Veal Parmigiana is one of the most classic Italian recipes out there. Breaded veal cutlets are baked with a marinara sauce, creamy mozzarella, and, of course, parmesan cheese. Veal Parmesan becomes a wonderful marriage of Italian flavors that is simple to make.
What is Veal Parmesan?
Veal Parmesan includes three elements: thin veal cutlets are dredged in flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown and crisp. A basic marinara sauce is made, using classic Italian ingredients like onion, carrot, garlic, and tomato puree.
Finally, the veal cutlets are laid into a tray or skillet and topped with the marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese, and more sauce. The cutlets are baked until the flavors marry and the cheese melts, and your veal parmesan is ready to eat, usually with a long pasta as a side dish.
Which is better: Veal Parmesan or Chicken Parmesan?
Chicken parmesan usually wins out in the parmesan wars against both veal and eggplant parmesan, because chicken is affordable and easy to find. However, you may find that using veal instead of chicken provides tons more flavor to the cutlets and sauce, and adds to the overall taste of the dish.
Because veal can typically be prepared to be even thinner than chicken cutlets, the dish is more of a neat fit when finishing off in the oven. Don’t get me wrong‒chicken cutlets are still a great dish to prepare, but if you want to achieve true Italian authenticity with veal recipes, this veal parmesan recipe will get you there!
- Veal Cutlets
- All-Purpose Flour
- Salt & Pepper
- Italian Seasoning
- Whole Milk
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- White Wine (optional)
- Tomato Paste
- Tomato Puree
- Parmigiano Reggiano
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Long Pasta (like Fettuccine or Spaghetti)
🔪How to make Veal Parmesan (Step-by-Step Instructions)
- Pound the veal thin with a meat tenderizer (or do as I did, and purchase already thin veal cutlets!)
- Dredge in flour with Italian seasoning.
- Dip into egg/milk mixture.
- Cover in breadcrumbs and set aside.
- Fry the veal cutlets over medium heat until golden and crisp.
- Saute onion, carrot, and garlic in olive oil.
- Add white wine if using and cook down.
- Add tomato paste, tomato puree, extra water and season.
- Add basil and parmesan cheese
- Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In a cast iron skillet or baking tray, add sauce, cutlets, parmesan cheese, more sauce, and mozzarella.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Broil if needed for an additional 1-2 minutes for golden cheese.
- Prepare the pasta and serve with the marinara sauce and additional fresh basil and parmesan cheese.
How do You Tenderize Veal for Veal Parmesan?
There are two ways to tenderize veal cutlets for veal parmesan recipes. You can purchase a meat tenderizer which works for pounding veal or chicken alike.
There is usually a perforated side and a flat side. It is always a good idea to end with the flat side to make sure the cutlets are even and smooth. Placing a piece of wax paper between the veal and the tenderizer is helpful too.
Another great way to tenderize veal cutlets is to purchase already thin veal cutlets. They can be slightly harder to find, but once you do, you may not miss the time spent pounding the veal (but if it helps you get some stress out, all the better!)
How Do You Make Veal Parmesan with Spaghetti?
If you plan to make a marinara sauce to go along with your veal parmesan, it makes it even easier to serve the veal cutlets with pasta.
Simply prepare some pasta (spaghetti is a great idea - though I often use a fresh fettuccine pasta as a treat) and add to the marinara sauce.
What Do You Serve with Veal Parmesan
You can serve this veal parmesan with pasta and the accompanying sauce, but the veal parmesan also pairs nicely with mashed potato (or any potato side dish), rice, salad, or vegetables.
The dish is very versatile and adapts nicely to many of these side dishes.
Veal Parmesan Recipe
For Veal Cutlets
- 1 lb. veal cutlets thin or regular thickness
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 TBSP Italian seasoning
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2-3 cups breadcrumbs
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 oz. mozzarella set aside for baking step
For Marinara Sauce
- 1 small onion diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ large carrot
- ⅓ cup white wine optional
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 24.5 oz jar of tomato puree plus approx. ½ cup water
- ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano plus another ½ cup for baking
- 1 bunch fresh basil save a few leaves for a final garnish
- 1 tsp. salt
- Red pepper oregano, black pepper to taste
For Veal Cutlets
- If tenderizing the veal cutlets, place a piece of wax paper in between the cutlets and the tenderizer. Pound the veal with force, making sure to first use the perforated side to even out the cutlets. You can finish up with the flat side of the tenderizer, so the cutlets are smooth. I cut mine in half because they were too large for the pan! Salt and pepper the cutlets lightly.
- Set up your cutlet station: spread out the all purpose flour in a tray and mix in any Italian seasoning if using, mix the eggs and the whole milk together in a bowl, and spread out the breadcrumbs in another tray.
- While you heat a thin, even layer of olive oil in a pan over medium heat, dredge your cutlets in flour, then dip both sides into the egg mixture, and finally dredge generously with breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess and set aside.
- Lightly fry the cutlets for about 4-5 minutes per side. Make sure the outside is golden brown before setting the cutlets aside.
For Marinara Sauce
- In the same pan, add a little more olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrot, and garlic for 4-5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the white wine, if using. Let the alcohol burn off and stir occasionally for another 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium and add in the tomato paste and the tomato puree. You can add about ½ cup of water to the emptied tomato puree jar or can and swish it around. Add the water and any excess puree into the sauce. This way, nothing is wasted and the sauce will be the perfect consistency!
- 7 Add in salt and any desired seasoning (red pepper flakes, oregano, black pepper), and bring the sauce to a boil. Add in chopped bunch of basil and parmesan cheese. Stir and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then.
- Once the sauce is set aside, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In the same skillet or pan (or using a baking dish), spoon a little sauce on the bottom and place the breaded veal cutlets. Add more sauce on top, followed by parmesan, and either shredded mozzarella or a slice for each cutlet. Add more parmesan on top and any more sauce around the cutlets that you wish to use.
- Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Bake on the broil setting for another few minutes if you prefer your cheese a little darker.
- While the veal parmesan is baking, boil water for the pasta and cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain the pasta and add the remaining marinara sauce to the pasta.
- Serve veal parmesan with the pasta and add any additional parmesan cheese or fresh basil you like. Buon Appetito!