Cotoletta alla Palermitana

Have you ever heard of cutlets “Palermo style” (alla Palermitana)? I hadn’t. But thanks to the blog Culinaria Italia (the blog of a Brit who lives in Puglia) I have now tried them and loved them! The Cotoletta alla Palermitana is much lighter than its cousin from Milano/Vienna (i.e. Wiener Schnitzel). Instead of breading the slice of meat with egg and breadcrumbs and then frying it in lots of oil or butter, the breadcrumbs are stuck to the slice of meat with just a bit of olive oil and then baked. And so Cotoletta alla Palermitana is a lot lighter.

The breadcrumbs are enriched with other ingredients for additional flavor. As with most Italian recipes, there are many variations. Parsley or mint? Parmigiano reggiano, pecorino, or caciocavallo? Capers? Olives? Chopped almonds? Garlic? Instead of baking it in the oven, it can also be cooked on a griddle (without any added fat). And last but not least, these yummy cutlets can be made from chicken, pork, beef, or veal. (The recipe actually reminds me of a similar recipe for fish: Pesce alla Romagnola).

I made my first Cotoletta alla Palermitana from veal, and enriched the breadcrumbs with capers, olives, parsley, garlic, and parmigiano. I didn’t use any salt or pepper because there was enough flavor in the breadcrumbs. It was so quick and easy to make and so lovely. And so light! The breadcrumbs are not extremely crunchy, but still nice. The meat was so tender and juicy. And the breadcrumbs had a great flavor without overpowering the meat. Since I was using the oven for the meat anyway, I decided to roast some potatoes, eggplant, and zucchini as sides. I put the leftover breadcrumb mixture on the zucchini, and that was wonderful as well. Thanks, Culinaria Italia! Here’s what I did…


For 2 servings

2 thin slices of veal, pork, chicken or beef (about 100 grams/3.5 oz each)

about 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

1/2 Tbsp salted capers, rinsed

1 Tbsp black olives, pitted

2 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino or caviocavallo

1/2 clove garlic

extra virgin olive oil, as needed


Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF (fan forced).

Mince the parsley, olives, capers, and garlic. The Italians use a two-handled rocker knife called a mezzaluna (half moon) for this, which is very handy indeed.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the minced mixture and the grated cheese.

Rub each slice of meat with olive oil and press the breadcrumb mixture onto the meat.

Arrange the coated slices of meat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 200ºC/400ºF (fan forced) until golden, about 10 minutes.

Serve at once.


Key Lime pie is one of my favorites, and even made with regular limes it is very tasty and great when paired with Moscato d’Asti. My version is not very traditional, but it sure is delicious.

15 thoughts on “Cotoletta alla Palermitana

  1. I really like this idea. I made a similar dish years ago and had forgotten about it until reading this. Thanks for the reminder, the veal sounds delicious


  2. Now why did I not think of putting such beautifully prepared ‘cotoletta’ in the oven instead of shaking my head over the frying and picking another recipe 🙂 ! You actually give us an indefinite number of variations – this I like too !! And I do like ‘Culinaria Italia’ – methinks we’ll read along awhile . . .


  3. Stefan, I am from Palermo and I live there. Tonight I have that cotoletta for dinner…as you can see I don’t love only “modernist cuisine”


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