As most of you who have been reading my website know,  I was raised in an Italian household. This was one of my favorite dishes growing up, so today I converted it to an air fryer recipe. I present to you my Air Fryer Chicken Milanese.

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese

If you don’t know what Chicken Milanese is, it’s a breaded chicken cutlet with an easy and healthy but quick sauce that is ladled on top. 

So, if you want a quick and delicious meal ready in minutes, this is one of my favorite weeknight meals.

If you are looking for other great air fryer chicken recipes, here are some of my favorites: AIR FRYER COPYCAT KFC FRIED CHICKEN, AIR FRYER BOURBON CHICKEN, AIR FRYER CRISPY CHICKEN THIGHS and of course one of my true favorites, and such a simple and easy weeknight meal, AIR FRYER LOADED BBQ CHICKEN NACHOS.

What Is Chicken Milanese?

Chicken Milanese, or “Pollo alla Milanese,” is a classic Italian dish that features chicken breast coated in breadcrumbs and then pan-fried until golden and crispy. This dish is a variation of the traditional “Cotoletta alla Milanese,” which typically uses veal cutlets. The chicken version offers a lighter but equally delicious alternative, maintaining the essence of the original dish with a simple yet flavorful preparation method.

The process involves tenderizing the chicken to an even thickness, which not only ensures uniform cooking but also tender meat. The chicken is then seasoned, dredged in flour, dipped in beaten eggs, and coated with breadcrumbs. This triple-layer coating creates a satisfyingly crunchy exterior while keeping the inside moist and juicy. The breaded chicken cutlets are then fried in oil until they achieve a beautiful golden brown crust.

Chicken Milanese is often served with a wedge of lemon on the side, offering a bright burst of acidity that complements the richness of the fried chicken. It can also be accompanied by a variety of sides, such as a simple arugula salad, roasted vegetables, or a tangy tomato sauce, making it a versatile dish that can be adapted to different tastes and occasions.

Elegant in its simplicity, Chicken Milanese has become popular beyond Italy, celebrated for its crispy texture, flavorful coating, and the comforting satisfaction it brings to the table. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of Italian cuisine, where quality ingredients and straightforward techniques come together to create dishes that are both delicious and timeless.

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese

Why You Will Love Making Chicken Milanese In Air Fryer

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese is a dish that effortlessly marries convenience with gourmet flavors, making it an instant favorite for a multitude of reasons:

  • Healthier Option: Embracing the air fryer means achieving that desired crispy, golden exterior without needing deep frying. Enjoy the decadent taste of fried chicken with significantly less oil and fat, making it a healthier choice for your meal rotations.
  • Quick and Easy: The air fryer dramatically cuts cooking time, offering a speedy path to a delicious dinner. From preparation to plate, Air Fryer Chicken Milanese is ready in minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights when time is of the essence.
  • Crispy Perfection: One of the biggest appeals of Chicken Milanese is its breadcrumb coating, and the air fryer ensures this comes out perfectly crispy every time. The hot air circulation cooks the chicken evenly, ensuring a consistent texture that’s hard to achieve in a skillet.
  • Flavorful Versatility: This dish acts as a blank canvas for a variety of flavors. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or explore variations with different herbs, cheeses, or toppings, Air Fryer Chicken Milanese can be customized to suit any taste preferences.
  • Less Mess: Traditional frying can be messy, with oil splatters and a stovetop to clean afterward. The air fryer contains the mess, making cleanup a breeze and keeping your kitchen tidy.
  • Ideal for Any Occasion: Whether you’re whipping up a quick family dinner, meal prepping for the week, or entertaining guests, Air Fryer Chicken Milanese is versatile enough to fit the bill. It’s as suited for a casual meal as it is for a special occasion.
  • Satisfying and Nutritious: Made with lean chicken breast and requiring minimal oil, this dish is both satisfying and nutritious. It’s a guilt-free way to indulge in the texture and taste of fried chicken, providing protein and flavor in every bite.

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese is not just a meal; it’s an experience that delights the senses, proving that healthy, quick, and delicious can go hand-in-hand. Its simplicity, coupled with the air fryer’s convenience, makes it a recipe you’ll return to repeatedly.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Chicken Milanese

Dive into the simplicity and elegance of Air Fryer Chicken Milanese, a dish that marries the crunchiness of breaded chicken with the freshness of a quick, homemade sauce. Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients that will transform your meal into an Italian-inspired delight:

Ingredients Needed For Blackstone Griddle

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Panko: These Japanese-style breadcrumbs are the secret to achieving the ultimate crispy coating on the chicken, giving it that golden texture without heavy frying.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: Mixed with Panko, the Parmesan adds a salty, umami flavor to the crust, enhancing the overall taste of the Chicken Milanese.
  • Chicken Breasts, Boneless and Skinless: The perfect canvas for this dish, chicken breasts are tenderized and thinly pounded to ensure even cooking and a delicate texture.
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray: A light coating on the chicken ensures that the breadcrumb mixture adheres well and helps achieve a crispy finish without the need for excess oil.
  • Olive Oil: Serves as the base for the sauce, adding a mild, fruity flavor that complements the tomatoes and shallot.
  • Grape Tomatoes: The tomatoes break down to create a sauce that’s both sweet and tangy, offering a burst of freshness with every bite.
  • Shallots: Adds a subtle sharpness and depth to the sauce, balancing the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper: These seasonings enhance the natural flavors of the sauce and chicken, bringing the dish to life.
  • Fresh Basil Leaves: Torn and stirred into the sauce at the end, basil adds a peppery sweetness and an aromatic freshness that’s quintessentially Italian.
  • Red Wine: Deglazes the pan and infuses the sauce with a rich, complex flavor, elevating the simple tomato base to something restaurant-worthy.

Each ingredient plays a vital role in crafting the Air Fryer Chicken Milanese, ensuring a meal that’s bursting with flavors, textures, and the promise of a delightful culinary experience right at home.

How To Make Chicken Milanese In Air Fryer

Creating Air Fryer Chicken Milanese is a straightforward process that results in a deliciously crispy and flavorful dish, complemented by a fresh tomato sauce. Here’s how to make it:

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese
  • Prep the Chicken:
    • Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound them to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Air Fryer Chicken Milanese
  • Breading:
    • In a shallow dish, mix together the Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Spray each chicken breast lightly with non-stick cooking spray, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to ensure the crumbs adhere well.
Air Fryer Chicken Milanese (6)
  • Air Fry:
    • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) if necessary. Place the breaded chicken breasts in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don’t overlap. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
    • Cook for about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the chicken is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
Air Fryer Chicken Milanese
  • Make the Sauce:
    • While the chicken cooks, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
    • Add the grape tomatoes, salt, and pepper, cooking until the tomatoes start to soften and release their juices, about 5 minutes.
    • Pour in the red wine, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce slightly, about 3-4 minutes.
    • Stir in the fresh basil leaves and remove from heat.
  • Serve:
    • Once the chicken is done, serve each piece topped with a generous spoonful of tomato sauce.

Enjoy your Air Fryer Chicken Milanese with a side of fresh salad, roasted vegetables, or your favorite pasta for a complete and satisfying meal. This dish combines the ease of air frying with the classic flavors of Italy, making it a perfect choice for any day of the week.

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese (

Recipe Variations

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese is a versatile dish that can be adapted and customized in various delicious ways to suit different tastes and occasions. Here are some enticing recipe variations to explore:

  • Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Milanese: Add grated Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture. The Parmesan adds a savory depth and a slightly crispy texture to the crust, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dish.
  • Lemon-Herb Chicken Milanese: Incorporate finely chopped herbs (such as parsley, thyme, or basil) and lemon zest into the breadcrumb mixture. The fresh herbs and lemon zest bring the chicken a bright, aromatic quality, making it refreshing and even more flavorful.
  • Spicy Chicken Milanese: Mix in some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper with the breadcrumbs for a spicy kick. The added heat introduces a bold twist to the traditional recipe, perfect for those who enjoy a little spice in their meals.
  • Air Fryer Gluten-Free Chicken Milanese: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour as a breading alternative. This variation makes the dish accessible to those with gluten sensitivities or preferences, ensuring everyone can enjoy this classic.
  • Pesto-Topped Chicken Milanese: Serve the cooked chicken with a spoonful of fresh basil pesto. The pesto adds a rich, nutty, and herby layer of flavor that beautifully complements the crispy chicken.
  • Mozzarella Chicken Milanese: Top the chicken with slices of fresh mozzarella during the last few minutes of cooking, allowing it to melt. Melty mozzarella adds a creamy texture and a mild, milky flavor that pairs wonderfully with the crisp chicken and tangy sauce.
  • Mediterranean Chicken Milanese: Add sliced olives, capers, and a sprinkle of feta cheese to the tomato sauce. This variation brings a medley of Mediterranean flavors that add a salty, briny contrast to the dish, enhancing its complexity.
  • Sweet and Spicy Mango Salsa Chicken Milanese: Serve with sweet and spicy mango salsa. The mango salsa adds a tropical twist, with its sweetness and heat offering a delightful contrast to the savory chicken.

Each of these variations on Air Fryer Chicken Milanese allows you to experiment with flavors and textures, keeping the dish exciting and new every time you make it. Whether sticking close to the classic or venturing into more adventurous territories, there’s a version of Chicken Milanese to satisfy every palate.

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese (

Pro Tips

Mastering Air Fryer Chicken Milanese involves a blend of technique and creativity. Here are some pro tips to elevate your dish to restaurant-quality:

  • Even Thickness: Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness. This not only helps tenderize the meat but also ensures uniform cooking, preventing dry or undercooked spots.
  • Season Generously: Don’t shy away from seasoning. Salt and pepper the chicken before dredging it in flour and breadcrumbs. This step is crucial for a flavorful outcome.
  • Let It Rest: After breading the chicken, let it rest on a wire rack for about 5-10 minutes before air frying. This helps the coating adhere better and prevents it from falling off during cooking.
  • Preheat Your Air Fryer: Just like an oven, preheating your air fryer ensures that the chicken starts cooking at the optimal temperature right away, which is key for achieving that perfect golden crust.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Cook the chicken in batches if necessary to ensure there’s enough space around each piece. Overcrowding can lead to steam buildup, which might prevent the breading from becoming crispy.
  • Flip Carefully: Use a pair of tongs to gently flip the chicken halfway through cooking. This ensures even browning and crisping on both sides.
  • Check Internal Temperature: To ensure the chicken is cooked through and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 165°F (74°C).
  • Serve Immediately: For the best texture, serve the Chicken Milanese hot out of the air fryer. If you need to keep it warm, place it in a preheated oven at a low temperature on a wire rack to maintain its crispiness.
  • Add Freshness: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice not only adds a bright flavor but also cuts through the richness of the breaded chicken, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Get Creative with Toppings: Experiment with different toppings and sauces, like arugula and cherry tomatoes for freshness, marinara and mozzarella for a Chicken Parmesan twist, or a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a sweet and tangy finish.

Incorporating these pro tips into your cooking process will help you achieve a deliciously crispy and flavorful Air Fryer Chicken Milanese every time, making it a dish that’s sure to impress family and guests alike.

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese

Faq’s

Can I make Chicken Milanese gluten-free? Yes, you can easily make it gluten-free by using gluten-free flour for dredging and substituting regular breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond meal for the coating.

What’s the best way to pound chicken to the right thickness? Place chicken breasts between two pieces of parchment paper or in a plastic bag and gently pound them with a meat mallet or rolling pin to an even thickness, typically about 1/2 inch, to ensure even cooking.

How do I prevent the breadcrumb coating from falling off during cooking? Make sure to press the breadcrumb mixture firmly onto the chicken after dredging in flour and egg. Letting the breaded chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before air frying can also help the coating stick better.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts for this recipe? Absolutely. Chicken thighs can be used and will result in a juicier Milanese due to their higher fat content. Just ensure they are pounded to an even thickness and adjust cooking times as needed since thighs might cook a bit differently.

How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked? The chicken is fully cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) when checked with a meat thermometer, and the outside is golden brown and crispy.

Can I prepare Chicken Milanese in advance? While you can bread the chicken in advance and keep it refrigerated for a few hours before cooking, Chicken Milanese is best enjoyed fresh from the air fryer to maintain its crispy texture. Leftovers can be stored and reheated, though the coating may not be as crisp.

What are some serving suggestions for Chicken Milanese? Chicken Milanese can be served on a bed of mixed greens, like arugula with a squeeze of lemon, alongside roasted vegetables, or topped with a simple tomato salad. It’s versatile and pairs well with many sides.

How do I reheat leftovers to maintain crispiness? Reheat leftovers in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes until warmed through and crispy again. This method helps restore some of the texture lost in refrigeration.

Can I make this recipe dairy-free? Yes, for a dairy-free version, omit the Parmesan cheese from the breadcrumb mixture or use a dairy-free cheese alternative that suits your dietary needs.

Is there a way to make this dish even healthier? To make Air Fryer Chicken Milanese healthier, you can use whole wheat breadcrumbs for added fiber and serve it with a side of fresh vegetables or a light salad to increase the meal’s nutritional value.

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese

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Air Fryer Chicken Milanese

Air Fryer Chicken Milanese

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Description

This is an easy way to make a tasty chicken dinner. My kids really love the flavor of the chicken and the crispiness of the skin.

Ingredients 

Chicken Milanese Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup red wine

Instructions

  • Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound them to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • In a shallow dish, mix together the Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Spray each chicken breast lightly with non-stick cooking spray, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to ensure the crumbs adhere well.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) if necessary. Place the breaded chicken breasts in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don’t overlap. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
  • Cook for about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the chicken is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • While the chicken cooks, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the grape tomatoes, salt, and pepper, cooking until the tomatoes start to soften and release their juices, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the red wine, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce slightly, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the fresh basil leaves and remove from heat.
  • Once the chicken is done, serve each piece topped with a generous spoonful of the tomato sauce.

Equipment

  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper, optional

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 52gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 1013mgPotassium: 1095mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 904IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 99mgIron: 2mg

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