Try these family-friendly dishes when you need fresh dinner ideas.

By Laura Rege
October 20, 2020
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buffalo chicken sandwiches
Credit: Armando Rafael

We're always looking for quick, creative dinners to mix up your weeknight repertoire. One unsung hero that we come back to time and again is the breaded chicken cutlet. Crispy on the outside and always so tender in the center, cutlets cook quickly in a frying pan or in the oven and are ready to be topped or sliced and incorporated into a variety of different meals. Fast, flavorful, and easy on the budget, give these ideas a try for versatile dinners made with breaded chicken cutlets.

Fried Chicken Sandwiches

Thinner than chicken breasts, cutlets are the perfect thickness for sandwiches; the breaded outside adds a wonderful crunch, too. Just cut each piece in half so it fits between a bun. Layer in one half for a respectable sized bite or double decker both for a mouthful everyone will gobble up. Start with our Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches then adapt for your favorite flavors—chicken Parmesan and ranch are just two more ideas to start with.

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Tacos

Who needs a crispy taco shell when you can stuff the taco with crispy chicken? It really doesn't take much to turn a breaded cutlet into a taco ready filling; just thinly slice and stuff into a tortilla. Then, dollop with your favorite guacamole and pico de gallo. Let our Chicken Taco recipe be your guide. Other fixings to think about are beans, cheese, salsa, lettuce, and tomato, but you can use whatever your family loves most. 

crispy chicken cutlets
Credit: Courtesy of Marcus Nilsson

Top with a Salad

Rather than chicken in a salad, why not make a salad on chicken? Lively green arugula dressed with tart lemon is the perfect complement to crispy fried cutlets—try it in our Crispy Chicken Cutlets recipe and you'll be wowed. The acidity from the dressing cuts through the richness and makes each bite irresistible. Also try topping cutlets with your favorite greens, like romaine or iceberg, and a zesty vinaigrette. Don't forget to serve a chicken cutlets salad with a fork and knife.

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Use your cutlets for a quick chicken Parmesan.

Chicken Parmesan

We'd be remiss not to include chicken parmesan. Recipes vary from household, but ultimately if you have cooked cutlets, a good marinara sauce, mozzarella, some Parmesan, and basil, you're well on your way to chicken parm. For a fast recipe, try this Chicken Parmesan, which uses baked chicken cutlets. A bonus is that these baked cutlets can also be assembled and frozen for quick and easy freezer dinners.

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Mix Up the Breading

Don't limit yourself just to panko or plain breadcrumbs as the breading for your chicken cutlets. This Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe uses a white bread and Parmesan crust which is rather addictive. What goes well in the breading? Try spices like paprika, cumin, or a pinch of cayenne for heat, herbs like basil, thyme, or parsley, or add in your favorite shredded cheese. Alternatively, skip the breadcrumbs altogether; matzo makes an unexpected crispy coating or try oat breading for those who are steering clear of bread.

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