Veal scallopini is a quick, restaurant-quality recipe that takes minutes to cook. The light flour dusting and fork tender meat coated with frothy, buttery sauce, and tang of the lemon juice with the saltiness of capers - this dish is a home run.
Why I Love this Italian Veal Scallopini Recipe
Not only is this a stunning restaurant quality mean - it takes less than half an hour to prepare and cook! You can really show off with this dish, it makes a great date night meal as preparation is minimal but the dish exudes sophistication.
Our Veal Scallopini was served alongside pan sautéed brussel sprouts and parsnips. Needless to say, the house was very quiet during dinner that night!
If veal isn't in your wheelhouse you can certainly use chicken breast. Slice it thin, cover it with plastic wrap and pound it thin. The preparation from there is the same, though cooking the chicken may take just a touch longer.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Another great reason to make this veal scallopini recipe, is that it can be so versatile! There's plenty of options and ways for you to make this dish your own.
- If your not a fan of veal then you can easily swap it for chicken or even thinly sliced extra firm tofu could be used for a vegetarian option!
- If you don't have fresh lemon, don't worry, bottled lemon juice works just fine
- If you don't like capers then you can add some mushrooms and fresh parsley instead - you can add this even if you do like the capers too!
- If you prefer a crunchier style that's more similar to a veal parmesan, then you can make the veal milanese style.
How to Make Veal Scallopini with Lemon and Capers
You'll be eating a delicious home-cooked, restaurant-quality meal in just minutes! Thanks to the thinness of the veal cutlets, they take just minutes to cook and the sauce comes together almost as fast.
Pat the veal dry with paper towels. Pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin to ¼-inch to ⅛-inch thickness and season with salt and pepper.
Coat each veal cutlet with flour on both sides and shake off the excess.
Pro Tip: When pounding the veal cutlets, lay over a piece of plastic wrap and top with another piece of plastic wrap, or you can place a cutlet inside a plastic zip bag. This will allow the cutlet to spread as you pound it thin and makes the whole process much easier and faster.
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the veal cutlets in batches so you don't over crowd the pan. Cook on both sides for about 1 ½ minutes until golden brown.
Once the veal is cooked, make the sauce. Add the wine while stirring to incorporate any drippings on the bottom of the pan and reduce before adding the lemon juice. Stir to combine and add the butter, stirring the whole time to incorporate the fats and acids.
Pro Tip: The flour left in the pan from the cutlets will help thicken the sauce and keep the lemon juice and butter from 'breaking'. If there is an excess of oil and butter in the pan after cooking the cutlets you can drain some, but don't drain off all the drippings!
Add the capers to the sauce and return the veal to the pan, coating with the lemon sauce and capers.
Serve the veal scallopini immediately with your favorite Italian side dishes - pasta, roasted vegetables, or risotto!
You can pop any leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze them, aqgain, in an airtight container, they will last up to around 4 months in the freezer. Just make sure to defrost it fully before heating it up.
The leg - it's the most tender cut of veal and this is normally used for scallopini and cutlets ect.
Veal is actually one of the more healthy forms of meat as it has a low calorie count but it's super high in protein!
What Do You Serve with Veal Scallopini?
Veal Scallopini is a classic Italian meal, so I suggest pairing it with any of your favorite Italian side dishes!
My personal favorites are Parmesan Risotto (which you see pictured here) it's super creamy and simply delicious! Or you could try out my quick and tasty Butternut Squash Pasta, it takes less that 25 minutes and is rich with nutty brown butter sage sauce. I'm also a huge fan of brussel sprouts and these crispy roasted sprouts match this veal scallopini perfectly.
Veal Scallopini with Lemon and Capers
- 8 thinly sliced veal cutlets (about 1 to 1.25 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons canola oil (see notes)
- 3 tablepssons unsalted butter (see notes)
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour (for dredging)
- salt and black pepper
Lemon and Caper Sauce
- ⅓ cup white wine
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons salted butter (cut in pieces)
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons nonpareil capers
- Prepare the veal cutlets. Pat the veal dry with paper towels. Pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin to ¼-inch to ⅛-inch thickness. (See notes for tips on prepping the cutlets). Once the veal is prepped, season with salt and pepper
- Spread the ⅓ cup flour on a large flat surface, like a dinner plate or a shallow storage container. Place each veal cutlet in the flour, pressing lightly into the flour on each side. Once the entire cutlet is coated in flour, lightly shake off excess, and place on a clean plate or cutting board. Repeat until all the veal is coated with flour.
- In a large skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons canola oil and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat. Cook the veal in batches - place as many veal cutlets will fit in the pan in a single layer without crowding the pan. Cook about until golden brown on each side, about 1 ½ minutes per side. Place the cooked cutlets on a clean plate and repeat until all the cutlets are cooked. Depending on the size of your pan you may need additional oil and butter (see notes).
- Reduce the heat to medium low. Add ⅓ cup white wine to the pan and light scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula to incorporate any of the drippings on the bottom of the pan, cook for about 1 minute to reduce the wine and cook off the alcohol.
- Stir in ¼ cup lemon juice and ⅛ teaspoon white pepper and cook for about 1 minute. Add 6 tablespoons of salted butter to the pan and stir continuously until melted and incorporated. Add 2 tablespoons capers the to sauce and season with salt to taste.
- Return the veal cutlets to the pan and coat with the sauce. Serve immediately.
- When pound the veal cutlets, lay over a piece of plastic wrap and top with another piece of plastic wrap, alternatively you can place a cutlet inside a plastic zip bag. This will allow the cutlet to spread as you pound it thin and makes the whole process much easier and faster.
- Depending on the size of your pan and how many batches you have to do to cook the veal cutlets, you may need additional canola oil and unsalted butter. After using the quantities in the recipe, just add 1 tablespoon of each oil and butter at a time.
- The flour left in the pan from the cutlets will help thicken the sauce and keep the lemon juice and butter from 'breaking'. If there is an excess of oil and butter in the pan after cooking the cutlets you can drain some, but don't drain off all the drippings.