This easy recipe for Almond Chicken Cutlets with Apple, Arugula + Brussels Sprout Salad is a healthy and satisfying dinner idea you’re absolutely going to love! These chicken cutlets are flavored with Dijon mustard and coated with almonds, then pan fried to get an incredibly crispy crust that just so happens to be both gluten and dairy free. I serve them with a crisp + lemony apple, arugula and shaved Brussels sprout salad for a refreshing compliment to the crunchy, tender chicken. You don’t have to be on a gluten free diet to love this recipe!
A few weeks ago I hopped on my Instagram story to try my hand at making gluten free chicken cutlets, and what resulted was a delicious dinner I’ve already made twice since.
Crispy, breaded and pan fried Italian style chicken cutlets are one of my all time favorite dinners, especially in late summer when I serve them with an arugula tomato salad picked fresh from the garden. I wanted to try my hand at making a gluten free version, but considering it’s winter, I decided go in a different direction.
Of course, I’m using a gluten free flour blend and gluten free breadcrumbs for my recipe out of sheer necessity, but you can totally swap those out and use regular AP flour and Panko breadcrumbs if you aren’t following a gluten free diet. If I’m being totally honest, it will probably taste even better that way.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts get thinly sliced and pounded out, then seasoned and coated lightly in flour. Next, they take a dip in an egg wash that’s been seasoned with Dijon mustard. I love the flavor that the mustard adds to the chicken – it really livens it up! The chicken then gets coated in a mixture of ground up almonds, breadcrumbs and spices, and finally pan fried until golden brown, crispy and delicious.
I’ve still yet to find a brand of gluten free breadcrumbs that doesn’t taste like sawdust, but in this recipe their flavor is masked because they’re mixed together with crushed almonds. I’m still relatively new to the game, but it’s my understanding that there can be a huge difference between brands of gluten free breadcrumbs, so results may vary. I used Aleia’s Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs, because the internet told me they were the best, and while they certainly got the job done, they don’t hold a candle to the real thing.
Those who have been eating gluten free for a while say eventually “you just get used to it” (“it” being the flavor and texture of gluten free swaps), but I have a hard time accepting that notion. I refuse to blow smoke and tell you that they are TOTALLY JUST AS GOOD, because dude, they aren’t. But I’m on a mission to change that.
Just like with my favorite traditional Chicken Milanese, these get served up with a crisp and refreshing salad to cut through the rich, fried chicken. For this version, I make the most of winter produce by combining shaved Brussels sprouts with tart granny smith apples and peppery arugula tossed in a simple lemon Dijon vinaigrette.
The textures and flavors of this recipe are an absolute perfect pair. Everything works together so beautifully and leaves nothing to be desired. It’s winter’s answer to summer’s chicken Milanese, and I cannot wait for you to try it.
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This easy recipe for Almond Chicken Cutlets with Apple, Arugula + Brussels Sprout Salad is a healthy and satisfying dinner idea you’re absolutely going to love! These chicken cutlets are flavored with Dijon mustard and coated with almonds, then pan fried to get an incredibly crispy crust that just so happens to be both gluten and dairy free. I serve them with a crisp, lemony apple, arugula and shaved Brussels sprout salad for a refreshing compliment to the crunchy, tender chicken. You don’t have to be on a gluten free diet to love this recipe!
For the Chicken
- 1 ¼ cups gluten free Panko breadcrumbs or traditional Panko breadcrumbs *
- 1 ¼ cups ground almonds (use a blender or food processor to grind them into coarse crumbs)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning
- ½ cup gluten free flour blend OR all purpose flour*
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced and/or pounded out very thin
- neutral oil for frying (I like grape seed)
For the Salad
- 6 medium Brussels sprouts, shaved into fine ribbons
- 2 packed cups arugula
- ½ green apple, julienned
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus extra lemon wedges for serving
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a large, shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
- Add the flour to another shallow bowl, then in a third bowl whisk together the eggs and Dijon mustard until well combined.
- Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Take a piece of chicken and dip it into the flour to coat on all sides, then tap off the excess. Next, coat it in the egg mixture, let the excess drip off, then place it into the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to press it down and move it around so that it gets thoroughly coated. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
- Place a cooling rack over top of a sheet pain and set it next to the stove for draining the cooked chicken.
- Heat about ½ inch of oil in a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Gently place 1-3 chicken breasts down in the hot oil, but don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown on each side, then remove to the cooking rack to drain. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts, wiping out the pan and starting with new oil as needed.
- While the chicken cooks, make the salad. Add the shaved Brussels sprouts, arugula and apples to a large bowl. In a separate small bowl or jar, whisk together the shallot, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified, then pour over the salad and toss until everything is nicely coated.
- Serve almond chicken cutlets hot with salad on the side.
Keywords: gluten free, pan fried, chicken, cutlets, salad, brussels sprouts, arugula, apples, crispy, dairy free, almonds