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A Cutlet, also known as a Cotoletta (Italian), Côtelette (French) or Kotelett (German), is a thin slice of meat typically taken from the leg or ribs of veal, pork, lamb, or mutton. In the case of chicken cutlets, the meat is usually thin-sliced chicken breast meat, which may or may not have been tenderized by pounding the chicken breast.

Historically, and in classic French cuisine, a Cutlet was a Chicken Suprême (boneless, skinless, chicken breast) with the upper part of the chicken wing attached.


The term Cutlet is derived from the French word côtelette, which in turn comes from côte,” the French word for “rib," which in cooking means a small bit of the rib.  A Cutlet is also a Paillard, which is a French term for any thin slice of Meat.

The argument between the Germans, French and Italians is still raging as to origins of the Cutlet. We won’t wade into the middle of it, but we do know that the cutlet (or “cotoletta” in Italian), is very popular in Italian cuisine, and has been for ages, in such dishes as: Cotoletta alla Milanese (a Veal Cutlet covered in bread crumbs and Pan-Fried in butter), Cotoletta alla Palermitana ( breaded with a mixture of Bread crumbs, Parmesan Cheese Oregano and fried in Lard in the style of Palermo, Sicily), or Cotoletta alla Bolognese.

The German Schnitzel is very similar to a Cutlet. In fact, The Food Lover’s Companion, 4th Edition, describes Schnitzel as “German for Cutlet.” One may have inspired the other, or vice versa. The fact not in dispute is that the Cutlet is gone international.

In the U.S. the most common Cutlet is a Chicken Cutlet, though both Pork Cutlets and Veal Cutlets are very popular as well.

In Britain a Cutlet is an unbreaded thin cut of meat and can also be referred to as a “Chop.”

In Japan, Cutlet was called “katsuretsu” when it was introduced during the Meji Restoration. Today, katsuretsu is often shortened to “Katsu” and is used to describe dishes that include a Cutlet, such as “tonkatsu” and “katsudon.”

Culinary Uses

Cutlet can also mean a Pan Fried or Deep FriedBreaded Cutlet, as well as a Croquette made from Minced meat. There is also a kind of Fish Fillet called a Cutlet.

Gluten Free


Low Fat


Low Calorie