Stuck between chicken cutlets vs. chicken breast? You’ve come to the right place to learn more. The simple fact is that while these two cuts of chicken meat have different names, chicken cutlets are in fact just chicken breast meat that has been sliced into thinner, leaner pieces. Chicken is a popular food in many parts of the world, this is because the chicken has been around for thousands of years and is not only a great source of protein, but lays eggs that can also provide an alternative food source. Chicken is affordable, easy to cook with, and a delicious protein option.

Keep on reading to learn more about the ways to cook chicken cutlets vs. chicken breast. We’ll discuss the minor differences between chicken cutlets vs. chicken breast, and learn a bit about these particular cuts of meat. You’ll learn some classic ways to cook each one and get inspired for your next chicken dinner. Let’s get into the meat of it!

Chicken Cutlets vs. Chicken Breast: How Are They Different?

Chicken cutlets are whole chicken breasts cut in half. When properly cooked, both chicken cutlets and chicken breasts are white meat. They are rich and crispy in flavor. And they pack a punch of protein on top of being a great vehicle for flavorings. But how are they different aside from the sizing?

What Are Chicken Cutlets?

Chicken cutlets come from halved chicken breast meat. Cutlets are pounded flat so that the meat cooks evenly and more quickly than a thicker cut. Chicken cutlets can be done up in a variety of ways. They can be breaded and fried, wrapped in toppings, sautéed in sauces, or marinated for cooking.

Where Do Cutlets Come From?

You can either buy chicken cutlets in the store, or you can make them yourself from a cut of chicken breast meat. You'll want to slice the breast horizontally so that it forms two pieces. If you're slicing from a whole raw chicken, you may need to remove the tender, there is one attached to the underside of each chicken breast. Next, you can take a meat mallet, rolling pin, or another flattening tool, and place your chicken cutlets between parchment paper, plastic wrap, or in a plastic bag. From here, try to flatten the culet until it's even. This will make the cooking process much faster since the meat will cook all the way through (via Allrecipes).

How to Cook Chicken Cutlets

The classic way to cook chicken cutlets is by breading the flattened meat. The Food Network‘s recipe calls for flour, panko, Pecorino Romano (cheese), kosher salt, onion powder, garlic, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Coat your cutlet pieces in an egg and water mixture before fully coating both sides of the cutlet with the breadcrumb mixture. You'll cook the cutlets on parchment paper at 200º Fahrenheit for 3-4 minutes for each side of the cutlets. Season and serve, with lemon wedges if you so desire! Another great recipe for chicken cutlets is this Slow-Cooked Honey Pineapple Chicken.

What Is Chicken Breast?

Chicken breast is a white meat variety. The white meat of a chicken is lower in calories and fat than the darker meat portions. People enjoy white meat because it cooks faster and can be easily flavored. Chicken breast can be cooked in a variety of ways, which is likely part of its popularity.

Where Does Chicken Breast Come From? 

Chicken breast is the white meat cut from the front chest of the chicken. Chicken is popular in cuisines all over the world, and chicken breast meat is often used when white meat is involved. You can serve chicken breast alone, or with a marinade. There are also numerous ways to break down chicken breast meat and include it in soups, stews, as a filling, in sandwiches, salads, and more.

How To Cook Chicken Breast

Depending on the dish you want to make, you can cook your chicken breast in a variety of ways. Try your chicken breast baked, poached, stuffed, pan-fried, and grilled! And that's only a few of the many ways! Check out some of these recipes that call for variations on chicken breast:

Chicken breast baked with monterey cheese and cheddar, bacon, tomatoes and barbecue sauce close-up on the table. horizontal top view from above
Make your baked chicken breast with cheese, bacon, and barbecue sauce. Add green onions for garnish.

©AS Foodstudio/

Nutritional Value of Chicken Cutlets vs. Chicken Breast

Chicken breast has fewer calories and a lower fat content than darker cuts of chicken meat. Therefore, it would suggest that chicken cutlets have even less because they are half a chicken breast. Keep in mind that breading and frying your chicken cutlets will increase the calorie and carbohydrate count.

Healthline breaks down the nutritional profile of 172 grams of skinless, boneless, cooked chicken breast as follows. There are about 284 calories, 53.4 grams of protein, and 6.2 grams of carbohydrates. There are about 153 calories in 100 grams of light meat, so all those numbers would go down in a boneless, skinless, cooked chicken cutlet.

Chicken has other health benefits aside from protein and calories. Chicken breast naturally has vitamins and minerals that can be great for your health. These include B vitamins as well as selenium, zinc, thiamin, copper, phosphorous, and potassium.

Are Chicken Cutlets and Chicken Breast the Same Thing?

If you started this post wondering about the difference between chicken cutlets vs. chicken breast, we hope to have steered you in a clearer direction. The short answer is, yes, chicken cutlets and chicken breast are the same thing. Chicken cutlets are the result of cutting chicken breast and half and thinning it out with a meat hammer. This results in a different style of cooking and a faster end result.

Possible Alternatives to Chicken Cutlets or Chicken Breast

Not interested in eating chicken? Try out other meats like beef and pork that provide a boost in protein. Try veggies or meat alternatives (tofu, tempeh, Beyond Meats) with similar chicken recipes to get that delicious flavor without eating any meat!

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