's produced fully in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Mantova, Modena, or Bologna. Cheeses made the exact same way from the exact same recipes but which do not meet production standards in any of the aforementioned locations, are simply Parmesan.
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Pork cutlet recipes are entirely flexible. A simple meal may be enjoyed out of a fried cutlet by itself. Milanese, a style of cutlet boasting simply dressed greens placed atop, takes its place amidst healthy pork cutlet recipes. Pork cutlets baked Chasseur style, a 'hunters pork dish,' is a well known dish in France and the lower Bavaria region of Germany where the two countries border. And baked pork cutlets recipes which call for a white or a brown gravy are attributable to the Southern United States.
Try My Other Wildly Popular Cutlet Recipes For Pork And Chicken!
It's no surprise, that Italian pork cutlet recipes are top of the popularity list. Considering Italian recipes opens a big trove of dinner possibilities. A previous mention of 'pizza' earlier in this post automatically comes to mind when you think 'Italian.' I hope you will give this pork Parmesan recipe a go. It's both a fried pork cutlets Parmesan as well as a baked pork cutlets Parmesan and the merging of these two methods is KILLER in the incredible taste of the finished product. So grab your cast iron skillet and have a baking sheet at the ready and let's cook!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
- MUST: baking sheet with wire cooling rack to fit
- large heavy bottomed skillet, preferably a cast iron skillet
Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 4 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
Ingredients for Favorite Quick 'n' Easy Crispy Pork Cutlets Parmigiana
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin cut into 4 equal pieces, and at room temperature
- salt and black pepper freshly ground
- 3/4 cup unbleached flour
- 3 extra large eggs
- 3 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- olive oil for frying
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano freshly grated + additional for serving
- 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce I use Bertolli Vodka Pasta Sauce exclusively, but you should use what your family enjoys. Of course, a homemade pasta sauce is always the absolute best!
- 4 slices, 1 oz each low moisture mozzarella these slices should be about 1/4-inch thick and it's okay if they are more than 1oz each
- 12 fresh leaves basil
Fit a wire cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Pound each of the 4 pieces of pork with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. I find it cleaner to place the pieces, one at a time, into a gallon size plastic bag and pound. You are going for thin 1/4-inch cutlets. Pat dry with paper towels and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the flour in a wide shallow bowl. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs in a second dish. Combine the panko breadcrumbs, dried oregano, and dried basil in a third dish. Also season with with salt and pepper.
- One at a time, dredge cutlets in flour making sure to coat completely, shaking off excess. Next, dip into the eggs turning until all of the flour is coated, allowing excess to drip back into the dish. Lastly, press into the herbed breadcrumb mixture, turning to fully and evenly coat. Transfer to the prepares wire rack and baking sheet and let stand 15 minutes.
- In a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, heat 1/2 inch of oil over medium-high. When the oil shimmers carefully add two of the cutlets in a single layer, being careful NOT to crowd. Fry, flipping once, until golden brown all over and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer back to the prepared baking sheet lined with the wire rack. Let stand while you repeat repeat with remaining cutlets, at least 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Preheat oven broiler with a rack about 8 to 10 inches from the heat element. Top cutlets evenly with Parmigiano-Reggiano, then tomato sauce, then a single slice of mozzarella. Broil just until cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes. Top with basil and serve warm, with more tomato sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano alongside.