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Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets with Arugula Salad {Baked Chicken Cutlets}

Baked chicken cutlets over pan-fried *any* day! These Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets with Arugula Salad offer you an unfussy, light, and nutritious dinner option.

Plated chicken cutlet with bright arugula salad.

Side table shot of servings of Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets with salad.

Happy first day of May! Here’s to warmer weather; we deserve it.

North Carolina’s spring temps have been consistently in the 70s and 80s and it has breathed new life into me. I’m a gal who gets crushed by Seasonal Affective Disorder. And though I’ve only been living in NC for about four years, I can’t remember how I made it through all of those gloomy Canadian winters and faux springs. Even though this time of year brings on a whirlwind of weekend responsibilities—like spring cleaning and a mess of yard work—it’s impossible to feel anything but upbeat! Plus, you can always balance things out by kicking back on a patio with a well-earned drink at day’s end ;) 

Another thing that’s earned after a day of such efforts is a simple and refreshing dinner. Something wholesome, light, and unfussy. That’s where these lemon pepper chicken cutlets with citrusy arugula salad come in ♥

Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets with Arugula Salad.

These baked chicken cutlets come out crispy without all the grease you’d get with pan-fried cutlets. (Just like this baked eggplant parm!) They’re lighter, healthier, and brighter in flavor. A good quality lemon and pepper seasoning mixed with some crunchy panko breadcrumbs do wonders here. No sauce needed! Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over these babes and you’re good to go.

You could serve these lemon and pepper chicken cutlets with of your fave seasonal veg sides, but the arugula salad feels like a must-have to me. Cutting into your cutlet and grabbing some of those fresh greens on your way to your mouth creates some kind of spring-y harmony and I am here for it.

Away from the table…

(Healthier?) Snacks! I’m a marketer’s dream. Wrap something up in minimalistic packaging, tell me it’s good for the environment, or create the illusion that it’s healthy, and consider me sucked in. I’m currently hooked on these dreamy ice cream bars that claim to be the healthier choice from the supermarket freezer. Let’s be real though: it’s still dessert. But a smarter choice when eaten in moderation! 

Goodreads! Last week, I hit my reading challenge goal for the year. Nothing to brag about, trust me; with a baby on the way, I set myself a low bar of 10 books. The ones that really stuck with me were The Geek Feminist Revolution, Bad Feminist, Bringing Up Bébé, The Hate U Give, and Between the World and Me. What is your reading challenge looking like?

Podcasts! I don’t just listen to foodie podcasts, I swear. While catching up on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, I stumbled upon this gem with Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz, and it’s pretty damn fun.

I hope you have a fantastic rest of week! And wherever you’re located, I hope the weather is treating you well :)

Side table shot of servings of Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets with salad.

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you. Then snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme to be featured in our newsletter.

Plated chicken cutlet with bright arugula salad.
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5 from 7 votes

Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets with Arugula Salad {Baked Chicken Cutlets}

Baked chicken cutlets over pan-fried *any* day! These Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets with Arugula Salad offer you an unfussy, light, and nutritious dinner option.
Servings 2
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets.

  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 TBSP good quality lemon pepper seasoning, plus extra to taste *See Notes
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Arugula Salad.

  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • Juice of half a large lemon (about 3 TBSP)
  • Zest of half a large lemon
  • 1 radish, thinly sliced (preferably with a mandolin)
  • Shaved pecorino romano or parmesan (about 1/4 cup)

Instructions

Lemon Pepper Chicken Cutlets.

  • Preheat oven at 375º F.
  • Place the chicken breast on a clean cutting surface. Place one hand flat on top of the chicken breast and, holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, carefully slice it horizontally, resulting in two chicken cutlets. Place the cutlets in a plastic bag, seal it, and give the cutlets a few firm hits with a meat mallet or heavy rolling pin to tenderize; set aside.
  • Set up three shallow bowls; fill one with the flour, one with the beaten egg, and one with the panko crumbs. Mix 2 TBSP of lemon pepper seasoning into the panko brean crumbs. 
  • Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, egg, then the lemon pepper panko mix. Press the panko bread crumbs firmly into the chicken breasts and set them onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little more lemon pepper seasoning and hit is with some freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165º F.
    In the meantime, prep the salad.

Arugula Salad.

  • Place 4 cups of arugula into a large bowl. With a microplane/zester, grate and sprinkle the zest of half a lemon over the greens. Then, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the greens. Toss with your hands and massage the lemon juice into the greens for even distribution.
  • Add the thinly sliced radishes and the shaved cheese. Give it a quick toss.

Assembly.

  • Once the chicken is ready, plate it, and drop the arugula salad next to it. Serve with lemon wedges and spritz the cutlets with fresh lemon juice before digging in.

Notes

For the lemon pepper seasoning, you can use a homemade blend you're fond of, or store bought. If going the store bought route, just make sure it's a good quality blend. There are a few cheapie blends out there that don't taste that great.

6 Comments

  • Trish Bozeman
    May 8, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    5 stars
    Definitely baked over fried! I always feel like frying food is such a hassle, so it’s awesome to stumble upon a recipe that’s healthy and baked. My kiddo would gobble this whole thing right up, and I wouldn’t feel the least bit guilty. Definitely trying it!

    Reply
  • Tracy
    May 6, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    5 stars
    Oooh thank you for the podcast recs! I’m always looking for new ones and I LOVE Conan. And this chicken, I LOVE when you can get all the crunch but none of the grease! Perfect flavors to go with arugula, too!

    Reply
  • Debra
    May 6, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    5 stars
    I love how crunchy this crust looks….and baked not fried. Winning! An awesome compromise in the health department. YAY!

    Reply
  • Marisa F. Stewart
    May 6, 2019 at 9:02 am

    5 stars
    We eat so much chicken I’m always looking for variation of old recipes. Now I love the idea of making the chicken in the oven instead of pan frying. All of the flavor is there without the fat. That is a win-win. We do like our lemon pepper and just bought more the other day. This recipe is on the menu this week.

    Reply
  • Jenni LeBaron
    May 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    5 stars
    Yum! It’s been forever since I’ve had anything with lemon pepper, but I love the spice mix. These chicken cutlets look like they have a perfect crisp outside layer, which is exactly how I love them! The arugula salad also looks like a wonderful pairing- simple, fresh, and healthy!

    Reply
  • Gloria
    May 1, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    5 stars
    You can never go wrong with a chicken recipe. This baked chicken looks juicy and delicious. I know my grandkids would LOVE this for dinner next time we get together. Printing for later.

    Reply

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