Chicken Cutlet with Creamy Lemon Orzo

Main Dishes

Chicken Cutlet + Creamy Lemon Orzo

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Prep

15 minutes

Cook

40 minutes

Yield

4

This Chicken Cutlet recipe pairs crispy cutlets with creamy lemon orzo. It's an easy, delicious recipe that's perfect for summer.

This Chicken Cutlet recipe with creamy lemon orzo is a delicious summer dinner that you’re going to love. There is something about a crispy chicken cutlet paired with a creamy pasta that just makes everything better. This dish is great for summer, or any time of year. It can be put together quickly, and looks (and tastes) like a gourmet meal.

Chicken cutlet on plate with orzo

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Chicken Cutlet Recipe

  • Easy: Chicken cutlets are really easy to make, and they literally make chicken taste 100 times better. I love the crispy crunch
  • Quick: Make this gourmet meal in under an hour
  • Versatile: You can swap the orzo and make a risotto, or pasta, or just make the chicken cutlets on their own to add to bowls, salads, or as a side

🍲 Ingredients

Chicken Breast – Chicken breasts are a lean source of protein and the best cut of chicken for cutlets because you can easily slice them into multiple thin cutlets, pound them down with a mallet, and voila!

Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are key to making the crispy coating on the Chicken Cutlet. You can usually find breadcrumbs in the aisle with bread products or the baking aisle. You can also make your own by toasting up bread and smashing it down until fine and small.

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Orzo – Despite its rice-like shape, orzo is actually a small pasta variety. It is really versatile and can be used in salads, in place of rice with a dish, and so much more.

Close up of chicken cutlet

👩‍🍳 How to Make Chicken Cutlets

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cook the orzo in a pot of boiling water to al dente, drain and set aside.
  3. Slice the chicken breasts in half. Then add a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a cutting board, add a piece of the chicken and cover it with another piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts to about ½ inch thickness. Season each piece of chicken well with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Make the breading: in a shallow bowl mix together the 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp breadcrumbs, shredded parmesan cheese, minced dill, minced chives, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Season the chicken breasts well with salt and pepper. In another bowl whisk the egg and set aside.
  5. Bread the chicken by dipping pieces of chicken one at a time in the whisked egg and letting any excess egg drip off. Then dunk into the breadcrumbs mixture, pressing gently to adhere the breadcrumbs to each side of the chicken breasts. Add each breaded chicken breast to the parchment lined sheet pan. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray.
  6. Bake the chicken for 22-26 minutes or until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through to 165F.
  7. While the chicken is baking, prep the ingredients for the orzo. And, make the herb garnish by mixing together the fresh minced herbs, 2-4 tbsp olive oil and pinch salt and pepper, set aside.
  8. Once the chicken is done cooking, set aside and finish the orzo by using a medium frying pan and adding olive oil over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the shallot and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. Add the chicken broth, cream and cooked orzo. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the salt, pepper and lemon zest, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Finally stir in the 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust with more salt and pepper if desired.
  9. Serve by dividing the orzo between 4 plates along with 1 cooked chicken cutlet each. Drizzle some of the herb garnish over each piece of chicken and garnish with halved cherry tomatoes if desired.

🪄 Tips and Tricks


🗒 Substitutions

  • Parmesan Cheese: If you want to keep these Chicken Cutlets dairy-free, you can swap the parmesan cheese with 2 tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • Gluten Free: Make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs


🗒 Best served with

👝 How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers of this recipe in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It can be great to meal prep and portion out for quick lunches all week.

🤔 Common Questions

Can you use chicken thighs to make chicken cutlets?

Absolutely! I find the shape doesn’t make the prettiest of cutlets, but they still taste great.

Do I have to fry chicken cutlets?

Nope! You can either fry chicken cutlets in a pan of oil or you can bake them for a healthier alternative.

Chicken cutlet on plate with orzo

Chicken Cutlet & Creamy Lemon Orzo

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This Chicken Cutlet recipe pairs crispy cutlets with creamy lemon orzo. It's an easy, delicious recipe that's perfect for summer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American-Inspired
Servings 4
Calories 431 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, halved to make 4 pieces
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 egg

For the orzo

For the herb garnish

  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped herbs (mix of fresh basil, fresh mint, chives and/or dil)
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
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Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cook the orzo in a pot of boiling water to al dente, drain and set aside.
  • Slice the chicken breasts in half. Then add a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a cutting board, add a piece of the chicken and cover it with another piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken breasts to about ½ inch thickness. Season each piece of chicken well with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Make the breading: in a shallow bowl mix together the 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp breadcrumbs, shredded parmesan cheese, minced dill, minced chives, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Season the chicken breasts well with salt and pepper. In another bowl whisk the egg and set aside.
  • Bread the chicken by dipping pieces of chicken one at a time in the whisked egg and letting any excess egg drip off. Then dunk into the breadcrumbs mixture, pressing gently to adhere the breadcrumbs to each side of the chicken breasts. Add each breaded chicken breast to the parchment lined sheet pan. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray.
  • Bake the chicken for 22-26 minutes or until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through to 165F.
  • While the chicken is baking, prep the ingredients for the orzo. And, make the herb garnish by mixing together the fresh minced herbs, 2-4 tbsp olive oil and pinch salt and pepper, set aside.
  • Once the chicken is done cooking, set aside and finish the orzo by using a medium frying pan and adding olive oil over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the shallot and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. Add the chicken broth, cream and cooked orzo. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the salt, pepper and lemon zest, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Finally stir in the 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust with more salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve by dividing the orzo between 4 plates along with 1 cooked chicken cutlet each. Drizzle some of the herb garnish over each piece of chicken and garnish with halved cherry tomatoes if desired.

Notes

  • Add a salad to complete this meal like our Maroulosalata aka my Mamas Salad or Greek Cabbage Salad
  • This recipe would also be delicious to meal prep and package into single serving meal prep containers for the week ahead!
  • If you don’t want to use parmesan cheese, substitute with 2 tbsp breadcrumbs.
  • Make this gluten free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Nutrition

Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.7g | Protein: 41.1g | Fat: 15.2g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7.3g | Cholesterol: 153.6mg | Sodium: 1601.5mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2.8g
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